WorldWideScience

Sample records for microbial biology major

  1. Molecular biology of microbial hydrogenases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignais, P M; Colbeau, A

    2004-07-01

    Hydrogenases (H2ases) are metalloproteins. The great majority of them contain iron-sulfur clusters and two metal atoms at their active center, either a Ni and an Fe atom, the [NiFe]-H2ases, or two Fe atoms, the [FeFe]-H2ases. Enzymes of these two classes catalyze the reversible oxidation of hydrogen gas (H2 2 H+ + 2 e-) and play a central role in microbial energy metabolism; in addition to their role in fermentation and H2 respiration, H2ases may interact with membrane-bound electron transport systems in order to maintain redox poise, particularly in some photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria. Recent work has revealed that some H2ases, by acting as H2-sensors, participate in the regulation of gene expression and that H2-evolving H2ases, thought to be involved in purely fermentative processes, play a role in membrane-linked energy conservation through the generation of a protonmotive force. The Hmd hydrogenases of some methanogenic archaea constitute a third class of H2ases, characterized by the absence of Fe-S cluster and the presence of an iron-containing cofactor with catalytic properties different from those of [NiFe]- and [FeFe]-H2ases. In this review, we emphasise recent advances that have greatly increased our knowledge of microbial H2ases, their diversity, the structure of their active site, how the metallocenters are synthesized and assembled, how they function, how the synthesis of these enzymes is controlled by external signals, and their potential use in biological H2 production.

  2. Systems biology of Microbial Communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navid, A; Ghim, C; Fenley, A; Yoon, S; Lee, S; Almaas, E

    2008-04-11

    Microbes exist naturally in a wide range of environments, spanning the extremes of high acidity and high temperature to soil and the ocean, in communities where their interactions are significant. We present a practical discussion of three different approaches for modeling microbial communities: rate equations, individual-based modeling, and population dynamics. We illustrate the approaches with detailed examples. Each approach is best fit to different levels of system representation, and they have different needs for detailed biological input. Thus, this set of approaches is able to address the operation and function of microbial communities on a wide range of organizational levels.

  3. Microbial ecology of biological invasions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Putten, W.H.; Klironomos, J.N.; Wardle, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive microbes, plants and animals are a major threat to the composition and functioning of ecosystems; however, the mechanistic basis of why exotic species can be so abundant and disruptive is not well understood. Most studies have focused on invasive plants and animals, although few have

  4. Microbial stress tolerance for biofuels. Systems biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Zonglin Lewis (ed.) [National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA-ARS, Peoria, IL (United States)

    2012-07-01

    The development of sustainable and renewable biofuels is attracting growing interest. It is vital to develop robust microbial strains for biocatalysts that are able to function under multiple stress conditions. This Microbiology Monograph provides an overview of methods for studying microbial stress tolerance for biofuels applications using a systems biology approach. Topics covered range from mechanisms to methodology for yeast and bacteria, including the genomics of yeast tolerance and detoxification; genetics and regulation of glycogen and trehalose metabolism; programmed cell death; high gravity fermentations; ethanol tolerance; improving biomass sugar utilization by engineered Saccharomyces; the genomics on tolerance of Zymomonas mobilis; microbial solvent tolerance; control of stress tolerance in bacterial host organisms; metabolomics for ethanologenic yeast; automated proteomics work cell systems for strain improvement; and unification of gene expression data for comparable analyses under stress conditions. (orig.)

  5. Systems biology of microbial exopolysaccharides production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozlem eAtes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Exopolysaccharides (EPS produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore a systems-based approach constitutes an important step towards understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan and dextran.

  6. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran.

  7. Do Biology Majors Really Differ from Non–STEM Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Thompson, Seth; Wright, Robin

    2017-01-01

    Recent calls to action urge sweeping reform in science education, advocating for improved learning for all students—including those majoring in fields beyond the sciences. However, little work has been done to characterize the differences—if any exist—between students planning a career in science and those studying other disciplines. We describe an attempt to clarify, in broad terms, how non–STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors differ from life sciences majors, and how they are similar. Using survey responses and institutional data, we find that non–STEM majors are not unilaterally science averse; non–STEM majors are more likely than biology majors to hold misconceptions about the nature of science, yet they are not completely ignorant of how science works; non–STEM majors are less likely than biology majors to see science as personally relevant; and non–STEM majors populations are likely to be more diverse—with respect to incoming knowledge, perceptions, backgrounds, and skills—than a biology majors population. We encourage science educators to consider these characteristics when designing curricula for future scientists or simply for a well-informed citizenry. PMID:28798210

  8. Do Biology Majors Really Differ from Non-STEM Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Thompson, Seth; Wright, Robin

    2017-01-01

    Recent calls to action urge sweeping reform in science education, advocating for improved learning for all students-including those majoring in fields beyond the sciences. However, little work has been done to characterize the differences-if any exist-between students planning a career in science and those studying other disciplines. We describe an attempt to clarify, in broad terms, how non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors differ from life sciences majors, and how they are similar. Using survey responses and institutional data, we find that non-STEM majors are not unilaterally science averse; non-STEM majors are more likely than biology majors to hold misconceptions about the nature of science, yet they are not completely ignorant of how science works; non-STEM majors are less likely than biology majors to see science as personally relevant; and non-STEM majors populations are likely to be more diverse-with respect to incoming knowledge, perceptions, backgrounds, and skills-than a biology majors population. We encourage science educators to consider these characteristics when designing curricula for future scientists or simply for a well-informed citizenry. © 2017 S. Cotner et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  9. Genome-scale biological models for industrial microbial systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Nan; Ye, Chao; Liu, Liming

    2018-04-01

    The primary aims and challenges associated with microbial fermentation include achieving faster cell growth, higher productivity, and more robust production processes. Genome-scale biological models, predicting the formation of an interaction among genetic materials, enzymes, and metabolites, constitute a systematic and comprehensive platform to analyze and optimize the microbial growth and production of biological products. Genome-scale biological models can help optimize microbial growth-associated traits by simulating biomass formation, predicting growth rates, and identifying the requirements for cell growth. With regard to microbial product biosynthesis, genome-scale biological models can be used to design product biosynthetic pathways, accelerate production efficiency, and reduce metabolic side effects, leading to improved production performance. The present review discusses the development of microbial genome-scale biological models since their emergence and emphasizes their pertinent application in improving industrial microbial fermentation of biological products.

  10. [Synthetic biology and rearrangements of microbial genetic material].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Quan-Feng; Wang, Qian; Qi, Qing-Sheng

    2011-10-01

    As an emerging discipline, synthetic biology has shown great scientific values and application prospects. Although there have been many reviews of various aspects on synthetic biology over the last years, this article, for the first time, attempted to discuss the relationship and difference between microbial genetics and synthetic biology. We summarized the recent development of synthetic biology in rearranging microbial genetic materials, including synthesis, design and reduction of genetic materials, standardization of genetic parts and modularization of genetic circuits. The relationship between synthetic biology and microbial genetic engineering was also discussed in the paper.

  11. Synthetic biology for microbial heavy metal biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Ju; Jeong, Haeyoung; Lee, Sang Jun

    2018-02-01

    Using recombinant DNA technology, various whole-cell biosensors have been developed for detection of environmental pollutants, including heavy metal ions. Whole-cell biosensors have several advantages: easy and inexpensive cultivation, multiple assays, and no requirement of any special techniques for analysis. In the era of synthetic biology, cutting-edge DNA sequencing and gene synthesis technologies have accelerated the development of cell-based biosensors. Here, we summarize current technological advances in whole-cell heavy metal biosensors, including the synthetic biological components (bioparts), sensing and reporter modules, genetic circuits, and chassis cells. We discuss several opportunities for improvement of synthetic cell-based biosensors. First, new functional modules must be discovered in genome databases, and this knowledge must be used to upgrade specific bioparts through molecular engineering. Second, modules must be assembled into functional biosystems in chassis cells. Third, heterogeneity of individual cells in the microbial population must be eliminated. In the perspectives, the development of whole-cell biosensors is also discussed in the aspects of cultivation methods and synthetic cells.

  12. Lead Contamination and Microbial Lead Tolerance in Soils at Major ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Devika

    ABSTRACT: Lead pollution and lead tolerance levels of microbes in soil at major road junctions in Benin. City were investigated. Results revealed that distance from the road junctions affected the concentrations of lead in soil, as well as the microbial population density and types of microbes present in the soil. The highest ...

  13. Lead Contamination and Microbial Lead Tolerance in Soils at Major ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lead pollution and lead tolerance levels of microbes in soil at major road junctions in Benin City were investigated. Results revealed that distance from the road junctions affected the concentrations of lead in soil, as well as the microbial population density and types of microbes present in the soil. The highest concentrations ...

  14. Major new sources of biological ice nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffett, B. F.; Hill, T.; Henderson-Begg, S. K.

    2009-12-01

    Almost all research on biological ice nucleation has focussed on a limited number of bacteria. Here we characterise several major new sources of biogenic ice nuclei. These include mosses, hornworts, liverworts and cyanobacteria. Ice nucleation in the eukaryotic bryophytes appears to be ubiquitous. The temperature at which these organisms nucleate is that at which the difference in vapour pressure over ice and water is at or close to its maximum. At these temperatures (-8 to -18 degrees C) ice will grow at the expense of supercooled water. These organisms are dependent for their water on occult precipitation - fog, dew and cloudwater which by its nature is not collected in conventional rain gauges. Therefore we suggest that these organism produce ice nuclei as a water harvesting mechanism. Since the same mechanism would also drive the Bergeron-Findeisen process, and as moss is known to become airborne, these nuclei may have a role in the initiation of precipitation. The properties of these ice nuclei are very different from the well characterised bacterial nuclei. We will also present DNA sequence data showing that, although related, the proteins responsible are only very distantly related to the classical bacterial ice nuclei.

  15. 2007 Microbial Population Biology (July 22-26, 2007)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anthony M. Dean

    2008-04-01

    Microbial Population Biology covers a diverse range of cutting edge issues in the microbial sciences and beyond. Firmly founded in evolutionary biology and with a strongly integrative approach, past meetings have covered topics ranging from the dynamics and genetics of adaptation to the evolution of mutation rate, community ecology, evolutionary genomics, altruism, and epidemiology. This meeting is never dull: some of the most significant and contentious issues in biology have been thrashed out here. We anticipate the 2007 meeting being no exception. The final form of the 2007 meeting is yet to be decided, but the following topics are likely to be included: evolutionary emergence of infectious disease and antibiotic resistance, genetic architecture and implications for the evolution of microbial populations, ageing in bacteria, biogeography, evolution of symbioses, the role of microbes in ecosystem function, and ecological genomics.

  16. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems—teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking—that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions. PMID:25713093

  17. Relations between intuitive biological thinking and biological misconceptions in biology majors and nonmajors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-03-02

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed misconceptions, among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists have described intuitive conceptual systems--teleological, essentialist, and anthropocentric thinking--that humans use to reason about biology. We hypothesize that seemingly unrelated biological misconceptions may have common origins in these intuitive ways of knowing, termed cognitive construals. We presented 137 undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors with six biological misconceptions. They indicated their agreement with each statement, and explained their rationale for their response. Results indicate frequent agreement with misconceptions, and frequent use of construal-based reasoning among both biology majors and nonmajors in their written explanations. Moreover, results also show associations between specific construals and the misconceptions hypothesized to arise from those construals. Strikingly, such associations were stronger among biology majors than nonmajors. These results demonstrate important linkages between intuitive ways of thinking and misconceptions in discipline-based reasoning, and raise questions about the origins, persistence, and generality of relations between intuitive reasoning and biological misconceptions. © 2015 J. D. Coley and K. Tanner. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  18. Microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Huijie; Chandran, Kartik; Stensel, David

    2014-11-01

    Globally, denitrification is commonly employed in biological nitrogen removal processes to enhance water quality. However, substantial knowledge gaps remain concerning the overall community structure, population dynamics and metabolism of different organic carbon sources. This systematic review provides a summary of current findings pertaining to the microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment processes. DNA fingerprinting-based analysis has revealed a high level of microbial diversity in denitrification reactors and highlighted the impacts of carbon sources in determining overall denitrifying community composition. Stable isotope probing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, microarrays and meta-omics further link community structure with function by identifying the functional populations and their gene regulatory patterns at the transcriptional and translational levels. This review stresses the need to integrate microbial ecology information into conventional denitrification design and operation at full-scale. Some emerging questions, from physiological mechanisms to practical solutions, for example, eliminating nitrous oxide emissions and supplementing more sustainable carbon sources than methanol, are also discussed. A combination of high-throughput approaches is next in line for thorough assessment of wastewater denitrifying community structure and function. Though denitrification is used as an example here, this synergy between microbial ecology and process engineering is applicable to other biological wastewater treatment processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Chemical Biology of Microbial Anticancer Natural Products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bladt, Tanja Thorskov; Gotfredsen, Charlotte Held

    than 100 years. New natural products (NPs) are continually discovered and with the increase in selective biological assays, previously described compounds often also display novel bioactivities, justifying their presence in novel screening efforts. Screening and discovery of compounds with activity...... towards chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells is crucial since CLL is considered as an incurable disease. To discover novel agents that targets CLL cells is complicated. CLL cells rapidly undergo apoptosis in vitro when they are removed from their natural microenvironment, even though they are long...

  20. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    d' Espaux, L; Mendez-Perez, D; Li, R; Keasling, JD

    2015-10-23

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here in this paper we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. Lastly, we further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  2. Freshman Biology Majors' Misconceptions about Diffusion and Osmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odom, A. Louis; Barrow, Lloyd H.

    The data for this study were obtained from a sample of 117 biology majors enrolled in an introductory biology course. The Diffusion and Osmosis Diagnostic Test, composed of 12 two-tier items, was administered to the students. Among the major findings are: (1) there was no significant difference in scores of male and female students; (2) math…

  3. Augmenting Plant Immune Responses and Biological Control by Microbial Determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Moo Lee

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant have developed sophisticated defence mechanisms against microbial pathogens. The recent accumulated information allow us to understand the nature of plant immune responses followed by recognition of microbial factors/determinants through cutting-edge genomics and multi-omics techniques. However, the practical approaches to sustain plant health using enhancement of plant immunity is yet to be fully appreciated. Here, we overviewed the general concept and representative examples on the plant immunity. The fungal, bacterial, and viral determinants that was previously reported as the triggers of plant immune responses are introduced and described as the potential protocol of biological control. Specifically, the role of chitin, glucan, lipopolysaccharides/extracellular polysaccharides, microbe/pathogen-associated molecular pattern, antibiotics, mimic-phytohormones, N-acyl homoserine lactone, harpin, vitamins, and volatile organic compounds are considered. We hope that this review stimulates scientific community and farmers to broaden their knowledge on the microbial determinant-based biological control and to apply the technology on the integrated pest management program.

  4. Major Trends in the Microbial Etiiology of Nosocomial Infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Schaberg; D.H. Culver; R.P. Gaynes

    1991-01-01

    textabstractTo determine trends in the microbial etiology of nosocomial infections in the 1980s, surveillance data on the microbiology of documented nosocomial infection reported to the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System and from the University of Michigan Hospital were analyzed.

  5. Relations between Intuitive Biological Thinking and Biological Misconceptions in Biology Majors and Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    Research and theory development in cognitive psychology and science education research remain largely isolated. Biology education researchers have documented persistent scientifically inaccurate ideas, often termed "misconceptions," among biology students across biological domains. In parallel, cognitive and developmental psychologists…

  6. Microbial conversion of major ginsenoside Rb1 to minor ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-12-15

    Dec 15, 2009 ... minor ginsenoside Rd by Indian fermented food bacteria. Kalaiselvi ... South Korea. Accepted 17 April, 2009. Ginsenoside Rb1 is the predominant secondary metabolite (saponin) in Panax ginseng. Hydrolysis of the sugar .... culture and 200 µl of major ginsenoside Rb1. The reaction mixture was incubated ...

  7. Conservation biology in Asia: the major policy challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeely, Jeffrey A; Kapoor-Vijay, Promila; Zhi, Lu; Olsvig-Whittaker, Linda; Sheikh, Kashif M; Smith, Andrew T

    2009-08-01

    With about half the world's human population and booming economies, Asia faces numerous challenges to its biodiversity. The Asia Section of the Society for Conservation Biology has identified some key policy issues in which significant progress can be made. These include developing new sources of funding for forest conservation; identifying potential impacts of energy alternatives on the conservation of biodiversity; curbing the trade in endangered species of plants and animals; a special focus on the conservation of mountain biodiversity; enhancing relevant research; ensuring that conservation biology contributes to major international conventions and funding mechanisms; using conservation biology to build a better understanding of zoonotic diseases; more effectively addressing human-animal conflicts; enhancing community-based conservation; and using conservation biology to help address the pervasive water-deficit problems in much of Asia. These challenges can be met through improved regional cooperation among the relevant stakeholders.

  8. Halotolerant PGPRs Prevent Major Shifts in Indigenous Microbial Community Structure Under Salinity Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharti, Nidhi; Barnawal, Deepti; Maji, Deepamala; Kalra, Alok

    2015-07-01

    The resilience of soil microbial populations and processes to environmental perturbation is of increasing interest as alteration in rhizosphere microbial community dynamics impacts the combined functions of plant-microbe interactions. The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of inoculation with halotolerant rhizobacteria Bacillus pumilus (STR2), Halomonas desiderata (STR8), and Exiguobacterium oxidotolerans (STR36) on the indigenous root-associated microbial (bacterial and fungal) communities in maize under non-saline and salinity stress. Plants inoculated with halotolerant rhizobacteria recorded improved growth as illustrated by significantly higher shoot and root dry weight and elongation in comparison to un-inoculated control plants under both non-saline and saline conditions. Additive main effect and multiplicative interaction ordination analysis revealed that plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) inoculations as well as salinity are major drivers of microbial community shift in maize rhizosphere. Salinity negatively impacts microbial community as analysed through diversity indices; among the PGPR-inoculated plants, STR2-inoculated plants recorded higher values of diversity indices. As observed in the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, the inoculation of halotolerant rhizobacteria prevents major shift of the microbial community structure, thus enhancing the resilience capacity of the microbial communities.

  9. Green tea yogurt: major phenolic compounds and microbial growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amirdivani, Shabboo; Baba, Ahmad Salihin Hj

    2015-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate fermentation of milk in the presence of green tea (Camellia sinensis) with respect to changes in antioxidant activity, phenolic compounds and the growth of lactic acid bacteria. Pasteurized full fat cow's milk and starter culture were incubated at 41 °C in the presence of two different types of green tea extracts. The yogurts formed were refrigerated (4 °C) for further analysis. The total phenolic content was highest (p yogurt (MGT) followed by steam-treated green tea (JGT) and plain yogurts. Four major compounds in MGTY and JGTY were detected. The highest concentration of major phenolic compounds in both samples was related to quercetin-rhamnosylgalactoside and quercetin-3-O-galactosyl-rhamnosyl-glucoside for MGTY and JGTY respectively during first 7 day of storage. Diphenyl picrylhydrazyl and ferric reducing antioxidant power methods showed highest antioxidant capacity in MGTY, JGTY and PY. Streptococcus thermophillus and Lactobacillus spp. were highest in MGTY followed by JGTY and PY. This paper evaluates the implementation of green tea yogurt as a new product with functional properties and valuable component to promote the growth of beneficial yogurt bacteria and prevention of oxidative stress by enhancing the antioxidant activity of yogurt.

  10. Microbial Dark Matter Investigations: How Microbial Studies Transform Biological Knowledge and Empirically Sketch a Logic of Scientific Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Guillaume; Pathmanathan, Jananan S; Lannes, Romain; Lopez, Philippe; Bapteste, Eric

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Microbes are the oldest and most widespread, phylogenetically and metabolically diverse life forms on Earth. However, they have been discovered only 334 years ago, and their diversity started to become seriously investigated even later. For these reasons, microbial studies that unveil novel microbial lineages and processes affecting or involving microbes deeply (and repeatedly) transform knowledge in biology. Considering the quantitative prevalence of taxonomically and functionally unassigned sequences in environmental genomics data sets, and that of uncultured microbes on the planet, we propose that unraveling the microbial dark matter should be identified as a central priority for biologists. Based on former empirical findings of microbial studies, we sketch a logic of discovery with the potential to further highlight the microbial unknowns. PMID:29420719

  11. Teaching information literacy skills to sophomore-level biology majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Leigh; Blankinship, Lisa Ann

    2015-05-01

    Many undergraduate students lack a sound understanding of information literacy. The skills that comprise information literacy are particularly important when combined with scientific writing for biology majors as they are the foundation skills necessary to complete upper-division biology course assignments, better train students for research projects, and prepare students for graduate and professional education. To help undergraduate biology students develop and practice information literacy and scientific writing skills, a series of three one-hour hands-on library sessions, discussions, and homework assignments were developed for Biological Literature, a one-credit, one-hour-per-week, required sophomore-level course. The embedded course librarian developed a learning exercise that reviewed how to conduct database and web searches, the difference between primary and secondary sources, source credibility, and how to access articles through the university's databases. Students used the skills gained in the library training sessions for later writing assignments including a formal lab report and annotated bibliography. By focusing on improving information literacy skills as well as providing practice in scientific writing, Biological Literature students are better able to meet the rigors of upper-division biology courses and communicate research findings in a more professional manner.

  12. The Relationships Between Epistemic Beliefs in Biology and Approaches to Learning Biology Among Biology-Major University Students in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yi-Chun; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between students' epistemic beliefs in biology and their approaches to learning biology. To this end, two instruments, the epistemic beliefs in biology and the approaches to learning biology surveys, were developed and administered to 520 university biology students, respectively. By and large, it was found that the students reflected "mixed" motives in biology learning, while those who had more sophisticated epistemic beliefs tended to employ deep strategies. In addition, the results of paired t tests revealed that the female students were more likely to possess beliefs about biological knowledge residing in external authorities, to believe in a right answer, and to utilize rote learning as a learning strategy. Moreover, compared to juniors and seniors, freshmen and sophomores tended to hold less mature views on all factors of epistemic beliefs regarding biology. Another comparison indicated that theoretical biology students (e.g. students majoring in the Department of Biology) tended to have more mature beliefs in learning biology and more advanced strategies for biology learning than those students studying applied biology (e.g. in the Department of Biotechnology). Stepwise regression analysis, in general, indicated that students who valued the role of experiments and justify epistemic assumptions and knowledge claims based on evidence were more oriented towards having mixed motives and utilizing deep strategies to learn biology. In contrast, students who believed in the certainty of biological knowledge were more likely to adopt rote learning strategies and to aim to qualify in biology.

  13. Microbial control of the dark end of the biological pump

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Herndl, G.J.; Reinthaler, T.

    2013-01-01

    A fraction of the carbon captured by phytoplankton in the sunlit surface ocean sinks to depth as dead organic matter and faecal material. The microbial breakdown of this material in the subsurface ocean generates carbon dioxide. Collectively, this microbially mediated flux of carbon from the

  14. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater...

  15. Developing "Green" Business Plans: Using Entrepreneurship to Teach Science to Business Administration Majors and Business to Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letovsky, Robert; Banschbach, Valerie S.

    2011-01-01

    Biology majors team with business administration majors to develop proposals for "green" enterprise for a business plan competition. The course begins with a series of student presentations so that science students learn about the fundamentals of business, and business students learn about environmental biology. Then mixed biology-business student…

  16. Microbial communities from different subsystems in biological heap leaching system play different roles in iron and sulfur metabolisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yunhua; Liu, Xueduan; Ma, Liyuan; Liang, Yili; Niu, Jiaojiao; Gu, Yabing; Zhang, Xian; Hao, Xiaodong; Dong, Weiling; She, Siyuan; Yin, Huaqun

    2016-08-01

    The microbial communities are important for minerals decomposition in biological heap leaching system. However, the differentiation and relationship of composition and function of microbial communities between leaching heap (LH) and leaching solution (LS) are still unclear. In this study, 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to assess the microbial communities from the two subsystems in ZiJinShan copper mine (Fujian province, China). Results of PCoA and dissimilarity test showed that microbial communities in LH samples were significantly different from those in LS samples. The dominant genera of LH was Acidithiobacillus (57.2 ∼ 87.9 %), while Leptospirillum (48.6 ∼ 73.7 %) was predominant in LS. Environmental parameters (especially pH) were the major factors to influence the composition and structure of microbial community by analysis of Mantel tests. Results of functional test showed that microbial communities in LH utilized sodium thiosulfate more quickly and utilized ferrous sulfate more slowly than those in LS, which further indicated that the most sulfur-oxidizing processes of bioleaching took place in LH and the most iron-oxidizing processes were in LS. Further study found that microbial communities in LH had stronger pyrite leaching ability, and iron extraction efficiency was significantly positively correlated with Acidithiobacillus (dominated in LH), which suggested that higher abundance ratio of sulfur-oxidizing microbes might in favor of minerals decomposition. Finally, a conceptual model was designed through the above results to better exhibit the sulfur and iron metabolism in bioleaching systems.

  17. Microbial diversity and structure are drivers of the biological barrier effect against Listeria monocytogenes in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivant, Anne-Laure; Garmyn, Dominique; Maron, Pierre-Alain; Nowak, Virginie; Piveteau, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the ecology of pathogenic organisms is important in order to monitor their transmission in the environment and the related health hazards. We investigated the relationship between soil microbial diversity and the barrier effect against Listeria monocytogenes invasion. By using a dilution-to-extinction approach, we analysed the consequence of eroding microbial diversity on L. monocytogenes population dynamics under standardised conditions of abiotic parameters and microbial abundance in soil microcosms. We demonstrated that highly diverse soil microbial communities act as a biological barrier against L. monocytogenes invasion and that phylogenetic composition of the community also has to be considered. This suggests that erosion of diversity may have damaging effects regarding circulation of pathogenic microorganisms in the environment.

  18. Synthetic and systems biology for microbial production of commodity chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chubukov, Victor; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Petzold, Christopher J; Keasling, Jay D; Martín, Héctor García

    2016-01-01

    The combination of synthetic and systems biology is a powerful framework to study fundamental questions in biology and produce chemicals of immediate practical application such as biofuels, polymers, or therapeutics. However, we cannot yet engineer biological systems as easily and precisely as we engineer physical systems. In this review, we describe the path from the choice of target molecule to scaling production up to commercial volumes. We present and explain some of the current challenges and gaps in our knowledge that must be overcome in order to bring our bioengineering capabilities to the level of other engineering disciplines. Challenges start at molecule selection, where a difficult balance between economic potential and biological feasibility must be struck. Pathway design and construction have recently been revolutionized by next-generation sequencing and exponentially improving DNA synthesis capabilities. Although pathway optimization can be significantly aided by enzyme expression characterization through proteomics, choosing optimal relative protein expression levels for maximum production is still the subject of heuristic, non-systematic approaches. Toxic metabolic intermediates and proteins can significantly affect production, and dynamic pathway regulation emerges as a powerful but yet immature tool to prevent it. Host engineering arises as a much needed complement to pathway engineering for high bioproduct yields; and systems biology approaches such as stoichiometric modeling or growth coupling strategies are required. A final, and often underestimated, challenge is the successful scale up of processes to commercial volumes. Sustained efforts in improving reproducibility and predictability are needed for further development of bioengineering.

  19. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Significance and Biological Importance of Pyrimidine in the Microbial World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinita Sharma

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbes are unique creatures that adapt to varying lifestyles and environment resistance in extreme or adverse conditions. The genetic architecture of microbe may bear a significant signature not only in the sequences position, but also in the lifestyle to which it is adapted. It becomes a challenge for the society to find new chemical entities which can treat microbial infections. The present review aims to focus on account of important chemical moiety, that is, pyrimidine and its various derivatives as antimicrobial agents. In the current studies we represent more than 200 pyrimidines as antimicrobial agents with different mono-, di-, tri-, and tetrasubstituted classes along with in vitro antimicrobial activities of pyrimidines derivatives which can facilitate the development of more potent and effective antimicrobial agents.

  1. Microbial regulation of GLP-1 and L-cell biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greiner, Thomas U; Bäckhed, Gert Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The gut microbiota is associated with several of metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes and affects host physiology through distinct mechanisms. The microbiota produces a vast array of metabolites that signal to host cells in the intestine as well as in more distal...... organs. SCOPE OF REVIEW: Enteroendocrine cells acts as 'chemo sensors' of the intestinal milieu by expressing a large number of receptors, which respond to different metabolites and nutrients, and signal to host by a wide variety of hormones. However, enteroendocrine cells differ along the length...... of the gut in terms of hormones expressed and receptor repertoire. Also, the microbial ecology and dietary substrates differ along the length of the gut, providing further evidence for unique functions of specific subpopulations among enteroendocrine cells. Here we will review how the gut microbiota...

  2. Leveraging culture collections for the discovery and development of microbial biological control agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    The incorporation of living microbial biological control agents into integrated pest management programs is highly desirable because it reduces the use of chemical insecticides harmful to livestock, humans and the environment. In addition, it provides an alternative means to combat resistance to che...

  3. An Open-Ended Investigative Microbial Ecology Laboratory for Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones-Held, Susan; Paoletti, Robert; Glick, David; Held, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    In this article we describe a multi-week investigative laboratory in microbial ecology/diversity and nitrogen cycling that we have used in our introductory biology course. This module encourages active student involvement in experimental design, using the scientific literature and quantitative analysis of large data sets. Students analyze soil…

  4. Microbial community changes in biological phosphate-removal systems on altering sludge phosphorus content

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, WT; Linning, KD; Nakamura, K; Mino, T; Matsuo, T; Forney, LJ

    Biomarkers (respiratory quinones and cellular fatty acids) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes were used to characterize the microbial community structure of lab-scale enhanced biological phosphate-removal (EBPR) systems in response to altering sludge

  5. Toluene : biological waste-gas treatment, toxicity and microbial adaptation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, F.J.

    1995-01-01

    Due to the increasing stringent legislation concerning the emission of volatile organic compounds, there is nowadays a growing interest to apply biological waste-gas treatment techniques for the removal of higher concentrations of specific contaminants from waste gases. Fluctuations in the

  6. Microbial Degradation of Forensic Samples of Biological Origin: Potential Threat to Human DNA Typing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Hirak Ranjan; Das, Surajit

    2018-02-01

    Forensic biology is a sub-discipline of biological science with an amalgam of other branches of science used in the criminal justice system. Any nucleated cell/tissue harbouring DNA, either live or dead, can be used as forensic exhibits, a source of investigation through DNA typing. These biological materials of human origin are rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, trace elements as well as water and, thus, provide a virtuous milieu for the growth of microbes. The obstinate microbial growth augments the degradation process and is amplified with the passage of time and improper storage of the biological materials. Degradation of these biological materials carriages a huge challenge in the downstream processes of forensic DNA typing technique, such as short tandem repeats (STR) DNA typing. Microbial degradation yields improper or no PCR amplification, heterozygous peak imbalance, DNA contamination from non-human sources, degradation of DNA by microbial by-products, etc. Consequently, the most precise STR DNA typing technique is nullified and definite opinion can be hardly given with degraded forensic exhibits. Thus, suitable precautionary measures should be taken for proper storage and processing of the biological exhibits to minimize their decaying process by micro-organisms.

  7. Evolution and Personal Religious Belief: Christian University Biology-Related Majors' Search for Reconciliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winslow, Mark W.; Staver, John R.; Scharmann, Lawrence C.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to explore Christian biology-related majors' perceptions of conflicts between evolution and their religious beliefs. This naturalistic study utilized a case study design of 15 undergraduate biology-related majors at or recent biology-related graduates from a mid-western Christian university. The broad sources of data…

  8. MILK KEFIR: COMPOSITION, MICROBIAL CULTURES, BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND RELATED PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Rosa Prado

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir’s exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir’s microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance.

  9. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado, Maria R; Blandón, Lina Marcela; Vandenberghe, Luciana P S; Rodrigues, Cristine; Castro, Guillermo R; Thomaz-Soccol, Vanete; Soccol, Carlos R

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir's exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir's microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance.

  10. Biomedical Research Experiences for Biology Majors at a Small College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Shawn K.; Mabry, Michelle L.

    2010-01-01

    A program-level assessment of the biology curriculum at a small liberal arts college validates a previous study demonstrating success in achieving learning outcomes related to content knowledge and communication skills. Furthermore, research opportunities have been provided to complement pedagogical strategies and give students a more complete…

  11. Microbial degradation of trichloroethylene in the rhizosphere: Potential application to biological remediation of waste sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, B.T.; Anderson, T.A.

    1990-01-01

    The possibility that vegetation may be used to actively promote microbial restoration of chemically contaminated soils was tested by using rhizosphere and nonvegetated soils collected from a trichloroethylene (TCE)-contaminated field site. Biomass determinations, disappearance of TCE from the headspace of spiked soil slurries, and mineralization of [14C]TCE to 14CO2 all showed that microbial activity is greater in rhizosphere soils and that TCE degradation occurs faster in the rhizosphere than in the edaphosphere. Thus, vegetation may be an important variable in the biological restoration of surface and near-surface soils

  12. The microbial community in a high-temperature enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Hui Ong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available An enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR process operated at a relatively high temperature, 28 °C, removed 85% carbon and 99% phosphorus from wastewater over a period of two years. This study investigated its microbial community through fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH and clone library generation. Through FISH, considerably more Candidatus “Accumulibacter phosphatis” (Accumulibacter-polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs than Candidatus ‘Competibacter phosphatis’ (Competibacter-glycogen accumulating organisms were detected in the reactor, at 36 and 7% of total bacterial population, respectively. A low ratio of Glycogen/Volatile Fatty Acid of 0.69 further indicated the dominance of PAOs in the reactor. From clone library generated, 26 operational taxonomy units were retrieved from the sludge and a diverse population was shown, comprising Proteobacteria (69.6%, Actinobacteria (13.7%, Bacteroidetes (9.8%, Firmicutes (2.94%, Planctomycetes (1.96%, and Acidobacteria (1.47%. Accumulibacter are the only recognized PAOs revealed by the clone library. Both the clone library and FISH results strongly suggest that Accumulibacter are the major PAOs responsible for the phosphorus removal in this long-term EBPR at relatively high temperature.

  13. Utilization of microbial lebensraum. Modern developments in biologic technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Praeve, P [Farbwerke Hoechst A.G., Frankfurt am Main (Germany, F.R.)

    1977-04-01

    Microbiology was in former times nearly exclusively used in the region of food and for the production of antibiotics. Biomass production must be seen as a key development among the new biotechnologies. Biomass consists of high-fat and protein-rich microorganisms, which can serve as animal feed. These microorganisms not only grow on cellulose wastes and other biological basic substrates but also on mineral oil and methanol. The energy consumption is relatively low. The increasing knowledge of the problems of one-way-technologies for our time makes todays biotechnology seem to be a very promising development. Biotechnology utilizes the cyclic metabolic way of the microorganisms and can in many cases lead back waste products to natural circulation.

  14. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  15. Biological characterization of venom peptides from the neotropical social waps Polistes major major (Dominican Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Slaninová, Jiřina; Fučík, Vladimír; Borovičková, Lenka; Čeřovský, Václav

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 151, S1 (2007), s. 87-89 ISSN 1213-8118. [Pharmacological Days. Czech and Slovak Pharmacological Meeting /57./. Olomouc, 12.09.2007-14.09.2007] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : venom peptides * Polistes major major Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry

  16. Detection of Metabolism Function of Microbial Community of Corpses by Biolog-Eco Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X Y; Wang, J F; Zhu, G H; Ma, M Y; Lai, Y; Zhou, H

    2016-06-01

    To detect the changes of microbial community functional diversity of corpses with different postmortem interval (PMI) and to evaluate forensic application value for estimating PMI. The cultivation of microbial community from the anal swabs of a Sus scrofa and a human corpse placed in field environment from 0 to 240 h after death was performed using the Biolog-Eco Microplate and the variations of the absorbance values were also monitored. Combined with the technology of forensic pathology and flies succession, the metabolic characteristics and changes of microbial community on the decomposed corpse under natural environment were also observed. The diversity of microbial metabolism function was found to be negatively correlated with the number of maggots in the corpses. The freezing processing had the greatest impact on average well color development value at 0 h and the impact almost disappeared after 48 h. The diversity of microbial metabolism of the samples became relatively unstable after 192 h. The principal component analysis showed that 31 carbon sources could be consolidated for 5 principal components (accumulative contribution ratio >90%).The carbon source tsquare-analysis showed that N -acetyl- D -glucosamine and L -serine were the dominant carbon sources for estimating the PMI (0=240 h) of the Sus scrofa and human corpse. The Biolog-Eco method can be used to reveal the metabolic differences of the carbon resources utilization of the microbial community on the corpses during 0-240 h after death, which could provide a new basis for estimating the PMI. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  17. The Relationships between Epistemic Beliefs in Biology and Approaches to Learning Biology among Biology-Major University Students in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yi-Chun; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between students' epistemic beliefs in biology and their approaches to learning biology. To this end, two instruments, the epistemic beliefs in biology and the approaches to learning biology surveys, were developed and administered to 520 university biology students, respectively. By and…

  18. Biotechnology of microbial xylanases: enzymology, molecular biology, and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniyan, S; Prema, P

    2002-01-01

    Xylanases are hydrolases depolymerizing the plant cell wall component xylan, the second most abundant polysaccharide. The molecular structure and hydrolytic pattern of xylanases have been reported extensively and the mechanism of hydrolysis has also been proposed. There are several models for the gene regulation of which this article could add to the wealth of knowledge. Future work on the application of these enzymes in the paper and pulp, food industry, in environmental science, that is, bio-fueling, effluent treatment, and agro-waste treatment, etc. require a complete understanding of the functional and genetic significance of the xylanases. However, the thrust area has been identified as the paper and pulp industry. The major problem in the field of paper bleaching is the removal of lignin and its derivatives, which are linked to cellulose and xylan. Xylanases are more suitable in the paper and pulp industry than lignin-degrading systems.

  19. Biological activity of the non-microbial fraction of kefir: antagonism against intestinal pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iraporda, Carolina; Abatemarco Júnior, Mário; Neumann, Elisabeth; Nunes, Álvaro Cantini; Nicoli, Jacques R; Abraham, Analía G; Garrote, Graciela L

    2017-08-01

    Kefir is a fermented milk obtained by the activity of kefir grains which are composed of lactic and acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts. Many beneficial health effects have been associated with kefir consumption such as stimulation of the immune system and inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms. The biological activity of kefir may be attributed to the presence of a complex microbiota as well as the microbial metabolites that are released during fermentation. The aim of this work was to characterise the non-microbial fraction of kefir and to study its antagonism against Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Bacillus cereus. During milk fermentation there was a production of organic acids, mainly lactic and acetic acid, with a consequent decrease in pH and lactose content. The non-microbial fraction of kefir added to nutrient broth at concentrations above 75% v/v induced a complete inhibition of pathogenic growth that could be ascribed to the presence of un-dissociated lactic acid. In vitro assays using an intestinal epithelial cell model indicated that pre-incubation of cells with the non-microbial fraction of kefir did not modify the association/invasion of Salmonella whereas pre-incubation of Salmonella with this fraction under conditions that did not affect their viability significantly decreased the pathogen's ability to invade epithelial cells. Lactate exerted a protective effect against Salmonella in a mouse model, demonstrating the relevance of metabolites present in the non-microbial fraction of kefir produced during milk fermentation.

  20. Characterization of microbial communities in pest colonized books by molecular biology tools

    OpenAIRE

    Franco Palla

    2011-01-01

    This work presents the identification of bacteria and fungi colonies in insect infesting books, by cultural-independent methodologies based on molecular biology techniques. Microbial genomic DNA extraction, in vitro amplification of specific target sequences by polymerase chain reactions (PCR), sequencing and sequence analysis were performed. These procedures minimized the samples amount, optimized the diagnostic studies on bacteria and fungi colonization and allowed the identification of man...

  1. [Investigation of microbial contamination of the air and equipment of a biological waste water purification station].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alikbaeva, L A; Figurovskiĭ, A P; Vasil'ev, O D; Ermolaev-Makovskiĭ, M A; Merkur'eva, M A

    2010-01-01

    The paper describes the results of a study of ambient air microbiological pollution in the working premises and equipment surfaces in the main shops of the biological waste water purification station of a cardboard-polygraphic plant. The findings suggest that there is high microbial contamination of the working environment, which should be born in mind on developing measures to optimize working conditions and on studying morbidity rates among the workers.

  2. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, John Andrew

    2014-01-01

    NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater treatment and electricity production (electrogenesis). Synthetic biology techniques and integrated hardware advances were investigated to increase system efficiency and robustness, with the intent of increasing power self-sufficiency and potential product formation from carbon dioxide. MFCs possess numerous advantages for space missions, including rapid processing, reduced biomass and effective removal of organics, nitrogen and phosphorus. Project efforts include developing space-based MFC concepts, integration analyses, increasing energy efficiency, and investigating novel bioelectrochemical system applications

  3. Characteristics of microbial community functional structure of a biological coking wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Dev Raj; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Hong; Gao, Yingxin; Yang, Min

    2018-01-01

    Nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds are key pollutants in coking wastewater; however, the functional potential of microbial communities for biodegradation of such contaminants during biological treatment is still elusive. Herein, a high throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) in combination with Illumina HiSeq2500 sequencing was used to compare and characterize the microbial community functional structure in a long run (500days) bench scale bioreactor treating coking wastewater, with a control system treating synthetic wastewater. Despite the inhibitory toxic pollutants, GeoChip 5.0 detected almost all key functional gene (average 61,940 genes) categories in the coking wastewater sludge. With higher abundance, aromatic ring cleavage dioxygenase genes including multi ring1,2diox; one ring2,3diox; catechol represented significant functional potential for degradation of aromatic pollutants which was further confirmed by Illumina HiSeq2500 analysis results. Response ratio analysis revealed that three nitrogenous compound degrading genes- nbzA (nitro-aromatics), tdnB (aniline), and scnABC (thiocyanate) were unique for coking wastewater treatment, which might be strong cause to increase ammonia level during the aerobic process. Additionally, HiSeq2500 elucidated carbozole and isoquinoline degradation genes in the system. These findings expanded our understanding on functional potential of microbial communities to remove organic nitrogenous pollutants; hence it will be useful in optimization strategies for biological treatment of coking wastewater. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Cosmo Cassette: A Microfluidic Microgravity Microbial System For Synthetic Biology Unit Tests and Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berliner, Aaron J.

    2013-01-01

    Although methods in the design-build-test life cycle of the synthetic biology field have grown rapidly, the expansion has been non-uniform. The design and build stages in development have seen innovations in the form of biological CAD and more efficient means for building DNA, RNA, and other biological constructs. The testing phase of the cycle remains in need of innovation. Presented will be both a theoretical abstraction of biological measurement and a practical demonstration of a microfluidics-based platform for characterizing synthetic biological phenomena. Such a platform demonstrates a design of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for construction of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to be used in experiments carried out in space. First, the biocompatibility of the polypropylene chassis will be demonstrated. The novel MFCs will be cheaper, and faster to make and iterate through designs. The novel design will contain a manifold switchingdistribution system and an integrated in-chip set of reagent reservoirs fabricated via 3D printing. The automated nature of the 3D printing yields itself to higher resolution switching valves and leads to smaller sized payloads, lower cost, reduced power and a standardized platform for synthetic biology unit tests on Earth and in space. It will be demonstrated that the application of unit testing in synthetic biology will lead to the automatic construction and validation of desired constructs. Unit testing methodologies offer benefits of preemptive problem identification, change of facility, simplicity of integration, ease of documentation, and separation of interface from implementation, and automated design.

  5. Recent progress in synthetic biology for microbial production of C3-C10 alcohols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna N. Lamsen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The growing need to address current energy and environmental problems has sparked an interest in developing improved biological methods to produce liquid fuels from renewable sources. While microbial ethanol production is well established, higher chain alcohols possess chemical properties that are more similar to gasoline. Unfortunately, these alcohols (except 1-butanol are not produced efficiently in natural microorganisms, and thus economical production in industrial volumes remains a challenge. Synthetic biology, however, offers additional tools to engineer synthetic pathways in user-friendly hosts to help increase titers and productivity of these advanced biofuels. This review concentrates on recent developments in synthetic biology to produce higher-chain alcohols as viable renewable replacements for traditional fuel.

  6. Characterization of microbial communities in pest colonized books by molecular biology tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franco Palla

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This work presents the identification of bacteria and fungi colonies in insect infesting books, by cultural-independent methodologies based on molecular biology techniques. Microbial genomic DNA extraction, in vitro amplification of specific target sequences by polymerase chain reactions (PCR, sequencing and sequence analysis were performed. These procedures minimized the samples amount, optimized the diagnostic studies on bacteria and fungi colonization and allowed the identification of many species also in complex microbial consortia. The molecular techniques for sure accomplish and integrate the microbiological standard methods (in vitro culture and morphological analyses (OM, SEM, CLSM, in order to understand the role of microorganisms in bio-deterioration of cultural assets. This monitoring is also indispensable to shed light on the risk for visitors and/or professionals to contract potential illnesses within indoor environments.

  7. Standard reporting requirements for biological samples in metabolomics experiments: Microbial and in vitro biology experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werf, M.J. van der; Takors, R.; Smedsgaard, J.; Nielsen, J.; Ferenci, T.; Portais, J.C.; Wittmann, C.; Hooks, M.; Tomassini, A.; Oldiges, M.; Fostel, J.; Sauer, U.

    2007-01-01

    With the increasing use of metabolomics as a means to study a large number of different biological research questions, there is a need for a minimal set of reporting standards that allow the scientific community to evaluate, understand, repeat, compare and re-investigate metabolomics studies. Here

  8. Microbial contamination of disinfectants and antiseptics in four major hospitals in Trinidad

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gajadhar Tswana

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To assess the microbial contamination of disinfectants and antiseptics in major hospitals on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, disinfectants and antiseptics were sampled from the pharmacy departments, the pediatric/neonatal wards, and the surgical wards of four hospitals. The samples were cultured for aerobic bacteria on nutrient agar using the surface plating method. The antibiotic sensitivity of bacterial isolates was determined by the disk diffusion method, using 14 antimicrobial agents. We studied a total of 180 disinfectant/antiseptic samples: 60 of chlorhexidine gluconate (Hibitane, 60 of chlorhexidine gluconate and cetrimonium bromide (Savlon, and 60 of methylated spirit. RESULTS: Of the 180 samples studied, 11 of them (6.1% were contaminated by aerobic bacteria. All bacteria isolated were Pseudomonas spp. Of the 11 contaminated samples, 6 of them (54.5% occurred at the pharmacy level while 5 (45.5% were from diluted pre-use or in-use samples in the pediatric/neonatal wards or the surgical wards. Chlorhexidine gluconate and cetrimonium bromide accounted for 9 of the 11 contaminated disinfectants/antiseptics (81.8%, and chlorhexidine gluconate accounted for the remaining 2 (18.2%. Only two of the four hospitals had contaminated disinfectant/antiseptic samples. All 24 isolates of Pseudomonas spp. tested were resistant to one or more of the 14 antimicrobial agents tested, with the prevalence of resistance to ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, tobramycin, and gentamicin being 58.3%, 50.0%, 45.8%, and 41.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that contaminated disinfectants/antiseptics pose a health risk to patients, particularly in the pediatric and surgical wards. The high prevalence of resistance to antimicrobial agents exhibited by the Pseudomonas spp. that were isolated is of special therapeutic concern.

  9. 2009 MICROBIAL POPULATION BIOLOGY GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCES JULY 19-24,2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    ANTHONY DEAN

    2009-07-24

    The 2009 Gordon Conference on Microbial Population Biology will cover a diverse range of cutting edge issues in the microbial sciences and beyond. Firmly founded in evolutionary biology and with a strongly integrative approach, past Conferences have covered a range of topics from the dynamics and genetics of adaptation to the evolution of mutation rate, community ecology, evolutionary genomics, altruism, and epidemiology. The 2009 Conference is no exception, and will include sessions on the evolution of infectious diseases, social evolution, the evolution of symbioses, experimental evolution, adaptive landscapes, community dynamics, and the evolution of protein structure and function. While genomic approaches continue to make inroads, broadening our knowledge and encompassing new questions, the conference will also emphasize the use of experimental approaches to test hypotheses decisively. As in the past, this Conference provides young scientists and graduate students opportunities to present their work in poster format and exchange ideas with leading investigators from a broad spectrum of disciplines. This meeting is never dull: some of the most significant and contentious issues in biology have been thrashed out here. The 2009 meeting will be no exception.

  10. Conceptions of Memorizing and Understanding in Learning, and Self-Efficacy Held by University Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Chiang; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore Taiwanese university students' conceptions of learning biology as memorizing or as understanding, and their self-efficacy. To this end, two questionnaires were utilized to survey 293 Taiwanese university students with biology-related majors. A questionnaire for measuring students' conceptions of memorizing and…

  11. Palm oil mill effluent treatment using a two-stage microbial fuel cells system integrated with immobilized biological aerated filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jia; Zhu, Xiuping; Ni, Jinren; Borthwick, Alistair

    2010-04-01

    An integrated system of two-stage microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and immobilized biological aerated filters (I-BAFs) was used to treat palm oil mill effluent (POME) at laboratory scale. By replacing the conventional two-stage up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) with a newly proposed upflow membrane-less microbial fuel cell (UML-MFC) in the integrated system, significant improvements on NH(3)-N removal were observed and direct electricity generation implemented in both MFC1 and MFC2. Moreover, the coupled iron-carbon micro-electrolysis in the cathode of MFC2 further enhanced treatment efficiency of organic compounds. The I-BAFs played a major role in further removal of NH(3)-N and COD. For influent COD and NH(3)-N of 10,000 and 125 mg/L, respectively, the final effluents COD and NH(3)-N were below 350 and 8 mg/L, with removal rates higher than 96.5% and 93.6%. The GC-MS analysis indicated that most of the contaminants were satisfactorily biodegraded by the integrated system. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Influence of attapulgite addition on the biological performance and microbial communities of submerged dynamic membrane bioreactor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wensong Duan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A submerged dynamic membrane bioreactor (sDMBR was developed to test the influence of attapulgite (AT addition on the treatment performances and the microbial community structure and function. The batch experimental results displayed the highest UV254 and dissolved organic carbon (DOC removal efficiencies with 5% AT/mixed liquid suspended solids addition dosage. The continuous sDMBR results showed that the removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand, NH4+-N, total nitrogen and total phosphorus significantly increased in the AT added sDMBR. Excitation emission matrix analysis demonstrated that the protein-like peaks and fulvic acid-like peaks were significantly decreased in both in the mixed liquid and the effluent of the AT added reactor. The obligate anaerobes were observed in the sDMBR with AT addition, such as Bacteroidetes and Gamma proteobacterium in the dynamic membrane, which played an important role in the process of sludge granulation. Bacterial community richness significantly increased after AT addition with predominated phyla of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Similarly, species abundance significantly increased in the AT added sDMBR. Further investigations with cluster proved that AT was a favorite biological carrier for the microbial ecology, which enriched microbial abundance and community diversity of the sDMBR.

  13. Development of biologically modified anodes for energy harvesting using microbial fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, James J.; Ganguli, Rahul; Chmelka, Brad

    2012-06-01

    Biological fuel cells hold promise as an alternative energy source to batteries for unattended ground sensor applications due to the fact that they can be extremely long lived. This lifetime can be extended over batteries by scavenging fuel from the deployed environment. Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are one class of such sources that produce usable energy from small organic compounds (i.e. sugars, alcohols, organic acids, and biopolymers) which can be easily containerized or scavenged from the environment. The use of microorganisms as the anodic catalysts is what makes these systems unique from other biofuel cell designs. One of the main drawbacks of engineering a sensor system powered by an MFC is that power densities and current flux are extremely low in currently reported systems. The power density is limited by the mass transfer of the fuel source to the catalyst, the metabolism of the microbial catalysts and the electron transfer from the organism to the anode. This presentation will focus on the development of a new style of microbially-modified anodes which will increase power density to a level where a practical power source can be engineered. This is being achieved by developing a three dimensional matrix as an artificial, conductive biofilm. These artificial biofilms will allow the capture of a consortium of microbes designed for efficient metabolism of the available fuel source. Also it will keep the microbes close to the electrode allowing ready access by fuel and providing a low resistance passage of the liberated electrons from fuel oxidation.

  14. Microbial technology with major potentials for the urgent environmental needs of the next decades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verstraete, Willy; De Vrieze, Jo

    2017-09-01

    Several needs in the context of the water-energy-food nexus will become more prominent in the next decades. It is crucial to delineate these challenges and to find opportunities for innovative microbial technologies in the framework of sustainability and climate change. Here, we focus on four key issues, that is the imbalance in the nitrogen cycle, the diffuse emission of methane, the necessity for carbon capture and the deterioration of freshwater reserves. We suggest a set of microbial technologies to deal with each of these issues, such as (i) the production of microbial protein as food and feed, (ii) the control of methanogenic archaea and better use of methanotrophic consortia, (iii) the avoidance of nitrification and (iv) the upgrading of CO 2 to microbial bioproducts. The central message is that instead of using crude methods to exploit microorganisms for degradations, the potentials of the microbiomes should be used to create processes and products that fit the demands of the cyclic market economy. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Spies and Bloggers: New Synthetic Biology Tools to Understand Microbial Processes in Soils and Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Cheng, H. Y.; Del Valle, I.; Fulk, E. M.; Gao, X.; Bennett, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    Microbes can be programmed through synthetic biology to report on their behavior, informing researchers when their environment has triggered changes in their gene expression (e.g. in response to shifts in O2 or H2O), or when they have participated in a specific step of an elemental cycle (e.g. denitrification). This use of synthetic biology has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbes' roles in elemental and water cycling, because it allows reporting on the environment from the perspective of a microbe, matching the measurement scale exactly to the scale that a microbe experiences. However, synthetic microbes have not yet seen wide use in soil and sediment laboratory experiments because synthetic organisms typically report by fluorescing, making their signals difficult to detect outside the petri dish. We are developing a new suite of microbial programs that report instead by releasing easily-detected gases, allowing the real-time, noninvasive monitoring of behaviors in sediments and soils. Microbial biosensors can, in theory, be programmed to detect dynamic processes that contribute to a wide range of geobiological processes, including C cycling (biofilm production, methanogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular enzymes that degrade organic matter), N cycling (expression of enzymes that underlie different steps of the N cycle) and potentially S cycling. We will provide an overview of the potential uses of gas-reporting biosensors in soil and sediment lab experiments, and will report the development of the systematics of these sensors. Successful development of gas biosensors for laboratory use will require addressing issues including: engineering the intensity and selectivity of microbial gas production to maximize the signal to noise ratio; normalizing the gas reporter signal to cell population size, managing gas diffusion effects on signal shape; and developing multiple gases that can be used in parallel.

  16. Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography of Respiratory Quinones for Microbial Community Analysis in Environmental and Biological Samples

    OpenAIRE

    Hanif, Muhammad; Atsuta, Yoichi; Fujie, Koichi; Daimon, Hiroyuki

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ) in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysi...

  17. Traffic flow and microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a major teaching hospital in Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stauning, M. T.; Bediako-Bowan, A.; Andersen, L. P.

    2018-01-01

    . Aim: To assess microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a Ghanaian teaching hospital and the association with door-openings and number of people present. Moreover, we aimed to document reasons for door-opening. Methods: We conducted active air-sampling using an MAS 100® portable impactor...

  18. Effect of Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Learning on Non-majors Biology Students' Understanding of Biological Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Breann M.

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) on non-majors college biology students' understanding of biological classification. This study addressed an area of science instruction, POGIL in the non-majors college biology laboratory, which has yet to be qualitatively and quantitatively researched. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods approach was used. Students' understanding of biological classification was measured in two areas: scores on pre and posttests (consisting of 11 multiple choice questions), and conceptions of classification as elicited in pre and post interviews and instructor reflections. Participants were Minnesota State University, Mankato students enrolled in BIOL 100 Summer Session. One section was taught with the traditional curriculum (n = 6) and the other section in the POGIL curriculum (n = 10) developed by the researcher. Three students from each section were selected to take part in pre and post interviews. There were no significant differences within each teaching method (p familiar animal categories and aquatic habitats, unfamiliar organisms, combining and subdividing initial groupings, and the hierarchical nature of classification. The POGIL students were the only group to surpass these challenges after the teaching intervention. This study shows that POGIL is an effective technique at eliciting students' misconceptions, and addressing these misconceptions, leading to an increase in student understanding of biological classification.

  19. Major changes in microbial diversity and community composition across gut sections of a juvenile Panchlora cockroach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin A Gontang

    Full Text Available Investigations of gut microbiomes have shed light on the diversity and genetic content of these communities, and helped shape our understanding of how host-associated microorganisms influence host physiology, behavior, and health. Despite the importance of gut microbes to metazoans, our understanding of the changes in diversity and composition across the alimentary tract, and the source of the resident community are limited. Here, using community metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, we assess microbial community diversity and coding potential in the foregut, midgut, and hindgut of a juvenile Panchlora cockroach, which resides in the refuse piles of the leaf-cutter ant species Atta colombica. We found a significant shift in the microbial community structure and coding potential throughout the three gut sections of Panchlora sp., and through comparison with previously generated metagenomes of the cockroach's food source and niche, we reveal that this shift in microbial community composition is influenced by the ecosystems in which Panchlora sp. occurs. While the foregut is composed of microbes that likely originate from the symbiotic fungus gardens of the ants, the midgut and hindgut are composed of a microbial community that is likely cockroach-specific. Analogous to mammalian systems, the midgut and hindgut appear to be dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes with the capacity for polysaccharide degradation, suggesting they may assist in the degradation of dietary plant material. Our work underscores the prominence of community changes throughout gut microbiomes and highlights ecological factors that underpin the structure and function of the symbiotic microbial communities of metazoans.

  20. Major changes in microbial diversity and community composition across gut sections of a juvenile Panchlora cockroach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontang, Erin A; Aylward, Frank O; Carlos, Camila; Glavina Del Rio, Tijana; Chovatia, Mansi; Fern, Alison; Lo, Chien-Chi; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Tringe, Susannah G; Currie, Cameron R; Kolter, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Investigations of gut microbiomes have shed light on the diversity and genetic content of these communities, and helped shape our understanding of how host-associated microorganisms influence host physiology, behavior, and health. Despite the importance of gut microbes to metazoans, our understanding of the changes in diversity and composition across the alimentary tract, and the source of the resident community are limited. Here, using community metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, we assess microbial community diversity and coding potential in the foregut, midgut, and hindgut of a juvenile Panchlora cockroach, which resides in the refuse piles of the leaf-cutter ant species Atta colombica. We found a significant shift in the microbial community structure and coding potential throughout the three gut sections of Panchlora sp., and through comparison with previously generated metagenomes of the cockroach's food source and niche, we reveal that this shift in microbial community composition is influenced by the ecosystems in which Panchlora sp. occurs. While the foregut is composed of microbes that likely originate from the symbiotic fungus gardens of the ants, the midgut and hindgut are composed of a microbial community that is likely cockroach-specific. Analogous to mammalian systems, the midgut and hindgut appear to be dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes with the capacity for polysaccharide degradation, suggesting they may assist in the degradation of dietary plant material. Our work underscores the prominence of community changes throughout gut microbiomes and highlights ecological factors that underpin the structure and function of the symbiotic microbial communities of metazoans.

  1. Essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics for "biochemistry and molecular biology" majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Ann; Provost, Joseph; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that all Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors must understand to complete their major coursework. The allied fields working group created a survey to validate foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics identified from participant feedback at various workshops. One-hundred twenty participants responded to the survey and 68% of the respondents answered yes to the question: "We have identified the following as the core concepts and underlying theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics that Biochemistry majors or Molecular Biology majors need to understand after they complete their major courses: 1) mechanical concepts from Physics, 2) energy and thermodynamic concepts from Physics, 3) critical concepts of structure from chemistry, 4) critical concepts of reactions from Chemistry, and 5) essential Mathematics. In your opinion, is the above list complete?" Respondents also delineated subcategories they felt should be included in these broad categories. From the results of the survey and this analysis the allied fields working group constructed a consensus list of allied fields concepts, which will help inform Biochemistry and Molecular Biology educators when considering the ASBMB recommended curriculum for Biochemistry or Molecular Biology majors and in the development of appropriate assessment tools to gauge student understanding of how these concepts relate to biochemistry and molecular biology. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  2. Influence of Bicarbonate, Sulfate, and Electron Donors on Biological reduction of Uranium and Microbial Community Composition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Wensui [ORNL; Zhou, Jizhong [ORNL; Wu, Weimin [ORNL; Yan, Tingfen [ORNL; Criddle, Craig [ORNL; Jardine, Philip M [ORNL; Gu, Baohua [ORNL

    2007-01-01

    A microcosm study was performed to investigate the effect of ethanol and acetate on uranium(VI) biological reduction and microbial community changes under various geochemical conditions. Each microcosm contained an uranium-contaminated sediment (up to 2.8 g U/kg) suspended in buffer with bicarbonate at concentrations of either 1 mM or 40 mM and sulfate at either 1.1 or 3.2 mM. Ethanol or acetate was used as an electron donor. Results indicate that ethanol yielded in significantly higher U(VI) reduction rates than acetate. A low bicarbonate concentration (1 mM) was favored for U(VI) bioreduction to occur in sediments, but high concentrations of bicarbonate (40 mM) and sulfate (3.2 mM) decreased the reduction rates of U(VI). Microbial communities were dominated by species from the Geothrix genus and Proteobacteria phylum in all microcosms. However, species in the Geobacteraceae family capable of reducing U(VI) were significantly enriched by ethanol and acetate in low bicarbonate buffer. Ethanol increased the population of unclassified Desulfuromonales, while acetate increased the population of Desulfovibrio. Additionally, species in the Geobacteraceae family were not enriched in high bicarbonate buffer, but the Geothrix and the unclassified Betaproteobacteria species were enriched. This study concludes that ethanol could be a better electron donor than acetate for reducing U(VI) under given experimental conditions, and electron donor and geoundwater geochemistry alter microbial communities responsible for U(VI) reduction.

  3. Influence of bicarbonate, sulfate, and electron donors on biological reduction of uranium and microbial community composition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo Wensui [Oak Ridge Inst. for Science and Education, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Div.; Wu Wei-Min; Criddle, C.S. [Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Yan Tingfen [Oak Ridge Inst. for Science and Education, TN (United States); Jardine, P.M.; Gu Baohua [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Div.; Zhou Jizhong [Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK (United States). Dept. of Botany and Microbiology

    2007-12-15

    A microcosm study was performed to investigate the effect of ethanol and acetate on uranium(VI) biological reduction and microbial community changes under various geochemical conditions. Each microcosm contained an uranium-contaminated sediment (up to 2.8 g U/kg) suspended in buffer with bicarbonate at concentrations of either 1 or 40 mM and sulfate at either 1.1 or 3.2 mM. Ethanol or acetate was used as an electron donor. Results indicate that ethanol yielded in significantly higher U(VI) reduction rates than acetate. A low bicarbonate concentration (1 mM) was favored for U(VI) bioreduction to occur in sediments, but high concentrations of bicarbonate (40 mM) and sulfate (3.2 mM) decreased the reduction rates of U(VI). Microbial communities were dominated by species from the Geothrix genus and Proteobacteria phylum in all microcosms. However, species in the Geobacteraceae family capable of reducing U(VI) were significantly enriched by ethanol and acetate in low-bicarbonate buffer. Ethanol increased the population of unclassified Desulfuromonales, while acetate increased the population of Desulfovibrio. Additionally, species in the Geobacteraceae family were not enriched in high-bicarbonate buffer, but the Geothrix and the unclassified Betaproteobacteria species were enriched. This study concludes that ethanol could be a better electron donor than acetate for reducing U(VI) under given experimental conditions, and electron donor and groundwater geochemistry alter microbial communities responsible for U(VI) reduction. (orig.)

  4. Evaluation of an ethnopharmacologically selected Bhutanese medicinal plants for their major classes of phytochemicals and biological activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wangchuk, Phurpa; Keller, Paul A; Pyne, Stephen G; Taweechotipatr, Malai; Tonsomboon, Aunchalee; Rattanajak, Roonglawan; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee

    2011-09-01

    As many as 229 medicinal plants have been currently used in the Bhutanese Traditional Medicine (BTM) as a chief ingredient of polyherbal formulations and these plants have been individually indicated for treating various types of infections including malaria, tumor, and microbial. We have focused our study only on seven species of these plants. We aim to evaluate the antiplasmodial, antimicrobial, anti-Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and cytotoxicity activities of the seven medicinal plants of Bhutan selected using an ethno-directed bio-rational approach. This study creates a scientific basis for their use in the BTM and gives foundation for further phytochemical and biological evaluations which can result in the discovery of new drug lead compounds. A three stage process was conducted which consisted of: (1) an assessment of a pharmacopoeia and a formulary book of the BTM for their mode of plant uses; (2) selecting 25 anti-infective medicinal plants based on the five established criteria, collecting them, and screening for their major classes of phytochemicals using appropriate test protocols; and (3) finally analyzing the crude extracts of the seven medicinal plants, using the standard test protocols, for their antiplasmodial, antimicrobial, anti-Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and cytotoxicity activities as directed by the ethnopharmacological uses of each plant. Out of 25 medicinal plants screened for their major classes of phytochemicals, the majority contained tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids. Out of the seven plant species investigated for their biological activities, all seven of them exhibited mild antimicrobial properties, five plants gave significant in vitro antiplasmodial activities, two plants gave moderate anti-Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense activity, and one plant showed mild cytotoxicity. Meconopsis simplicifolia showed the highest antiplasmodial activity with IC(50) values of 0.40 μg/ml against TM4/8.2 strain (a wild type chloroquine and

  5. Traffic flow and microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a major teaching hospital in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauning, M T; Bediako-Bowan, A; Andersen, L P; Opintan, J A; Labi, A-K; Kurtzhals, J A L; Bjerrum, S

    2018-07-01

    Current literature examining the relationship between door-opening rate, number of people present, and microbial air contamination in the operating room is limited. Studies are especially needed from low- and middle-income countries, where the risk of surgical site infections is high. To assess microbial air contamination in operating rooms at a Ghanaian teaching hospital and the association with door-openings and number of people present. Moreover, we aimed to document reasons for door-opening. We conducted active air-sampling using an MAS 100 ® portable impactor during 124 clean or clean-contaminated elective surgical procedures. The number of people present, door-opening rate and the reasons for each door-opening were recorded by direct observation using pretested structured observation forms. During surgery, the mean number of colony-forming units (cfu) was 328 cfu/m 3 air, and 429 (84%) of 510 samples exceeded a recommended level of 180 cfu/m 3 . Of 6717 door-openings recorded, 77% were considered unnecessary. Levels of cfu/m 3 were strongly correlated with the number of people present (P = 0.001) and with the number of door-openings/h (P = 0.02). In empty operating rooms, the mean cfu count was 39 cfu/m 3 after 1 h of uninterrupted ventilation and 52 (51%) of 102 samples exceeded a recommended level of 35 cfu/m 3 . The study revealed high values of intraoperative airborne cfu exceeding recommended levels. Minimizing the number of door-openings and people present during surgery could be an effective strategy to reduce microbial air contamination in low- and middle-income settings. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Attributions of Academic Performance among Third Year and Fourth Year Biology Major Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick John B. Solar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This is a descriptive study aimed to determine the attributions of academic performance of third year and fourth year biology major students in the College of Education, West Visayas State University, School Year 2013-2014. The academic performance were categorized or measured in terms of test, projects, workbooks, and laboratory experiments, class participation, and attendance. The Attributions in academic performance were evaluated using the closed-form questionnairechecklist,categorized intoin termsof ability, effort, luck, or task difficulty. Mean frequency, mean percentage, Mann-Whitney U-test, two-sampled test set at 0.05 level of significance were used to determine if there were significant difference in the attribution when the students were taken according to their year level. The result of the study revealed that the Third Year biology majors attributed their academic performance to effort which is shown to have the highest percentage attribution in overall rank. There was no significant difference in the attributions of academic performance for third year and fourth year biology major students in termsof test, whilethe result forprojects, workbooks, and laboratory experiment and class participation and attendance categories,was found out to havea significant difference in the attributionfor the third and fourth years biology Major students’ academic performances.

  7. High definition for systems biology of microbial communities: metagenomics gets genome-centric and strain-resolved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turaev, Dmitrij; Rattei, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    The systems biology of microbial communities, organismal communities inhabiting all ecological niches on earth, has in recent years been strongly facilitated by the rapid development of experimental, sequencing and data analysis methods. Novel experimental approaches and binning methods in metagenomics render the semi-automatic reconstructions of near-complete genomes of uncultivable bacteria possible, while advances in high-resolution amplicon analysis allow for efficient and less biased taxonomic community characterization. This will also facilitate predictive modeling approaches, hitherto limited by the low resolution of metagenomic data. In this review, we pinpoint the most promising current developments in metagenomics. They facilitate microbial systems biology towards a systemic understanding of mechanisms in microbial communities with scopes of application in many areas of our daily life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Removal of anaerobic soluble microbial products in a biological activated carbon reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xiaojing; Zhou, Weili; He, Shengbing

    2013-09-01

    The soluble microbial products (SMP) in the biological treatment effluent are generally of great amount and are poorly biodegradable. Focusing on the biodegradation of anaerobic SMP, the biological activated carbon (BAC) was introduced into the anaerobic system. The experiments were conducted in two identical lab-scale up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors. The high strength organics were degraded in the first UASB reactor (UASB1) and the second UASB (UASB2, i.e., BAC) functioned as a polishing step to remove SMP produced in UASB1. The results showed that 90% of the SMP could be removed before granular activated carbon was saturated. After the saturation, the SMP removal decreased to 60% on the average. Analysis of granular activated carbon adsorption revealed that the main role of SMP removal in BAC reactor was biodegradation. A strain of SMP-degrading bacteria, which was found highly similar to Klebsiella sp., was isolated, enriched and inoculated back to the BAC reactor. When the influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) was 10,000 mg/L and the organic loading rate achieved 10 kg COD/(m3 x day), the effluent from the BAC reactor could meet the discharge standard without further treatment. Anaerobic BAC reactor inoculated with the isolated Klebsiella was proved to be an effective, cheap and easy technical treatment approach for the removal of SMP in the treatment of easily-degradable wastewater with COD lower than 10,000 mg/L.

  9. High-resolution metagenomics targets major functional types in complex microbial communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G.; Lapidus, Alla; Ivanova, Natalia; Copeland, Alex C.; McHardy, Alice C.; Szeto, Ernest; Salamov, Asaf; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Suciu, Dominic; Levine, Samuel R.; Markowitz, Victor M.; Rigoutsos, Isidore; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bruce, David C.; Richardson, Paul M.; Lidstrom, Mary E.; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2009-08-01

    Most microbes in the biosphere remain uncultured and unknown. Whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing of environmental DNA (metagenomics) allows glimpses into genetic and metabolic potentials of natural microbial communities. However, in communities of high complexity metagenomics fail to link specific microbes to specific ecological functions. To overcome this limitation, we selectively targeted populations involved in oxidizing single-carbon (C{sub 1}) compounds in Lake Washington (Seattle, USA) by labeling their DNA via stable isotope probing (SIP), followed by WGS sequencing. Metagenome analysis demonstrated specific sequence enrichments in response to different C{sub 1} substrates, highlighting ecological roles of individual phylotypes. We further demonstrated the utility of our approach by extracting a nearly complete genome of a novel methylotroph Methylotenera mobilis, reconstructing its metabolism and conducting genome-wide analyses. This approach allowing high-resolution genomic analysis of ecologically relevant species has the potential to be applied to a wide variety of ecosystems.

  10. Physicochemical and biological quality of soil in hexavalent chromium-contaminated soils as affected by chemical and microbial remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yingping; Min, Xiaobo; Yang, Zhihui; Chai, Liyuan; Zhang, Shujuan; Wang, Yangyang

    2014-01-01

    Chemical and microbial methods are the main remediation technologies for chromium-contaminated soil. These technologies have progressed rapidly in recent years; however, there is still a lack of methods for evaluating the chemical and biological quality of soil after different remediation technologies have been applied. In this paper, microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria and chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate were used for the remediation of soils contaminated with Cr(VI) at two levels (80 and 1,276 mg kg(-1)) through a column leaching experiment. After microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, the average concentration of water-soluble Cr(VI) in the soils was reduced to less than 5.0 mg kg(-1). Soil quality was evaluated based on 11 soil properties and the fuzzy comprehensive assessment method, including fuzzy mathematics and correlative analysis. The chemical fertility quality index was improved by one grade using microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria, and the biological fertility quality index increased by at least a factor of 6. Chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate, however, resulted in lower levels of available phosphorus, dehydrogenase, catalase and polyphenol oxidase. The result showed that microbial remediation with indigenous bacteria was more effective for remedying Cr(VI)-contaminated soils with high pH value than chemical remediation with ferrous sulphate. In addition, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method was proven to be a useful tool for monitoring the quality change in chromium-contaminated soils.

  11. Rapid biological oxidation of methanol in the tropical Atlantic: significance as a microbial carbon source

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. Dixon

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Methanol is the second most abundant organic gas in the atmosphere after methane, and is ubiquitous in the troposphere. It plays a significant role in atmospheric oxidant chemistry and is biogeochemically active. Large uncertainties exist about whether the oceans are a source or sink of methanol to the atmosphere. Even less is understood about what reactions in seawater determine its concentration, and hence flux across the sea surface interface. We report here concentrations of methanol between 151–296 nM in parts of the oligotrophic North Atlantic, with corresponding microbial uptake rates between 2–146 nM d−1, suggesting turnover times as low as 1 day (1–25 days in surface waters of the oligotrophic tropical North East Atlantic. Methanol is mainly (≥97% used by microbes for obtaining energy in oligotrophic regions, which contrasts with shelf and coastal areas where between 20–50% can be used for cell growth. Comparisons of microbial methanol oxidation rates with parallel determinations of bacterial leucine uptake suggest that methanol contributes on average 13% to bacterial carbon demand in the central northern Atlantic gyre (maximum of 54%. In addition, the contribution that methanol makes to bacterial carbon demand varies as a power function of chlorophyll a concentrations; suggesting for concentrations <0.2 μg l−1 that methanol can make a significant contribution to bacterial carbon demand. However, our low air to sea methanol flux estimates of 7.2–13 μmol m−2 d−1 suggest that the atmosphere is not a major methanol source. We conclude that there must be a major, as yet unidentified, in situ oceanic methanol source in these latitudes which we suggest is sunlight driven decomposition of organic matter.

  12. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koonin Eugene V

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin's original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla. In each of these pivotal nexuses in life's history, the principal "types" seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate "grades" or intermediate forms between different types are detectable. Usually, this pattern is attributed to cladogenesis compressed in time, combined with the inevitable erosion of the phylogenetic signal. Hypothesis I propose that most or all major evolutionary transitions that show the "explosive" pattern of emergence of new types of biological entities correspond to a boundary between two qualitatively distinct evolutionary phases. The first, inflationary phase is characterized by extremely rapid evolution driven by various processes of genetic information exchange, such as horizontal gene transfer, recombination, fusion, fission, and spread of mobile elements. These processes give rise to a vast diversity of forms from which the main classes of entities at the new level of complexity emerge independently, through a sampling process. In the second phase, evolution dramatically slows down, the respective process of genetic information exchange tapers off, and multiple lineages of the new type of entities emerge, each of them evolving in a tree-like fashion from that point on. This biphasic model

  13. The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2007-08-20

    Major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity. The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin's original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution. The cases in point include the origin of complex RNA molecules and protein folds; major groups of viruses; archaea and bacteria, and the principal lineages within each of these prokaryotic domains; eukaryotic supergroups; and animal phyla. In each of these pivotal nexuses in life's history, the principal "types" seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate "grades" or intermediate forms between different types are detectable. Usually, this pattern is attributed to cladogenesis compressed in time, combined with the inevitable erosion of the phylogenetic signal. I propose that most or all major evolutionary transitions that show the "explosive" pattern of emergence of new types of biological entities correspond to a boundary between two qualitatively distinct evolutionary phases. The first, inflationary phase is characterized by extremely rapid evolution driven by various processes of genetic information exchange, such as horizontal gene transfer, recombination, fusion, fission, and spread of mobile elements. These processes give rise to a vast diversity of forms from which the main classes of entities at the new level of complexity emerge independently, through a sampling process. In the second phase, evolution dramatically slows down, the respective process of genetic information exchange tapers off, and multiple lineages of the new type of entities emerge, each of them evolving in a tree-like fashion from that point on. This biphasic model of evolution incorporates the previously developed

  14. Major cost savings associated with biologic dose reduction in patients with inflammatory arthritis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Murphy, C L

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore whether patients with Inflammatory Arthritis (IA) (Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) or Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)) would remain in remission following a reduction in biologic dosing frequency and to calculate the cost savings associated with dose reduction. This prospective non-blinded non-randomised study commenced in 2010. Patients with Inflammatory Arthritis being treated with a biologic agent were screened for disease activity. A cohort of those in remission according to standardized disease activity indices (DAS28 < 2.6, BASDAI < 4) was offered a reduction in dosing frequency of two commonly used biologic therapies (etanercept 50 mg once per fortnight instead of weekly, adalimumab 40 mg once per month instead of fortnightly). Patients were assessed for disease activity at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months following reduction in dosing frequency. Cost saving was calculated. 79 patients with inflammatory arthritis in remission were recruited. 57% had rheumatoid arthritis (n = 45), 13% psoriatic arthritis (n = 10) and 30% ankylosing spondylitis (n = 24). 57% (n = 45) were taking etanercept and 43% (n = 34) adalimumab. The percentage of patients in remission at 24 months was 56% (n = 44). This resulted in an actual saving to the state of approximately 600,000 euro over two years. This study demonstrates the reduction in biologic dosing frequency is feasible in Inflammatory Arthritis. There was a considerable cost saving at two years. The potential for major cost savings in biologic usage should be pursued further.

  15. Synthetic biology for manufacturing chemicals: constraints drive the use of non-conventional microbial platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czajka, Jeffrey; Wang, Qinhong; Wang, Yechun; Tang, Yinjie J

    2017-10-01

    Genetically modified microbes have had much industrial success producing protein-based products (such as antibodies and enzymes). However, engineering microbial workhorses for biomanufacturing of commodity compounds remains challenging. First, microbes cannot afford burdens with both overexpression of multiple enzymes and metabolite drainage for product synthesis. Second, synthetic circuits and introduced heterologous pathways are not yet as "robust and reliable" as native pathways due to hosts' innate regulations, especially under suboptimal fermentation conditions. Third, engineered enzymes may lack channeling capabilities for cascade-like transport of metabolites to overcome diffusion barriers or to avoid intermediate toxicity in the cytoplasmic environment. Fourth, moving engineered hosts from laboratory to industry is unreliable because genetic mutations and non-genetic cell-to-cell variations impair the large-scale fermentation outcomes. Therefore, synthetic biology strains often have unsatisfactory industrial performance (titer/yield/productivity). To overcome these problems, many different species are being explored for their metabolic strengths that can be leveraged to synthesize specific compounds. Here, we provide examples of non-conventional and genetically amenable species for industrial manufacturing, including the following: Corynebacterium glutamicum for its TCA cycle-derived biosynthesis, Yarrowia lipolytica for its biosynthesis of fatty acids and carotenoids, cyanobacteria for photosynthetic production from its sugar phosphate pathways, and Rhodococcus for its ability to biotransform recalcitrant feedstock. Finally, we discuss emerging technologies (e.g., genome-to-phenome mapping, single cell methods, and knowledge engineering) that may facilitate the development of novel cell factories.

  16. Supercritical fluid extraction and ultra performance liquid chromatography of respiratory quinones for microbial community analysis in environmental and biological samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanif, Muhammad; Atsuta, Yoichi; Fujie, Koichi; Daimon, Hiroyuki

    2012-03-05

    Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ) in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysis is one of the most widely used culture-independent tools for characterizing microbial community structure. A UPLC equipped with a photo diode array (PDA) detector was successfully applied to the simultaneous determination of ubiquinones (UQ) and menaquinones (MK) without tedious pretreatment. Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO(2)) extraction with the solid-phase cartridge trap proved to be a more effective and rapid method for extracting respiratory quinones, compared to a conventional organic solvent extraction method. This methodology leads to a successful analytical procedure that involves a significant reduction in the complexity and sample preparation time. Application of the optimized methodology to characterize microbial communities based on the RQ profile was demonstrated for a variety of environmental samples (activated sludge, digested sludge, and compost) and biological samples (swine and Japanese quail feces).

  17. Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography of Respiratory Quinones for Microbial Community Analysis in Environmental and Biological Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koichi Fujie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial community structure plays a significant role in environmental assessment and animal health management. The development of a superior analytical strategy for the characterization of microbial community structure is an ongoing challenge. In this study, we developed an effective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE and ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC method for the analysis of bacterial respiratory quinones (RQ in environmental and biological samples. RQ profile analysis is one of the most widely used culture-independent tools for characterizing microbial community structure. A UPLC equipped with a photo diode array (PDA detector was successfully applied to the simultaneous determination of ubiquinones (UQ and menaquinones (MK without tedious pretreatment. Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2 extraction with the solid-phase cartridge trap proved to be a more effective and rapid method for extracting respiratory quinones, compared to a conventional organic solvent extraction method. This methodology leads to a successful analytical procedure that involves a significant reduction in the complexity and sample preparation time. Application of the optimized methodology to characterize microbial communities based on the RQ profile was demonstrated for a variety of environmental samples (activated sludge, digested sludge, and compost and biological samples (swine and Japanese quail feces.

  18. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P; Runyon, Christopher R; Drake, John M; Dolan, Erin L

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of Mathematics Inventory (ASMI). We collected data from 359 science and math majors at two research universities and conducted a series of statistical tests that indicated that four AMSI items comprised a reasonable measure of students' emotional satisfaction with math. We then compared life science and non-life science majors and found that major had a small to moderate relationship with students' responses. Gender also had a small relationship with students' responses, while students' race, ethnicity, and year in school had no observable relationship. Using latent profile analysis, we identified three groups-students who were emotionally satisfied with math, emotionally dissatisfied with math, and neutral. These results and the emotional satisfaction with math scale should be useful for identifying differences in other undergraduate populations, determining the malleability of undergraduates' emotional satisfaction with math, and testing effects of interventions aimed at improving life science majors' attitudes toward math. © 2017 L.P. Wachsmuth et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. Total Synthesis of Natural Products of Microbial Origins(Recent Topics of the Agricultunal Biological Science in Tohoku University)

    OpenAIRE

    Hiromasa, KIYOTA; Shigefumi, KUWAHARA; Laboratory of Applied Bioorganic Chemistry, Division of Bioscience & Biotechnology for Future Bioindustries, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University; Laboratory of Applied Bioorganic Chemistry, Division of Bioscience & Biotechnology for Future Bioindustries, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University

    2008-01-01

    Microorganisms are an important rich source of secondary metabolites, which could be useful leads to valuable agrochemicals and/or medicinal drugs. This mini-review describes our recent achievements on the total synthesis of biologically active natural products of microbial origins: pteridic acids A and B (strong plant growth promoters), epoxyquinols A and B (anti-angiogenic compounds), communiols A-F, G, and H, and macrotetrolide α (antibiotics), pyricuol and tabtoxinine-β-lactam (phytotoxin...

  20. Practices and Exploration on Competition of Molecular Biological Detection Technology among Students in Food Quality and Safety Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yaning; Peng, Yuke; Li, Pengfei; Zhuang, Yingping

    2017-01-01

    With the increasing importance in the application of the molecular biological detection technology in the field of food safety, strengthening education in molecular biology experimental techniques is more necessary for the culture of the students in food quality and safety major. However, molecular biology experiments are not always in curricula…

  1. Iron Isotope Fractionation in Microbial and Non-Biological Precipitates, and the Human Body

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Blanckenburg, F.; Boettcher, M. E.; Hofmann, B.; Walczyk, T.

    2001-12-01

    represent fossil remnants of microbial mats, have been found as encrustations in chalcedony. Delta57Fe is 3 permil heavier than the associated calcite (representing the Fe-rich fluids). Therefore, the fractionations found in microbial precipitates are not larger than those produced in the abiotic experiments. In contrast, major Fe isotope fractionations are produced by the human body: The major iron compartments in the human body, blood, liver, muscle tissues, and also hair, are all depleted by as much as 6 permil in the 57Fe isotope relative to 54Fe when compared to the average dietary intake. Since feces are similar to the average intake, we conclude that a significant Fe isotope fractionation occurs at the adsorptive stage in the intestine. In conclusion, with respect to the hypothesis that Fe isotope effects might serve as "biosignatures" it appears that microbial and abiotic reactions cause similar isotope effects which essentially depend on redox reactions and the speciation in the aqueous solution. On the other hand, higher organisms bear distinct Fe isotope signatures.

  2. Courses in Modern Physics for Non-science Majors, Future Science Teachers, and Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zollman, Dean

    2001-03-01

    For the past 15 years Kansas State University has offered a course in modern physics for students who are not majoring in physics. This course carries a prerequisite of one physics course so that the students have a basic introduction in classical topics. The majors of students range from liberal arts to engineering. Future secondary science teachers whose first area of teaching is not physics can use the course as part of their study of science. The course has evolved from a lecture format to one which is highly interactive and uses a combination of hands-on activities, tutorials and visualizations, particularly the Visual Quantum Mechanics materials. Another course encourages biology students to continue their physics learning beyond the introductory course. Modern Miracle Medical Machines introduces the basic physics which underlie diagnosis techniques such as MRI and PET and laser surgical techniques. Additional information is available at http://www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/

  3. Microbial Community and Biochemical Dynamics of Biological Soil Crusts across a Gradient of Surface Coverage in the Central Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogul, Rakesh; Vaishampayan, Parag; Bashir, Mina; McKay, Chris P; Schubert, Keith; Bornaccorsi, Rosalba; Gomez, Ernesto; Tharayil, Sneha; Payton, Geoffrey; Capra, Juliana; Andaya, Jessica; Bacon, Leonard; Bargoma, Emily; Black, David; Boos, Katie; Brant, Michaela; Chabot, Michael; Chau, Danny; Cisneros, Jessica; Chu, Geoff; Curnutt, Jane; DiMizio, Jessica; Engelbrecht, Christian; Gott, Caroline; Harnoto, Raechel; Hovanesian, Ruben; Johnson, Shane; Lavergne, Britne; Martinez, Gabriel; Mans, Paul; Morales, Ernesto; Oei, Alex; Peplow, Gary; Piaget, Ryan; Ponce, Nicole; Renteria, Eduardo; Rodriguez, Veronica; Rodriguez, Joseph; Santander, Monica; Sarmiento, Khamille; Scheppelmann, Allison; Schroter, Gavin; Sexton, Devan; Stephenson, Jenin; Symer, Kristin; Russo-Tait, Tatiane; Weigel, Bill; Wilhelm, Mary B

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we expand upon the biogeography of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and provide molecular insights into the microbial community and biochemical dynamics along the vertical BSC column structure, and across a transect of increasing BSC surface coverage in the central Mojave Desert, CA, United States. Next generation sequencing reveals a bacterial community profile that is distinct among BSCs in the southwestern United States. Distribution of major phyla in the BSC topsoils included Cyanobacteria (33 ± 8%), Proteobacteria (26 ± 6%), and Chloroflexi (12 ± 4%), with Phormidium being the numerically dominant genus. Furthermore, BSC subsurfaces contained Proteobacteria (23 ± 5%), Actinobacteria (20 ± 5%), and Chloroflexi (18 ± 3%), with an unidentified genus from Chloroflexi (AKIW781, order) being numerically dominant. Across the transect, changes in distribution at the phylum ( p < 0.0439) and genus ( p < 0.006) levels, including multiple biochemical and geochemical trends ( p < 0.05), positively correlated with increasing BSC surface coverage. This included increases in (a) Chloroflexi abundance, (b) abundance and diversity of Cyanobacteria, (b) OTU-level diversity in the topsoil, (c) OTU-level differentiation between the topsoil and subsurface, (d) intracellular ATP abundances and catalase activities, and (e) enrichments in clay, silt, and varying elements, including S, Mn, Co, As, and Pb, in the BSC topsoils. In sum, these studies suggest that BSCs from regions of differing surface coverage represent early successional stages, which exhibit increasing bacterial diversity, metabolic activities, and capacity to restructure the soil. Further, these trends suggest that BSC successional maturation and colonization across the transect are inhibited by metals/metalloids such as B, Ca, Ti, Mn, Co, Ni, Mo, and Pb.

  4. Microbial Community and Biochemical Dynamics of Biological Soil Crusts across a Gradient of Surface Coverage in the Central Mojave Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakesh Mogul

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we expand upon the biogeography of biological soil crusts (BSCs and provide molecular insights into the microbial community and biochemical dynamics along the vertical BSC column structure, and across a transect of increasing BSC surface coverage in the central Mojave Desert, CA, United States. Next generation sequencing reveals a bacterial community profile that is distinct among BSCs in the southwestern United States. Distribution of major phyla in the BSC topsoils included Cyanobacteria (33 ± 8%, Proteobacteria (26 ± 6%, and Chloroflexi (12 ± 4%, with Phormidium being the numerically dominant genus. Furthermore, BSC subsurfaces contained Proteobacteria (23 ± 5%, Actinobacteria (20 ± 5%, and Chloroflexi (18 ± 3%, with an unidentified genus from Chloroflexi (AKIW781, order being numerically dominant. Across the transect, changes in distribution at the phylum (p < 0.0439 and genus (p < 0.006 levels, including multiple biochemical and geochemical trends (p < 0.05, positively correlated with increasing BSC surface coverage. This included increases in (a Chloroflexi abundance, (b abundance and diversity of Cyanobacteria, (b OTU-level diversity in the topsoil, (c OTU-level differentiation between the topsoil and subsurface, (d intracellular ATP abundances and catalase activities, and (e enrichments in clay, silt, and varying elements, including S, Mn, Co, As, and Pb, in the BSC topsoils. In sum, these studies suggest that BSCs from regions of differing surface coverage represent early successional stages, which exhibit increasing bacterial diversity, metabolic activities, and capacity to restructure the soil. Further, these trends suggest that BSC successional maturation and colonization across the transect are inhibited by metals/metalloids such as B, Ca, Ti, Mn, Co, Ni, Mo, and Pb.

  5. Nontarget effects of chemical pesticides and biological pesticide on rhizospheric microbial community structure and function in Vigna radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sunil; Gupta, Rashi; Kumari, Madhu; Sharma, Shilpi

    2015-08-01

    Intensive agriculture has resulted in an indiscriminate use of pesticides, which demands in-depth analysis of their impact on indigenous rhizospheric microbial community structure and function. Hence, the objective of the present work was to study the impact of two chemical pesticides (chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin) and one biological pesticide (azadirachtin) at two dosages on the microbial community structure using cultivation-dependent approach and on rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in nitrogen cycle in Vigna radiata rhizosphere through cultivation-independent technique of real-time PCR. Cultivation-dependent study highlighted the adverse effects of both chemical pesticide and biopesticide on rhizospheric bacterial and fungal communities at different plant growth stages. Also, an adverse effect on number of genes and transcripts of nifH (nitrogen fixation); amoA (nitrification); and narG, nirK, and nirS (denitrification) was observed. The results from the present study highlighted two points, firstly that nontarget effects of pesticides are significantly detrimental to soil microflora, and despite being of biological origin, azadirachtin exerted negative impact on rhizospheric microbial community of V. radiata behaving similar to chemical pesticides. Hence, such nontarget effects of chemical pesticide and biopesticide in plants' rhizosphere, which bring out the larger picture in terms of their ecotoxicological effect, demand a proper risk assessment before application of pesticides as agricultural amendments.

  6. Soil microbial community structure in diverse land use systems:A comparative study using Biolog,DGGE,and PLFA analyses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XUE Dong; YAO Huai-Ying; GE De-Yong; HUANG Chang-Yong

    2008-01-01

    Biolog,16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE),and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses were used to assess soil microbial community characteristics in a chronosequence of tea garden systems (8-,50-,and 90year-old tea gardens),an adjacent wasteland,and a 90-year-old forest.Biolog analysis showed that the average well color development (AWCD) of all carbon sources and the functional diversity based on the Shannon index decreased (P<0.05)in the following order:wasteland>forest>tea garden.For the DGGE analysis,the genetic diversity based on the Shannon index was significantly lower in the tea garden soils than in the wasteland.However,compared to the 90-year-old forest,the tea garden soils showed significantly higher genetic diversity.PLFA analysis showed that the ratio of Gram positive bacteria to Gram negative bacteria was significantly higher in the tea garden soils than in the wasteland,and the highest value was found in the 90-year-old forest.Both the fungal PLFA and the ratio of fungi to bacteria were significantly higher in the three tea garden soils than in the wasteland and forest,indicating that fungal PLFA was significantly affected by land-use change.Based on cluster analysis of the soil microbial community structure,all three analytical methods showed that land-use change had a greater effect on soil microbial community structure than tea garden age.

  7. A systems biology approach to predict and characterize human gut microbial metabolites in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, QuanQiu; Li, Li; Xu, Rong

    2018-04-18

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It is estimated that about half the cases of CRC occurring today are preventable. Recent studies showed that human gut microbiota and their collective metabolic outputs play important roles in CRC. However, the mechanisms by which human gut microbial metabolites interact with host genetics in contributing CRC remain largely unknown. We hypothesize that computational approaches that integrate and analyze vast amounts of publicly available biomedical data have great potential in better understanding how human gut microbial metabolites are mechanistically involved in CRC. Leveraging vast amount of publicly available data, we developed a computational algorithm to predict human gut microbial metabolites for CRC. We validated the prediction algorithm by showing that previously known CRC-associated gut microbial metabolites ranked highly (mean ranking: top 10.52%; median ranking: 6.29%; p-value: 3.85E-16). Moreover, we identified new gut microbial metabolites likely associated with CRC. Through computational analysis, we propose potential roles for tartaric acid, the top one ranked metabolite, in CRC etiology. In summary, our data-driven computation-based study generated a large amount of associations that could serve as a starting point for further experiments to refute or validate these microbial metabolite associations in CRC cancer.

  8. [Clinical and biological predictors of ketamine response in treatment-resistant major depression: Review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, B; Choucha, W; Fossati, P; Rotge, J-Y

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this review was to determine the clinical and biological predictors of the ketamine response. A systematic research on PubMed and PsycINFO database was performed without limits on year of publication. The main predictive factors of ketamine response, which were found in different studies, were (i) a family history of alcohol dependence, (ii) unipolar depressive disorder, and (iii) neurocognitive impairments, especially a slower processing speed. Many other predictive factors were identified, but not replicated, such as personal history of alcohol dependence, no antecedent of suicide attempt, anxiety symptoms. Some biological factors were also found such as markers of neural plasticity (slow wave activity, brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism, expression of Shank 3 protein), other neurologic factors (anterior cingulate activity, concentration of glutamine/glutamate), inflammatory factors (IL-6 concentration) or metabolic factors (concentration of B12 vitamin, D- and L-serine, alterations in the mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acids). This review had several limits: (i) patients had exclusively resistant major depressive episodes which represent a sub-type of depression and not all depression, (ii) response criteria were more frequently assessed than remission criteria, it was therefore difficult to conclude that these predictors were similar, and finally (iii) many studies used a very small number of patients. In conclusion, this review found that some predictors of ketamine response, like basal activity of anterior cingulate or vitamin B12 concentration, were identical to other therapeutics used in major depressive episode. These factors could be more specific to the major depressive episode and not to the ketamine response. Others, like family history of alcohol dependence, body mass index, or D- and L-serine were different from the other therapeutics. Neurocognitive impairments like slower speed processing or alterations in

  9. The role of microbial-produced extracellular polymeric matrix in the formation and survival of biological soil crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Federico; Adessi, Alessandra; De Philippis, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are complex communities commonly constituting organo-mineral layers in arid and semiarid environment having a major influence on these ecosystems (Belnap and Lange, 2001). They have high tolerance towards a-biotic stresses and fluctuations in moisture, illumination, salinity and nutrients. The plasticity exhibited by BSCs is hugely contributed by the presence of the extracellular polymeric matrix (EPM) that is synthesized by crustal organisms, notably cyanobacteria and microalgae. This polysaccharidic net plays key roles in biofilm relations with the surrounding constrained environment. Notably, EPM concurs in coping with water scarcity, freezing and salt stress; increases biolayers stability against erosion, and is involved in nutrient provision (Rossi and De Philippis, 2015). We conducted several investigations in a research area located in the Inner Mongolian desert (Inner Mongolia, China) where BSCs were induced over different sites through inoculation-based techniques performed in different years. Our studies were aimed at determining the role of EPM in BSC development and survival in such a hyper-arid system. This presentation will report the results concerning the role of EPM in water capture from non-rainfall sources, water maintenance at the topsoil, and in water infiltrability, the latter being a factor with important ecological implications. In additions we investigated the role of the matrix as a source of carbon for the crustal heterotrophs. Furthermore, EPM was extracted with methods optimized in our lab, aiming at removing tightly bound fractions and loosely bound fractions from BSCs having different ages. The fractions were analyzed in terms of monosaccharidic composition, and molecular weight (MW) distribution. We show how the relative amounts of uronic acids increase in the EPM with the age of the crusts, implying advantages for the community-water relations. In addition, we observed significant differences in MW

  10. Practices and exploration on competition of molecular biological detection technology among students in food quality and safety major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yaning; Peng, Yuke; Li, Pengfei; Zhuang, Yingping

    2017-07-08

    With the increasing importance in the application of the molecular biological detection technology in the field of food safety, strengthening education in molecular biology experimental techniques is more necessary for the culture of the students in food quality and safety major. However, molecular biology experiments are not always in curricula of Food quality and safety Majors. This paper introduced a project "competition of molecular biological detection technology for food safety among undergraduate sophomore students in food quality and safety major", students participating in this project needed to learn the fundamental molecular biology experimental techniques such as the principles of molecular biology experiments and genome extraction, PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis analysis, and then design the experiments in groups to identify the meat species in pork and beef products using molecular biological methods. The students should complete the experimental report after basic experiments, write essays and make a presentation after the end of the designed experiments. This project aims to provide another way for food quality and safety majors to improve their knowledge of molecular biology, especially experimental technology, and enhances them to understand the scientific research activities as well as give them a chance to learn how to write a professional thesis. In addition, in line with the principle of an open laboratory, the project is also open to students in other majors in East China University of Science and Technology, in order to enhance students in other majors to understand the fields of molecular biology and food safety. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):343-350, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  11. A human monocytic NF-κB fluorescent reporter cell line for detection of microbial contaminants in biological samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Battin

    Full Text Available Sensing of pathogens by innate immune cells is essential for the initiation of appropriate immune responses. Toll-like receptors (TLRs, which are highly sensitive for various structurally and evolutionary conserved molecules derived from microbes have a prominent role in this process. TLR engagement results in the activation of the transcription factor NF-κB, which induces the expression of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. The exquisite sensitivity of TLR signalling can be exploited for the detection of bacteria and microbial contaminants in tissue cultures and in protein preparations. Here we describe a cellular reporter system for the detection of TLR ligands in biological samples. The well-characterized human monocytic THP-1 cell line was chosen as host for an NF-ᴋB-inducible enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter gene. We studied the sensitivity of the resultant reporter cells for a variety of microbial components and observed a strong reactivity towards TLR1/2 and TLR2/6 ligands. Mycoplasma lipoproteins are potent TLR2/6 agonists and we demonstrate that our reporter cells can be used as reliable and robust detection system for mycoplasma contaminations in cell cultures. In addition, a TLR4-sensitive subline of our reporters was engineered, and probed with recombinant proteins expressed in different host systems. Bacterially expressed but not mammalian expressed proteins induced strong reporter activity. We also tested proteins expressed in an E. coli strain engineered to lack TLR4 agonists. Such preparations also induced reporter activation in THP-1 cells highlighting the importance of testing recombinant protein preparations for microbial contaminations beyond endotoxins. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of monocytic reporter cells for high-throughput screening for microbial contaminations in diverse biological samples, including tissue culture supernatants and recombinant protein preparations. Fluorescent reporter

  12. Proton MR Spectroscopy—Detectable Major Neurotransmitters of the Brain: Biology and Possible Clinical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, N.; Renshaw, P.F.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that, by definition, allow communication between neurons and permit most neuronal-glial interactions in the CNS. Approximately 80% of all neurons use glutamate, and almost all interneurons use GABA. A third neurotransmitter, NAAG, modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission. Concentration changes in these molecules due to defective synthetic machinery, receptor expression, or errors in their degradation and metabolism are accepted causes of several neurologic disorders. Knowledge of changes in neurotransmitter concentrations in the brain can add useful information in making a diagnosis, helping to pick the right drug of treatment, and monitoring patient response to drugs in a more objective manner. Recent advances in 1H-MR spectroscopy hold promise in providing a more reliable in vivo detection of these neurotransmitters. In this article, we summarize the essential biology of 3 major neurotransmitters: glutamate, GABA, and NAAG. Finally we illustrate possible applications of 1H-MR spectroscopy in neuroscience research. PMID:22207303

  13. Gene expression-based biological test for major depressive disorder: an advanced study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watanabe S

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Shin-ya Watanabe,1 Shusuke Numata,1 Jun-ichi Iga,2 Makoto Kinoshita,1 Hidehiro Umehara,1 Kazuo Ishii,3 Tetsuro Ohmori1 1Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima, 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Molecules and Function, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Ehime, 3Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan Purpose: Recently, we could distinguished patients with major depressive disorder (MDD from nonpsychiatric controls with high accuracy using a panel of five gene expression markers (ARHGAP24, HDAC5, PDGFC, PRNP, and SLC6A4 in leukocyte. In the present study, we examined whether this biological test is able to discriminate patients with MDD from those without MDD, including those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.Patients and methods: We measured messenger ribonucleic acid expression levels of the aforementioned five genes in peripheral leukocytes in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 36 patients with bipolar disorder using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR, and we combined these expression data with our previous expression data of 25 patients with MDD and 25 controls. Subsequently, a linear discriminant function was developed for use in discriminating between patients with MDD and without MDD.Results: This expression panel was able to segregate patients with MDD from those without MDD with a sensitivity and specificity of 64% and 67.9%, respectively.Conclusion: Further research to identify MDD-specific markers is needed to improve the performance of this biological test. Keywords: depressive disorder, biomarker, gene expression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder

  14. Student anxiety in introductory biology classrooms: Perceptions about active learning and persistence in the major

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Many researchers have called for implementation of active learning practices in undergraduate science classrooms as one method to increase retention and persistence in STEM, yet there has been little research on the potential increases in student anxiety that may accompany these practices. This is of concern because excessive anxiety can decrease student performance. Levels and sources of student anxiety in three introductory biology lecture classes were investigated via an online survey and student interviews. The survey (n = 327) data revealed that 16% of students had moderately high classroom anxiety, which differed among the three classes. All five active learning classroom practices that were investigated caused student anxiety, with students voluntarily answering a question or being called on to answer a question causing higher anxiety than working in groups, completing worksheets, or answering clicker questions. Interviews revealed that student anxiety seemed to align with communication apprehension, social anxiety, and test anxiety. Additionally, students with higher general anxiety were more likely to self-report lower course grade and the intention to leave the major. These data suggest that a subset of students in introductory biology experience anxiety in response to active learning, and its potential impacts should be investigated. PMID:28771564

  15. Science Café Course: An Innovative Means of Improving Communication Skills of Undergraduate Biology Majors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Goldina

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available To help bridge the increasing gap between scientists and the public, we developed an innovative two-semester course, called Science Café. In this course undergraduate biology majors learn to develop communication skills to be better able to explain science concepts and current developments in science to non-scientists. Students develop and host outreach events on various topics relevant to the community, thereby increasing interactions between budding scientists and the public. Such a Science Cafe course emphasizes development of science communication skills early, at the undergraduate level and empowers students to use their science knowledge in every day interactions with the public to increase science literacy, get involved in the local community and engage the public in a dialogue on various pressing science issues. We believe that undergraduate science majors can be great ambassadors for science and are often overlooked since many aspire to go on to medical/veterinary/pharmacy schools. However, science communication skills are especially important for these types of students because when they become healthcare professionals, they will interact with the public as part of their everyday jobs and can thus be great representatives for the field.

  16. Effect of γ-irradiation on the microbial quality and the biological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of γ- irradiation on both the microbial and chemical quality of the mixed spices powder (MSP) as well as the antimicrobial and the antioxidant activities of the MSP essential oil were evaluated. Irradiation at a dose of 10.0 kGy eliminated yeast and molds, pathogenic bacteria and reduced the total mesophillic and ...

  17. Microbial community structure and a core microbiome in biological rapid sand filters at Danish waterworks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    Rapid sand filtration is a traditional and common technology for drinking water purification from groundwater. Despite its wide scale and long-term use, the diversity and characterization of microbial communities in these engineered systems have remained unexplored and their roles in removal perf...

  18. Planetary biology and microbial ecology. Biochemistry of carbon and early life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L. (Editor); Nealson, K. H. (Editor); Taylor, I. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Experiments made with cyanobacteria, phototrophic bacteria, and methanogenic bacteria are detailed. Significant carbon isotope fractionation data is included. Taken from well documented extant microbial communities, this data provides a basis of comparison for isotope fractionation values measured in Archean and Proterozoic (preCambrian) rocks. Media, methods, and techniques used to acquire data are also described.

  19. Effects of elevated nitrogen deposition on soil microbial biomass carbon in major subtropical forests of southern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui WANG; Jiangming MO; Xiankai LU; Jinghua XUE; Jiong LI; Yunting FANG

    2009-01-01

    The effects of elevated nitrogen deposition on soil microbial biomass carbon (C) and extractable dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in three types of forest of southern China were studied in November, 2004 and June, 2006. Plots were established in a pine forest (PF), a mixed pine and broad-leaved forest (MF) and monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest (MEBF) in the Dinghushan Nature Reserve. Nitrogen treatments included a control (no N addition), low N (50 kg N/(hm2.a)), medium N (100 kg N/ (hm2. a)) and high N (150 kg N/(hm2. a)). Microbial biomass C and extractable DOC were determined using a chloro-form fumigation-extraction method. Results indicate that microbial biomass C and extractable DOC were higher in June, 2006 than in November, 2004 and higher in the MEBF than in the PF or the MF. The response of soil microbial biomass C and extractable DOC to nitrogen deposition varied depending on the forest type and the level of nitrogen treatment. In the PF or MF forests, no significantly different effects of nitrogen addition were found on soil microbial biomass C and extractable DOC. In the MEBF, however, the soil microbial biomass C generally decreased with increased nitrogen levels and high nitrogen addition significantly reduced soil microbial biomass C. The response of soil extractable DOC to added nitrogen in the MEBF shows the opposite trend to soil microbial biomass C. These results suggest that nitrogen deposition may increase the accumulation of soil organic carbon in the MEBF in the study region.

  20. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  1. Gene-environment interaction in Major Depression: focus on experience-dependent biological systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola eLopizzo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Major Depressive Disorder (MDD is a multifactorial and polygenic disorder, where multiple and partially overlapping sets of susceptibility genes interact each other and with the environment, predisposing individuals to the development of the illness. Thus, MDD results from a complex interplay of vulnerability genes and environmental factors that act cumulatively throughout individual's lifetime. Among these environmental factors, stressful life experiences, especially those occurring early in life, have been suggested to exert a crucial impact on brain development, leading to permanent functional changes that may contribute to life long risk for mental health outcomes. In this review we will discuss how genetic variants (polymorphisms, SNPs within genes operating in neurobiological systems that mediate stress response and synaptic plasticity, can impact, by themselves, the vulnerability risk for MDD; we will also consider how this MDD risk can be further modulated when gene X environment interaction is taken into account. Finally, we will discuss the role of epigenetic mechanisms, and in particular of DNA methylation and miRNAs expression changes, in mediating the effect of the stress on the vulnerability risk to develop MDD. Taken together, in this review we aim to underlie the role of genetic and epigenetic processes involved in stress and neuroplasticity related biological systems on development of MDD after exposure to early life stress, thereby building the basis for future research and clinical interventions.

  2. Microbial load in indoor sport environments: new quality issues by molecular biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Romano Spica

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available

    The quality of hygiene found in sporting environments represents an emergent requirement in societies of industrialised countries.

    Besides safety issues, the microbial load of indoor air, water and surfaces affects comfort and performance. Recent studies have identified fungi as the quantitatively most important component, of unhealthy indoor air.

    Few studies have been carried out regarding indoor sport, recreational and rehabilitative facilities, such as swimming pools, saunas and spas. The aim of our study is to determine the extent of fungal and microbial contamination in indoor swimming pool environments, by means of both morphological and molecular typing of isolated species.

    Establishment of appropriate standardised monitoring procedures prevents infections and improves quality.

  3. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide turnover in natural and engineered microbial communities: biological pathways, chemical reactions, and novel technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Frank; Wunderlin, Pascal; Udert, Kai M.; Wells, George F.

    2012-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an environmentally important atmospheric trace gas because it is an effective greenhouse gas and it leads to ozone depletion through photo-chemical nitric oxide (NO) production in the stratosphere. Mitigating its steady increase in atmospheric concentration requires an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to its formation in natural and engineered microbial communities. N2O is formed biologically from the oxidation of hydroxylamine (NH2OH) or the reduction of nitrite (NO−2) to NO and further to N2O. Our review of the biological pathways for N2O production shows that apparently all organisms and pathways known to be involved in the catabolic branch of microbial N-cycle have the potential to catalyze the reduction of NO−2 to NO and the further reduction of NO to N2O, while N2O formation from NH2OH is only performed by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In addition to biological pathways, we review important chemical reactions that can lead to NO and N2O formation due to the reactivity of NO−2, NH2OH, and nitroxyl (HNO). Moreover, biological N2O formation is highly dynamic in response to N-imbalance imposed on a system. Thus, understanding NO formation and capturing the dynamics of NO and N2O build-up are key to understand mechanisms of N2O release. Here, we discuss novel technologies that allow experiments on NO and N2O formation at high temporal resolution, namely NO and N2O microelectrodes and the dynamic analysis of the isotopic signature of N2O with quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS). In addition, we introduce other techniques that use the isotopic composition of N2O to distinguish production pathways and findings that were made with emerging molecular techniques in complex environments. Finally, we discuss how a combination of the presented tools might help to address important open questions on pathways and controls of nitrogen flow through complex microbial communities that eventually lead to N2O build

  4. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide turnover in natural and engineered microbial communities: biological pathways, chemical reactions and novel technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eSchreiber

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Nitrous oxide (N2O is an environmentally important atmospheric trace gas because it is an effective greenhouse gas and it leads to ozone depletion through photo-chemical nitric oxide (NO production in the stratosphere. Mitigating its steady increase in atmospheric concentration requires an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to its formation in natural and engineered microbial communities. N2O is formed biologically from the oxidation of hydroxylamine (NH2OH or the reduction of nitrite (NO2- to NO and further to N2O. Our review of the biological pathways for N2O production shows that apparently all organisms and pathways known to be involved in the catabolic branch of microbial N-cycle have the potential to catalyze the reduction of NO2- to NO and the further reduction of NO to N2O, while N2O formation from NH2OH is only performed by ammonia oxidizing bacteria. In addition to biological pathways, we review important chemical reactions that can lead to NO and N2O formation due to the reactivity of NO2-, NH2OH and nitroxyl (HNO. Moreover, biological N2O formation is highly dynamic in response to N-imbalance imposed on a system. Thus, understanding NO formation and capturing the dynamics of NO and N2O build-up are key to understand mechanisms of N2O release. Here, we discuss novel technologies that allow experiments on NO and N2O formation at high temporal resolution, namely NO and N2O microelectrodes and the dynamic analysis of the isotopic signature of N2O with quantum cascade laser based absorption spectroscopy. In addition, we introduce other techniques that use the isotopic composition of N2O to distinguish production pathways and findings that were made with emerging molecular techniques in complex environments. Finally, we discuss how a combination of the presented tools might help to address important open questions on pathways and controls of nitrogen flow through complex microbial communities that eventually lead to N2O build-up.

  5. Novel MBR_based main stream biological nutrient removal process: high performance and microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chuanyi; Xu, Xinhai; Zhao, Kuixia; Tang, Lianggang; Zou, Siqi; Yuan, Limei

    2018-02-01

    For municipal wastewater treatment, main stream biological nutrient removal (BNR) process is becoming more and more important. This lab-scale study, novel MBR_based BNR processes (named A 2 N-MBR and A 2 NO-MBR) were built. Comparison of the COD removal, results obtained demonstrated that COD removal efficiencies were almost the same in three processes, with effluent concentration all bellowed 30 mg L -1 . However, the two-sludge systems (A 2 N-MBR and A 2 NO-MBR) had an obvious advantage over the A 2 /O for denitrification and phosphorus removal, with the average TP removal rates of 91.20, 98.05% and TN removal rates of 73.00, 79.49%, respectively, higher than that of 86.45 and 61.60% in A 2 /O process. Illumina Miseq sequencing revealed that Candidatus_Accumulibacter, which is capable of using nitrate as an electron acceptor for phosphorus and nitrogen removal simultaneously, was the dominant phylum in both A 2 N-MBR and A 2 NO-MBR process, accounting for 28.74 and 23.98%, respectively. Distinguishingly, major organism groups related to nitrogen and phosphorus removal in A 2 /O system were Anaerolineaceae_uncultured, Saprospiraceae_uncultured and Thauera, with proportions of 11.31, 8.56 and 5.00%, respectively. Hence, the diversity of dominant PAOs group was likely responsible for the difference in nitrogen and phosphorus removal in the three processes.

  6. The perspectives of nonscience-major students on success in community college biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim-Rajab, Oriana Sharon

    With more than 36% of nonscience-major community college students unable to successfully complete their general life science courses, graduation and transfer rates to four-year universities are negatively affected. Many students also miss important opportunities to gain some level of science proficiency. In an effort to address the problem of poor science achievement, this research project determined which factors were most significantly related to student success in a community college biology course. It also aimed to understand the student perspectives on which modifications to the course would best help them in the pursuit of success. Drawing heavily on the educational psychology schools of thought on motivation and self-efficacy of science learning, this study surveyed and interviewed students on their perceptions of which factors were related to success in biology and the changes they believed were needed in the course structure to improve success. The data revealed that the primary factors related to student success are the students' study skills and their perceived levels of self-efficacy. The findings also uncovered the critical nature of the professor's role in influencing the success of the students. After assessing the needs of the community college population, meaningful and appropriate curriculum and pedagogical reforms could be created to improve student learning outcomes. This study offered recommendations for reforms that can be used by science practitioners to provide a more nurturing and inspiring environment for all students. These suggestions revolved around the role of the instructor in influencing the self-efficacy and study skills of students. Providing more opportunities for students to interact in class, testing more frequently, establishing peer assistance programs, managing better the course material, and making themselves more available to students were at the forefront of the list. Examples of the potential benefits of increasing

  7. Coral microbial community dynamics in response to anthropogenic impacts near a major city in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren; Roik, Anna Krystyna; Porter, Adam; Zubier, Khalid; Mudarris, Mohammed S.; Ormond, Rupert; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral-associated bacteria play an increasingly recognized part in coral health. We investigated the effect of local anthropogenic impacts on coral microbial communities on reefs near Jeddah, the largest city on the Saudi Arabian coast of the central Red Sea. We analyzed the bacterial community structure of water and corals (Pocillopora verrucosa and Acropora hemprichii) at sites that were relatively unimpacted, exposed to sedimentation & local sewage, or in the discharge area of municipal wastewaters. Coral microbial communities were significantly different at impacted sites: in both corals the main symbiotic taxon decreased in abundance. In contrast, opportunistic bacterial families, such as e.g. Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were more abundant in corals at impacted sites. In conclusion, microbial community response revealed a measurable footprint of anthropogenic impacts to coral ecosystems close to Jeddah, even though the corals appeared visually healthy.

  8. Coral microbial community dynamics in response to anthropogenic impacts near a major city in the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Ziegler, Maren

    2016-01-04

    Coral-associated bacteria play an increasingly recognized part in coral health. We investigated the effect of local anthropogenic impacts on coral microbial communities on reefs near Jeddah, the largest city on the Saudi Arabian coast of the central Red Sea. We analyzed the bacterial community structure of water and corals (Pocillopora verrucosa and Acropora hemprichii) at sites that were relatively unimpacted, exposed to sedimentation & local sewage, or in the discharge area of municipal wastewaters. Coral microbial communities were significantly different at impacted sites: in both corals the main symbiotic taxon decreased in abundance. In contrast, opportunistic bacterial families, such as e.g. Vibrionaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, were more abundant in corals at impacted sites. In conclusion, microbial community response revealed a measurable footprint of anthropogenic impacts to coral ecosystems close to Jeddah, even though the corals appeared visually healthy.

  9. Preliminary biological sampling of GT3 and BT1 cores and the microbial community dynamics of existing subsurface wells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, E. A.; Stamps, B. W.; Rempfert, K. R.; Ellison, E. T.; Nothaft, D. B.; Boyd, E. S.; Templeton, A. S.; Spear, J. R.

    2017-12-01

    Subsurface microbial life is poorly understood but potentially very important to the search for life on other planets as well as increasing our understanding of Earth's geobiological processes. Fluids and rocks of actively serpentinizing subsurface environments are a recent target of biological study due to their apparent ubiquity across the solar system. Areas of serpentinization can contain high concentrations of molecular hydrogen, H2, that can serve as the dominant fuel source for subsurface microbiota. Working with the Oman Drilling Project, DNA and RNA were extracted from fluids of seven alkaline wells and two rock cores from drill sites GT3 and BT1 within the Samail ophiolite. DNA and cDNA (produced via reverse transcription from the recovered RNA) were sequenced using universal primers to identify microbial life across all three domains. Alkaline subsurface fluids support a microbial community that changes with pH and host-rock type. In peridotite with pH values of >11, wells NSHQ 14 and WAB 71 have high relative abundances of Meiothermus, Methanobacterium, the family Nitrospiraceae, and multiple types of the class Dehalococcoidia. While also hosted in peridotite but at pH 8.5, wells WAB 104 and 105 have a distinct, more diverse microbial community. This increased variance in community make-up is seen in wells that sit near/at the contact of gabbro and peridotite formations as well. Core results indicate both sampled rock types host a very low biomass environment subject to multiple sources of contamination during the drilling process. Suggestions for contaminant reduction, such as having core handlers wear nitrile gloves and flame-sterilizing the outer surfaces of core rounds for biological sampling, would have minimal impact to overall ODP coreflow and maximize the ability to better understand in situ microbiota in this low-biomass serpentinizing subsurface environment. While DNA extraction was successful with gram amounts of crushed rock, much can be

  10. The large universal Pantoea plasmid LPP-1 plays a major role in biological and ecological diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Maayer Pieter

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pantoea spp. are frequently isolated from a wide range of ecological niches and have various biological roles, as plant epi- or endophytes, biocontrol agents, plant-growth promoters or as pathogens of both plant and animal hosts. This suggests that members of this genus have undergone extensive genotypic diversification. One means by which this occurs among bacteria is through the acquisition and maintenance of plasmids. Here, we have analyzed and compared the sequences of a large plasmid common to all sequenced Pantoea spp. Results and discussion The Large PantoeaPlasmids (LPP-1 of twenty strains encompassing seven different Pantoea species, including pathogens and endo-/epiphytes of a wide range of plant hosts as well as insect-associated strains, were compared. The LPP-1 plasmid sequences range in size from ~281 to 794 kb and carry between 238 and 750 protein coding sequences (CDS. A core set of 46 proteins, encompassing 2.2% of the total pan-plasmid (2,095 CDS, conserved among all LPP-1 plasmid sequences, includes those required for thiamine and pigment biosynthesis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that these plasmids have arisen from an ancestral plasmid, which has undergone extensive diversification. Analysis of the proteins encoded on LPP-1 also showed that these plasmids contribute to a wide range of Pantoea phenotypes, including the transport and catabolism of various substrates, inorganic ion assimilation, resistance to antibiotics and heavy metals, colonization and persistence in the host and environment, pathogenesis and antibiosis. Conclusions LPP-1 is universal to all Pantoea spp. whose genomes have been sequenced to date and is derived from an ancestral plasmid. LPP-1 encodes a large array of proteins that have played a major role in the adaptation of the different Pantoea spp. to their various ecological niches and their specialization as pathogens, biocontrol agents or benign saprophytes found in many diverse

  11. Stimulation of biological N2-fixation to accelerate the microbial remediation of soil contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tereshenko, N.N.; Lushnikov, S.V.

    2005-01-01

    All remediation projects are comprised at least in accelerating the processes of the self-cleaning and self-restoration of biocenose which is led to increasing the functional activity of hydrocarbon-oxidizing microflora (HOM). Some of experts are carefully relate to introducing the commercial cultures of active hydrocarbon-consuming microbes into soils. They are afraid of unpredictable behavior of the cultures in soils. That why the stimulation of metabolic activity of indigenous soil microflora seems to be most preferable. In fact, contamination of soil with low nitrogen capacity by oil spills leads to significant deficient of nitrogen for HOM. Nitrogen content limits the soil self-restoration. Inorganic nitrogen fertilizers are supplied to recover the balance. The study of the microbial destruction of petroleum-hydrocarbons in association with biochemical transformation of nitrogen was carried out in lab and field experiments during 2000-2004. Study showed the activity of HOM correlates with rate of microbial fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Activity of biological N 2 -fixation significantly depends on supplying fertilizers (dose, date and kind). General practice of remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils applies high initial doses of nitrogen-fertilizers (0.5-1 t per ha). Such practice leads to inhibition of N 2 -fixation processes, decreasing rate of oil destruction and loosing nitrogen due to activation of microbial denitrification. In opposition to that, the fractioned and advanced supplying mineral nitrogen fertilizers with aluminosilicate is the cost-effective approach to remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Field experiments showed that the approach allows to increase efficiency of treatment up to 70-75% and to decrease operational expenses 2-3 times at least. (authors)

  12. Microbial communities inhabiting oil-contaminated soils from two major oilfields in Northern China: Implications for active petroleum-degrading capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Weimin; Dong, Yiran; Gao, Pin; Fu, Meiyan; Ta, Kaiwen; Li, Jiwei

    2015-06-01

    Although oilfields harbor a wide diversity of microorganisms with various metabolic potentials, our current knowledge about oil-degrading bacteria is limited because the vast majority of oil-degrading bacteria remain uncultured. In the present study, microbial communities in nine oil-contaminated soils collected from Daqing and Changqing, two of the largest oil fields in China, were characterized through highthroughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Bacteria related to the phyla Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were dominant in four and three samples, respectively. At the genus level, Alkanindiges, Arthrobacter, Pseudomonas, Mycobacterium, and Rhodococcus were frequently detected in nine soil samples. Many of the dominant genera were phylogenetically related to the known oil-degrading species. The correlation between physiochemical parameters within the microbial communities was also investigated. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that soil moisture, nitrate, TOC, and pH had an important impact in shaping the microbial communities of the hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. This study provided an in-depth analysis of microbial communities in oilcontaminated soil and useful information for future bioremediation of oil contamination.

  13. The GAAS metagenomic tool and its estimations of viral and microbial average genome size in four major biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angly, Florent E; Willner, Dana; Prieto-Davó, Alejandra; Edwards, Robert A; Schmieder, Robert; Vega-Thurber, Rebecca; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A; Barott, Katie; Cottrell, Matthew T; Desnues, Christelle; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Furlan, Mike; Haynes, Matthew; Henn, Matthew R; Hu, Yongfei; Kirchman, David L; McDole, Tracey; McPherson, John D; Meyer, Folker; Miller, R Michael; Mundt, Egbert; Naviaux, Robert K; Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran; Stevens, Rick; Wegley, Linda; Zhang, Lixin; Zhu, Baoli; Rohwer, Forest

    2009-12-01

    Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS), a complete software package that provides improved estimates of community composition and average genome length for metagenomes in both textual and graphical formats. GAAS implements a novel methodology to control for sampling bias via length normalization, to adjust for multiple BLAST similarities by similarity weighting, and to select significant similarities using relative alignment lengths. In benchmark tests, the GAAS method was robust to both high percentages of unknown sequences and to variations in metagenomic sequence read lengths. Re-analysis of the Sargasso Sea virome using GAAS indicated that standard methodologies for metagenomic analysis may dramatically underestimate the abundance and importance of organisms with small genomes in environmental systems. Using GAAS, we conducted a meta-analysis of microbial and viral average genome lengths in over 150 metagenomes from four biomes to determine whether genome lengths vary consistently between and within biomes, and between microbial and viral communities from the same environment. Significant differences between biomes and within aquatic sub-biomes (oceans, hypersaline systems, freshwater, and microbialites) suggested that average genome length is a fundamental property of environments driven by factors at the sub-biome level. The behavior of paired viral and microbial metagenomes from the same environment indicated that microbial and viral average genome sizes are independent of each other, but indicative of community responses to stressors and environmental conditions.

  14. The GAAS metagenomic tool and its estimations of viral and microbial average genome size in four major biomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent E Angly

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS, a complete software package that provides improved estimates of community composition and average genome length for metagenomes in both textual and graphical formats. GAAS implements a novel methodology to control for sampling bias via length normalization, to adjust for multiple BLAST similarities by similarity weighting, and to select significant similarities using relative alignment lengths. In benchmark tests, the GAAS method was robust to both high percentages of unknown sequences and to variations in metagenomic sequence read lengths. Re-analysis of the Sargasso Sea virome using GAAS indicated that standard methodologies for metagenomic analysis may dramatically underestimate the abundance and importance of organisms with small genomes in environmental systems. Using GAAS, we conducted a meta-analysis of microbial and viral average genome lengths in over 150 metagenomes from four biomes to determine whether genome lengths vary consistently between and within biomes, and between microbial and viral communities from the same environment. Significant differences between biomes and within aquatic sub-biomes (oceans, hypersaline systems, freshwater, and microbialites suggested that average genome length is a fundamental property of environments driven by factors at the sub-biome level. The behavior of paired viral and microbial metagenomes from the same environment indicated that microbial and viral average genome sizes are independent of each other, but indicative of community responses to stressors and

  15. Information fluency for undergraduate biology majors: applications of inquiry-based learning in a developmental biology course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Kathleen M; Eastman, Deborah A

    2008-01-01

    Many initiatives for the improvement of undergraduate science education call for inquiry-based learning that emphasizes investigative projects and reading of the primary literature. These approaches give students an understanding of science as a process and help them integrate content presented in courses. At the same time, general initiatives to promote information fluency are being promoted on many college and university campuses. Information fluency refers to discipline-specific processing of information, and it involves integration of gathered information with specific ideas to form logical conclusions. We have implemented the use of inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects. Quantitative analysis of student responses suggests that the abilities of students to identify and apply valid sources of information were enhanced. Qualitative assessment revealed a set of patterns by which students gather and apply information. Self-assessment responses indicated that students recognized the impact of the assignments on their abilities to gather and apply information and that they were more confident about these abilities for future biology courses and beyond.

  16. Assessing effects of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum on soil microbial communities in Agriotes spp. biological pest control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayerhofer, Johanna; Eckard, Sonja; Hartmann, Martin; Grabenweger, Giselher; Widmer, Franco; Leuchtmann, Adrian; Enkerli, Jürg

    2017-10-01

    The release of large quantities of microorganisms to soil for purposes such as pest control or plant growth promotion may affect the indigenous soil microbial communities. In our study, we investigated potential effects of Metarhizium brunneum ART2825 on soil fungi and prokaryota in bulk soil using high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers. Different formulations of this strain, and combinations of the fungus with garlic as efficacy-enhancing agent, were tested over 4 months in a pot and a field experiment carried out for biological control of Agriotes spp. in potatoes. A biocontrol effect was observed only in the pot experiment, i.e. the application of FCBK resulted in 77% efficacy. Colony counts combined with genotyping and marker sequence abundance confirmed the successful establishment of the applied strain. Only the formulated applied strain caused small shifts in fungal communities in the pot experiment. Treatment effects were in the same range as the effects caused by barley kernels, the carrier of the FCBK formulation and temporal effects. Garlic treatments and time affected prokaryotic communities. In the field experiment, only spatial differences affected fungal and prokaryotic communities. Our findings suggest that M. brunneum may not adversely affect soil microbial communities. © FEMS 2017.

  17. Investment into the future of microbial resources: culture collection funding models and BRC business plans for biological resource centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David; McCluskey, Kevin; Stackebrandt, Erko

    2014-01-01

    Through their long history of public service, diverse microbial Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs) have made myriad contributions to society and science. They have enabled the maintenance of specimens isolated before antibiotics, made available strains showing the development and change of pathogenicity toward animals, humans and plants, and have maintained and provided reference strains to ensure quality and reproducibility of science. However, this has not been achieved without considerable financial commitment. Different collections have unique histories and their support is often tied to their origins. However many collections have grown to serve large constituencies and need to develop novel funding mechanisms. Moreover, several international initiatives have described mBRCs as a factor in economic development and have led to the increased professionalism among mBRCs.

  18. State of laboratory manual instruction in California community college introductory (non-majors) biology laboratory instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Michelle

    College students must complete a life science course prior to graduation for a bachelor's degree. Generally, the course has lecture and laboratory components. It is in the laboratory where there are exceptional opportunities for exploration, challenge and application of the material learned. Optimally, this would utilize the best of inquiry based approaches. Most community colleges are using a home-grown or self written laboratory manual for the direction of work in the laboratory period. Little was known about the motivation, development and adaptation of use. It was also not known about the future of the laboratory manuals in light of the recent learning reform in California Community Colleges, Student Learning Outcomes. Extensive interviews were conducted with laboratory manual authors to determine the motivation, process of development, who was involved and learning framework used in the creation of the manuals. It was further asked of manual authors their ideas about the future of the manual, the development of staff and faculty and finally, the role Student Learning Outcomes would play in the manual. Science faculty currently teaching the non-majors biology laboratories for at least two semesters were surveyed on-line about actual practice of the manual, assessment, manual flexibility, faculty training and incorporation of Student Learning Outcomes. Finally, an evaluation of the laboratory manual was done using an established Laboratory Task Analysis Instrument. Laboratory manuals were evaluated on a variety of categories to determine the level of inquiry instruction done by students in the laboratory section. The results were that the development of homegrown laboratory manuals was done by community colleges in the Los Angeles and Orange Counties in an effort to minimize the cost of the manual to the students, to utilize all the exercises in a particular lab and to effectively utilize the materials already owned by the department. Further, schools wanted to

  19. Microbial nitrate removal in biologically enhanced treated coal gasification wastewater of low COD to nitrate ratio by coupling biological denitrification with iron and carbon micro-electrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhengwen; Han, Yuxing; Xu, Chunyan; Ma, Wencheng; Han, Hongjun; Zheng, Mengqi; Zhu, Hao; Ma, Weiwei

    2018-04-21

    Mixotrophic denitrification coupled biological denitrification with iron and carbon micro-electrolysis (IC-ME) is a promising emerging bioprocess for nitrate removal of biologically enhanced treated coal gasification wastewater (BECGW) with low COD to nitrate ratio. TN removal efficiency in R1 with IC-ME assisted was 16.64% higher than R2 with scrap zero valent iron addition, 23.05% higher than R3 with active carbon assisted, 30.51% higher than R4 with only active sludge addition, 80.85% higher than R5 utilizing single IC-ME as control. Fe 2+ generated from IC-ME decreased the production of N 2 O and enriched more Nitrate-reducing Fe(Ⅱ) oxidation bacteria (NRFOB) Acidovorax and Thiobacillus, which could convert nitrate to nitrogen gas. And the presence of Fe 3+ , as the Fe 2+ oxidation product, could stimulate the growth of Fe(III)-reducing strain (FRB) that indicated by redundancy analysis. Microbial network analysis demonstrated FRB Geothrix had a co-occurrence relationship with other bacteria, revealing its dominant involvement in nitrate removal of BECGW. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Metaproteomics reveals major microbial players and their biodegradation functions in a large-scale aerobic composting plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dongming; Li, Mingxiao; Xi, Beidou; Zhao, Yue; Wei, Zimin; Song, Caihong; Zhu, Chaowei

    2015-01-01

    Composting is an appropriate management alternative for municipal solid waste; however, our knowledge about the microbial regulation of this process is still scare. We employed metaproteomics to elucidate the main biodegradation pathways in municipal solid waste composting system across the main phases in a large-scale composting plant. The investigation of microbial succession revealed that Bacillales, Actinobacteria and Saccharomyces increased significantly with respect to abundance in composting process. The key microbiologic population for cellulose degradation in different composting stages was different. Fungi were found to be the main producers of cellulase in earlier phase. However, the cellulolytic fungal communities were gradually replaced by a purely bacterial one in active phase, which did not support the concept that the thermophilic fungi are active through the thermophilic phase. The effective decomposition of cellulose required the synergy between bacteria and fungi in the curing phase. PMID:25989417

  1. The GAAS Metagenomic Tool and Its Estimations of Viral and Microbial Average Genome Size in Four Major Biomes

    OpenAIRE

    Angly, Florent E.; Willner, Dana; Prieto-Dav?, Alejandra; Edwards, Robert A.; Schmieder, Robert; Vega-Thurber, Rebecca; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A.; Barott, Katie; Cottrell, Matthew T.; Desnues, Christelle; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A.; Furlan, Mike; Haynes, Matthew; Henn, Matthew R.; Hu, Yongfei

    2009-01-01

    Metagenomic studies characterize both the composition and diversity of uncultured viral and microbial communities. BLAST-based comparisons have typically been used for such analyses; however, sampling biases, high percentages of unknown sequences, and the use of arbitrary thresholds to find significant similarities can decrease the accuracy and validity of estimates. Here, we present Genome relative Abundance and Average Size (GAAS), a complete software package that provides improved estimate...

  2. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  3. Transmission as a basic process in microbial biology. Lwoff Award Prize Lecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baquero, Fernando

    2017-11-01

    Transmission is a basic process in biology and evolution, as it communicates different biological entities within and across hierarchical levels (from genes to holobionts) both in time and space. Vertical descent, replication, is transmission of information across generations (in the time dimension), and horizontal descent is transmission of information across compartments (in the space dimension). Transmission is essentially a communication process that can be studied by analogy of the classic information theory, based on 'emitters', 'messages' and 'receivers'. The analogy can be easily extended to the triad 'emigration', 'migration' and 'immigration'. A number of causes (forces) determine the emission, and another set of causes (energies) assures the reception. The message in fact is essentially constituted by 'meaningful' biological entities. A DNA sequence, a cell and a population have a semiotic dimension, are 'signs' that are eventually recognized (decoded) and integrated by receiver biological entities. In cis-acting or unenclosed transmission, the emitters and receivers correspond to separated entities of the same hierarchical level; in trans-acting or embedded transmission, the information flows between different, but frequently nested, hierarchical levels. The result (as in introgressive events) is constantly producing innovation and feeding natural selection, influencing also the evolution of transmission processes. This review is based on the concepts presented at the André Lwoff Award Lecture in the FEMS Microbiology Congress in Maastricht in 2015. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Properties of alternative microbial hosts used in synthetic biology: towards the design of a modular chassis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Salvador, Manuel; Saunders, Elizabeth; González, Jaime; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The chassis is the cellular host used as a recipient of engineered biological systems in synthetic biology. They are required to propagate the genetic information and to express the genes encoded in it. Despite being an essential element for the appropriate function of genetic circuits, the chassis is rarely considered in their design phase. Consequently, the circuits are transferred to model organisms commonly used in the laboratory, such as Escherichia coli, that may be suboptimal for a required function. In this review, we discuss some of the properties desirable in a versatile chassis and summarize some examples of alternative hosts for synthetic biology amenable for engineering. These properties include a suitable life style, a robust cell wall, good knowledge of its regulatory network as well as of the interplay of the host components with the exogenous circuits, and the possibility of developing whole-cell models and tuneable metabolic fluxes that could allow a better distribution of cellular resources (metabolites, ATP, nucleotides, amino acids, transcriptional and translational machinery). We highlight Pseudomonas putida, widely used in many different biotechnological applications as a prominent organism for synthetic biology due to its metabolic diversity, robustness and ease of manipulation. PMID:27903818

  5. Dynamics of a microbial biofilm in a rotating biological contactor for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wastewater from wine-related industries is characterised by high variability in COD and pH. Disposal of these effluents with little or no treatment could lead to heavy financial penalties or pollution of soil and water resources. A pilot-scale rotating biological contactor (RBC) was evaluated for the treatment of winery effluent, ...

  6. Biological stability in drinking water distribution systems : A novel approach for systematic microbial water quality monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prest, E.I.E.D.

    2015-01-01

    Challenges to achieve biological stability in drinking water distribution systems Drinking water is distributed from the treatment facility to consumers through extended man-made piping systems. The World Health Organization drinking water guidelines (2006) stated that “Water entering the

  7. Essential Concepts and Underlying Theories from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics for "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Ann; Provost, Joseph; Roecklein-Canfield, Jennifer A.; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members from around the country. The workshops have focused on developing lists of Core Principles or Foundational Concepts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a list of foundational skills, and foundational concepts from Physics, Chemistry,…

  8. Foundational Concepts and Underlying Theories for Majors in "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansey, John T.; Baird, Teaster, Jr.; Cox, Michael M.; Fox, Kristin M.; Knight, Jennifer; Sears, Duane; Bell, Ellis

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two years, through an NSF RCN UBE grant, the ASBMB has held regional workshops for faculty members and science educators from around the country that focused on identifying: 1) core principles of biochemistry and molecular biology, 2) essential concepts and underlying theories from physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and 3)…

  9. Support for major hypotheses in invasion biology is uneven and declining

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jeschke, J.M.; Aparicio, L.G.; Haider, S.; Heger, T.; Lortie, C. J.; Pyšek, Petr; Strayer, D.L.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 2012, č. 14 (2012), s. 1-20 ISSN 1619-0033 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/1028 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biological invasions * hypotheses * testing Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  10. Microbial Inhibition of Fusarium Pathogens and Biological Modification of Trichothecenes in Cereal Grains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urszula Wachowska

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Fungi of the genus Fusarium infect cereal crops during the growing season and cause head blight and other diseases. Their toxic secondary metabolites (mycotoxins contaminate grains. Several dozen toxic compounds produced by fungal pathogens have been identified to date. Type B trichothecenes—deoxynivalenol, its acetyl derivatives and nivalenol (produced mainly by F. graminearum and F. culmorum—are most commonly detected in cereal grains. “T-2 toxin” (produced by, among others, F. sporotrichioides belongs to type-A trichothecenes which are more toxic than other trichothecenes. Antagonistic bacteria and fungi can affect pathogens of the genus Fusarium via different modes of action: direct (mycoparasitism or hyperparasitism, mixed-path (antibiotic secretion, production of lytic enzymes and indirect (induction of host defense responses. Microbial modification of trichothecenes involves acetylation, deacetylation, oxidation, de-epoxidation, and epimerization, and it lowers the pathogenic potential of fungi of the genus Fusarium. Other modifing mechanisms described in the paper involve the physical adsorption of mycotoxins in bacterial cells and the conjugation of mycotoxins to glucose and other compounds in plant and fungal cells. The development of several patents supports the commercialization and wider application of microorganisms biodegrading mycotoxins in grains and, consequently, in feed additives.

  11. Production of High Viscosity Chitosan from Biologically Purified Chitin Isolated by Microbial Fermentation and Deproteinization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekkalak Ploydee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to produce high viscosity chitosan from shrimp chitin prepared by using a two-step biological treatment process: decalcification and deproteinization. Glucose was fermented with Lactobacillus pentosus L7 to lactic acid. At a pH of 3.9±0.1, the calcium carbonate of the shells was solubilized in 48 hours. The amounts of residual calcium in the form of ash (1.4±0.5% and crude protein (23.2±2.5% were further eliminated by the activity of proteolytic Bacillus thuringiensis SA. After decalcification and deproteinization of the shrimp shells, residual calcium and crude protein of shrimp chitin flakes were 1.7±0.4% and 3.8±1.3%, respectively. Chitin was deacetylated with 50% NaOH at 121°C for 5 hours. After deacetylation, the chitosan had residual calcium, crude protein content, and degree of acetylation of 1.6±0.6%, 0.4±0.3%, and 83.2±1.5%, respectively. The viscosity of chitosan prepared from chitin extracted by this two-step biological process was 1,007±14.7 mPa·s, whereas chitosan prepared from chemically processed chitin had a viscosity of 323±15.6   mPa·s, indicating that biologically purified chitin gave chitosan with a high quality.

  12. Microbial biomass and biological activity of soils and soil-like bodies in coastal oases of Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitin, D. A.; Marfenina, O. E.; Kudinova, A. G.; Lysak, L. V.; Mergelov, N. S.; Dolgikh, A. V.; Lupachev, A. V.

    2017-09-01

    The method of luminescent microscopy has been applied to study the structure of the microbial biomass of soils and soil-like bodies in East (the Thala Hills and Larsemann Hills oases) and West (Cape Burks, Hobbs coast) Antarctica. According to Soil Taxonomy, the studied soils mainly belong to the subgroups of Aquic Haploturbels, Typic Haploturbels, Typic Haplorthels, and Lithic Haplorthels. The major contribution to their microbial biomass belongs to fungi. The highest fungal biomass (up to 790 μg C/g soil) has been found in the soils with surface organic horizons in the form of thin moss/lichen litters, in which the development of fungal mycelium is most active. A larger part of fungal biomass (70-98%) is represented by spores. For the soils without vegetation cover, the accumulation of bacterial and fungal biomass takes place in the horizons under surface desert pavements. In the upper parts of the soils without vegetation cover and in the organic soil horizons, the major part (>60%) of fungal mycelium contains protective melanin pigments. Among bacteria, the high portion (up to 50%) of small filtering forms is observed. A considerable increase (up to 290.2 ± 27 μg C/g soil) in the fungal biomass owing to the development of yeasts has been shown for gley soils (gleyzems) developing from sapropel sediments under subaquatic conditions and for the algal-bacterial mat on the bottom of the lake (920.7 ± 46 μg C/g soil). The production of carbon dioxide by the soils varies from 0.47 to 2.34 μg C-CO2/(g day). The intensity of nitrogen fixation in the studied samples is generally low: from 0.08 to 55.85 ng C2H4/(g day). The intensity of denitrification varies from 0.09 to 19.28 μg N-N2O/(g day).

  13. Microbial Extremophiles for Earth and Beyond: Pushing the Boundaries with Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    All organisms live in a multi-dimensional physical and chemical niche space. Discoveries in the 20th century enormously expanded the range of what was considered "habitable." However, the current diversity of life on Earth begs the question of what terrestrial life - or indeed, another life form - would be capable of. With the needs of both modern laboratory science and the burgeoning field of biotechnology, as well as our deeply held desire to answer the question "are we alone in the universe?, we are exploiting the tools of synthetic biology to probe the question of whether we can create "synthetic extremophiles" or, as our lab has dubbed them, "Hell Cells."

  14. Ecological drivers of soil microbial diversity and soil biological networks in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Reith, Frank; Dennis, Paul G; Hamonts, Kelly; Powell, Jeff R; Young, Andrew; Singh, Brajesh K; Bissett, Andrew

    2018-03-01

    The ecological drivers of soil biodiversity in the Southern Hemisphere remain underexplored. Here, in a continental survey comprising 647 sites, across 58 degrees of latitude between tropical Australia and Antarctica, we evaluated the major ecological patterns in soil biodiversity and relative abundance of ecological clusters within a co-occurrence network of soil bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Six major ecological clusters (modules) of co-occurring soil taxa were identified. These clusters exhibited strong shifts in their relative abundances with increasing distance from the equator. Temperature was the major environmental driver of the relative abundance of ecological clusters when Australia and Antarctica are analyzed together. Temperature, aridity, soil properties and vegetation types were the major drivers of the relative abundance of different ecological clusters within Australia. Our data supports significant reductions in the diversity of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes in Antarctica vs. Australia linked to strong reductions in temperature. However, we only detected small latitudinal variations in soil biodiversity within Australia. Different environmental drivers regulate the diversity of soil archaea (temperature and soil carbon), bacteria (aridity, vegetation attributes and pH) and eukaryotes (vegetation type and soil carbon) across Australia. Together, our findings provide new insights into the mechanisms driving soil biodiversity in the Southern Hemisphere. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Biological sulphide removal from anaerobically treated domestic sewage: reactor performance and microbial community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Graziella Patrício Pereira; Diniz, Renata Côrtes Oliveira; Bicalho, Sarah Kinaip; Franco, Vitor Araujo de Souza; Gontijo, Eider Max de Oliveira; Toscano, Rodrigo Argolo; Canhestro, Kenia Oliveira; Santos, Merly Rita Dos; Carmo, Ana Luiza Rodrigues Dias; Lobato, Livia Cristina S; Brandt, Emanuel Manfred F; Chernicharo, Carlos A L; Calabria de Araujo, Juliana

    2015-01-01

    We developed a biological sulphide oxidation system and evaluated two reactors (shaped similar to the settler compartment of an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket [UASB] reactor) with different support materials for biomass retention: polypropylene rings and polyurethane foam. The start-up reaction was achieved using microorganisms naturally occurring on the open surface of UASB reactors treating domestic wastewater. Sulphide removal efficiencies of 65% and 90% were achieved with hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 24 and 12 h, respectively, in both reactors. However, a higher amount of elemental sulphur was formed and accumulated in the biomass from reactor 1 (20 mg S(0) g(-1) VTS) than in that from reactor 2 (2.9 mg S(0) g(-1) VTS) with an HRT of 24 h. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) results revealed that the the pink and green biomass that developed in both reactors comprised a diverse bacterial community and had sequences related to phototrophic green and purple-sulphur bacteria such as Chlorobium sp., Chloronema giganteum, and Chromatiaceae. DGGE band patterns also demonstrated that bacterial community was dynamic over time within the same reactor and that different support materials selected for distinct bacterial communities. Taken together, these results indicated that sulphide concentrations of 1-6 mg L(-1) could be efficiently removed from the effluent of a pilot-scale UASB reactor in two sulphide biological oxidation reactors at HRTs of 12 and 24 h, showing the potential for sulphur recovery from anaerobically treated domestic wastewater.

  16. Influence of red mud on soil microbial communities: Application and comprehensive evaluation of the Biolog EcoPlate approach as a tool in soil microbiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigl, Viktória; Ujaczki, Éva; Vaszita, Emese; Molnár, Mónika

    2017-10-01

    Red mud can be applied as soil ameliorant to acidic, sandy and micronutrient deficient soils. There are still knowledge gaps regarding the effects of red mud on the soil microbial community. The Biolog EcoPlate technique is a promising tool for community level physiological profiling. This study presents a detailed evaluation of Biolog EcoPlate data from two case studies. In experiment "A" red mud from Ajka (Hungary) was mixed into acidic sandy soil in soil microcosms at 5-50 w/w%. In experiement "B" red mud soil mixture was mixed into low quality subsoil in a field experiment at 5-50 w/w%. According to average well color development, substrate average well color development and substrate richness 5-20% red mud increased the microbial activity of the acidic sandy soil over the short term, but the effect did not last for 10months. Shannon diversity index showed that red mud at up to 20% did not change microbial diversity over the short term, but the diversity decreased by the 10th month. 30-50% red mud had deteriorating effect on the soil microflora. 5-20% red mud soil mixture in the low quality subsoil had a long lasting enhancing effect on the microbial community based on all Biolog EcoPlate parameters. However, 50% red mud soil mixture caused a decrease in diversity and substrate richness. With the Biolog EcoPlate we were able to monitor the changes of the microbial community in red mud affected soils and to assess the amount of red mud and red mud soil mixture applicable for soil treatment in these cases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Biological restoration of major transportation facilities domestic demonstration and application project (DDAP): technology development at Sandia National Laboratories.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramsey, James L., Jr. (.,; .); Melton, Brad; Finley, Patrick; Brockman, John; Peyton, Chad E.; Tucker, Mark David; Einfeld, Wayne; Griffith, Richard O.; Brown, Gary Stephen; Lucero, Daniel A.; Betty, Rita G.; McKenna, Sean Andrew; Knowlton, Robert G.; Ho, Pauline

    2006-06-01

    The Bio-Restoration of Major Transportation Facilities Domestic Demonstration and Application Program (DDAP) is a designed to accelerate the restoration of transportation nodes following an attack with a biological warfare agent. This report documents the technology development work done at SNL for this DDAP, which include development of the BROOM tool, an investigation of surface sample collection efficiency, and a flow cytometry study of chlorine dioxide effects on Bacillus anthracis spore viability.

  18. Is chronic insomnia a precursor to major depression? Epidemiological and biological findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baglioni, Chiara; Riemann, Dieter

    2012-10-01

    Insomnia has been found to be a clinical predictor of subsequent depression. Nevertheless the biological processes underlying this causal relationship are yet not fully understood. Both conditions share a common imbalance of the arousal system. Patients with insomnia present fragmented REM sleep, which probably interferes with basal processes of emotion regulation. The interaction between the arousal and the affective system with the persistence of the disorder could slowly alter also the cognitive system and lead to depression. Although preliminary results seem to support this hypothesis, data are still too few to make valid conclusions.

  19. Learning Science by Engaging Religion: A Novel Two-Course Approach for Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Arri; Huang, Junjian

    2014-01-01

    Many issues in science create individual and societal tensions with important implications outside the classroom. We describe one model that directly addresses such tensions by integrating science and religion in two parallel, integrated courses for science majors. Evaluation of the goals of the project--(1) providing students with strategies to…

  20. The relationship of parental influence on student career choice of biology and non-biology majors enrolled in a freshman biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowell, Mitzie Leigh

    Recent declines in science literacy and inadequate numbers of individuals entering science careers has heightened the importance of determining why students major in science or do not major in science and then choose a science-related career. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between parental influences and student career choices of both males and females majoring and not majoring in science. This study specifically examined the constructs of parental occupation, parental involvement, and parental education levels. Aspects indicated by the participants as being influencers were also examined. In addition, differences between males and females were examined. A total of 282 students participated in the study; 122 were science majors and 160 were non-science majors. The data was collected through the use of a student information survey and the Modified Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scale. The findings suggest that students indicated the desire to help others, peers, salary, and skills as influencing their career choice. In regard to the various parental influences, mother's occupation was the only construct found as a statistically significant influencer on a student's decision to major in science. The results of this study can help educators, administrators, and policy makers understand what influences students to pursue science-related careers and possibly increase the number of students entering science-related careers. The results of the study specifically provide information that may prove useful to administrators and educators in the health science fields, particularly nursing fields. The findings provide insight into why students may choose to become nurses.

  1. The effects of problem-based learning on the self-efficacy and attitudes of beginning biology majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajab, Adel Mohammad

    The problem of low persistence of science majors has resulted in calls for changes in undergraduate instruction toward environments that foster positive self-efficacy among beginning science majors. Low science self-efficacy and poor attitudes toward science may contribute to high attrition rates of science majors. Classroom environments that foster positive self-efficacy development include pedagogies that promote authentic learning contexts and involve collaborative learning teams. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional model that attempts to create both conditions and may provide every source of information needed for the development of self-efficacy (i.e., mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and physiological states) as postulated by Albert Bandura. The degree to which these sources of self-efficacy are delivered to individuals within a PBL group may depend on how the group members interact and how students perceive the PBL process itself. This study examined the development of biology self-efficacy and attitudes among biology majors in a PBL setting and in a traditional lecture-based setting. Specifically, this project investigated changes in students' biology self-efficacy beliefs, mediating aspects of PBL in self-efficacy development, the relationship between PBL processes and group collective efficacy, the predictive nature of entering self-efficacy levels on attitudes toward PBL and mid-term grades, and changes in student attitudes toward biology. The study design was quasi-experimental and included quantitative pre- and post-surveys, qualitative interviews, and classroom observations. Findings revealed that students enrolled in a PBL class exhibited greater gains in biology self-efficacy and were likely to report more favorable attitudes toward biology compared to students enrolled in a traditional class. The aspects of PBL that most accounted for these findings were students' ownership of the learning process, their

  2. Nitric Oxide-Related Biological Pathways in Patients with Major Depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Baranyi

    Full Text Available Major depression is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and increased mortality following myocardial infarction. However, biomarkers of depression and increased cardiovascular risk are still missing. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate, whether nitric-oxide (NO related factors for endothelial dysfunction, such as global arginine bioavailability, arginase activity, L-arginine/ADMA ratio and the arginine metabolites asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA might be biomarkers for depression-induced cardiovascular risk.In 71 in-patients with major depression and 48 healthy controls the Global Arginine Bioavailability Ratio (GABR, arginase activity (arginine/ornithine ratio, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio, ADMA, and SDMA were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Psychiatric and laboratory assessments were obtained at baseline at the time of in-patient admittance and at the time of hospital discharge.The ADMA concentrations in patients with major depression were significantly elevated and the SDMA concentrations were significantly decreased in comparison with the healthy controls. Even after a first improvement of depression, ADMA and SDMA levels remained nearly unchanged. In addition, after a first improvement of depression at the time of hospital discharge, a significant decrease in arginase activity, an increased L-arginine/ADMA ratio and a trend for increased global arginine bioavailability were observed.Our study results are evidence that in patients with major depression ADMA and SDMA might be biomarkers to indicate an increased cardiovascular threat due to depression-triggered NO reduction. GABR, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio and arginase activity might be indicators of therapy success and increased NO production after remission.

  3. Biological activities and applications of dioscorins, the major tuber storage proteins of yam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yeh-Lin; Chia, Cho-Yun; Liu, Yen-Wenn; Hou, Wen-Chi

    2012-01-01

    Yam tubers, a common tuber crop and an important traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan, have many bioactive substances, including phenolic compounds, mucilage polysaccharides, steroidal saponins and proteins. Among the total soluble proteins, 80% of them are dioscorins. In the past two decades, many studies showed that dioscorins exhibited biological activities both in vitro and in vivo, including the enzymatic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, lectin activities and the protecting role on airway epithelial cells against allergens in vitro. Some of these activities are survived after chemical, heating process or enzymatic digestion. Despite of lacking the intact structural information and the detail action mechanisms in the cells, yam dioscorins are potential resources for developing as functional foods and interesting targets for food protein researchers.

  4. Biological Activities and Applications of Dioscorins, the Major Tuber Storage Proteins of Yam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeh-Lin Lu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Yam tubers, a common tuber crop and an important traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan, have many bioactive substances, including phenolic compounds, mucilage polysaccharides, steroidal saponins and proteins. Among the total soluble proteins, 80% of them are dioscorins. In the past two decades, many studies showed that dioscorins exhibited biological activities both in vitro and in vivo, including the enzymatic, antioxidant, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, lectin activities and the protecting role on airway epithelial cells against allergens in vitro. Some of these activities are survived after chemical, heating process or enzymatic digestion. Despite of lacking the intact structural information and the detail action mechanisms in the cells, yam dioscorins are potential resources for developing as functional foods and interesting targets for food protein researchers.

  5. The maturing of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas M

    2006-09-01

    A.J. Kluyver and C.B. van Niel introduced many scientists to the exceptional metabolic capacity of microbes and their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments in The Microbe's Contribution to Biology. Beyond providing an overview of the physiology and adaptability of microbes, the book outlined many of the basic principles for the emerging discipline of microbial ecology. While the study of pure cultures was highlighted, provided a unifying framework for understanding the vast metabolic potential of microbes and their roles in the global cycling of elements, extrapolation from pure cultures to natural environments has often been overshadowed by microbiologists inability to culture many of the microbes seen in natural environments. A combination of genomic approaches is now providing a culture-independent view of the microbial world, revealing a more diverse and dynamic community of microbes than originally anticipated. As methods for determining the diversity of microbial communities become increasingly accessible, a major challenge to microbial ecologists is to link the structure of natural microbial communities with their functions. This article presents several examples from studies of aquatic and terrestrial microbial communities in which culture and culture-independent methods are providing an enhanced appreciation for the microbe's contribution to the evolution and maintenance of life on Earth, and offers some thoughts about the graduate-level educational programs needed to enhance the maturing field of microbial ecology.

  6. Structural requirements and biological significance of interactions between peptides and the major histocompatibility complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grey, H M; Buus, S; Colon, S

    1989-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that T cells recognize a complex between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restriction-element and peptide-antigen fragments. Two aspects of this complex formation are considered in this paper: (1) what is the nature of the specificity of the interactions that a...... of binding to Ia (i.e. determinant selection was operative), we found that about 40% of Ia-binding peptides were not immunogenic (i.e. there were also 'holes in the T-cell repertoire')....... responsiveness, we present data that suggest both mechanisms operate in concert with one another. Thus only about 30% of a collection of peptides that in sum represent the sequence of a protein molecule were found to bind to Ia. Although immunogenicity was restricted to those peptides that were capable...

  7. Manipulatives-Based Laboratory for Majors Biology – a Hands-On Approach to Understanding Respiration and Photosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M. Boomer

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The first course in our year-long introductory series for Biology majors encompasses four learning units: biological molecules and cells, metabolism, genetics, and evolution. Of these, the metabolism unit, which includes respiration and photosynthesis, has shown the lowest student exam scores, least interest, and lowest laboratory ratings. Consequently, we hypothesized that modeling metabolic processes in the laboratory would improve student content learning during this course unit. Specifically, we developed manipulatives-based laboratory exercises that combined paper cutouts, movable blocks, and large diagrams of the cell. In particular, our novel use of connecting LEGO blocks allowed students to move model electrons and phosphates between molecules and within defined spaces of the cell. We assessed student learning using both formal (content indicators and attitude surveys and informal (the identification of misconceptions or discussions with students approaches. On the metabolism unit content exam, student performance improved by 46% over pretest scores and by the end of the course, the majority of students rated metabolism as their most-improved (43% and favorite (33% subject as compared with other unit topics. The majority of students rated manipulatives-based labs as very helpful, as compared to non-manipulatives-based labs. In this report, we will demonstrate that students made learning gains across all content areas, but most notably in the unit that covered respiration and photosynthesis.

  8. Abnormal functional brain asymmetry in depression: evidence of biologic commonality between major depression and dysthymia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Gerard E; Stewart, Jonathan W; Hellerstein, David; Alvarenga, Jorge E; Alschuler, Daniel; McGrath, Patrick J

    2012-04-30

    Prior studies have found abnormalities of functional brain asymmetry in patients having a major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to replicate findings of reduced right hemisphere advantage for perceiving dichotic complex tones in depressed patients, and to determine whether patients having "pure" dysthymia show the same abnormality of perceptual asymmetry as MDD. It also examined gender differences in lateralization, and the extent to which abnormalities of perceptual asymmetry in depressed patients are dependent on gender. Unmedicated patients having either a MDD (n=96) or "pure" dysthymic disorder (n=42) and healthy controls (n=114) were tested on dichotic fused-words and complex-tone tests. Patient and control groups differed in right hemisphere advantage for complex tones, but not left hemisphere advantage for words. Reduced right hemisphere advantage for tones was equally present in MDD and dysthymia, but was more evident among depressed men than depressed women. Also, healthy men had greater hemispheric asymmetry than healthy women for both words and tones, whereas this gender difference was not seen for depressed patients. Dysthymia and MDD share a common abnormality of hemispheric asymmetry for dichotic listening. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Biological consilience of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide in plants: Gases of primordial earth linking plant, microbial and animal physiologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Hideo; Cohen, Michael F

    2016-05-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced in the mammalian body through the enzymatic activities of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST). A growing number of studies have revealed that biogenic H2S produced in tissues is involved in a variety of physiological responses in mammals including vasorelaxation and neurotransmission. It is now evident that mammals utilize H2S to regulate multiple signaling systems, echoing the research history of the gaseous signaling molecules nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) that had previously only been recognized for their cytotoxicity. In the human diet, meats (mammals, birds and fishes) and vegetables (plants) containing cysteine and other sulfur compounds are the major dietary sources for endogenous production of H2S. Plants are primary producers in ecosystems on the earth and they synthesize organic sulfur compounds through the activity of sulfur assimilation. Although plant H2S-producing activities have been known for a long time, our knowledge of H2S biology in plant systems has not been updated to the extent of mammalian studies. Here we review recent progress on H2S studies, highlighting plants and bacteria. Scoping the future integration of H2S, NO and O2 biology, we discuss a possible linkage between physiology, ecology and evolutional biology of gas metabolisms that may reflect the historical changes of the Earth's atmospheric composition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Emission of nitrous acid from soil and biological soil crusts as a major source of atmospheric HONO on Cyprus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meusel, Hannah; Tamm, Alexandra; Wu, Dianming; Kuhn, Uwe; Leifke, Anna-Lena; Weber, Bettina; Su, Hang; Lelieveld, Jos; Hoffmann, Thorsten; Pöschl, Ulrich; Cheng, Yafang

    2017-04-01

    Elucidation of the sources and atmospheric chemistry of nitrous acid (HONO) is highly relevant, as HONO is an important precursor of OH radicals. Up to 30% of the OH budget are formed by photolysis of HONO, whereas major fractions of HONO measured in the field derive from yet unidentified sources. Heterogeneous conversion of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to HONO on a variety of surfaces (soot, humic acid aerosol) is assumed to be a major HONO source (Stemmler et al., 2007, Ammann et al., 1998). In rural regions, however, NO2 concentrations were found to be too low to explain observed HONO concentrations, as e.g., in the case of a recent field study on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus (Meusel et al., 2016). In this study a good correlation between missing sources of HONO and nitrogen oxide (NO) was found indicating a common origin of both reactive nitrogen compounds. Simultaneous emission of HONO and NO from soil was reported earlier (Oswald et al., 2013), and enhanced emission rates were found when soil was covered by biological soil crusts in arid and semi-arid ecosystems (Weber et al., 2015). In the present study we measured HONO and NO emissions of 43 soil and soil crust samples from Cyprus during full wetting and drying cycles under controlled laboratory conditions by means of a dynamic chamber system. The observed range of HONO and NO emissions was in agreement with earlier studies, but unlike the study of Weber et al. (2015), we found highest emission from bare soil, followed by soil covered by light and dark cyanobacteria-dominated biological soil crusts. Emission rates correlated well with the nitrite and nitrate contents of soil and biological soil crust samples, and higher nutrient contents of bare soil samples, as compared to the previous biological soil crust study, explain the higher bare soil emissions. Integrating the emission rates of bare soil and the different types of biological soil crusts, based on their local relative abundance, the calculated

  11. Predicting Student Success in a Major's Introductory Biology Course via Logistic Regression Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Ability and Mathematics Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.

    2018-02-01

    Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in those courses wherein the majority of students are in the first semester and have no previous record of college GPA or attendance. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the ACT Mathematics subject exam and Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning in predicting success in a major's introductory biology course. A logistic regression was utilized to determine the effectiveness of a combination of scientific reasoning (SR) scores and ACT math (ACT-M) scores to predict student success. In summary, we found that the model—with both SR and ACT-M as significant predictors—could be an effective predictor of student success and thus could potentially be useful in practical decision making for the course, such as directing students to support services at an early point in the semester.

  12. The Study of Microbial Environmental Processes Related to the Natural Attenuation of Uranium at the Rifle Site using Systems-level Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Methe, Barbara [J. Craig Venter Inst. (JCVI), Rockville, MD (United States); Lipton, Mary [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Mahadevan, Krishna [Univ. of Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2016-08-31

    Microbes exist in communities in the environment where they are fundamental drivers of global carbon, nutrient and metal cycles. In subsurface environments, they possess significant metabolic potential to affect these global cycles including the transformation of radionuclides. This study examined the influence of microbial communities in sediment zones undergoing biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nutrients and metals including natural attenuation of uranium. This study examined the relationship of both the microbiota (taxonomy) and their metabolic capacity (function) in driving carbon, nutrient and metal cycles including uranium reduction at the Department of Energy (DOE) Rifle Integrated Field Research Challenge (RIFRC). Objectives of this project were: 1) to apply systems-level biology through application of ‘metaomics’ approaches (collective analyses of whole microbial community DNA, RNA and protein) to the study of microbial environmental processes and their relationship to C, N and metals including the influence of microbial communities on uranium contaminant mobility in subsurface settings undergoing natural attenuation, 2) improve methodologies for data generation using metaomics (collectively metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and proteomics) technologies and analysis and interpretation of that data and 3) use the data generated from these studies towards microbial community-scale metabolic modeling. The strategy for examining these subsurface microbial communities was to generate sequence reads from microbial community DNA (metagenomics or whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS)) and RNA (metatranscriptomcs or RNAseq) and protein information using proteomics. Results were analyzed independently and through computational modeling. Overall, the community model generated information on the microbial community structure that was observed using metaomic approaches at RIFRC sites and thus provides an important framework for continued community modeling

  13. Soil pH, total phosphorus, climate and distance are the major factors influencing microbial activity at a regional spatial scale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cao, Haichuan; Chen, Ruirui; Wang, Libing

    2016-01-01

    Considering the extensive functional redundancy in microbial communities and great difficulty in elucidating it based on taxonomic structure, studies on the biogeography of soil microbial activity at large spatial scale are as important as microbial community structure. Eighty-four soil samples...... scaling clearly revealed that soil microbial activities showed distinct differentiation at different sites over a regional spatial scale, which were strongly affected by soil pH, total P, rainfall, temperature, soil type and location. In addition, microbial community structure was greatly influenced...... scales. There are common (distance, climate, pH and soil type) but differentiated aspects (TP, SOC and N) in the biogeography of soil microbial community structure and activity....

  14. Changes in Microbial Community Structure and Soil Biological Properties in Mined Dune Areas During Re-vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Indra Elena C; Santos, Vilma M; da Silva, Danielle Karla A; Fernandes, Marcelo F; Cavalcante, Uided Maaze T; Maia, Leonor C

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the impact of re-vegetation on the restoration of microbial community structure and soil microbiological properties in sand dunes that had been affected by mining activity. Soil samples were collected during the dry and rainy seasons from a chronosequence (1, 9, 21 years) of re-vegetated dunes using a single preserved dune as a reference. The composition of the fatty acid methyl esters and soil microbial properties were evaluated. The results showed that the changes in microbial community structure were related to seasonal variations: biomarkers of Gram-positive bacteria were higher than Gram-negative bacteria during the dry season, showing that this group of organisms is more tolerant to these stressful conditions. The microbial community structure in the natural dune was less affected by seasonal variation compared to the re-vegetated areas, whereas the opposite was observed for microbiological properties. Thus, in general, the proportion of saprobic fungi was higher in the natural dune, whereas Gram-negative bacteria were proportionally more common in the younger areas. Although over time the re-vegetation allows the recovery of the microbial community and the soil functions, these communities and functions are different from those found in the undisturbed areas.

  15. Luminescence materials for pH and oxygen sensing in microbial cells - structures, optical properties, and biological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xianshao; Pan, Tingting; Chen, Lei; Tian, Yanqing; Zhang, Weiwen

    2017-09-01

    Luminescence including fluorescence and phosphorescence sensors have been demonstrated to be important for studying cell metabolism, and diagnosing diseases and cancer. Various design principles have been employed for the development of sensors in different formats, such as organic molecules, polymers, polymeric hydrogels, and nanoparticles. The integration of the sensing with fluorescence imaging provides valuable tools for biomedical research and applications at not only bulk-cell level but also at single-cell level. In this article, we critically reviewed recent progresses on pH, oxygen, and dual pH and oxygen sensors specifically for their application in microbial cells. In addition, we focused not only on sensor materials with different chemical structures, but also on design and applications of sensors for better understanding cellular metabolism of microbial cells. Finally, we also provided an outlook for future materials design and key challenges in reaching broad applications in microbial cells.

  16. The Math-Biology Values Instrument: Development of a Tool to Measure Life Science Majors' Task Values of Using Math in the Context of Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Sarah E.; Runyon, Christopher; Aikens, Melissa L.

    2017-01-01

    In response to calls to improve the quantitative training of undergraduate biology students, there have been increased efforts to better integrate math into biology curricula. One challenge of such efforts is negative student attitudes toward math, which are thought to be particularly prevalent among biology students. According to theory,…

  17. Effect of advanced oxidation on N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation and microbial ecology during pilot-scale biological activated carbon filtration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dong; Stanford, Ben; Dickenson, Eric; Khunjar, Wendell O; Homme, Carissa L; Rosenfeldt, Erik J; Sharp, Jonathan O

    2017-04-15

    Water treatment combining advanced oxidative processes with subsequent exposure to biological activated carbon (BAC) holds promise for the attenuation of recalcitrant pollutants. Here we contrast oxidation and subsequent biofiltration of treated wastewater effluent employing either ozone or UV/H 2 O 2 followed by BAC during pilot-scale implementation. Both treatment trains largely met target water quality goals by facilitating the removal of a suite of trace organics and bulk water parameters. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation was observed in ozone fed BAC columns during biofiltration and to a lesser extent in UV/H 2 O 2 fed columns and was most pronounced at 20 min of empty bed contact time (EBCT) when compared to shorter EBCTs evaluated. While microbial populations were highly similar in the upper reaches, deeper samples revealed a divergence within and between BAC filtration systems where EBCT was identified to be a significant environmental predictor for shifts in microbial populations. The abundance of Nitrospira in the top samples of both columns provides an explanation for the oxidation of nitrite and corresponding increases in nitrate concentrations during BAC transit and support interplay between nitrogen cycling with nitrosamine formation. The results of this study demonstrate that pretreatments using ozone versus UV/H 2 O 2 impart modest differences to the overall BAC microbial population structural and functional attributes, and further highlight the need to evaluate NDMA formation prior to full-scale implementation of BAC in potable reuse applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Comparative analysis and culturing of the microbial community of Aiptasia pallida, A Sea Anemone Model for Coral Biology

    KAUST Repository

    Binsarhan, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Recent works has highlighted the contribution of microbes to animal function. In this regard, the microbial community associated with corals has become a growing field of research in order to understand how microbes contribute to the host organisms’ response to environmental changes. It has been shown that microbes associated with corals have important functions in the coral holobiont such as immunity and nutrient assimilation. However, corals are notoriously difficult to work with. To this end, the sea anemone Aiptasia is becoming a model organism for coral symbiosis. Given the importance of host-­microbiome interactions, the topic of this thesis is to assess microbial structure of Aiptasia, culture prominent bacterial members, and compare bacterial community structure to corals. Different molecular methods have been applied using 16S rRNA bacterial gene fragments to characterize the microbial composition of Aiptasia. 16S rRNA gene sequence derived from cultured bacteria was compared to 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from native Red Sea Aiptasia. Inter-­individual as well as methodological differences were found to account for variance in microbiome composition. However, all approaches showed a highly abundant microbial taxon belonging to the genus Alteromonas in all samples. The Alteromonas species was successfully isolated for further research targeting microbiome selection mechanisms in Aiptasia. Future investigations by using different molecular tools will help to define the functions and relationship between the Aiptasia and its complex microbiome.

  19. Improving student performance in an introductory biology majors course: A social action project in the scholarship of teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Sara Lang Ketchum

    This social action study followed an introductory biology course for a three-year period to determine whether changes in teaching personnel, instructional techniques and reorientation to student-centered learning would impact student performance. The course was redirected from a traditional lecture-laboratory format to one emphasizing active learning inquiry methods. Student retention, achievement, and failure were observed for three years in addition to one year prior, and one year following, the study. The study examined the two semester introductory biology course required of all biology majors and those intending a career in science, medicine or dentistry. During the first semester of the study, the dropout rate decreased from 46% to 21%. Prior to the study, 39% of the students completing the course received a grade of D or F while only 4% received a grade of B or above. During the first semester of the study 14% of the students received a grade of D or F while 46% received a B, B+ or A grade. Similar results were seen in other semesters of the study. A statistical comparison of student retention and performance was carried out using grade data for classes taught by the original faculty, the action study faculty and the post-study faculty. The differences between the original faculty and the action study faculty were statistically significant. Effect size calculations indicated large differences between the action study faculty and the two other faculty groups in terms of student retention, achievement and failure. The results are attributed to both the personnel change and, more significantly, the change in teaching methods and emphasis on student-active learning. Comparison between the pre- and post-study teams showed less dramatic effect sizes than when the action study data were compared with the data from either other team. Nevertheless, the post-study results showed that although the retention rate dropped during the year after the study, the improvement

  20. The Math-Biology Values Instrument: Development of a Tool to Measure Life Science Majors' Task Values of Using Math in the Context of Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Sarah E; Runyon, Christopher; Aikens, Melissa L

    2017-01-01

    In response to calls to improve the quantitative training of undergraduate biology students, there have been increased efforts to better integrate math into biology curricula. One challenge of such efforts is negative student attitudes toward math, which are thought to be particularly prevalent among biology students. According to theory, students' personal values toward using math in a biological context will influence their achievement and behavioral outcomes, but a validated instrument is needed to determine this empirically. We developed the Math-Biology Values Instrument (MBVI), an 11-item college-level self--report instrument grounded in expectancy-value theory, to measure life science students' interest in using math to understand biology, the perceived usefulness of math to their life science career, and the cost of using math in biology courses. We used a process that integrates multiple forms of validity evidence to show that scores from the MBVI can be used as a valid measure of a student's value of math in the context of biology. The MBVI can be used by instructors and researchers to help identify instructional strategies that influence math-biology values and understand how math-biology values are related to students' achievement and decisions to pursue more advanced quantitative-based courses. © 2017 S. E. Andrews et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  1. Microbial xanthophylls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhosale, Prakash; Bernstein, Paul S

    2005-09-01

    Xanthophylls are oxygenated carotenoids abundant in the human food supply. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are major xanthophyll carotenoids in human plasma. The consumption of these xanthophylls is directly associated with reduction in the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract formation. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin also have considerable importance in aquaculture for salmonid and crustacean pigmentation, and are of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical synthesis is a major source for the heavy demand of xanthophylls in the consumer market; however, microbial producers also have potential as commercial sources. In this review, we discuss the biosynthesis, commercial utility, and major microbial sources of xanthophylls. We also present a critical review of current research and technologies involved in promoting microbes as potential commercial sources for mass production.

  2. The impact of a Classroom Performance System on learning gains in a biology course for science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Nilo Eric

    This study was conducted to determine if the use of the technology known as Classroom Performance System (CPS), specifically referred to as "Clickers", improves the learning gains of students enrolled in a biology course for science majors. CPS is one of a group of developing technologies adapted for providing feedback in the classroom using a learner-centered approach. It supports and facilitates discussion among students and between them and teachers, and provides for participation by passive students. Advocates, influenced by constructivist theories, claim increased academic achievement. In science teaching, the results have been mixed, but there is some evidence of improvements in conceptual understanding. The study employed a pretest-posttest, non-equivalent groups experimental design. The sample consisted of 226 participants in six sections of a college biology course at a large community college in South Florida with two instructors trained in the use of clickers. Each instructor randomly selected their sections into CPS (treatment) and non-CPS (control) groups. All participants filled out a survey that included demographic data at the beginning of the semester. The treatment group used clicker questions throughout, with discussions as necessary, whereas the control groups answered the same questions as quizzes, similarly engaging in discussion where necessary. The learning gains were assessed on a pre/post-test basis. The average learning gains, defined as the actual gain divided by the possible gain, were slightly better in the treatment group than in the control group, but the difference was statistically non-significant. An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) statistic with pretest scores as the covariate was conducted to test for significant differences between the treatment and control groups on the posttest. A second ANCOVA was used to determine the significance of differences between the treatment and control groups on the posttest scores, after

  3. Fundamental Insights into Propionate Oxidation in Microbial Electrolysis Cells Using a Combination of Electrochemical, Molecular biology and Electron Balance Approaches

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Hari Ananda

    2016-11-01

    Increasing demand for freshwater and energy is pushing towards the development of alternative technologies that are sustainable. One of the realistic solutions to address this is utilization of the renewable resources like wastewater. Conventional wastewater treatment processes can be highly energy demanding and can fails to recover the full potential of useful resources such as energy in the wastewater. As a consequence, there is an urgent necessity for sustainable wastewater treatment technologies that could harness such resources present in wastewaters. Advanced treatment process based on microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) have a great potential for the resources recovery through a sustainable wastewater treatment process. METs rely on the abilities of microorganisms that are capable of transferring electrons extracellularly by oxidizing the organic matter in the wastewater and producing electrical current for electricity generation (MFC) or H2 and CH4 production (MEC). Propionate is an important volatile fatty acid (VFA) (24-70%) in some wastewaters and accumulation of this VFA can cause a process failure in a conventional anaerobic digestion (AD) system. To address this issue, MECs were explored as a novel, alternative wastewater treatment technology, with a focus on a better understanding of propionate oxidation in the anode of MECs. Having such knowledge could help in the development of more robust and efficient wastewater treatment systems to recover energy and produce high quality effluents. Several studies were conducted to: 1) determine the paths of electron flow in the anode of propionate fed MECs low (4.5 mM) and high (36 mM) propionate concentrations; 2) examine the effect of different set anode potentials on the electrochemical performance, propionate degradation, electron fluxes, and microbial community structure in MECs fed propionate; and 3) examine the temporal

  4. Predicting success for college students enrolled in an online, lab-based, biology course for non-majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Regina

    Online education has exploded in popularity. While there is ample research on predictors of traditional college student success, little research has been done on effective methods of predicting student success in online education. In this study, a number of demographic variables including GPA, ACT, gender, age and others were examined to determine what, if any, role they play in successfully predicting student success in an online, lab-based biology for non-majors course. Within course variables such as participation in specific categories of assignment and frequency of online visits were also examined. Groups of students including Native American/Non-Native American and Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives and others were also examined to determine if overall course success differed significantly. Good predictors of online success were found to be GPA, ACT, previous course experience and frequency of online visits with the course materials. Additionally, students who completed more of the online assignments within the course were more successful. Native American and Non-Native American students were found to differ in overall course success significantly as well. Findings indicate student academic background, previous college experience and time spent with course materials are the most important factors in course success. Recommendations include encouraging enrollment advisors to advise students about the importance of maintaining high academic levels, previous course experience and spending time with course materials may impact students' choices for online courses. A need for additional research in several areas is indicated, including Native American and Non-Native American differences. A more detailed examination of students' previous coursework would also be valuable. A study involving more courses, a larger number of students and surveys from faculty who teach online courses would help improve the generalizability of the conclusions.

  5. Final Technical Report: DOE-Biological Ocean Margins Program. Microbial Ecology of Denitrifying Bacteria in the Coastal Ocean.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee Kerkhof

    2013-01-01

    The focus of our research was to provide a comprehensive study of the bacterioplankton populations off the coast of New Jersey near the Rutgers University marine field station using terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analysis (TRFLP) coupled to 16S rRNA genes for large data set studies. Our three revised objectives to this study became: (1) to describe bacterioplankton population dynamics in the Mid Atlantic Bight using TRFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes. (2) to determine whether spatial and temporal factors are driving bacterioplankton community dynamics in the MAB using monthly samping along our transect line over a 2-year period. (3) to identify dominant members of a coastal bacterioplankton population by clonal library analysis of 16S rDNA genes and sequencing of PCR product corresponding to specific TRFLP peaks in the data set. Although open ocean time-series sites have been areas of microbial research for years, relatively little was known about the population dynamics of bacterioplankton communities in the coastal ocean on kilometer spatial and seasonal temporal scales. To gain a better understanding of microbial community variability, monthly samples of bacterial biomass were collected in 1995-1996 along a 34-km transect near the Long-Term Ecosystem Observatory (LEO-15) off the New Jersey coast. Surface and bottom sampling was performed at seven stations along a transect line with depths ranging from 1 to 35m (n=178). The data revealed distinct temporal patterns among the bacterioplankton communities in the Mid-Atlantic Bight rather than grouping by sample location or depth (figure 2-next page). Principal components analysis models supported the temporal patterns. In addition, partial least squares regression modeling could not discern a significant correlation from traditional oceanographic physical and phytoplankton nutrient parameters on overall bacterial community variability patterns at LEO-15. These results suggest factors not traditionally

  6. Promoting Student Inquiry Using "Zea Mays" (Corn) Cultivars for Hypothesis-Driven Experimentation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Amy C.; Peters, Brenda J.; Bendixen, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    The AAAS Vision and Change report (2011) recommends incorporating student research experiences into the biology curriculum at the undergraduate level. This article describes, in detail, how "Zea mays" (corn) cultivars were used as a model for a hypothesis-driven short-term research project in an introductory biology course at a small…

  7. Airborne microbial emissions and immissions on aerogic mechanical-biological waste treatment plants; Luftgetragene mikrobielle Emissionen und Immissionen an aeroben mechanisch-biologischen Abfallbehandlungsanlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luft, C.

    2002-07-01

    During biological waste treatment it is important to consider the hygienic situation. One has to take care that citizens in the neighborhood and especially the work force complain about impairments caused by microbial immissions. Therefore it is important to evaluate microbial emissions and immissions of composting plants. This dissertation looked upon this topic. Microbial and endotoxin emissions of different biological waste treatment plants were measured with diverse sampling methods. The research was done on enclosed and open variants of plants. Measurements were taken from different composting techniques and also from a plant treating the rest fraction of household waste. Depending on the technique researched different concentrations of airborne microbes could be found. The size of the plant and degree of enclosure as well as the material input all affect the amount of airborne microbial emissions. At a small open composting plant (6 500 Mg/a) only low microbial concentrations could be found at the workplace, while at the totally enclosed plant (12 000 Mg/a) high concentrations of airborne microorganisms could be observed at the workplace. Seasonal differences in microbial concentrations could not be seen when considering the agitation of outdoor piles consisting of separated household waste. In contrast, measured concentrations of endotoxins at another composting plant showed seasonal differences. Using simulations based on the models of TA-Luft and VDI 3783 it could be calculated that emissions from enclosed plants with 12 000 Mg/a input and a biofilter have a minimal influence on the neighborhood of the composting plant. (orig.) [German] Beim Umgang mit biologischen Abfaellen spielt die hygienische Situation eine wichtige Rolle. Besonders im Bereich des Arbeitsschutzes, aber auch im Hinblick auf die in der Naehe von Abfallbehandlungsanlagen wohnenden Personen, ist Sorge zu tragen, dass es nicht zu gesundheitlichen Beeintraechtigungen durch Keimimmissionen

  8. Influence of Gamma Irradiation on Microbial Quality, Biological Properties and Some Chemical Compositions of Propolis and Bee Pollen In Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eltablawy, S.Y.

    2012-01-01

    Propolis and bee pollen may be subjected to microbial contamination as a result of handling and storage, so, the current study was conducted to evaluate the microbial quality and quantity of Egyptian propolis and pollen and to study microbial contamination, antimicrobial activity, antioxidant activity and some chemical properties as amino acid composition and mineral content of irradiated and non-irradiated tested samples.The results showed that most samples were of unsatisfactory microbiological quality where the total bacterial and mold and yeast counts ranged between 6.6x10-6x10 6 CFU/g and 1.2 x 10 3 -3.7x10 3 CFU/g, respectively. Agar disk diffusion method was used for in vitro antimicrobial evaluation of propolis and pollen using water and 70% ethanolic extract against four gram positive, three gram negative bacteria and one yeast pathogens. The results exhibited that ethanolic extract has effective antibacterial activities than water extract. The free radical-scavenging activity of 70% ethanolic extract of the tested samples was determined using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH). Pollen ethanolic extract showed higher antioxidant activity than propolis ethanolic extract. Amino acid profile of 70% ethanolic extract was determined. The results of the analysis showed the predominant amino acids in propolis and pollen were cystine and leucine, respectively. Mineral analysis of the tested samples was carried out by atomic absorption. The tested minerals were higher in pollen than in propolis except manganese and selenium. Propolis and pollen heavily bacterial and mold contaminated samples were subjected to increasing doses of gamma radiation (1-5 kGy). Exposure to 4 kGy was sufficient for microbial decontamination or reducing the count less than 10 CFU/g with no detectable effect on their antimicrobial activity. The same irradiation dose showed variable effects on amino acids and mineral content of the tested samples. Propolis and pollen have pharmacological

  9. Metagenomic approaches to exploit the biotechnological potential of the microbial consortia of marine sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Jonathan; Marchesi, Julian R; Dobson, Alan D W

    2007-05-01

    Natural products isolated from sponges are an important source of new biologically active compounds. However, the development of these compounds into drugs has been held back by the difficulties in achieving a sustainable supply of these often-complex molecules for pre-clinical and clinical development. Increasing evidence implicates microbial symbionts as the source of many of these biologically active compounds, but the vast majority of the sponge microbial community remain uncultured. Metagenomics offers a biotechnological solution to this supply problem. Metagenomes of sponge microbial communities have been shown to contain genes and gene clusters typical for the biosynthesis of biologically active natural products. Heterologous expression approaches have also led to the isolation of secondary metabolism gene clusters from uncultured microbial symbionts of marine invertebrates and from soil metagenomic libraries. Combining a metagenomic approach with heterologous expression holds much promise for the sustainable exploitation of the chemical diversity present in the sponge microbial community.

  10. Factors affecting the performance of a single-chamber microbial fuel cell-type biological oxygen demand sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Gai-Xiu; Sun, Yong-Ming; Kong, Xiao-Ying; Zhen, Feng; Li, Ying; Li, Lian-Hua; Lei, Ting-Zhou; Yuan, Zhen-Hong; Chen, Guan-Yi

    2013-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that exploit microorganisms as biocatalysts to degrade organic matter or sludge present in wastewater (WW), and thereby generate electricity. We developed a simple, low-cost single-chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC)-type biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) sensor using carbon felt (anode) and activated sludge, and demonstrated its feasibility in the construction of a real-time BOD measurement system. Further, the effects of anodic pH and organic concentration on SCMFC performance were examined, and the correlation between BOD concentration and its response time was analyzed. Our results demonstrated that the SCMFC exhibited a stable voltage after 132 min following the addition of synthetic WW (BOD concentration: 200 mg/L). Notably, the response signal increased with an increase in BOD concentration (range: 5-200 mg/L) and was found to be directly proportional to the substrate concentration. However, at higher BOD concentrations (>120 mg/L) the response signal remained unaltered. Furthermore, we optimized the SCMFC using synthetic WW, and tested it with real WW. Upon feeding real WW, the BOD values exhibited a standard deviation from 2.08 to 8.3% when compared to the standard BOD5 method, thus demonstrating the practical applicability of the developed system to real treatment effluents.

  11. Construction of uricase-overproducing strains of Hansenula polymorpha and its application as biological recognition element in microbial urate biosensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schuhmann Wolfgang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The detection and quantification of uric acid in human physiological fluids is of great importance in the diagnosis and therapy of patients suffering from a range of disorders associated with altered purine metabolism, most notably gout and hyperuricaemia. The fabrication of cheap and reliable urate-selective amperometric biosensors is a challenging task. Results A urate-selective microbial biosensor was developed using cells of the recombinant thermotolerant methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha as biorecognition element. The construction of uricase (UOX producing yeast by over-expression of the uricase gene of H. polymorpha is described. Following a preliminary screening of the transformants with increased UOX activity in permeabilized yeast cells the optimal cultivation conditions for maximal UOX yield namely a 40-fold increase in UOX activity were determined. The UOX producing cells were coupled to horseradish peroxidase and immobilized on graphite electrodes by physical entrapment behind a dialysis membrane. A high urate selectivity with a detection limit of about 8 μM was found. Conclusion A strain of H. polymorpha overproducing UOX was constructed. A cheap urate selective microbial biosensor was developed.

  12. Pig Manure Contamination Marker Selection Based on the Influence of Biological Treatment on the Dominant Fecal Microbial Groups▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marti, Romain; Dabert, Patrick; Pourcher, Anne-Marie

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify a microbial marker for pig manure contamination. We quantified the persistence of four dominant bacterial groups from the pig intestinal tract throughout manure handling at 10 livestock operations (including aerobic digestion) by using molecular typing. The partial 16S rRNA genes of Bacteroides-Prevotella, Eubacterium-Clostridiaceae, Bacillus-Streptococcus-Lactobacillus (BSL), and Bifidobacterium group isolates were amplified and analyzed by capillary electrophoresis single-strand conformation polymorphism. The most dominant bacterial populations were identified by cloning and sequencing their 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that Bifidobacterium spp. and, to a lesser extent, members of the BSL group, were less affected by the aerobic treatment than either Eubacterium-Clostridiaceae or Bacteroides-Prevotella. Two Bifidobacterium species found in raw manure were still present in manure during land application, suggesting that they can survive outside the pig intestinal tract and also survive aerobic treatment. The 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer of one species, Bifidobacterium thermacidophilum subsp. porcinum, was sequenced, and a specific pair of primers was designed for its detection in the environment. With this nested PCR assay, this potential marker was not detected in samples from 30 bovine, 30 poultry, and 28 human fecal samples or in 15 urban wastewater effluents. As it was detected in runoff waters after spreading of pig manure, we propose this marker as a suitable microbial indicator of pig manure contamination. PMID:19525269

  13. Pig manure contamination marker selection based on the influence of biological treatment on the dominant fecal microbial groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marti, Romain; Dabert, Patrick; Pourcher, Anne-Marie

    2009-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify a microbial marker for pig manure contamination. We quantified the persistence of four dominant bacterial groups from the pig intestinal tract throughout manure handling at 10 livestock operations (including aerobic digestion) by using molecular typing. The partial 16S rRNA genes of Bacteroides-Prevotella, Eubacterium-Clostridiaceae, Bacillus-Streptococcus-Lactobacillus (BSL), and Bifidobacterium group isolates were amplified and analyzed by capillary electrophoresis single-strand conformation polymorphism. The most dominant bacterial populations were identified by cloning and sequencing their 16S rRNA genes. The results showed that Bifidobacterium spp. and, to a lesser extent, members of the BSL group, were less affected by the aerobic treatment than either Eubacterium-Clostridiaceae or Bacteroides-Prevotella. Two Bifidobacterium species found in raw manure were still present in manure during land application, suggesting that they can survive outside the pig intestinal tract and also survive aerobic treatment. The 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer of one species, Bifidobacterium thermacidophilum subsp. porcinum, was sequenced, and a specific pair of primers was designed for its detection in the environment. With this nested PCR assay, this potential marker was not detected in samples from 30 bovine, 30 poultry, and 28 human fecal samples or in 15 urban wastewater effluents. As it was detected in runoff waters after spreading of pig manure, we propose this marker as a suitable microbial indicator of pig manure contamination.

  14. Biological assessment of neonicotinoids imidacloprid and its major metabolites for potentially human health using globular proteins as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Fei; Peng, Wei

    2015-06-01

    The assessment of biological activities of imidacloprid and its two major metabolites, namely 6-chloronicotinic acid and 2-imidazolidone for nontarget organism, by employing essentially functional biomacromolecules, albumin and hemoglobin as a potentially model with the use of circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence, extrinsic 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS) fluorescence as well as molecular modeling is the theme of this work. By dint of CD spectra and synchronous fluorescence, it was clear that the orderly weak interactions between amino acid residues within globular proteins were disturbed by imidacloprid, and this event led to marginally alterations or self-regulations of protein conformation so as to lodge imidacloprid more tightly. Both steady state and time-resolved fluorescence suggested that the fluorescence of Trp residues in proteins was quenched after the presence of imidacloprid, corresponding to noncovalent protein-imidacloprid complexes formation and, the reaction belongs to moderate association (K=1.888/1.614×10(4)M(-1) for albumin/hemoglobin-imidacloprid, respectively), hydrogen bonds and π stacking performed a vital role in stabilizing the complexes, as derived from thermodynamic analysis and molecular modeling. With the aid of hydrophobic ANS experiments, subdomain IIA and α1β2 interface of albumin and hemoglobin, respectively, were found to be preserved high-affinity for imidacloprid. These results ties in with the subsequently molecular modeling laying imidacloprid in the Sudlow's site I and close to Trp-213 residue on albumin, while settling down B/Trp-37 residue nearby in hemoglobin, and these conclusions further confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation. But, at the same time, several crucial noncovalent bonds came from other amino acid residues, e.g. Arg-194 and Arg-198 (albumin) and B/Arg-40, B/Asp-99 and B/Asn-102 (hemoglobin) cannot be ignored completely. Based on the comparative studies of

  15. The impact of major earthquakes and subsequent sewage discharges on the microbial quality of water and sediments in an urban river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devane, Megan L; Moriarty, Elaine M; Wood, David; Webster-Brown, Jenny; Gilpin, Brent J

    2014-07-01

    A series of large earthquakes struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010-2011. Major damage sustained by the sewerage infrastructure required direct discharge of up to 38,000 m(3)/day of raw sewage into the Avon River of Christchurch for approximately six months. This allowed evaluation of the relationship between concentrations of indicator microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens and F-RNA phage) and pathogens (Campylobacter, Giardia and Cryptosporidium) in recreational water and sediment both during and post-cessation of sewage discharges. Giardia was the pathogen found most frequently in river water and sediment, although Campylobacter was found at higher levels in water samples. E. coli levels in water above 550 CFU/100 mL were associated with increased likelihood of detection of Campylobacter, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, supporting the use of E. coli as a reliable indicator for public health risk. The strength of the correlation of microbial indicators with pathogen detection in water decreased in the following order: E. coli>F-RNA phage>C. perfringens. All the microorganisms assayed in this study could be recovered from sediments. C. perfringens was observed to accumulate in sediments, which may have confounded its usefulness as an indicator of fresh sewage discharge. F-RNA phage, however, did not appear to accumulate in sediment and in conjunction with E. coli, may have potential as an indicator of recent human sewage discharge in freshwater. There is evidence to support the low-level persistence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia, but not Campylobacter, in river sediments after cessation of sewage discharges. In the event of disturbances of the sediment, it is highly probable that there could be re-mobilisation of microorganisms beyond the sediment-water exchange processes occurring under base flow conditions. Re-suspension events do, therefore, increase the potential risk to human health for those who participate in recreational

  16. BioCore Guide: A Tool for Interpreting the Core Concepts of Vision and Change for Biology Majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E; Freeman, Scott; Wenderoth, Mary Pat; Crowe, Alison J

    2014-01-01

    Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education outlined five core concepts intended to guide undergraduate biology education: 1) evolution; 2) structure and function; 3) information flow, exchange, and storage; 4) pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and 5) systems. We have taken these general recommendations and created a Vision and Change BioCore Guide-a set of general principles and specific statements that expand upon the core concepts, creating a framework that biology departments can use to align with the goals of Vision and Change. We used a grassroots approach to generate the BioCore Guide, beginning with faculty ideas as the basis for an iterative process that incorporated feedback from more than 240 biologists and biology educators at a diverse range of academic institutions throughout the United States. The final validation step in this process demonstrated strong national consensus, with more than 90% of respondents agreeing with the importance and scientific accuracy of the statements. It is our hope that the BioCore Guide will serve as an agent of change for biology departments as we move toward transforming undergraduate biology education. © 2014 S. E. Brownell et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  17. BioCore Guide: A Tool for Interpreting the Core Concepts of Vision and Change for Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Scott; Wenderoth, Mary Pat; Crowe, Alison J.

    2014-01-01

    Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education outlined five core concepts intended to guide undergraduate biology education: 1) evolution; 2) structure and function; 3) information flow, exchange, and storage; 4) pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and 5) systems. We have taken these general recommendations and created a Vision and Change BioCore Guide—a set of general principles and specific statements that expand upon the core concepts, creating a framework that biology departments can use to align with the goals of Vision and Change. We used a grassroots approach to generate the BioCore Guide, beginning with faculty ideas as the basis for an iterative process that incorporated feedback from more than 240 biologists and biology educators at a diverse range of academic institutions throughout the United States. The final validation step in this process demonstrated strong national consensus, with more than 90% of respondents agreeing with the importance and scientific accuracy of the statements. It is our hope that the BioCore Guide will serve as an agent of change for biology departments as we move toward transforming undergraduate biology education. PMID:26086653

  18. Web-Based Learning Enhancements: Video Lectures through Voice-Over PowerPoint in a Majors-Level Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lents, Nathan H.; Cifuentes, Oscar E.

    2009-01-01

    This study is an experimental introduction of web-based lecture delivery into a majors-level introductory biology course. Web-based delivery, achieved through the use of prerecorded Voice-Over PowerPoint video lectures, was introduced on a limited basis to an experimental section while a control group, with the same instructor, received standard…

  19. Influence of co-substrate on textile wastewater treatment and microbial community changes in the anaerobic biological sulfate reduction process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasool, Kashif; Mahmoud, Khaled A. [Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation, PO BOX 5825, Doha (Qatar); Lee, Dae Sung, E-mail: daesung@knu.ac.kr [Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-12-15

    Highlights: • Textile wastewater treatment performance was investigated with different co-substrates. • Dye biodegradation and biotransformation enhanced with lactate as co-substrate. • Sulfate removal significantly decreased under limited co-substrate concentration. • Changes in microbial community structure were studied using bar-coded pyrosequencing. • Lactate as co-substrate showed the highest relative abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria. - Abstract: This study investigated the anaerobic treatment of sulfate-rich synthetic textile wastewater in three sulfidogenic sequential batch reactors (SBRs). The experimental protocol was designed to examine the effect of three different co-substrates (lactate, glucose, and ethanol) and their concentrations on wastewater treatment performance. Sulfate reduction and dye degradation were improved when lactate and ethanol were used as electron donors, as compared with glucose. Moreover, under co-substrate limited concentrations, color, sulfate, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies were declined. By reducing co-substrate COD gradually from 3000 to 500 mg/L, color removal efficiencies were decreased from 98.23% to 78.46%, 63.37%, and 69.10%, whereas, sulfate removal efficiencies were decreased from 98.42%, 82.35%, and 87.0%, to 30.27%, 21.50%, and 10.13%, for lactate, glucose, and ethanol fed reactors, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and total aromatic amine analysis revealed lactate to be a potential co-substrate for further biodegradation of intermediate metabolites formed after dye degradation. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that microbial community structure was significantly affected by the co-substrate. The reactor with lactate as co-substrate showed the highest relative abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRBs), followed by ethanol, whereas the glucose-fed reactor showed the lowest relative abundance of SRB.

  20. Influence of co-substrate on textile wastewater treatment and microbial community changes in the anaerobic biological sulfate reduction process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasool, Kashif; Mahmoud, Khaled A.; Lee, Dae Sung

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Textile wastewater treatment performance was investigated with different co-substrates. • Dye biodegradation and biotransformation enhanced with lactate as co-substrate. • Sulfate removal significantly decreased under limited co-substrate concentration. • Changes in microbial community structure were studied using bar-coded pyrosequencing. • Lactate as co-substrate showed the highest relative abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria. - Abstract: This study investigated the anaerobic treatment of sulfate-rich synthetic textile wastewater in three sulfidogenic sequential batch reactors (SBRs). The experimental protocol was designed to examine the effect of three different co-substrates (lactate, glucose, and ethanol) and their concentrations on wastewater treatment performance. Sulfate reduction and dye degradation were improved when lactate and ethanol were used as electron donors, as compared with glucose. Moreover, under co-substrate limited concentrations, color, sulfate, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies were declined. By reducing co-substrate COD gradually from 3000 to 500 mg/L, color removal efficiencies were decreased from 98.23% to 78.46%, 63.37%, and 69.10%, whereas, sulfate removal efficiencies were decreased from 98.42%, 82.35%, and 87.0%, to 30.27%, 21.50%, and 10.13%, for lactate, glucose, and ethanol fed reactors, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and total aromatic amine analysis revealed lactate to be a potential co-substrate for further biodegradation of intermediate metabolites formed after dye degradation. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that microbial community structure was significantly affected by the co-substrate. The reactor with lactate as co-substrate showed the highest relative abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRBs), followed by ethanol, whereas the glucose-fed reactor showed the lowest relative abundance of SRB.

  1. The giant cold-water coral mound as a nested microbial/metazoan system: physical, chemical, biological and geological picture (ESF EuroDiversity MiCROSYSTEMS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriet, J. P.; Microsystems Team

    2009-04-01

    The MiCROSYSTEMS project under the ESF EUROCORES EuroDiversity scheme is a holistic and multi-scale approach in studying microbial diversity and functionality in a nested microbial/metazoan system, which thrives in deep waters: the giant cold-water coral mound. Studies on prolific cold-water coral sites have been carried out from the canyons of the Bay of Biscay to the fjords of the Norwegian margin, while the Pen Duick carbonate mound province off Morocco developed into a joint natural lab for studying in particular the impact of biogeochemical and microbial processes on modern sedimentary diagenesis within the reef sediments, in complement to the studies on I0DP Exp. 307 cores (Challenger Mound, off Ireland). Major outcomes of this research can be summarized as follows. • IODP Exp. 307 on Challenger Mound had revealed a significant prokaryotic community both within and beneath the carbonate mound. MiCROSYSTEMS unveils a remarkable degree of compartmentalization in such community from the seawater, the coral skeleton surface and mucus to the reef sediments. The occurrence of such multiple and distinct microbial compartments associated with cold-water coral ecosystems promotes opportunities for microbial diversity in the deep ocean. • New cases of co-habitation of cold-water corals and giant deep-water oysters were discovered in the Bay of Biscay, which add a new facet of macrofaunal diversity to cold-water coral reef systems. • The discovery of giant, ancient coral graveyards on the Moroccan mounds not only fuels the debate about natural versus anthropogenic mass extinction, but these open frameworks simultaneously invite for the study of bio-erosion and early diagenesis, in particular organo-mineralization, and of the possible role and significance of these thick, solid rubble patches in 3D mound-building and consolidation. • The assessment of the carbonate budget of a modern cold-water coral mound (Challenger Mound) reveals that only 33 to 40 wt % of

  2. Major Links.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Tona

    1995-01-01

    Provides electronic mail addresses for resources and discussion groups related to the following academic majors: art, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, health sciences, history, literature, math, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and theater. (AEF)

  3. Microbial biogeography of the North Sea during summer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brandsma, J.; Martínez Martínez, J.; Slagter, H.A.; Evans, C.; Brussaard, C.P.D.

    2013-01-01

    Micro-organisms are vital for the functioning of all food webs and are the major drivers of the global biogeochemical cycles. The microbial community compositions and physicochemical conditions of the different water masses in the North Sea, a biologically productive sea on the northwestern European

  4. Effect of gamma irradiation on the microbial, chemical quality and the biological activity of some spices and herbs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdel-Khalek, H H [National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo (Egypt)

    2008-07-01

    This study was conducted to study the effect of gamma irradiation on both the microbial and the chemical quality of cumin, caraway and Mix Spice Powder (MSP) as well as their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Irradiation at 10.0 kGy eliminated yeasts and molds, pathogenic bacteria and reduced the total mesophilic and thermophilic bacteria to the permissible limits of WHO. The storage of the irradiated samples at ambient temperature did not significantly affected its microbial quality. Also ? irradiation at 10.0 kGy significantly decreased moisture content and elevated the peroxide value (PV) of all tested spices. On the other hand, such dose did not change the volatile oil content of cumin and caraway seeds, while it was decreased in the case of MSP. In addition, this treatment resulted in 4.4 % reduction in total amino acids of caraway; it resulted in an increase of 3.5 and 4.1 % in case of cumin and MSP, respectively. GLC analysis of essential oils showed irradiation (10.0 kGy) resulted in 2.9 % and 4.4 % loss in the total volatile oil components of cumin and MSP, respectively. On the other hand, such dose did not change in the total volatile oil components of caraway seeds. The storage at ambient temperature for one year of the studied spices (irradiated and non-irradiated) resulted in a decrease in all of the studied chemical properties except peroxide value (PV) which showed gradual increase by extending the storage. The application of the essential oil of cumin, caraway and MSP (200 ppm) compared with BAH and BHT showed significant delay in the oxidation rate in sunflower oil and enhanced the shelf life of the oil. gamma irradiation (10 kGy) showed no significant effect on the antioxidant activity of the essential oil of cumin, caraway and MSP. The antibacterial and antifungal activities of the tested spices and herbs essential oils were studied. Also the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were recorded for MSP essential oil. The cumin

  5. Effect of gamma irradiation on the microbial, chemical quality and the biological activity of some spices and herbs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Khalek, H.H.

    2008-01-01

    This study was conducted to study the effect of gamma irradiation on both the microbial and the chemical quality of cumin, caraway and Mix Spice Powder (MSP) as well as their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Irradiation at 10.0 kGy eliminated yeasts and molds, pathogenic bacteria and reduced the total mesophilic and thermophilic bacteria to the permissible limits of WHO. The storage of the irradiated samples at ambient temperature did not significantly affected its microbial quality. Also ? irradiation at 10.0 kGy significantly decreased moisture content and elevated the peroxide value (PV) of all tested spices. On the other hand, such dose did not change the volatile oil content of cumin and caraway seeds, while it was decreased in the case of MSP. In addition, this treatment resulted in 4.4 % reduction in total amino acids of caraway; it resulted in an increase of 3.5 and 4.1 % in case of cumin and MSP, respectively. GLC analysis of essential oils showed irradiation (10.0 kGy) resulted in 2.9 % and 4.4 % loss in the total volatile oil components of cumin and MSP, respectively. On the other hand, such dose did not change in the total volatile oil components of caraway seeds. The storage at ambient temperature for one year of the studied spices (irradiated and non-irradiated) resulted in a decrease in all of the studied chemical properties except peroxide value (PV) which showed gradual increase by extending the storage. The application of the essential oil of cumin, caraway and MSP (200 ppm) compared with BAH and BHT showed significant delay in the oxidation rate in sunflower oil and enhanced the shelf life of the oil. gamma irradiation (10 kGy) showed no significant effect on the antioxidant activity of the essential oil of cumin, caraway and MSP. The antibacterial and antifungal activities of the tested spices and herbs essential oils were studied. Also the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were recorded for MSP essential oil. The cumin

  6. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of…

  7. Aberrant Free Radical Biology Is a Unifying Theme in the Etiology and Pathogenesis of Major Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick E. Domann

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The seemingly disparate areas of oxygen toxicity, radiation exposure, and aging are now recognized to share a common feature—the aberrant production and/or removal of biologically derived free radicals and other reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS. Advances in our understanding of the effects of free radicals in biology and medicine have been, and continue to be, actively translated into clinically tractable diagnostic and therapeutic applications. This issue is dedicated to recent advances, both basic discoveries and clinical applications, in the field of free radicals in biology and medicine. As more is understood about the proximal biological targets of aberrantly produced or removed reactive species, their sensors, and effectors of compensatory response, a great deal more will be learned about the commonalities in mechanisms underlying seemingly disparate disease states. Together with this deeper understanding, opportunities will arise to devise rational therapeutic interventions to decrease the incidence and severity of these diseases and positively impact the human healthspan.

  8. Biological nitrogen fixation is not a major contributor to the nitrogen demand of a commercially growth South African sugarcane cultivar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoefsloot, G.; Termorshuizen, A.J.; Watt, D.A.; Cramer, M.D.

    2005-01-01

    It has previously been reported that endophytic diazotrophic bacteria contribute significantly to the nitrogen budgets of some graminaceous species. In this study the contribution of biological nitrogen fixation to the N-budget of a South African sugarcane cultivar was evaluated using 15N natural

  9. Patent protection for microbial technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherkow, Jacob S

    2017-11-01

    Microbial technologies often serve as the basis of fundamental research tools in molecular biology. These present a variety of ethical, legal and social issues concerning their patenting. This commentary presents several case studies of these issues across three major microbiological tools: CRISPR, viral vectors and antimicrobial resistance drugs. It concludes that the development of these technologies-both scientifically and commercially-depend, in part, on the patent regime available for each, and researchers' willingness to enforce those patents against others. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Molecular biological and isotopic biogeochemical prognoses of the nitrification-driven dynamic microbial nitrogen cycle in hadopelagic sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Nishizawa, Manabu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Tsubouchi, Taishi; Hirai, Miho; Koide, Osamu; Miyazaki, Junichi; Hirayama, Hisako; Koba, Keisuke; Takai, Ken

    2013-11-01

    There has been much progress in understanding the nitrogen cycle in oceanic waters including the recent identification of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and anaerobic ammonia oxidizing (anammox) bacteria, and in the comprehensive estimation in abundance and activity of these microbial populations. However, compared with the nitrogen cycle in oceanic waters, there are fewer studies concerning the oceanic benthic nitrogen cycle. To further elucidate the dynamic nitrogen cycle in deep-sea sediments, a sediment core obtained from the Ogasawara Trench at a water depth of 9760 m was analysed in this study. The profiles obtained for the pore-water chemistry, and nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopic compositions of pore-water nitrate in the hadopelagic sediments could not be explained by the depth segregation of nitrifiers and nitrate reducers, suggesting the co-occurrence of nitrification and nitrate reduction in the shallowest nitrate reduction zone. The abundance of SSU rRNA and functional genes related to nitrification and denitrification are consistent with the co-occurrence of nitrification and nitrate reduction observed in the geochemical analyses. This study presents the first example of cooperation between aerobic and anaerobic nitrogen metabolism in the deep-sea sedimentary environments. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Humic substances, their microbial interactions and effects on biological transformations of organic pollutants in water and soil: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipczynska-Kochany, Ewa

    2018-07-01

    Depicted as large polymers by the traditional model, humic substances (HS) tend to be considered resistant to biodegradation. However, HS should be regarded as supramolecular associations of rather small molecules. There is evidence that they can be degraded not only by aerobic but also by anaerobic bacteria. HS presence alters biological transformations of organic pollutants in water and soil. HS, including humin, have a great potential for an application in aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment as well as in bioremediation. Black carbon materials, including char (biochar) and activated carbon (AC), long recognized effective sorbents, have been recently discovered to act as effective redox mediators (RM), which may significantly accelerate degradation of organic pollutants in a way similar to HS. Humic-like coating on the biochar surface has been identified. Explanation of mechanisms and possibility of applications of black carbon materials have only started to be explored. Results of many original and review papers, presented and discussed in this article, show an enormous potential for an interesting, multidisciplinary research as well as for a development of new, green technologies for biological wastewater treatment and bioremediation. Future research areas have been suggested. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. Copyright © 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  13. Novel Therapeutic and Prophylactic Modalities to Protect U.S. Armed Forces Against Major Biological Threat Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-10-01

    56 A ppendices .................................................................................. . . 6 1 . INTRODUCTION In this report, we are...doses (Tanaka et al., 1997) and can cause different pathological conditions relevant to anthrax, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (Matute...the pro-enzymes, however the major gelatinase enzymatic activity corresponds to the 55 kDa proteins in the BACS. Acute toxicity of B. anthracis

  14. Effcacy of different biological control agents against major postharvest pathogens of grapes under room temperature storage conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramu SENTHIL

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 14 false false false IT ZH-TW X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Grapes were treated post harvest with a variety of biological agents to determine their effcacy in reducing yield loss. The agents Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Trichoderma and yeast isolates were individually screened against a number of postharvest pathogens including Aspergillus carbonarius, Penicillum expansum, and Fusarium moniliforme. B. subtilis strains EPC-8 and EPCO-16 showed high mycelial growth suppression of A. carbonarius and P. expansum  in vitro. The fungal antagonist Trichoderma viride strain (Tv Tvm was the most effective, inhibiting mycelial growth by 88.8 per cent. The biological control agents were tested in pre, post and combined inoculation studies against postharvest pathogens of grapes.  In the pre inoculation, B. subtilis (EPC-8 reduced the disease incidence of A. carbonarius causing rot, T. harzianum (Th Co was effective against P. expansum, and T. viride (Tv Tvm was effective against F. moniliforme. The same trend of effectiveness was also found in the post-inoculation and combined inoculation tests.

  15. Microbial Propionic Acid Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Axayacatl Gonzalez-Garcia

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Propionic acid (propionate is a commercially valuable carboxylic acid produced through microbial fermentation. Propionic acid is mainly used in the food industry but has recently found applications in the cosmetic, plastics and pharmaceutical industries. Propionate can be produced via various metabolic pathways, which can be classified into three major groups: fermentative pathways, biosynthetic pathways, and amino acid catabolic pathways. The current review provides an in-depth description of the major metabolic routes for propionate production from an energy optimization perspective. Biological propionate production is limited by high downstream purification costs which can be addressed if the target yield, productivity and titre can be achieved. Genome shuffling combined with high throughput omics and metabolic engineering is providing new opportunities, and biological propionate production is likely to enter the market in the not so distant future. In order to realise the full potential of metabolic engineering and heterologous expression, however, a greater understanding of metabolic capabilities of the native producers, the fittest producers, is required.

  16. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  17. FDG PET imaging of Ela1-myc mice reveals major biological differences between pancreatic acinar and ductal tumours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abasolo, Ibane; Pujal, Judit; Navarro, Pilar; Rabanal, Rosa M.; Serafin, Anna; Millan, Olga; Real, Francisco X.

    2009-01-01

    The aim was to evaluate FDG PET imaging in Ela1-myc mice, a pancreatic cancer model resulting in the development of tumours with either acinar or mixed acinar-ductal phenotype. Transversal and longitudinal FDG PET studies were conducted; selected tissue samples were subjected to autoradiography and ex vivo organ counting. Glucose transporter and hexokinase mRNA expression was analysed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); Glut2 expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Transversal studies showed that mixed acinar-ductal tumours could be identified by FDG PET several weeks before they could be detected by hand palpation. Longitudinal studies revealed that ductal - but not acinar - tumours could be detected by FDG PET. Autoradiographic analysis confirmed that tumour areas with ductal differentiation incorporated more FDG than areas displaying acinar differentiation. Ex vivo radioactivity measurements showed that tumours of solely acinar phenotype incorporated more FDG than pancreata of non-transgenic littermates despite the fact that they did not yield positive PET images. To gain insight into the biological basis of the differential FDG uptake, glucose transporter and hexokinase transcript expression was studied in microdissected tumour areas enriched for acinar or ductal cells and validated using cell-specific markers. Glut2 and hexokinase I and II mRNA levels were up to 20-fold higher in ductal than in acinar tumours. Besides, Glut2 protein overexpression was found in ductal neoplastic cells but not in the surrounding stroma. In Ela1-myc mice, ductal tumours incorporate significantly more FDG than acinar tumours. This difference likely results from differential expression of Glut2 and hexokinases. These findings reveal previously unreported biological differences between acinar and ductal pancreatic tumours. (orig.)

  18. FDG PET imaging of Ela1-myc mice reveals major biological differences between pancreatic acinar and ductal tumours

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abasolo, Ibane [Institut Municipal d' Investigacio Medica-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Departament de Ciencies Experimentals i de la Salut, Barcelona (Spain); Institut d' Alta Tecnologia - CRC, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Pujal, Judit; Navarro, Pilar [Institut Municipal d' Investigacio Medica-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Rabanal, Rosa M.; Serafin, Anna [Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Barcelona (Spain); Millan, Olga [Institut d' Alta Tecnologia - CRC, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Real, Francisco X. [Institut Municipal d' Investigacio Medica-Hospital del Mar, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Parc de Recerca Biomedica de Barcelona, Departament de Ciencies Experimentals i de la Salut, Barcelona (Spain); Programa de Patologia Molecular, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas, Madrid (Spain)

    2009-07-15

    The aim was to evaluate FDG PET imaging in Ela1-myc mice, a pancreatic cancer model resulting in the development of tumours with either acinar or mixed acinar-ductal phenotype. Transversal and longitudinal FDG PET studies were conducted; selected tissue samples were subjected to autoradiography and ex vivo organ counting. Glucose transporter and hexokinase mRNA expression was analysed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); Glut2 expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Transversal studies showed that mixed acinar-ductal tumours could be identified by FDG PET several weeks before they could be detected by hand palpation. Longitudinal studies revealed that ductal - but not acinar - tumours could be detected by FDG PET. Autoradiographic analysis confirmed that tumour areas with ductal differentiation incorporated more FDG than areas displaying acinar differentiation. Ex vivo radioactivity measurements showed that tumours of solely acinar phenotype incorporated more FDG than pancreata of non-transgenic littermates despite the fact that they did not yield positive PET images. To gain insight into the biological basis of the differential FDG uptake, glucose transporter and hexokinase transcript expression was studied in microdissected tumour areas enriched for acinar or ductal cells and validated using cell-specific markers. Glut2 and hexokinase I and II mRNA levels were up to 20-fold higher in ductal than in acinar tumours. Besides, Glut2 protein overexpression was found in ductal neoplastic cells but not in the surrounding stroma. In Ela1-myc mice, ductal tumours incorporate significantly more FDG than acinar tumours. This difference likely results from differential expression of Glut2 and hexokinases. These findings reveal previously unreported biological differences between acinar and ductal pancreatic tumours. (orig.)

  19. Practical application of the microbial activity analysis on the monitoring of the process biological stability of biogas plants; Praktische Anwendung der mikrobiellen Aktivitaetsanalyse zur Ueberwachung der prozessbiologischen Stabilitaet von Biogasanlagen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neumann, Lukas; Tietjen, Carsten [MT-Energie GmbH, Zeven (Germany). Forschung und Entwicklung; Rilling, Norbert [MT-Energie GmbH und Co. KG, Rockstedt (Germany)

    2013-10-01

    As extension for the classical fluorescence microscopic analysis of the microbial population in a biogas fermenter the cell counts and frequency of the different methanogenic organisms was used to generate the plant specific stability indicator called MT-Factor. This factor describes the optimal composition of the microbial population for the current process conditions and could be used for the biological process consulting. A study of the MT-Energie laboratory showed that the combination of the microbial cell counts determination and the plant specific stability factor shifts during a process instability or failure of a biogas fermenter. This analysis of the methane-forming microorganisms as well as their cell count and importance for the entire anaerobic biology of the biogas plant can be used for clearly visualizing and tracking the vitality of the digestion process. The evaluation of the microbial activity of different liquid manure samples could show the influence of inhibitors like disinfectant or cleaning agents directly without time consuming cultivation tests. By determining the MT-Factor and analyzing the activity of the methane formers, an impending influence of inhibitors can be detected in liquid manure before the manure enters the digester. This way, a negative influence on the gas yield can be avoided. (orig.)

  20. Synthetic Electric Microbial Biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-10

    domains and DNA-binding domains into a single protein for deregulation of down stream genes of have been favored [10]. Initially experiments with... Germany DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited.   Talk title: “Synthetic biology based microbial biosensors for the...toolbox” in Heidelberg, Germany Poster title: “Anaerobic whole cell microbial biosensors” Link: http://phdsymposium.embl.org/#home   September, 2014

  1. Using clickers in nonmajors- and majors-level biology courses: student opinion, learning, and long-term retention of course material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossgrove, Kirsten; Curran, Kristen L

    2008-01-01

    Student response systems (clickers) are viewed positively by students and instructors in numerous studies. Evidence that clickers enhance student learning is more variable. After becoming comfortable with the technology during fall 2005-spring 2006, we compared student opinion and student achievement in two different courses taught with clickers in fall 2006. One course was an introductory biology class for nonmajors, and the other course was a 200 level genetics class for biology majors. Students in both courses had positive opinions of the clickers, although we observed some interesting differences between the two groups of students. Student performance was significantly higher on exam questions covering material taught with clickers, although the differences were more dramatic for the nonmajors biology course than the genetics course. We also compared retention of information 4 mo after the course ended, and we saw increased retention of material taught with clickers for the nonmajors course, but not for the genetics course. We discuss the implications of our results in light of differences in how the two courses were taught and differences between science majors and nonmajors.

  2. Pollination Biology and Spatio-Temporal Structuring of Some Major Acacia Species (Leguminosae) of the Arabian Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adgaba, N.; Alghamidi, A.; Tadesse, Y.; Getachew, A.; Ansari, M. J.

    2016-01-01

    Acacias are the dominant woody plant species distributed over the vast tracts of land throughout the Arabian Peninsula. However, information on spatio-temporal structuring and pollination biology of the species is not precisely available. To determine whether any variations exist among the Acacia species in their temporal distribution, their flowering period was determined through monitoring the commencing, peaking and ending of flowering of each species. Moreover, if any variations exist in release of floral rewards among the different co-existing and co-flowering species as mechanisms of partitioning of pollinators, to minimize competition for pollination, the progress of their anthesis over time was recorded by scoring polyads to anthers ratio at different hours of a day. In addition, the amount and dynamics of nectar sugar per inflorescence (N =225/species) was determined following flower nectar sugar washing technique. Types and frequencies of flower visitors and their preferences were determined by recording the visitors 6 times a day. The current study revealed that the Acacia species of the Arabian Peninsula are spatio-temporally structured: some species co-exist yet have different flowering seasons, whereas others co-exist, flowering concurrently yet exhibit a shift in their time of peak flowering and in the time at which the peak pollen is released during the day. This study demonstrates that all Acacia species examined secrete a considerable amount of nectar (2.24+-1.72 -10.02+-4.0mg/inflorescence) which serves as a floral reward for pollinators. Insects of the Order Hymenoptera are the most prevalent visitors to Acacia species in the region. The variations in spatio-temporal structuring of the Acaciaspecies could be due to their adaptation of reducing competition for pollinators and minimizing hetero-specific pollen transfer. (author)

  3. Enhancing microbial production of biofuels by expanding microbial metabolic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ping; Chen, Xingge; Li, Peng

    2017-09-01

    Fatty acid, isoprenoid, and alcohol pathways have been successfully engineered to produce biofuels. By introducing three genes, atfA, adhE, and pdc, into Escherichia coli to expand fatty acid pathway, up to 1.28 g/L of fatty acid ethyl esters can be achieved. The isoprenoid pathway can be expanded to produce bisabolene with a high titer of 900 mg/L in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Short- and long-chain alcohols can also be effectively biosynthesized by extending the carbon chain of ketoacids with an engineered "+1" alcohol pathway. Thus, it can be concluded that expanding microbial metabolic pathways has enormous potential for enhancing microbial production of biofuels for future industrial applications. However, some major challenges for microbial production of biofuels should be overcome to compete with traditional fossil fuels: lowering production costs, reducing the time required to construct genetic elements and to increase their predictability and reliability, and creating reusable parts with useful and predictable behavior. To address these challenges, several aspects should be further considered in future: mining and transformation of genetic elements related to metabolic pathways, assembling biofuel elements and coordinating their functions, enhancing the tolerance of host cells to biofuels, and creating modular subpathways that can be easily interconnected. © 2016 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Microbial ecology and genomics: A crossroads of opportunity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stahl, David A. [University of Washington; Tiedje, James M. [Michigan State University

    2002-08-30

    Microbes have dominated life on Earth for most of its 4.5 billionyear history. They are the foundation of the biosphere, controlling the biogeochemical cycles and affecting geology, hydrology, and local and global climates. All life is completely dependent upon them. Humans cannot survive without the rich diversity of microbes, but most microbial species can survive without humans. Extraordinary advances in molecular technology have fostered an explosion of information in microbial biology. It is now known that microbial species in culture poorly represent their natural diversity—which dwarfs conventions established for the visible world. This was revealed over the last decade using newer molecular tools to explore environmental diversity and has sparked an explosive growth in microbial ecology and technologies that may profit from the bounty of natural biochemical diversity. Several colloquia and meetings have helped formulate policy recommendations to enable sustained research programs in these areas. One such colloquium organized by the American Academy of Microbiology (“The Microbial World: Foundation of the Biosphere,” 1997) made two key recommendations: (1) develop a more complete inventory of living organisms and the interagency cooperation needed to accomplish this goal, and (2) develop strategies to harvest this remarkable biological diversity for the benefit of science, technology, and society. Complete genome sequence information was identified as an essential part of strategy development, and the recommendation was made to sequence the genome of at least one species of each of the major divisions of microbial life.

  5. Microbial Surface Colonization and Biofilm Development in Marine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Biotic and abiotic surfaces in marine waters are rapidly colonized by microorganisms. Surface colonization and subsequent biofilm formation and development provide numerous advantages to these organisms and support critical ecological and biogeochemical functions in the changing marine environment. Microbial surface association also contributes to deleterious effects such as biofouling, biocorrosion, and the persistence and transmission of harmful or pathogenic microorganisms and their genetic determinants. The processes and mechanisms of colonization as well as key players among the surface-associated microbiota have been studied for several decades. Accumulating evidence indicates that specific cell-surface, cell-cell, and interpopulation interactions shape the composition, structure, spatiotemporal dynamics, and functions of surface-associated microbial communities. Several key microbial processes and mechanisms, including (i) surface, population, and community sensing and signaling, (ii) intraspecies and interspecies communication and interaction, and (iii) the regulatory balance between cooperation and competition, have been identified as critical for the microbial surface association lifestyle. In this review, recent progress in the study of marine microbial surface colonization and biofilm development is synthesized and discussed. Major gaps in our knowledge remain. We pose questions for targeted investigation of surface-specific community-level microbial features, answers to which would advance our understanding of surface-associated microbial community ecology and the biogeochemical functions of these communities at levels from molecular mechanistic details through systems biological integration. PMID:26700108

  6. Early Microbial Evolution: The Age of Anaerobes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, William F; Sousa, Filipa L

    2015-12-18

    In this article, the term "early microbial evolution" refers to the phase of biological history from the emergence of life to the diversification of the first microbial lineages. In the modern era (since we knew about archaea), three debates have emerged on the subject that deserve discussion: (1) thermophilic origins versus mesophilic origins, (2) autotrophic origins versus heterotrophic origins, and (3) how do eukaryotes figure into early evolution. Here, we revisit those debates from the standpoint of newer data. We also consider the perhaps more pressing issue that molecular phylogenies need to recover anaerobic lineages at the base of prokaryotic trees, because O2 is a product of biological evolution; hence, the first microbes had to be anaerobes. If molecular phylogenies do not recover anaerobes basal, something is wrong. Among the anaerobes, hydrogen-dependent autotrophs--acetogens and methanogens--look like good candidates for the ancestral state of physiology in the bacteria and archaea, respectively. New trees tend to indicate that eukaryote cytosolic ribosomes branch within their archaeal homologs, not as sisters to them and, furthermore tend to root archaea within the methanogens. These are major changes in the tree of life, and open up new avenues of thought. Geochemical methane synthesis occurs as a spontaneous, abiotic exergonic reaction at hydrothermal vents. The overall similarity between that reaction and biological methanogenesis fits well with the concept of a methanogenic root for archaea and an autotrophic origin of microbial physiology. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  7. Using student motivation to design groups in a non-majors biology course for team-based collaborative learning: Impacts on knowledge, views, attitudes, and perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, Kristi L.

    The importance of student motivation and its connection to other learning variables (i.e., attitudes, knowledge, persistence, attendance) is well established. Collaborative work at the undergraduate level has been recognized as a valuable tool in large courses. However, motivation and collaborative group work have rarely been combined. This project utilized student motivation to learn biology to place non-major biology undergraduates in collaborative learning groups at East Carolina University, a mid-sized southeastern American university, to determine the effects of this construct on student learning. A pre-test measuring motivation to learn biology, attitudes toward biology, perceptions of biology and biologists, views of science, and content knowledge was administered. A similar post-test followed as part of the final exam. Two sections of the same introductory biology course (n = 312) were used and students were divided into homogeneous and heterogeneous groups (based on their motivation score). The heterogeneous groups (n = 32) consisted of a mixture of different motivation levels, while the homogeneous groups (n = 32) were organized into teams with similar motivation scores using tiers of high-, middle-, and low-level participants. Data analysis determined mixed perceptions of biology and biologists. These include the perceptions biology was less intriguing, less relevant, less practical, less ethical, and less understandable. Biologists were perceived as being neat and slightly intelligent, but not very altruistic, humane, ethical, logical, honest, or moral. Content knowledge scores more than doubled from pre- to post-test. Half of the items measuring views of science were not statistically significantly different from pre- to post-test. Many of the factors for attitudes toward biology became more agreeable from pre- to post-test. Correlations between motivation scores, participation levels, attendance rates, and final course grades were examined at both the

  8. Investigating the impact of microbial interactions with geologic media on geophysical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Caroline Ann

    The goals of this study were to investigate the effect of: (1) microbial metabolic byproducts, microbial growth, and biofilm formation on the low frequency electrical properties of porous media, (2) biofilm formation on acoustic wave properties, and (3) the natural electrical (self-potential) signatures associated with an in-situ biological permeable reactive barrier (PRB). The results suggest: (1) increases in electrolytic conductivity are consistent with increased concentrations of organic acids and biosurfactants; (2) mineral weathering promoted by organic acids causes increases in electrolytic conductivity, concomitant with increases in major cation concentrations; (3) interfacial conductivity generally parallels microbial cell concentrations and biofilm formation; (4) variations in microbial growth and biofilms causes spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the elastic properties of porous media; (5) SP signatures associated with the injection of groundwater into an in-situ biological PRB are dominated by diffusion potentials induced by the injections. The results suggest that electrolytic conductivity may be useful as an indicator of metabolism, while interfacial conductivity may be used as proxy indicator for microbial growth and biofilm formation in porous media. In addition, acoustic measurements may provide diagnostic spatiotemporal data for the validation of bioclogging models/simulations. Collectively, this study provides further evidence that geophysical measurements are sensitive to microbial-induced changes to geologic media, and may be useful for the detection and monitoring of subsurface microbial growth, activity, and distribution such as in microbial enhanced oil recovery, assessing biofilm barriers used for contaminant remediation, or as sealants for reservoirs in CO2 sequestration studies.

  9. A multi-level biological approach to evaluate impacts of a major municipal effluent in wild St. Lawrence River yellow perch (Perca flavescens)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houde, Magali, E-mail: magali.houde@ec.gc.ca [Centre Saint-Laurent, Environment Canada, 105 McGill Street, Montreal, QC H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Giraudo, Maeva, E-mail: maeva.giraudo@ec.gc.ca [Centre Saint-Laurent, Environment Canada, 105 McGill Street, Montreal, QC H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Douville, Mélanie, E-mail: melanie.douville@ec.gc.ca [Centre Saint-Laurent, Environment Canada, 105 McGill Street, Montreal, QC H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Bougas, Bérénice, E-mail: berenice.bougas.1@ulaval.ca [Institut de biologie intégrative et des systèmes, Université Laval, 1030, avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC G1V 0A6 (Canada); Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, 490 de la Couronne, Québec, QC G1K 9A9 (Canada); Couture, Patrice, E-mail: patrice.couture@ete.inrs.ca [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, 490 de la Couronne, Québec, QC G1K 9A9 (Canada); De Silva, Amila O., E-mail: amila.desilva@ec.gc.ca [Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6 (Canada); Spencer, Christine, E-mail: christine.spencer@ec.gc.ca [Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050, Burlington, ON L7R 4A6 (Canada); Lair, Stéphane, E-mail: stephane.lair@umontreal.ca [Centre québécois sur la santé des animaux sauvages, Université de Montréal, C.P. 5000, St-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6 (Canada); and others

    2014-11-01

    The development of integrated ecotoxicological approaches is of great interest in the investigation of global concerns such as impacts of municipal wastewater effluents on aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a major wastewater municipal effluent on fish using a multi-level biological approach, from gene transcription and enzyme activities to histological changes. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were selected based on their wide distribution, their commercial and recreational importance, and the availability of a customized microarray. Yellow perch were sampled upstream of a major municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and 4 km and 10 km downstream from its point of discharge in the St. Lawrence River (Quebec, Canada). Concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and metals/trace elements in whole body homogenates were comparable to those from other industrialized regions of the world. Genomic results indicated that the transcription level of 177 genes was significantly different (p < 0.024) between exposed and non-exposed fish. Among these genes, 38 were found to be differentially transcribed at both downstream sites. Impacted genes were associated with biological processes and molecular functions such as immunity, detoxification, lipid metabolism/energy homeostasis (e.g., peroxisome proliferation), and retinol metabolism suggesting impact of WWTP on these systems. Moreover, antioxidant enzyme activities were more elevated in perch collected at the 4 km site. Biomarkers of lipid metabolism, biosynthetic activity, and aerobic capacities were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in fish residing near the outfall of the effluent. Histological examination of the liver indicated no differences between sites. Correlations between PFAS, PBDE, and metal/trace element tissue concentrations and markers of peroxisomal proliferation, oxidative stress, and retinoid metabolism were found

  10. Using biological and physico-chemical test methods to assess the role of concrete mixture design in resistance to microbially induced corrosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Mitchell Wayne

    Concrete is the most widely used material for construction of wastewater collection, storage, and treatment infrastructure. The chemical and physical characteristics of hydrated portland cement make it susceptible to degradation under highly acidic conditions. As a result, some concrete wastewater infrastructure may be susceptible to a multi-stage degradation process known as microbially induced corrosion, or MIC. MIC begins with the production of aqueous hydrogen sulfide (H2S(aq)) by anaerobic sulfate reducing bacteria present below the waterline. H2S(aq) partitions to the gas phase where it is oxidized to sulfuric acid by the aerobic sulfur oxidizing bacteria Thiobacillus that resides on concrete surfaces above the waterline. Sulfuric acid then attacks the cement paste portion of the concrete matrix through decalcification of calcium hydroxide and calcium silica hydrate coupled with the formation of expansive corrosion products. The attack proceeds inward resulting in reduced service life and potential failure of the concrete structure. There are several challenges associated with assessing a concrete's susceptibility to MIC. First, no standard laboratory tests exist to assess concrete resistance to MIC. Straightforward reproduction of MIC in the laboratory is complicated by the use of microorganisms and hydrogen sulfide gas. Physico-chemical tests simulating MIC by immersing concrete specimens in sulfuric acid offer a convenient alternative, but do not accurately capture the damage mechanisms associated with biological corrosion. Comparison of results between research studies is difficult due to discrepancies that can arise in experimental methods even if current ASTM standards are followed. This thesis presents two experimental methods to evaluate concrete resistance to MIC: one biological and one physico-chemical. Efforts are made to address the critical aspects of each testing method currently absent in the literature. The first method presented is a new test

  11. Dose response models and a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework for the Mycobacterium avium complex that account for recent developments in molecular biology, taxonomy, and epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Kerry A; Weir, Mark H; Haas, Charles N

    2017-02-01

    Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is a group of environmentally-transmitted pathogens of great public health importance. This group is known to be harbored, amplified, and selected for more human-virulent characteristics by amoeba species in aquatic biofilms. However, a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) has not been performed due to the lack of dose response models resulting from significant heterogeneity within even a single species or subspecies of MAC, as well as the range of human susceptibilities to mycobacterial disease. The primary human-relevant species and subspecies responsible for the majority of the human disease burden and present in drinking water, biofilms, and soil are M. avium subsp. hominissuis, M. intracellulare, and M. chimaera. A critical review of the published literature identified important health endpoints, exposure routes, and susceptible populations for MAC risk assessment. In addition, data sets for quantitative dose-response functions were extracted from published in vivo animal dosing experiments. As a result, seven new exponential dose response models for human-relevant species of MAC with endpoints of lung lesions, death, disseminated infection, liver infection, and lymph node lesions are proposed. Although current physical and biochemical tests used in clinical settings do not differentiate between M. avium and M. intracellulare, differentiating between environmental species and subspecies of the MAC can aid in the assessment of health risks and control of MAC sources. A framework is proposed for incorporating the proposed dose response models into susceptible population- and exposure route-specific QMRA models. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Novelty or knowledge? A study of using a student response system in non-major biology courses at a community college

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thames, Tasha Herrington

    The advancement in technology integration is laying the groundwork of a paradigm shift in the higher education system (Noonoo, 2011). The National Dropout Prevention Center (n.d.) claims that technology offers some of the best opportunities for presenting instruction to engage students in meaningful education, addressing multiple intelligences, and adjusting to students' various learning styles. The purpose of this study was to investigate if implementing clicker technology would have a statistically significant difference on student retention and student achievement, while controlling for learning styles, for students in non-major biology courses who were and were not subjected to the technology. This study also sought to identify if students perceived the use of clickers as beneficial to their learning. A quantitative quasi-experimental research design was utilized to determine the significance of differences in pre/posttest achievement scores between students who participated during the fall semester in 2014. Overall, 118 students (n = 118) voluntarily enrolled in the researcher's fall non-major Biology course at a southern community college. A total of 71 students were assigned to the experimental group who participated in instruction incorporating the ConcepTest Process with clicker technology along with traditional lecture. The remaining 51 students were assigned to the control group who participated in a traditional lecture format with peer instruction embedded. Statistical analysis revealed the experimental clicker courses did have higher posttest scores than the non-clicker control courses, but this was not significant (p >.05). Results also implied that clickers did not statistically help retain students to complete the course. Lastly, the results indicated that there were no significant statistical difference in student's clicker perception scores between the different learning style preferences.

  13. Microbial Cell Imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doktycz, Mitchel John [ORNL; Sullivan, Claretta [Eastern Virginia Medical School; Mortensen, Ninell P [ORNL; Allison, David P [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    limitation on the maximum scan size (roughly 100 x 100 {mu}m) and the restricted movement of the cantilever in the Z (or height) direction. In most commercial AFMs, the Z range is restricted to roughly 10 {mu}m such that the height of cells to be imaged must be seriously considered. Nevertheless, AFM can provide structural-functional information at nanometer resolution and do so in physiologically relevant environments. Further, instrumentation for scanning probe microscopy continues to advance. Systems for high-speed imaging are becoming available, and techniques for looking inside the cells are being demonstrated. The ability to combine AFM with other imaging modalities is likely to have an even greater impact on microbiological studies. AFM studies of intact microbial cells started to appear in the literature in the 1990s. For example, AFM studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae examined buddings cars after cell division and detailed changes related to cell growth processes. Also, the first AFM studies of bacterial biofilms appeared. In the late 1990s, AFM studies of intact fungal spores described clear changes in spore surfaces upon germination, and studies of individual bacterial cells were also described. These early bacterial imaging studies examined changes in bacterial morphology due to antimicrobial peptides exposure and bacterial adhesion properties. The majority of these early studies were carried out on dried samples and took advantage of the resolving power of AFM. The lack of cell mounting procedures presented an impediment for cell imaging studies. Subsequently, several approaches to mounting microbial cells have been developed, and these techniques are described later. Also highlighted are general considerations for microbial imaging and a description of some of the various applications of AFM to microbiology.

  14. Transcriptional Profiling of Hypoxic Neural Stem Cells Identifies Calcineurin-NFATc4 Signaling as a Major Regulator of Neural Stem Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Marta; Fernández, Virginia; Monllau, Josep M.; Borrell, Víctor; Lerin, Carles; de la Iglesia, Núria

    2015-01-01

    Summary Neural stem cells (NSCs) reside in a hypoxic microenvironment within the brain. However, the crucial transcription factors (TFs) that regulate NSC biology under physiologic hypoxia are poorly understood. Here we have performed gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of microarray datasets from hypoxic versus normoxic NSCs with the aim of identifying pathways and TFs that are activated under oxygen concentrations mimicking normal brain tissue microenvironment. Integration of TF target (TFT) and pathway enrichment analysis identified the calcium-regulated TF NFATc4 as a major candidate to regulate hypoxic NSC functions. Nfatc4 expression was coordinately upregulated by top hypoxia-activated TFs, while NFATc4 target genes were enriched in hypoxic NSCs. Loss-of-function analyses further revealed that the calcineurin-NFATc4 signaling axis acts as a major regulator of NSC self-renewal and proliferation in vitro and in vivo by promoting the expression of TFs, including Id2, that contribute to the maintenance of the NSC state. PMID:26235896

  15. Microbial contaminants in Pakistan: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maida Kanwal

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide contamination of surface waters with microbial pathogens is of substantial health concern. These contaminants are usually transmitted by improper sanitation measures, unsafe waste disposal, excretions from patients, and physical contacts, i.e., sexual and nonsexual. Majority of these microbial pathogens have been categorized into three classes, i.e., bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Pakistan, being a developing country, is facing a noteworthy threat due to microbial contamination. In Pakistan, bacterial contaminants are reported extensively followed by viral and protozoa contaminants. The health issues associated with bacterial population includes dysentery, abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea etc.; and usually includes faecal and total coliforms, E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter. The cases related to viral contamination are lesser but chronic and evidenced the presence of HCV, HAV, HEV viruses causing hepatitis, and other hepatic disorders. Lastly, the health impacts associated with protozoans are least reported; and a number of diseases such as giardia, cryptosporidium and toxoplasma have been linked with this class of contaminants. The current review compiles information of these biological contaminants along with their health issues in Pakistan. Moreover, potential sources and fate of microbial contaminants are also discussed.

  16. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Larsen

    Full Text Available In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm. from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets.

  17. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets.

  18. Rapid determination of methadone and its major metabolite in biological fluids by gas-liquid chromatography with thermionic detection for maintenance treatment of opiate addicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikhi-Chorfi, N; Pham-Huy, C; Galons, H; Manuel, N; Lowenstein, W; Warnet, J M; Claude, J R

    1998-11-06

    A rapid gas-liquid chromatographic assay is developed for the quantification of methadone (Mtd) and its major metabolite, 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP), in biological fluids of opiate addicts. After alkaline extraction from samples with lidocaine hydrochloride as internal standard, Mtd and EDDP are separated on SP-2250 column at 220 degrees C and detected with a thermionic detector. The chromatographic time is about 6 min. The relative standard deviations (R.S.D.) of Mtd and EDDP standards are between 1.5 and 5.5%. Most drugs of abuse (morphine, codeine, narcotine, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene, dextropropoxyphene etc) are shown not to interfere with this technique. The method has been applied to study the levels of Mtd and EDDP metabolite in serum, saliva and urine of patients under maintenance treatment for opiate dependence. EDDP levels were found higher than those of Mtd in urine samples from four treated patients, but lower in serum and undetectable in saliva. However, Mtd concentrations were higher in saliva than in serum.

  19. Overview of the taxonomy and of the major secondary metabolites and their biological activities related to human health of the Laurencia complex (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mutue T. Fujii

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In Brazil, the Laurencia complex is represented by twenty taxa: Laurencia s.s. with twelve species, Palisada with four species (including Chondrophycus furcatus now that the proposal of its transference to Palisada is in process, and Osmundea and Yuzurua with two species each. The majority of the Brazilian species of the Laurencia complex have been phylogenetically analyzed by 54 rbcL sequences, including five other Rhodomelacean species as outgroups. The analysis showed that the Laurencia complex is monophyletic with high posterior probability value. The complex was separated into five clades, corresponding to the genera: Chondrophycus, Laurencia, Osmundea, Palisada, and Yuzurua. A bibliographical survey of the terpenoids produced by Brazilian species showed that only six species of Laurencia and five of Palisada (including C. furcatcus have been submitted to chemical analysis with 48 terpenoids (47 sesquiterpenes and one triterpene isolated. No diterpenes were found. Of the total, 23 sesquiterpenes belong to the bisabolane class and eighteen to the chamigrene type, whose biochemical precursor is bisabolane, two are derived from lauranes and four are triquinols. Despite the considerable number of known terpenes and their ecological and pharmacological importance, few experimental biological studies have been performed. In this review, only bioactivities related to human health were considered.

  20. Participation in a Year-Long CURE Embedded into Major Core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory Courses Results in Gains in Foundational Biological Concepts and Experimental Design Skills by Novice Undergraduate Researchers†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteroy-Kelly, Marcy A.; Marcello, Matthew R.; Crispo, Erika; Buraei, Zafir; Strahs, Daniel; Isaacson, Marisa; Jaworski, Leslie; Lopatto, David; Zuzga, David

    2017-01-01

    This two-year study describes the assessment of student learning gains arising from participation in a year-long curriculum consisting of a classroom undergraduate research experience (CURE) embedded into second-year, major core Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) laboratory courses. For the first course in our CURE, students used micro-array or RNAseq analyses to identify genes important for environmental stress responses by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The students were tasked with creating overexpressing mutants of their genes and designing their own original experiments to investigate the functions of those genes using the overexpression and null mutants in the second CURE course. In order to evaluate student learning gains, we employed three validated concept inventories in a pretest/posttest format and compared gains on the posttest versus the pretest with student laboratory final grades. Our results demonstrated that there was a significant correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory for both years of this study and gains on the Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA). We also demonstrated a correlation between students earning lower grades in the Genetics laboratory and gains on the Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) for year 1 of the study. Students furthermore demonstrated significant gains in identifying the variable properties of experimental subjects when assessed using the Rubric for Experimental (RED) design tool. Results from the administration of the CURE survey support these findings. Our results suggest that a year-long CURE enables lower performing students to experience greater gains in their foundational skills for success in the STEM disciplines. PMID:28904646

  1. Microbial conversion technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lau, P. [National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Bioconversion and Sustainable Development

    2006-07-01

    Microbes are a biomass and an valuable resource. This presentation discussed microbial conversion technologies along with background information on microbial cells, their characteristics and microbial diversity. Untapped opportunities for microbial conversion were identified. Metagenomic and genome mining approaches were also discussed, as they can provide access to uncultivated or unculturable microorganisms in communal populations and are an unlimited resource for biocatalysts, novel genes and metabolites. Genome mining was seen as an economical approach. The presentation also emphasized that the development of microbial biorefineries would require significant insights into the relevant microorganisms and that biocatalysts were the ultimate in sustainability. In addition, the presentation discussed the natural fibres initiative for biochemicals and biomaterials. Anticipated outputs were identified and work in progress of a new enzyme-retting cocktail to provide diversity and/or consistency in fibre characteristics for various applications were also presented. It was concluded that it is necessary to leverage understanding of biological processes to produce bioproducts in a clean and sustainable manner. tabs., figs.

  2. Contaminant immobilization via microbial activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-11-01

    The aim of this study was to search the literature to identify biological techniques that could be applied to the restoration of contaminated groundwaters near uranium milling sites. Through bioremediation it was hypothesized that the hazardous heavy metals could be immobilized in a stable, low-solubility form, thereby halting their progress in the migrating groundwater. Three basic mechanisms were examined: reduction of heavy metals by microbially produced hydrogen sulfide; direct microbial mediated reduction; and biosorption

  3. Defining Disturbance for Microbial Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Craig J

    2017-08-01

    Disturbance can profoundly modify the structure of natural communities. However, microbial ecologists' concept of "disturbance" has often deviated from conventional practice. Definitions (or implicit usage) have frequently included climate change and other forms of chronic environmental stress, which contradict the macrobiologist's notion of disturbance as a discrete event that removes biomass. Physical constraints and disparate biological characteristics were compared to ask whether disturbances fundamentally differ in microbial and macroorganismal communities. A definition of "disturbance" for microbial ecologists is proposed that distinguishes from "stress" and other competing terms, and that is in accord with definitions accepted by plant and animal ecologists.

  4. Microbial biosensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Yu; Chen, Wilfred; Mulchandani, Ashok

    2006-01-01

    A microbial biosensor is an analytical device that couples microorganisms with a transducer to enable rapid, accurate and sensitive detection of target analytes in fields as diverse as medicine, environmental monitoring, defense, food processing and safety. The earlier microbial biosensors used the respiratory and metabolic functions of the microorganisms to detect a substance that is either a substrate or an inhibitor of these processes. Recently, genetically engineered microorganisms based on fusing of the lux, gfp or lacZ gene reporters to an inducible gene promoter have been widely applied to assay toxicity and bioavailability. This paper reviews the recent trends in the development and application of microbial biosensors. Current advances and prospective future direction in developing microbial biosensor have also been discussed

  5. Microbial control of arthropod pests of tropical tree fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolinski, Claudia; Lacey, Lawrence A

    2007-01-01

    A multitude of insects and mites attack fruit crops throughout the tropics. The traditional method for controlling most of these pests is the application of chemical pesticides. Growing concern on the negative environmental effects has encouraged the development of alternatives. Inundatively and inoculatively applied microbial control agents (virus, bacteria, fungi, and entomopathogenic nematodes) have been developed as alternative control methods of a wide variety of arthropods including tropical fruit pests. The majority of the research and applications in tropical fruit agroecosystems has been conducted in citrus, banana, coconut, and mango. Successful microbial control initiatives of citrus pests and mites have been reported. Microbial control of arthropod pests of banana includes banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (with EPNs and fungi) among others Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) is one of the most important pests of coconut and one of the most successful uses of non-occluded virus for classical biological control. Key pests of mango that have been controlled with microbial control agents include fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) (with EPNs and fungi), and other pests. Also successful is the microbial control of arthropod pests of guava, papaya and pineapple. The challenge towards a broader application of entomopathogens is the development of successful combinations of entomopathogens, predators, and parasitoids along with other interventions to produce effective and sustainable pest management.

  6. Algal and microbial exopolysaccharides: new insights as biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paniagua-Michel, José de Jesús; Olmos-Soto, Jorge; Morales-Guerrero, Eduardo Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Currently, efforts are being made to utilize more natural biological systems as alternatives as a way to replace fossil forms of carbon. There is a growing concern at global level to have nontoxic, nonhazardous surface-active agents; contrary to synthetic surfactants, their biological counterparts or biosurfactants play a primary function, facilitating microbial presence in environments dominated by hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. Algal and microbial biosurfactants/bioemulsifiers from marine and deep-sea environments are attracting major interest due to their structural and functional diversity as molecules actives of surface and an alternative biomass to replace fossil forms of carbon. Algal and microbial surfactants are lipid in nature and classified as glycolipids, phospholipids, lipopeptides, natural lipids, fatty acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolic bioactive products are applicable in a number of industries and processes, viz., food processing, pharmacology, and bioremediation of oil-polluted environments. This chapter presents an update of the progress and potentialities of the principal producers of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-type biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers, viz., macro- and microalgae (cyanobacteria and diatoms) and bacteria from marine and extreme environments. Particular interest is centered into new sources and applications, viz., marine and deep-sea environments and promissory uses of these EPSs as biosurfactants/emulsifiers and other polymeric roles. The enormous benefits of these molecules encourage their discovery, exploitation, and development of new microbial EPSs that could possess novel industrial importance and corresponding innovations. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Biological profiling of prospective antidepressant response in major depressive disorder: Associations with (neuro)inflammation, fatty acid metabolism, and amygdala-reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocking, R J T; Nap, T S; Westerink, A M; Assies, J; Vaz, F M; Koeter, M W J; Ruhé, H G; Schene, A H

    2017-05-01

    A better understanding of factors underlying antidepressant non-response may improve the prediction of which patients will respond to what treatment. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with alterations in fatty acid metabolism, (neuro)inflammation and amygdala-reactivity. However, their mutual relations, and the extent to which they are associated with prospective antidepressant-response, remain unknown. To test (I) alterations in (neuro)inflammation and its associations with fatty acid metabolism and amygdala-reactivity in MDD-patients compared to controls, and (II) whether these alterations are associated with prospective paroxetine response. We compared 70 unmedicated MDD-patients with 51 matched healthy controls at baseline, regarding erythrocyte membrane omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA), inflammation [serum (high-sensitivity) C-reactive protein (CRP)], and in a subgroup amygdala-reactivity to emotional faces using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) (N=42). Subsequently, we treated patients with 12 weeks paroxetine, and repeated baseline measures after 6 and 12 weeks to compare non-responders, early-responders (response at 6 weeks), and late-responders (response at 12 weeks). Compared to controls, MDD-patients showed higher CRP (p=0.016) and AA (p=0.019) after adjustment for confounders at baseline. AA and CRP were mutually correlated (p=0.043). In addition, patients showed a more negative relation between AA and left amygdala-reactivity (p=0.014). Moreover, AA and CRP were associated with antidepressant-response: early responders showed lower AA (p=0.018) and higher CRP-concentrations (p=0.008) than non-responders throughout the study. Higher observed CRP and AA, their mutual association, and relation with amygdala-reactivity, are corroborative with a role for (neuro)inflammation in MDD. In addition, observed associations of these factors with prospective antidepressant-response suggest a potential role as biomarkers. Future studies in

  8. Modern Biology

    OpenAIRE

    ALEKSIC, Branko

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this course is to learn the philosophy, principles, and techniques of modern biology. The course is particularly designed for those who have not learned biology previously or whose major is other than biology, and who may think that they do not need to know any biology at all. The topics are covered in a rather general, overview manner, but certain level of diligence in grasping concepts and memorizing the terminology is expected.

  9. The CLEM Model: Path Analysis of the Mediating Effects of Attitudes and Motivational Beliefs on the Relationship between Perceived Learning Environment and Course Performance in an Undergraduate Non-Major Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, Matthew L.; Haney, Jodi J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the following questions were addressed in an undergraduate non-major biology course using a large lecture format: Is there a relationship between students' perceptions of their learning environment and course performance, and what roles do motivation and attitudes play in mediating that relationship? The purpose of this study was to…

  10. Selenite reduction by anaerobic microbial aggregates: Microbial community structure, and proteins associated to the produced selenium spheres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciela eGonzalez-Gil

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Certain types of anaerobic granular sludge, which consists of microbial aggregates, can reduce selenium oxyanions. To envisage strategies for removing those oxyanions from wastewater and recovering the produced elemental selenium (Se0, insights into the microbial community structure and synthesis of Se0 within these microbial aggregates are required. High-throughput sequencing showed that Veillonellaceae (c.a. 20 % and Pseudomonadaceae (c.a.10 % were the most abundant microbial phylotypes in selenite reducing microbial aggregates. The majority of the Pseudomonadaceae sequences were affiliated to the genus Pseudomonas. A distinct outer layer (~200 m of selenium deposits indicated that bioreduction occurred in the outer zone of the microbial aggregates. In that outer layer, SEM analysis showed abundant intracellular and extracellular Se0 (nano spheres, with some cells having high numbers of intracellular Se0 spheres. Electron tomography showed that microbial cells can harbor a single large intracellular sphere that stretches the cell body. The Se0 spheres produced by the microorganisms were capped with organic material. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS analysis of extracted Se0 spheres, combined with a mathematical approach to analyzing XPS spectra from biological origin, indicated that proteins and lipids were components of the capping material associated to the Se0 spheres. The most abundant proteins associated to the spheres were identified by proteomic analysis. Most of the proteins or peptide sequences capping the Se0 spheres were identified as periplasmic outer membrane porins and as the cytoplasmic elongation factor Tu protein, suggesting an intracellular formation of the Se0 spheres. In view of these and previous findings, a schematic model for the synthesis of Se0 spheres by the microorganisms inhabiting the granular sludge is proposed.

  11. Selenite Reduction by Anaerobic Microbial Aggregates: Microbial Community Structure, and Proteins Associated to the Produced Selenium Spheres

    KAUST Repository

    Gonzalez-Gil, Graciela

    2016-04-26

    Certain types of anaerobic granular sludge, which consists of microbial aggregates, can reduce selenium oxyanions. To envisage strategies for removing those oxyanions from wastewater and recovering the produced elemental selenium (Se0), insights into the microbial community structure and synthesis of Se0 within these microbial aggregates are required. High-throughput sequencing showed that Veillonellaceae (c.a. 20%) and Pseudomonadaceae (c.a.10%) were the most abundant microbial phylotypes in selenite reducing microbial aggregates. The majority of the Pseudomonadaceae sequences were affiliated to the genus Pseudomonas. A distinct outer layer (∼200 μm) of selenium deposits indicated that bioreduction occurred in the outer zone of the microbial aggregates. In that outer layer, SEM analysis showed abundant intracellular and extracellular Se0 (nano)spheres, with some cells having high numbers of intracellular Se0 spheres. Electron tomography showed that microbial cells can harbor a single large intracellular sphere that stretches the cell body. The Se0 spheres produced by the microorganisms were capped with organic material. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis of extracted Se0 spheres, combined with a mathematical approach to analyzing XPS spectra from biological origin, indicated that proteins and lipids were components of the capping material associated to the Se0 spheres. The most abundant proteins associated to the spheres were identified by proteomic analysis. Most of the proteins or peptide sequences capping the Se0 spheres were identified as periplasmic outer membrane porins and as the cytoplasmic elongation factor Tu protein, suggesting an intracellular formation of the Se0 spheres. In view of these and previous findings, a schematic model for the synthesis of Se0 spheres by the microorganisms inhabiting the granular sludge is proposed.

  12. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Connie WY; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  13. [Advances in microbial genome reduction and modification].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianli; Wang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-08-01

    Microbial genome reduction and modification are important strategies for constructing cellular chassis used for synthetic biology. This article summarized the essential genes and the methods to identify them in microorganisms, compared various strategies for microbial genome reduction, and analyzed the characteristics of some microorganisms with the minimized genome. This review shows the important role of genome reduction in constructing cellular chassis.

  14. Uses of antimicrobial genes from microbial genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorek, Rotem; Rubin, Edward M.

    2013-08-20

    We describe a method for mining microbial genomes to discover antimicrobial genes and proteins having broad spectrum of activity. Also described are antimicrobial genes and their expression products from various microbial genomes that were found using this method. The products of such genes can be used as antimicrobial agents or as tools for molecular biology.

  15. [Sanitary-hygienic assessment of microbial biofertilizer].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhipchenko, N A; Akhtemava, G A; Lebedeva, T V; Voronina, A A; Makhan'kova, T I; Pavlova, M M; Shteĭntsaĭg, T A

    1991-10-01

    Biological treatment of sewage from pig-breeding complexes allowed to produce microbial biomass and primary sediments. The mixture of these components (1:1) after rendering harmless and drying out become the high effective biofertilizer. The results of chronic experiment on sanitary status of soil (microbial and helminthological indexes) under this biofertilizer usage are discussed, and the harmlessness of it is demonstrated.

  16. Research on condensed matter and atomic physics using major experimental facilities and devices: Physics, chemistry, biology. Reports on results. Vol. 2. 3. Solid state physics and materials science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    This report in three volumes substantiates the contents of the programme survey published in September 1989. The progress reports cover the following research areas: Vol. I, (1). Atomic and molecular physics - free atoms, molecules, macromolecules, clusters, matrix-isolated atoms and molecules. (2) Physics and chemistry of surfaces and interfaces - epitaxy, surface structure, adsorption, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties, thin films, synthetic layer structure. Vol. II, (3). Solid-state physics, and materials science -structural research, lattice dynamics, magnetic structure and dynamics, electronic states; load; spin and pulse density fluctuations; diffusion and internal motion, defects, unordered systems and liquids. Vol. III, (4). Chemistry - bonding and structure, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, polymer research, analysis and synthesis. (5). Biology, - structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, membrane and cell biology. (6) Development of methods and instruments - neutron sources, synchrotron sources, special accelerators, research with interlinked systems and devices. (orig.) [de

  17. Management of plant pathogens and pests using microbial biological control agents. In: Trigiano, R.N. and Ownley, B.H., editors. Plant Pathology Concepts and Laboratory Exercises

    Science.gov (United States)

    All parts of plants face continual attack by plant pathogens and insects. Some insects are vectors of pathogens. Plant pests can be controlled by a variety of methods including application of pesticides but one of the most stainable and environmentally friendly approaches is biological control. Mic...

  18. Real-time measurements of airborne biologic particles using fluorescent particle counter to evaluate microbial contamination: results of a comparative study in an operating theater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Chunyang; Zhang, Yan; Ma, Xiaoling; Yin, Meiling; Zheng, Haiyang; Gu, Xuejun; Xie, Shaoqing; Jia, Hengmin; Zhang, Liang; Zhang, Weijun

    2015-01-01

    Airborne bacterial contamination poses a risk for surgical site infection, and routine surveillance of airborne bacteria is important. Traditional methods for detecting airborne bacteria are time consuming and strenuous. Measurement of biologic particle concentrations using a fluorescent particle counter is a novel method for evaluating air quality. The current study was to determine whether the number of biologic particles detected by the fluorescent particle counter can be used to indicate airborne bacterial counts in operating rooms. The study was performed in an operating theater at a university hospital in Hefei, China. The number of airborne biologic particles every minute was quantified using a fluorescent particle counter. Microbiologic air sampling was performed every 30 minutes using an Andersen air sampler (Pusong Electronic Instruments, Changzhou, China). Correlations between the 2 different methods were analyzed by Pearson correlation coefficients. A significant correlation was observed between biologic particle and bacterial counts (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.76), and the counting results from 2 methods both increased substantially between operations, corresponding with human movements in the operating room. Fluorescent particle counters show potential as important tools for monitoring bacterial contamination in operating theatres. Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Microbial biosensors for environmental monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David VOGRINC

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial biosensors are analytical devices capable of sensing substances in the environment due to the specific biological reaction of the microorganism or its parts. Construction of a microbial biosensor requires knowledge of microbial response to the specific analyte. Linking this response with the quantitative data, using a transducer, is the crucial step in the construction of a biosensor. Regarding the transducer type, biosensors are divided into electrochemical, optical biosensors and microbial fuel cells. The use of the proper configuration depends on the selection of the biosensing element. With the use of transgenic E. coli strains, bioluminescence or fluorescence based biosensors were developed. Microbial fuel cells enable the use of the heterogeneous microbial populations, isolated from wastewater. Different microorganisms are used for different pollutants – pesticides, heavy metals, phenolic compounds, organic waste, etc. Biosensing enables measurement of their concentration and their toxic or genotoxic effects on the microbes. Increasing environmental awareness has contributed to the increase of interest for biomonitoring. Although technologies, such as bioinformatics and genetic engineering, allow us to design complex and efficient microbial biosensors for environmental pollutants, the transfer of the laboratory work to the field still remains a problem to solve.

  20. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  1. Soil microbial community and its interaction with soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics following afforestation in central China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Qi; Cheng, Xiaoli; Hui, Dafeng; Zhang, Qian; Li, Ming; Zhang, Quanfa

    2016-01-15

    Afforestation may alter soil microbial community structure and function, and further affect soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here we investigated soil microbial carbon and nitrogen (MBC and MBN) and microbial community [e.g. bacteria (B), fungi (F)] derived from phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis in afforested (implementing woodland and shrubland plantations) and adjacent croplands in central China. Relationships of microbial properties with biotic factors [litter, fine root, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) and inorganic N], abiotic factors (soil temperature, moisture and pH), and major biological processes [basal microbial respiration, microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2), net N mineralization and nitrification] were developed. Afforested soils had higher mean MBC, MBN and MBN:TN ratios than the croplands due to an increase in litter input, but had lower MBC:SOC ratio resulting from low-quality (higher C:N ratio) litter. Afforested soils also had higher F:B ratio, which was probably attributed to higher C:N ratios in litter and soil, and shifts of soil inorganic N forms, water, pH and disturbance. Alterations in soil microbial biomass and community structure following afforestation were associated with declines in basal microbial respiration, qCO2, net N mineralization and nitrification, which likely maintained higher soil carbon and nitrogen storage and stability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. How do microlocal environmental variations affect microbial activities of a Pinus halepensis litter in a Mediterranean coastal area?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qasemian, Leila; Guiral, Daniel; Farnet, Anne-Marie

    2014-10-15

    Mediterranean coastal ecosystems suffer many different types of natural and anthropogenic environmental pressure. Microbial communities, major conductors of organic matter decomposition are also subject to these environmental constraints. In this study, our aim was to understand how microbial activities vary at a small spatio-temporal scale in a Mediterranean coastal environment. Microbial activities were monitored in a Pinus halepensis litter collected from two areas, one close to (10 m) and one far from (300 m) the French Mediterranean coast. Litters were transferred from one area to the other using litterbags and studied via different microbial indicators after 2, 5 and 13 months. Microbial Basal Respiration, qCO₂, certain enzyme activities (laccase, cellulase, β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase) and functional diversity via Biolog microplates were assayed in litterbags left in the area of origin as well as in litterbags transferred from one area to the other. Results highlight that microbial activities differ significantly in this short spatial scale over time. The influence of microlocal conditions more intensified for litters situated close to the sea, especially during summer seems to have a stressful effect on microbial communities, leading to less efficient functional activities. However, microbial activities were more strongly influenced by temporal variations linked to seasonality than by location. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Predicting Student Success in a Major's Introductory Biology Course via Logistic Regression Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Ability and Mathematics Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.

    2018-01-01

    Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in…

  4. Hydraulic continuity and biological effects of low strength very low frequency electromagnetic waves: Case of microbial biofilm growth in water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gérard, Merlin; Noamen, Omri; Evelyne, Gonze; Eric, Valette; Gilles, Cauffet; Marc, Henry

    2015-10-15

    This study aims to elucidate the interactions between water, subjected to electromagnetic waves of very low frequency (VLF) (kHz) with low strength electromagnetic fields (3.5 mT inside the coils), and the development of microbial biofilms in this exposed water. Experimental results demonstrate that in water exposed to VLF electromagnetic waves, the biomass of biofilm is limited if hydraulic continuity is achieved between the electromagnetic generator and the biofilm media. The measured amount of the biofilm's biomass is approximately a factor two lower for exposed biofilm than the non-exposed biofilm. Measurements of electromagnetic fields in the air and simulations exhibit very low intensities of fields (electromagnetic generator. Exposure to electric and magnetic fields of the quoted intensities cannot explain thermal and ionizing effects on the biofilm. A variable electrical potential with a magnitude close to 20 mV was detected in the tank in hydraulic continuity with the electromagnetic generator. The application of quantum field theory may help to explain the observed effects in this case. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Microbial glycoproteomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halim, Adnan; Anonsen, Jan Haug

    2017-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-based "-omics" technologies are important tools for global and detailed mapping of post-translational modifications. Protein glycosylation is an abundant and important post translational modification widespread throughout all domains of life. Characterization of glycoproteins...... and research in this area is rapidly accelerating. Here, we review recent developments in glycoproteomic technologies with a special focus on microbial protein glycosylation....

  6. Research on condensed matter and atomic physics using major experimental facilities and devices: Physics, chemistry, biology. Reports on results. Vol. 3. 4. Chemistry. 5. Biology. 6. Development of methods and instruments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    This report in three volumes substantiates the contents of the programme survey published in September 1989. The progress reports cover the following research areas: Vol. I, (1). Atomic and molecular physics - free atoms, molecules, macromolecules, clusters, matrix-isolated atoms and molecules. (2) Physics and chemistry of surfaces and interfaces - epitaxy, surface structure, adsorption, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties, thin films, synthetic layer structure. Vol. II, (3). Solid-state physics, and materials science -structural research, lattice dynamics, magnetic structure and dynamics, electronic states; load; spin and pulse density fluctuations; diffusion and internal motion, defects, unordered systems and liquids. Vol. III, (4). Chemistry - bonding and structure, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, polymer research, analysis and synthesis. (5). Biology, - structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, membrane and cell biology. (6) Development of methods and instruments - neutron sources, synchrotron sources, special accelerators, research with interlinked systems and devices. (orig.) [de

  7. Fourteenth-Sixteenth Microbial Genomics Conference-2006-2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Jeffrey H

    2011-04-18

    The concept of an annual meeting on the E. coli genome was formulated at the Banbury Center Conference on the Genome of E. coli in October, 1991. The first meeting was held on September 10-14, 1992 at the University of Wisconsin, and this was followed by a yearly series of meetings, and by an expansion to include The fourteenth meeting took place September 24-28, 2006 at Lake Arrowhead, CA, the fifteenth September 16-20, 2007 at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, and the sixteenth September 14-18, 2008 at Lake Arrowhead. The full program for the 16th meeting is attached. There have been rapid and exciting advances in microbial genomics that now make possible comparing large data sets of sequences from a wide variety of microbial genomes, and from whole microbial communities. Examining the “microbiomes”, the living microbial communities in different host organisms opens up many possibilities for understanding the landscape presented to pathogenic microorganisms. For quite some time there has been a shifting emphasis from pure sequence data to trying to understand how to use that information to solve biological problems. Towards this end new technologies are being developed and improved. Using genetics, functional genomics, and proteomics has been the recent focus of many different laboratories. A key element is the integration of different aspects of microbiology, sequencing technology, analysis techniques, and bioinformatics. The goal of these conference is to provide a regular forum for these interactions to occur. While there have been a number of genome conferences, what distinguishes the Microbial Genomics Conference is its emphasis on bringing together biology and genetics with sequencing and bioinformatics. Also, this conference is the longest continuing meeting, now established as a major regular annual meeting. In addition to its coverage of microbial genomes and biodiversity, the meetings also highlight microbial communities and the use of

  8. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  9. Towards understanding, managing and protecting microbial ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eBodelier

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalysing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper indentifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  10. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L E

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity-conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  11. Design and construction of synthetic microbial consortia in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Zhu Ding

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The rapid development of synthetic biology enables the design, construction and optimization of synthetic microbial consortia to achieve specific functions. In China, the “973” project-“Design and Construction of Microbial Consortia” was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China in January 2014. It was proposed to address the fundamental challenges in engineering natural microbial consortia and reconstructing microbial consortia to meet industrial demands. In this review, we will introduce this “973” project, including the significance of microbial consortia, the fundamental scientific issues, the recent research progresses, and some case studies about synthetic microbial consortia in the past two and a half years.

  12. Engineering microbial electrocatalysis for chemical and fuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Miriam A; Henrich, Alexander W

    2014-10-01

    In many biotechnological areas, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have become core technologies for biocatalyst development. Microbial electrocatalysis for biochemical and fuel production is still in its infancy and reactions rates and the product spectrum are currently very low. Therefore, molecular engineering strategies will be crucial for the advancement and realization of many new bioproduction routes using electroactive microorganisms. The complex and unresolved biochemistry and physiology of extracellular electron transfer and the lack of molecular tools for these new non-model hosts for genetic engineering constitute the major challenges for this effort. This review is providing an insight into the current status, challenges and promising approaches of pathway engineering for microbial electrocatalysis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Development and Evaluation of the Tigriopus Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience: Impacts on Students' Content Knowledge, Attitudes, and Motivation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Fisher, Ginger R; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices' development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to "think like a scientist." Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students' development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. © 2016 J. T. Olimpo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. A Community College Instructor's Reflective Journey Toward Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Nature of Science in a Non-majors Undergraduate Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajewski, Sarah J.; Schwartz, Renee

    2014-08-01

    Research supports an explicit-reflective approach to teaching about nature of science (NOS), but little is reported on teachers' journeys as they attempt to integrate NOS into everyday lessons. This participatory action research paper reports the challenges and successes encountered by an in-service teacher, Sarah, implementing NOS for the first time throughout four units of a community college biology course (genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and ecology). Through the action research cycles of planning, implementing, and reflecting, Sarah identified areas of challenge and success. This paper reports emergent themes that assisted her in successfully embedding NOS within the science content. Data include weekly lesson plans and pre/post reflective journaling before and after each lesson of this lecture/lab combination class that met twice a week. This course was taught back to back semesters, and this study is based on the results of a year-long process. Developing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for NOS involves coming to understand the overlaps and connections between NOS, other science subject matter, pedagogical strategies, and student learning. Sarah found that through action research she was able to grow and assimilate her understanding of NOS within the biology content she was teaching. A shift in orientation toward teaching products of science to teaching science processes was a necessary shift for NOS pedagogical success. This process enabled Sarah's development of PCK for NOS. As a practical example of putting research-based instructional recommendations into practice, this study may be very useful for other teachers who are learning to teach NOS.

  15. Soil microbial diversity in the vicinity of desert shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saul-Tcherkas, Vered; Unc, Adrian; Steinberger, Yosef

    2013-04-01

    Water and nutrient availability are the major limiting factors of biological activity in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, perennial plants have developed different ecophysiological adaptations to cope with harsh conditions. The chemical profile of the root exudates varies among plant species and this can induce variability in associated microbial populations. We examined the influence of two shrubs species, Artemisia sieberi and Noaea mucronata, on soil microbial diversity. Soil samples were collected monthly, from December 2006 to November 2007, near canopies of both shrubs (0-10-cm depth). Samples were used for abiotic tests and determination of soil bacterial diversity. No significant differences were found in the abiotic variables (soil moisture, total organic matter, and total soluble nitrogen (TSN)) between soil samples collected from under the two shrubs during the study period. No obvious differences in the Shannon-Weaver index, evenness values, or total phylogenetic distances were found for the soil microbial communities. However, detailed denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) clustering as well as taxonomic diversity analyses indicated clear shifts in the soil microbial community composition. These shifts were governed by seasonal variability in water availability and, significantly, by plant species type.

  16. A mathematical model of the accumulation of radionuclides by oysters (C. virginica) aquacultured in the effluent of a nuclear power reactor to include major biological parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hess, C.T.; Smith, C.W.; Price, A.H.

    1977-01-01

    The uptake, accumulation and loss of radionuclides by the American oyster (C. virginica) aquacultured in the effluent of a nuclear power reactor has been measured monthly for 3 yr at four field stations in the Montsweag Estuary of the Sheepscot River and at a control station in the nearby Damariscotta River Estuary, southern central coastal Maine, U.S.A. A mathematical model for the time variation of the specific activity of the oysters has been developed to include the physical half-lives of the various radionuclides, the biological half-lives of the various radionuclides (biological depuration), the water temperature (oyster hibernation) and shell growth. The resulting first order linear differential equation incorporating these phenomena is driven by the liquid radionuclide effluent release of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Reactor. Comparison of the monthly measurements of the specific activity for 58 Co, 60 Co, 54 Mn, 134 Cs and 137 Cs in oysters with model calculations show close agreement over all ranges of variation observed. A special feature of this mathematical model is its ability to describe the non-chemostatic field situation. (author)

  17. Assessment of the impact of textile effluents on microbial diversity in Tirupur district, Tamil Nadu

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabha, Shashi; Gogoi, Anindita; Mazumder, Payal; Ramanathan, AL.; Kumar, Manish

    2017-09-01

    The expedited advent of urbanization and industrialization for economic growth has adversely affected the biological diversity, which is one of the major concerns of the developing countries. Microbes play a crucial role in decontaminating polluted sites and degrades pollution load of textile effluent. The present study was based on identification of microbial diversity along the Noyaal river of Tirupur area. River water samples from industrial and non-industrial sites and effluent samples of before and after treatment were tested and it was found that microbial diversity was higher in the river water at the industrial site (Kasipalayam) as compared to the non-industrial site (Perur). Similarly, the microbial populations were found to be high in the untreated effluent as compared to the treated one by conventional treatment systems. Similar trends were observed for MBR treatment systems as well. Pseudomonas sp ., Achromobacter sp. (bacterial species) and Aspergillus fumigates (fungal species), found exclusively at the industrial site have been reported to possess decolorization potential of dye effluent, thus can be used for treatment of dye effluent. The comparison of different microbial communities from different dye wastewater sources and textile effluents was done, which showed that the microbes degrade dyestuffs, reduce toxicity of wastewaters, etc. From the study, it can be concluded that the microbial community helps to check on the pollutants and minimize their affect. Therefore, there is a need to understand the systematic variation in microbial diversity with the accumulation of pollution load through monitoring.

  18. The Impact of Microbial Ecology and Chemical Profile on the Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR Process: A Case Study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilunga Kamika

    2014-03-01

    .33% for Unit-5 and 0.68% for Unit-3 and in the anaerobic zones (Defluviicoccus: 9.8% for Unit-3. The high microbial diversity and a negligible percentage of GAOs in Unit-5 could contribute to its high phosphate-removal efficiency, although results did not indicate statistically significant differences between the unit with a covered elutriation tank (Unit-5 and that with open elutriation tanks (Unit-3.

  19. The impact of microbial ecology and chemical profile on the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process: a case study of Northern Wastewater Treatment Works, Johannesburg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamika, Ilunga; Coetzee, Martie; Mamba, Bhekie Brilliance; Msagati, Titus; Momba, Maggy N B

    2014-03-10

    Unit-5 and 0.68% for Unit-3) and in the anaerobic zones (Defluviicoccus: 9.8% for Unit-3). The high microbial diversity and a negligible percentage of GAOs in Unit-5 could contribute to its high phosphate-removal efficiency, although results did not indicate statistically significant differences between the unit with a covered elutriation tank (Unit-5) and that with open elutriation tanks (Unit-3).

  20. Major depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depression - major; Depression - clinical; Clinical depression; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder ... providers do not know the exact causes of depression. It is believed that chemical changes in the ...

  1. The effect of cooperative learning on the attitudes toward science and the achievement of students in a non-science majors' general biology laboratory course at an urban community college

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung-Schickler, Genevieve C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of cooperative learning strategies on students' attitudes toward science and achievement in BSC 1005L, a non-science majors' general biology laboratory course at an urban community college. Data were gathered on the participants' attitudes toward science and cognitive biology level pre and post treatment in BSC 1005L. Elements of the Learning Together model developed by Johnson and Johnson and the Student Team-Achievement Divisions model created by Slavin were incorporated into the experimental sections of BSC 1005L. Four sections of BSC 1005L participated in this study. Participants were enrolled in the 1998 spring (January) term. Students met weekly in a two hour laboratory session. The treatment was administered to the experimental group over a ten week period. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design was used. Students in the cooperative learning group (nsb1 = 27) were administered the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) and the cognitive biology test at the same time as the control group (nsb2 = 19) (at the beginning and end of the term). Statistical analyses confirmed that both groups were equivalent regarding ethnicity, gender, college grade point average and number of absences. Independent sample t-tests performed on pretest mean scores indicated no significant differences in the TOSRA scale two or biology knowledge between the cooperative learning group and the control group. The scores of TOSRA scales: one, three, four, five, six, and seven were significantly lower in the cooperative learning group. Independent sample t-tests of the mean score differences did not show any significant differences in posttest attitudes toward science or biology knowledge between the two groups. Paired t-tests did not indicate any significant differences on the TOSRA or biology knowledge within the cooperative learning group. Paired t-tests did show significant differences within the control group

  2. Development and Evaluation of the Tigriopus Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience: Impacts on Students’ Content Knowledge, Attitudes, and Motivation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Fisher, Ginger R.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices’ development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to “think like a scientist.” Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students’ development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. PMID:27909022

  3. Microbial effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, V.J.

    1985-10-01

    The long term safety and integrity of radioactive waste disposal sites proposed for use by Ontario Hydro may be affected by the release of radioactive gases. Microbes mediate the primary pathways of waste degradation and hence an assessment of their potential to produce gaseous end products from the breakdown of low level waste was performed. Due to a number of unknown variables, assumptions were made regarding environmental and waste conditions that controlled microbial activity; however, it was concluded that 14 C and 3 H would be produced, albeit over a long time scale of about 1500 years for 14 C in the worst case situation

  4. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  5. Mercury analysis of acid- and alkaline-reduced biological samples: identification of meta-cinnabar as the major biotransformed compound in algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, David; Budd, Kenneth; Lefebvre, Daniel D

    2006-01-01

    The biotransformation of Hg(II) in pH-controlled and aerated algal cultures was investigated. Previous researchers have observed losses in Hg detection in vitro with the addition of cysteine under acid reduction conditions in the presence of SnCl2. They proposed that this was the effect of Hg-thiol complexing. The present study found that cysteine-Hg, protein and nonprotein thiol chelates, and nucleoside chelates of Hg were all fully detectable under acid reduction conditions without previous digestion. Furthermore, organic (R-Hg) mercury compounds could not be detected under either the acid or alkaline reduction conditions, and only beta-HgS was detected under alkaline and not under acid SnCl2 reduction conditions. The blue-green alga Limnothrix planctonica biotransformed the bulk of Hg(II) applied as HgCl2 into a form with the analytical properties of beta-HgS. Similar results were obtained for the eukaryotic alga Selenastrum minutum. No evidence for the synthesis of organomercurials such as CH3Hg+ was obtained from analysis of either airstream or biomass samples under the aerobic conditions of the study. An analytical procedure that involved both acid and alkaline reduction was developed. It provides the first selective method for the determination of beta-HgS in biological samples. Under aerobic conditions, Hg(II) is biotransformed mainly into beta-HgS (meta-cinnabar), and this occurs in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae. This has important implications with respect to identification of mercury species and cycling in aquatic habitats.

  6. Mercury Analysis of Acid- and Alkaline-Reduced Biological Samples: Identification of meta-Cinnabar as the Major Biotransformed Compound in Algae†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, David; Budd, Kenneth; Lefebvre, Daniel D.

    2006-01-01

    The biotransformation of HgII in pH-controlled and aerated algal cultures was investigated. Previous researchers have observed losses in Hg detection in vitro with the addition of cysteine under acid reduction conditions in the presence of SnCl2. They proposed that this was the effect of Hg-thiol complexing. The present study found that cysteine-Hg, protein and nonprotein thiol chelates, and nucleoside chelates of Hg were all fully detectable under acid reduction conditions without previous digestion. Furthermore, organic (R-Hg) mercury compounds could not be detected under either the acid or alkaline reduction conditions, and only β-HgS was detected under alkaline and not under acid SnCl2 reduction conditions. The blue-green alga Limnothrix planctonica biotransformed the bulk of HgII applied as HgCl2 into a form with the analytical properties of β-HgS. Similar results were obtained for the eukaryotic alga Selenastrum minutum. No evidence for the synthesis of organomercurials such as CH3Hg+ was obtained from analysis of either airstream or biomass samples under the aerobic conditions of the study. An analytical procedure that involved both acid and alkaline reduction was developed. It provides the first selective method for the determination of β-HgS in biological samples. Under aerobic conditions, HgII is biotransformed mainly into β-HgS (meta-cinnabar), and this occurs in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae. This has important implications with respect to identification of mercury species and cycling in aquatic habitats. PMID:16391065

  7. Evaluation of the biological treatment for removal of color indigo textile industrial waste water by a microbial consortium in fluidized bed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintero, Luz; Cardona, Santiago

    2011-01-01

    Water has been one of the most affected by industrialization and the development of the textile sector. Medellin is the fashion capital of Colombia and city daily use cleaners dedicated to clothing indigo dyeing. They are major consumers of ground and drinking water. Water is used with minimal consciousness, its increased raw material and which generates high monthly costs. This study was built (RLF) fluidized bed reactor. The anthracite was used as support material for investigating the efficiency removed of the chemical oxygen demand (COD), demand biochemical oxygen (BOD) and color of simulated textile wastewater. Following studies at laboratory scale were initially made to prepare the immobilization of microorganisms in the middle of solid support and periods of start-up and operation of the pilot plant testing: bioaugmentating and bioadaptacion seed taken from textile effluent and removal of color in discontinuous reactor. The results indicated that it is possible to achieve aerobic treatment of textile waste water after obtaining an inoculum adapted to sources of carbon of surfactants, and Indigo.

  8. Reproductive biology of black seabream Acanthopagrus schlegelii, threadfin porgy Evynnis cardinalis and red pargo Pagrus major in the northern South China Sea with consideration of fishery status and management needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, C S W; Sadovy de Mitcheson, Y

    2017-07-01

    The reproductive biology of three commercially significant seabream species (family: Sparidae) Acanthopagrus schlegelii, Evynnis cardinalis and Pagrus major, taken from Hong Kong and adjacent northern South China Sea (SCS) waters, were investigated for their sexual patterns, spawning seasons, length at maturity and exploitation in relation to their conservation and management status. Histological analysis showed E. cardinalis and P. major to be functionally gonochoristic, the latter having a bisexual juvenile stage and being a rudimentary hermaphrodite. Acanthopagrus schlegelii is a protandric hermaphrodite. Standard length (L S ) at 50% sex change for A. schlegelii is 291 mm. L S at 50% female maturity for E. cardinalis and P. major are 117 and 332 mm, respectively. For all three species, the spawning period falls between November and March. The study highlights geographical differences in reproductive biology among the species and a paucity of fishery or other population-related data. While heavy fishing pressure, life-history characteristics and absence of effective management throughout the geographic ranges of these species make them susceptible to overfishing, they nonetheless appear to be generally more resilient than many other taxa that comprise the multi-species fisheries of the region, possibly due to their relatively rapid sexual maturation and spatial movement patterns. Overall, however, little is known of the biology, fishing history and current fishery status of sparids in general in the northern SCS and the current study is one of the first to examine such aspects of this family in the region and to consider appropriate management options. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  9. Microbial degradation processes in radioactive waste repository and in nuclear fuel storage areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolfram, J.H.; Rogers, R.D.; Gazso, L.G.

    1997-01-01

    The intent of the workshop organizers was to convene experts in the fields of corrosion and spent nuclear fuels. The major points which evolved from the interaction of microbiologists, material scientists, and fuel storage experts are as follows: Corrosion of basin components as well as fuel containers or cladding is occurring; Water chemistry monitoring, if done in the storage facility does not take into account the microbial component; Microbial influenced corrosion is an area that many have not considered to be an important contributor in the aging of metallurgical materials especially those exposed to a radiation field; Many observations indicate that there is a microbial or biological presence in the storage facilities but these observations have not been correlated with any deterioration or aging phenomena taking place in the storage facility; The sessions on the fundamentals of microbial influenced corrosion and biofilm pointed out that these phenomena are real, occurring on similar materials in other industries and probably are occurring in the wet storage of spent fuel; All agreed that more monitoring, testing, and education in the field of biological mediate processes be performed and financially supported; Loosing the integrity of fuel assemblies can only cause problems, relating to the future disposition of the fuel, safety concerns, and environmental issues; In other rad waste scenarios, biological processes may be playing a role, for instance in the mobility of radionuclides in soil, decomposition of organic materials of the rad waste, gas production, etc. The fundamental scientific presentations discussed the full gamut of microbial processes that relate to biological mediated effects on metallic and non-metallic materials used in the storage and containment of radioactive materials

  10. COMPETITIVE METAGENOMIC DNA HYBRIDIZATION IDENTIFIES HOST-SPECIFIC GENETIC MARKERS IN HUMAN FECAL MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although recent technological advances in DNA sequencing and computational biology now allow scientists to compare entire microbial genomes, the use of these approaches to discern key genomic differences between natural microbial communities remains prohibitively expensive for mo...

  11. Proteome-based systems biology analysis of the diabetic mouse aorta reveals major changes in fatty acid biosynthesis as potential hallmark in diabetes mellitus-associated vascular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husi, Holger; Van Agtmael, Tom; Mullen, William; Bahlmann, Ferdinand H; Schanstra, Joost P; Vlahou, Antonia; Delles, Christian; Perco, Paul; Mischak, Harald

    2014-04-01

    Macrovascular complications of diabetes mellitus are a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Currently, studies only partially described the molecular pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus-associated effects on vasculature. However, better understanding of systemic effects is essential in unraveling key molecular events in the vascular tissue responsible for disease onset and progression. Our overall aim was to get an all-encompassing view of diabetes mellitus-induced key molecular changes in the vasculature. An integrative proteomic and bioinformatics analysis of data from aortic vessels in the low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model (10 animals) was performed. We observed pronounced dysregulation of molecules involved in myogenesis, vascularization, hypertension, hypertrophy (associated with thickening of the aortic wall), and a substantial reduction of fatty acid storage. A novel finding is the pronounced downregulation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (Gsk3β) and upregulation of molecules linked to the tricarboxylic acid cycle (eg, aspartate aminotransferase [Got2] and hydroxyacid-oxoacid transhydrogenase [Adhfe1]). In addition, pathways involving primary alcohols and amino acid breakdown are altered, potentially leading to ketone-body production. A number of these findings were validated immunohistochemically. Collectively, the data support the hypothesis that in this diabetic model, there is an overproduction of ketone-bodies within the vessels using an alternative tricarboxylic acid cycle-associated pathway, ultimately leading to the development of atherosclerosis. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus in animals leads to a reduction of fatty acid biosynthesis and an upregulation of an alternative ketone-body formation pathway. This working hypothesis could form the basis for the development of novel therapeutic intervention and disease management approaches.

  12. Microbial biofilms: biosurfactants as antibiofilm agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banat, Ibrahim M; De Rienzo, Mayri A Díaz; Quinn, Gerry A

    2014-12-01

    Current microbial inhibition strategies based on planktonic bacterial physiology have been known to have limited efficacy on the growth of biofilm communities. This problem can be exacerbated by the emergence of increasingly resistant clinical strains. All aspects of biofilm measurement, monitoring, dispersal, control, and inhibition are becoming issues of increasing importance. Biosurfactants have merited renewed interest in both clinical and hygienic sectors due to their potential to disperse microbial biofilms in addition to many other advantages. The dispersal properties of biosurfactants have been shown to rival those of conventional inhibitory agents against bacterial and yeast biofilms. This makes them suitable candidates for use in new generations of microbial dispersal agents and for use as adjuvants for existing microbial suppression or eradication strategies. In this review, we explore aspects of biofilm characteristics and examine the contribution of biologically derived surface-active agents (biosurfactants) to the disruption or inhibition of microbial biofilms.

  13. Science-Technology-Society literacy in college non-majors biology: Comparing problem/case studies based learning and traditional expository methods of instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, John S.

    This study used a multiple response model (MRM) on selected items from the Views on Science-Technology-Society (VOSTS) survey to examine science-technology-society (STS) literacy among college non-science majors' taught using Problem/Case Studies Based Learning (PBL/CSBL) and traditional expository methods of instruction. An initial pilot investigation of 15 VOSTS items produced a valid and reliable scoring model which can be used to quantitatively assess student literacy on a variety of STS topics deemed important for informed civic engagement in science related social and environmental issues. The new scoring model allows for the use of parametric inferential statistics to test hypotheses about factors influencing STS literacy. The follow-up cross-institutional study comparing teaching methods employed Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to model the efficiency and equitability of instructional methods on STS literacy. A cluster analysis was also used to compare pre and post course patterns of student views on the set of positions expressed within VOSTS items. HLM analysis revealed significantly higher instructional efficiency in the PBL/CSBL study group for 4 of the 35 STS attitude indices (characterization of media vs. school science; tentativeness of scientific models; cultural influences on scientific research), and more equitable effects of traditional instruction on one attitude index (interdependence of science and technology). Cluster analysis revealed generally stable patterns of pre to post course views across study groups, but also revealed possible teaching method effects on the relationship between the views expressed within VOSTS items with respect to (1) interdependency of science and technology; (2) anti-technology; (3) socioscientific decision-making; (4) scientific/technological solutions to environmental problems; (5) usefulness of school vs. media characterizations of science; (6) social constructivist vs. objectivist views of theories; (7

  14. Terrestrial exposure of oilfield flowline additives diminish soil structural stability and remediative microbial function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, S.J.; Sherbone, J.; Hinz, C.; Tibbett, M.

    2011-01-01

    Onshore oil production pipelines are major installations in the petroleum industry, stretching many thousands of kilometres worldwide which also contain flowline additives. The current study focuses on the effect of the flowline additives on soil physico-chemical and biological properties and quantified the impact using resilience and resistance indices. Our findings are the first to highlight deleterious effect of flowline additives by altering some fundamental soil properties, including a complete loss of structural integrity of the impacted soil and a reduced capacity to degrade hydrocarbons mainly due to: (i) phosphonate salts (in scale inhibitor) prevented accumulation of scale in pipelines but also disrupted soil physical structure; (ii) glutaraldehyde (in biocides) which repressed microbial activity in the pipeline and reduced hydrocarbon degradation in soil upon environmental exposure; (iii) the combinatory effects of these two chemicals synergistically caused severe soil structural collapse and disruption of microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. - Highlights: → Effects of flowline additives on soil structure and microbial function highlighted. → Phosphonate salts (in scale inhibitor) were found to disrupt soil physical structure. → Glutaraldehyde (in biocides) caused significant reduction of hydrocarbon degradation in soil. → Flowline additive chemicals synergistically affects soil structure and remediative microbial function. - Scale inhibitor and biocide oilfield flowline additives interactively affect soil physical and microbial properties

  15. Shift in the microbial community composition of surface water and sediment along an urban river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lan; Zhang, Jing; Li, Huilin; Yang, Hong; Peng, Chao; Peng, Zhengsong; Lu, Lu

    2018-06-15

    Urban rivers represent a unique ecosystem in which pollution occurs regularly, leading to significantly altered of chemical and biological characteristics of the surface water and sediments. However, the impact of urbanization on the diversity and structure of the river microbial community has not been well documented. As a major tributary of the Yangtze River, the Jialing River flows through many cities. Here, a comprehensive analysis of the spatial microbial distribution in the surface water and sediments in the Nanchong section of Jialing River and its two urban branches was conducted using 16S rRNA gene-based Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The results revealed distinct differences in surface water bacterial composition along the river with a differential distribution of Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Acidobacteria (P urban water. PICRUSt metabolic inference analysis revealed a growing number of genes associated with xenobiotic metabolism and nitrogen metabolism in the urban water, indicating that urban discharges might act as the dominant selective force to alter the microbial communities. Redundancy analysis suggested that the microbial community structure was influenced by several environmental factors. TP (P urban river. These results highlight that river microbial communities exhibit spatial variation in urban areas due to the joint influence of chemical variables associated with sewage discharging and construction of hydropower stations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 2010 MICROBIAL STRESS RESPONSE GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCE, JULY 18-23, 2010

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarah Ades

    2011-07-23

    The 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Stress Responses provides an open and exciting forum for the exchange of scientific discoveries on the remarkable mechanisms used by microbes to survive in nearly every niche on the planet. Understanding these stress responses is critical for our ability to control microbial survival, whether in the context of biotechnology, ecology, or pathogenesis. From its inception in 1994, this conference has traditionally employed a very broad definition of stress in microbial systems. Sessions will cover the major steps of stress responses from signal sensing to transcriptional regulation to the effectors that mediate responses. A wide range of stresses will be represented. Some examples include (but are not limited to) oxidative stress, protein quality control, antibiotic-induced stress and survival, envelope stress, DNA damage, and nutritional stress. The 2010 meeting will also focus on the role of stress responses in microbial communities, applied and environmental microbiology, and microbial development. This conference brings together researchers from both the biological and physical sciences investigating stress responses in medically- and environmentally relevant microbes, as well as model organisms, using cutting-edge techniques. Computational, systems-level, and biophysical approaches to exploring stress responsive circuits will be integrated throughout the sessions alongside the more traditional molecular, physiological, and genetic approaches. The broad range of excellent speakers and topics, together with the intimate and pleasant setting at Mount Holyoke College, provide a fertile ground for the exchange of new ideas and approaches.

  17. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  18. Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cartwright, C.D.; Thompson, I.P.; Burns, R.G.

    2000-05-01

    To assess the impact of phthalates on soil microorganisms and to supplement the environmental risk assessment for these xenobiotics, soil was treated with diethyl phthalate (DEP) or di (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at 0.1 to 100 mg/g. Bioavailability and membrane disruption were proposed as the characteristics responsible for the observed fate and toxicity of both compounds. Diethyl phthalate was biodegraded rapidly in soil with a half-life of 0.75 d at 20 C, and was not expected to persist in the environment. The DEHP, although biodegradable in aqueous solution, was recalcitrant in soil, because of poor bioavailability and was predicted to account for the majority of phthalate contamination in the environment. Addition of DEP or DEHP to soil at a concentration similar to that detected in nonindustrial environments had no impact on the structural diversity or functional diversity (BIOLOG) of the microbial community. At concentrations representative of a phthalate spill, DEP reduced numbers of both total culturable bacteria and pseudomonads within 1 d. This was due to disruption of membrane fluidity by the lipophilic phthalate, a mechanism not previously attributed to phthalates. However, DEHP had no effect on the microbial community or membrane fluidity, even at 100 mg/g, and was predicted to have no impact on microbial communities in the environment.

  19. Aquatic biology studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Aquatic biology studies focused on studying the hydrothermal effects of Par Pond reservoir on periphyton, plankton, zooplankton, macrophytes, human pathogens, and microbial activity; the variability between the artificial streams of the Flowing Streams Laboratory and Upper Three Runs Creek; and the bacterial production of methane in Savannah River Plant aquatic systems

  20. Microbial synthesis of alka(enes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weihua eWang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Alka(enes are the predominant constituents of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. They can be produced naturally by a wide range of microorganisms. Bio- alka(enes can be used as drop-in biofuels. To date, five microbial pathways that convert free fatty acids or fatty acid derivatives into alka(enes have been identified or reconstituted. The discoveries open a door to achieve microbial production of alka(enes with high efficiency. The modules derived from these alka(ene biosynthetic pathways can be assembled as biological parts and synthetic biology strategies can be employed to optimize the metabolic pathways and improve alka(ene production.

  1. Engineering Robustness of Microbial Cell Factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zhiwei; Nielsen, Jens; Zhou, Yongjin J

    2017-10-01

    Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology offer great prospects in developing microbial cell factories capable of converting renewable feedstocks into fuels, chemicals, food ingredients, and pharmaceuticals. However, prohibitively low production rate and mass concentration remain the major hurdles in industrial processes even though the biosynthetic pathways are comprehensively optimized. These limitations are caused by a variety of factors unamenable for host cell survival, such as harsh industrial conditions, fermentation inhibitors from biomass hydrolysates, and toxic compounds including metabolic intermediates and valuable target products. Therefore, engineered microbes with robust phenotypes is essential for achieving higher yield and productivity. In this review, the recent advances in engineering robustness and tolerance of cell factories is described to cope with these issues and briefly introduce novel strategies with great potential to enhance the robustness of cell factories, including metabolic pathway balancing, transporter engineering, and adaptive laboratory evolution. This review also highlights the integration of advanced systems and synthetic biology principles toward engineering the harmony of overall cell function, more than the specific pathways or enzymes. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Marine microbial ecology in a molecular world: what does the future hold?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Caron

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in genetic and immunological approaches during the last few decades have transformed medicine and biomedical research. The human genome and the genomes of numerous model organisms are now fully sequenced. Initial exploitation of this wealth of genetic information has begun to revolutionize research on these species, and the applications derived from it. Progress in understanding the ecology of microorganisms (including marine taxa has followed closely on the heels of these advances, owing to the tremendous benefit afforded by major technological advances in biomedicine. Through the application of these novel approaches and new technologies, marine microbial ecology has moved from a minor footnote within marine biology and biological oceanography during the 1950s and ‘60s to the focus of much of our present interest in the ocean. During the intervening half-century we have learned a great deal regarding the overall abundances, distributions and activities of microorganisms in the sea. Recognition of the extraordinary diversity of marine microbes, the predominant role that they play in global biogeochemical processes, and the potential for natural or engineered microbial products to benefit humankind, has placed marine microbes in the spotlight of both scientific and popular attention. Our fascination with these minute denizens of the ocean is not likely to wane anytime soon. Recent studies have indicated that we still know relatively little about the breadth of microbial diversity in marine ecosystems. In addition, many (most? of the predominant marine microbial forms in nature have not yet been brought into laboratory culture. Thus, our knowledge is still rudimentary with respect to the spectra of biochemical, physiological and behavioral abilities of these species, and the study of marine microbes will remain a major focus of investigations in marine science well into the foreseeable future. As a large cadre of researchers moves

  3. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  4. Major Roads

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data set contains roadway centerlines for major roads (interstates and trunk highways) found on the USGS 1:24,000 mapping series. These roadways are current...

  5. Microbial micropatches within microbial hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Renee J.; Tobe, Shanan S.; Paterson, James S.; Seymour, Justin R.; Oliver, Rod L.; Mitchell, James G.

    2018-01-01

    The spatial distributions of organism abundance and diversity are often heterogeneous. This includes the sub-centimetre distributions of microbes, which have ‘hotspots’ of high abundance, and ‘coldspots’ of low abundance. Previously we showed that 300 μl abundance hotspots, coldspots and background regions were distinct at all taxonomic levels. Here we build on these results by showing taxonomic micropatches within these 300 μl microscale hotspots, coldspots and background regions at the 1 μl scale. This heterogeneity among 1 μl subsamples was driven by heightened abundance of specific genera. The micropatches were most pronounced within hotspots. Micropatches were dominated by Pseudomonas, Bacteroides, Parasporobacterium and Lachnospiraceae incertae sedis, with Pseudomonas and Bacteroides being responsible for a shift in the most dominant genera in individual hotspot subsamples, representing up to 80.6% and 47.3% average abundance, respectively. The presence of these micropatches implies the ability these groups have to create, establish themselves in, or exploit heterogeneous microenvironments. These genera are often particle-associated, from which we infer that these micropatches are evidence for sub-millimetre aggregates and the aquatic polymer matrix. These findings support the emerging paradigm that the microscale distributions of planktonic microbes are numerically and taxonomically heterogeneous at scales of millimetres and less. We show that microscale microbial hotspots have internal structure within which specific local nutrient exchanges and cellular interactions might occur. PMID:29787564

  6. Microbial community analysis of fouled reverse osmosis membranes used in water recycling

    KAUST Repository

    Ayache, C.; Manes, Carmem Lara De O; Pidou, Marc; Croue, Jean-Philippe; Gernjak, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Biofouling on RO membranes has major cost implications in water reclamation. In this study membranes and water samples were collected from a RO pilot-plant operated on two sites to study the differences in microbial communities in order to develop a better understanding of the biofouling. For the two sites studied, the examination of the front membrane of the first stage and the tail membrane of the second stage of the RO train using 16S rRNA gene-based molecular technique showed that bacteria were similar on both stages and no significant effect of the membrane location within the RO train on the biofilm development could be discerned. However, the comparison of the identified bacteria from membrane samples between the two sites showed that each site is specific, leading to a different composition of microbial communities. The different nutrient concentrations in the RO feed water due to the different biological pre-treatments are one potential explanation for the observed differences in the microbial communities. Seasonal variations also play a major role in the development of microbial communities as shown by the significant differences observed between the communities measured in the samples in winter and summer on the second site. The results did not show similarity between the species identified on the RO membranes and in the feed water. Hence, the relationship of microbial community between the water generated during the pre-treatment process and RO membranes is not obvious. From this study, results showed that there is an actual need to investigate the development of microbial communities on membrane surface in real conditions in order to suggest tailored solutions for biofouling control and removal. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Exploring Biogeochemistry and Microbial Diversity of Extant Microbialites in Mexico and Cuba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdespino-Castillo, Patricia M.; Hu, Ping; Merino-Ibarra, Martín; López-Gómez, Luz M.; Cerqueda-García, Daniel; González-De Zayas, Roberto; Pi-Puig, Teresa; Lestayo, Julio A.; Holman, Hoi-Ying; Falcón, Luisa I.

    2018-01-01

    Microbialites are modern analogs of ancient microbial consortia that date as far back as the Archaean Eon. Microbialites have contributed to the geochemical history of our planet through their diverse metabolic capacities that mediate mineral precipitation. These mineral-forming microbial assemblages accumulate major ions, trace elements and biomass from their ambient aquatic environments; their role in the resulting chemical structure of these lithifications needs clarification. We studied the biogeochemistry and microbial structure of microbialites collected from diverse locations in Mexico and in a previously undescribed microbialite in Cuba. We examined their structure, chemistry and mineralogy at different scales using an array of nested methods including 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing, elemental analysis, X-Ray fluorescence (XRF), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Synchrotron Radiation-based Fourier Transformed Infrared (SR-FTIR) spectromicroscopy. The resulting data revealed high biological and chemical diversity among microbialites and specific microbe to chemical correlations. Regardless of the sampling site, Proteobacteria had the most significant correlations with biogeochemical parameters such as organic carbon (Corg), nitrogen and Corg:Ca ratio. Biogeochemically relevant bacterial groups (dominant phototrophs and heterotrophs) showed significant correlations with major ion composition, mineral type and transition element content, such as cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper and nickel. Microbial-chemical relationships were discussed in reference to microbialite formation, microbial metabolic capacities and the role of transition elements as enzyme cofactors. This paper provides an analytical baseline to drive our understanding of the links between microbial diversity with the chemistry of their lithified precipitations. PMID

  8. Microbial community analysis of fouled reverse osmosis membranes used in water recycling

    KAUST Repository

    Ayache, C.

    2013-06-01

    Biofouling on RO membranes has major cost implications in water reclamation. In this study membranes and water samples were collected from a RO pilot-plant operated on two sites to study the differences in microbial communities in order to develop a better understanding of the biofouling. For the two sites studied, the examination of the front membrane of the first stage and the tail membrane of the second stage of the RO train using 16S rRNA gene-based molecular technique showed that bacteria were similar on both stages and no significant effect of the membrane location within the RO train on the biofilm development could be discerned. However, the comparison of the identified bacteria from membrane samples between the two sites showed that each site is specific, leading to a different composition of microbial communities. The different nutrient concentrations in the RO feed water due to the different biological pre-treatments are one potential explanation for the observed differences in the microbial communities. Seasonal variations also play a major role in the development of microbial communities as shown by the significant differences observed between the communities measured in the samples in winter and summer on the second site. The results did not show similarity between the species identified on the RO membranes and in the feed water. Hence, the relationship of microbial community between the water generated during the pre-treatment process and RO membranes is not obvious. From this study, results showed that there is an actual need to investigate the development of microbial communities on membrane surface in real conditions in order to suggest tailored solutions for biofouling control and removal. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Microbial Fuel Cells under Extreme Salinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monzon del Olmo, Oihane

    I developed a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) that unprecedentedly works (i.e., produces electricity) under extreme salinity (≈ 100 g/L NaCl). Many industries, such as oil and gas extraction, generate hypersaline wastewaters with high organic strength, accounting for about 5% of worldwide generated effluents, which represent a major challenge for pollution control and resource recovery. This study assesses the potential for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to treat such wastewaters and generate electricity under extreme saline conditions. Specifically, the focus is on the feasibility to treat hypersaline wastewater generated by the emerging unconventional oil and gas industry (hydraulic fracturing) and so, with mean salinity of 100 g/L NaCl (3-fold higher than sea water). The success of this novel technology strongly depends on finding a competent and resilient microbial community that can degrade the waste under extreme saline conditions and be able to use the anode as their terminal electron acceptor (exoelectrogenic capability). I demonstrated that MFCs can produce electricity at extremely high salinity (up to 250 g/l NaCl) with a power production of 71mW/m2. Pyrosequencing analysis of the anode population showed the predominance of Halanaerobium spp. (85%), which has been found in shale formations and oil reservoirs. Promoting Quorum sensing (QS, cell to cell communication between bacteria to control gene expression) was used as strategy to increase the attachment of bacteria to the anode and thus improve the MFC performance. Results show that the power output can be bolstered by adding 100nM of quinolone signal with an increase in power density of 30%, for the first time showing QS in Halanaerobium extremophiles. To make this technology closer to market applications, experiments with real wastewaters were also carried out. A sample of produced wastewater from Barnet Shale, Texas (86 g/L NaCl) produced electricity when fed in an MFC, leading to my discovery of another

  10. Biological basis of detoxication

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caldwell, John; Jakoby, William B

    1983-01-01

    This volume considers that premise that most of the major patterns of biological conversion of foreign compounds are known and may have predictive value in assessing the biological course for novel compounds...

  11. Microbial hydrocarbon degradation - bioremediation of oil spills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atlas, R M [Louisville Univ., KY (United States). Dept. of Biology

    1991-01-01

    Bioremediation has become a major method employed in restoration of oil-polluted environments that makes use of natural microbial biodegradative activities. Bioremediation of petroleum pollutants overcomes the factors limiting rates of microbial hydrocarbon biodegradation. Often this involves using the enzymatic capabilities of the indigenous hydrocarbon-degrading microbial populations and modifying environmental factors, particularly concentrations of molecular oxygen, fixed forms of nitrogen and phosphate to achieve enhanced rates of hydrocarbon biodegradation. Biodegradation of oily sludges and bioremediation of oil-contaminated sites has been achieved by oxygen addition-e.g. by tilling soils in landfarming and by adding hydrogen peroxide or pumping oxygen into oiled aquifers along with addition of nitrogen- and phosphorous-containing fertilizers. The success of seeding oil spills with microbial preparations is ambiguous. Successful bioremediation of a major marine oil spill has been achieved based upon addition of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers. (author).

  12. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Changes in the physicochemical and microbial quality of wastewater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Changes in the physicochemical and microbial quality of wastewater from a ... different points of a treatment plant and bacterial isolates were obtained from them. ... The biological oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, ...

  14. Biological hydrogen production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benemann, J.R. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1995-11-01

    Biological hydrogen production can be accomplished by either thermochemical (gasification) conversion of woody biomass and agricultural residues or by microbiological processes that yield hydrogen gas from organic wastes or water. Biomass gasification is a well established technology; however, the synthesis gas produced, a mixture of CO and H{sub 2}, requires a shift reaction to convert the CO to H{sub 2}. Microbiological processes can carry out this reaction more efficiently than conventional catalysts, and may be more appropriate for the relatively small-scale of biomass gasification processes. Development of a microbial shift reaction may be a near-term practical application of microbial hydrogen production.

  15. Impact of simulated acid rain on soil microbial community function in Masson pine seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Wang

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: The results obtained indicated that the higher acid load decreased the soil microbial activity and no effects on soil microbial diversity assessed by Biolog of potted Masson pine seedlings. Simulated acid rain also changed the metabolic capability of the soil microbial community.

  16. The Modern Synthesis in the Light of Microbial Genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Austin; Mariscal, Carlos; Doolittle, W Ford

    2016-09-08

    We review the theoretical implications of findings in genomics for evolutionary biology since the Modern Synthesis. We examine the ways in which microbial genomics has influenced our understanding of the last universal common ancestor, the tree of life, species, lineages, and evolutionary transitions. We conclude by advocating a piecemeal toolkit approach to evolutionary biology, in lieu of any grand unified theory updated to include microbial genomics.

  17. 11 Soil Microbial Biomass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    186–198. Insam H. (1990). Are the soil microbial biomass and basal respiration governed by the climatic regime? Soil. Biol. Biochem. 22: 525–532. Insam H. D. and Domsch K. H. (1989). Influence of microclimate on soil microbial biomass. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21: 211–21. Jenkinson D. S. (1988). Determination of microbial.

  18. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  19. Microbial Rechargeable Battery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molenaar, Sam D.; Mol, Annemerel R.; Sleutels, Tom H.J.A.; Heijne, Ter Annemiek; Buisman, Cees J.N.

    2016-01-01

    Bioelectrochemical systems hold potential for both conversion of electricity into chemicals through microbial electrosynthesis (MES) and the provision of electrical power by oxidation of organics using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study provides a proof of concept for a microbial

  20. Childhood microbial keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah G Al Otaibi

    2012-01-01

    Conclusion: Children with suspected microbial keratitis require comprehensive evaluation and management. Early recognition, identifying the predisposing factors and etiological microbial organisms, and instituting appropriate treatment measures have a crucial role in outcome. Ocular trauma was the leading cause of childhood microbial keratitis in our study.

  1. Mineralogical Control on Microbial Diversity in a Weathered Granite?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleeson, D.; Clipson, N.; McDermott, F.

    2003-12-01

    Mineral transformation reactions and the behaviour of metals in rock and soils are affected not only by physicochemical parameters but also by biological factors, particularly by microbial activity. Microbes inhabit a wide range of niches in surface and subsurface environments, with mineral-microbe interactions being generally poorly understood. The focus of this study is to elucidate the role of microbial activity in the weathering of common silicate minerals in granitic rocks. A site in the Wicklow Mountains (Ireland) has been identified that consists of an outcrop surface of Caledonian (ca. 400 million years old) pegmatitic granite from which large intact crystals of variably weathered muscovite, plagioclase, K-feldspar and quartz were sampled, together with whole-rock granite. Culture-based microbial approaches have been widely used to profile microbial communities, particularly from copiotrophic environments, but it is now well established that for oligotrophic environments such as those that would be expected on weathering faces, perhaps less than 1% of microbial diversity can be profiled by cultural means. A number of culture-independent molecular based approaches have been developed to profile microbial diversity and community structure. These rely on successfully isolating environmental DNA from a given environment, followed by the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the typically small quantities of extracted DNA. Amplified DNA can then be analysed using cloning based approaches as well as community fingerprinting systems such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) and ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA). Community DNA was extracted and the intergenic spacer region (ITS) between small (16S) and large (23S) bacterial subunit rRNA genes was amplified. RISA fragments were then electrophoresed on a non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel. Banding patterns suggest that

  2. Biological age as a health index for mortality and major age-related disease incidence in Koreans: National Health Insurance Service – Health screening 11-year follow-up study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kang YG

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Young Gon Kang,1 Eunkyung Suh,2 Jae-woo Lee,3 Dong Wook Kim,4 Kyung Hee Cho,5 Chul-Young Bae1 1Department of R&D, MediAge Research Center, Seongnam, Republic of South Korea; 2Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, CHA University, Chaum, Seoul, Republic of South Korea; 3Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Republic of South Korea; 4Department of Policy Research Affairs, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of South Korea; 5Department of Family Medicine, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of South KoreaPurpose: A comprehensive health index is needed to measure an individual’s overall health and aging status and predict the risk of death and age-related disease incidence, and evaluate the effect of a health management program. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the validity of estimated biological age (BA in relation to all-cause mortality and age-related disease incidence based on National Sample Cohort database.Patients and methods: This study was based on National Sample Cohort database of the National Health Insurance Service – Eligibility database and the National Health Insurance Service – Medical and Health Examination database of the year 2002 through 2013. BA model was developed based on the National Health Insurance Service – National Sample Cohort (NHIS – NSC database and Cox proportional hazard analysis was done for mortality and major age-related disease incidence.Results: For every 1 year increase of the calculated BA and chronological age difference, the hazard ratio for mortality significantly increased by 1.6% (1.5% in men and 2.0% in women and also for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke, and cancer incidence by 2.5%, 4.2%, 1.3%, 1.6%, and 0.4%, respectively (p<0.001.Conclusion: Estimated BA by the developed BA model based on NHIS – NSC database is expected to be

  3. A novel photo-biological engineering method for Salvia miltiorrhiza-mediated fabrication of silver nanoparticles using LED lights sources and its effectiveness against Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae and microbial pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this study, Salvia miltiorrhiza-synthesized Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) fabricated using sunlight or various LED lights were studied for their biophysical features and evaluated as larvicides against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and growth inhibitors on different species of microbial pathogens. AgNPs pr...

  4. Toxicity assessment using different bioassays and microbial biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Sedky H A; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Hussein, Mohamed A M; Abskharon, Romany; Oh, Sang-Eun

    2016-01-01

    Toxicity assessment of water streams, wastewater, and contaminated sediments, is a very important part of environmental pollution monitoring. Evaluation of biological effects using a rapid, sensitive and cost effective method can indicate specific information on ecotoxicity assessment. Recently, different biological assays for toxicity assessment based on higher and lower organisms such as fish, invertebrates, plants and algal cells, and microbial bioassays have been used. This review focuses on microbial biosensors as an analytical device for environmental, food, and biomedical applications. Different techniques which are commonly used in microbial biosensing include amperometry, potentiometry, conductometry, voltammetry, microbial fuel cells, fluorescence, bioluminescence, and colorimetry. Examples of the use of different microbial biosensors in assessing a variety of environments are summarized. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Type II NKT Cells in Inflammation, Autoimmunity, Microbial Immunity, and Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrero, Idania; Ware, Randle; Kumar, Vipin

    2015-01-01

    Natural killer T cells (NKT) recognize self and microbial lipid antigens presented by non-polymorphic CD1d molecules. Two major NKT cell subsets, type I and II, express different types of antigen receptors (TCR) with distinct mode of CD1d/lipid recognition. Though type II NKT cells are less frequent in mice and difficult to study, they are predominant in human. One of the major subsets of type II NKT cells reactive to the self-glycolipid sulfatide is the best characterized and has been shown to induce a dominant immune regulatory mechanism that controls inflammation in autoimmunity and in anti-cancer immunity. Recently, type II NKT cells reactive to other self-glycolipids and phospholipids have been identified suggesting both promiscuous and specific TCR recognition in microbial immunity as well. Since the CD1d pathway is highly conserved, a detailed understanding of the biology and function of type II NKT cells as well as their interplay with type I NKT cells or other innate and adaptive T cells will have major implications for potential novel interventions in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, microbial immunity, and cancer.

  6. The need for high-quality whole-genome sequence databases in microbial forensics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjödin, Andreas; Broman, Tina; Melefors, Öjar; Andersson, Gunnar; Rasmusson, Birgitta; Knutsson, Rickard; Forsman, Mats

    2013-09-01

    Microbial forensics is an important part of a strengthened capability to respond to biocrime and bioterrorism incidents to aid in the complex task of distinguishing between natural outbreaks and deliberate acts. The goal of a microbial forensic investigation is to identify and criminally prosecute those responsible for a biological attack, and it involves a detailed analysis of the weapon--that is, the pathogen. The recent development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has greatly increased the resolution that can be achieved in microbial forensic analyses. It is now possible to identify, quickly and in an unbiased manner, previously undetectable genome differences between closely related isolates. This development is particularly relevant for the most deadly bacterial diseases that are caused by bacterial lineages with extremely low levels of genetic diversity. Whole-genome analysis of pathogens is envisaged to be increasingly essential for this purpose. In a microbial forensic context, whole-genome sequence analysis is the ultimate method for strain comparisons as it is informative during identification, characterization, and attribution--all 3 major stages of the investigation--and at all levels of microbial strain identity resolution (ie, it resolves the full spectrum from family to isolate). Given these capabilities, one bottleneck in microbial forensics investigations is the availability of high-quality reference databases of bacterial whole-genome sequences. To be of high quality, databases need to be curated and accurate in terms of sequences, metadata, and genetic diversity coverage. The development of whole-genome sequence databases will be instrumental in successfully tracing pathogens in the future.

  7. Microbial community functional structure in response to antibiotics in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Xie, Jianping; Liu, Miaomiao; Tian, Zhe; He, Zhili; van Nostrand, Joy D; Ren, Liren; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Min

    2013-10-15

    It is widely demonstrated that antibiotics in the environment affect microbial community structure. However, direct evidence regarding the impacts of antibiotics on microbial functional structures in wastewater treatment systems is limited. Herein, a high-throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0) in combination with quantitative PCR and clone libraries were used to evaluate the microbial functional structures in two biological wastewater treatment systems, which treat antibiotic production wastewater mainly containing oxytetracycline. Despite the bacteriostatic effects of antibiotics, the GeoChip detected almost all key functional gene categories, including carbon cycling, nitrogen cycling, etc., suggesting that these microbial communities were functionally diverse. Totally 749 carbon-degrading genes belonging to 40 groups (24 from bacteria and 16 from fungi) were detected. The abundance of several fungal carbon-degrading genes (e.g., glyoxal oxidase (glx), lignin peroxidase or ligninase (lip), manganese peroxidase (mnp), endochitinase, exoglucanase_genes) was significantly correlated with antibiotic concentrations (Mantel test; P functional genes have been enhanced by the presence of antibiotics. However, from the fact that the majority of carbon-degrading genes were derived from bacteria and diverse antibiotic resistance genes were detected in bacteria, it was assumed that many bacteria could survive in the environment by acquiring antibiotic resistance and may have maintained the position as a main player in nutrient removal. Variance partitioning analysis showed that antibiotics could explain 24.4% of variations in microbial functional structure of the treatment systems. This study provides insights into the impacts of antibiotics on microbial functional structure of a unique system receiving antibiotic production wastewater, and reveals the potential importance of the cooperation between fungi and bacteria with antibiotic resistance in maintaining the

  8. Microbial transformations of nitrogen, sulfur and iron dictate vegetation composition in wetlands: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon P.M. Lamers

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The majority of studies on rhizospheric interactions between microbial communities and vegetation focus on pathogens, mycorrhizal symbiosis, and/or carbon transformations. Although the biogeochemical transformations of nitrogen (N, sulfur (S and iron (Fe have profound effects on plants, these effects have received far less attention. Firstly, all three elements are plant nutrients, and microbial activity significantly changes their mobility and availability. Secondly, microbial oxidation with oxygen supplied by radial oxygen loss (ROL from roots in wetlands causes acidification, while reduction using alternative electron acceptors leads to generation of alkalinity, affecting pH in the rhizosphere and hence plant composition. Thirdly, reduced species of all three elements may become phytotoxic. In addition, Fe cycling is tightly linked to that of S and phosphorus (P. As water level fluctuations are very common in wetlands, rapid changes in the availability of oxygen and alternative terminal electron acceptors will result in strong changes in the prevalent microbial redox reactions, with significant effects on plant growth. Depending on geological and hydrological settings, these interacting microbial transformations change the conditions and resource availability for plants, which are strong drivers of vegetation development and composition by changing relative competitive strengths. Conversely, microbial composition is strongly driven by vegetation composition. Therefore, the combination of micro- and macroecological knowledge is essential to understand the biogeochemical and biological key factors driving heterogeneity and total (i.e., micro-macro community composition at different spatial and temporal scales. As N and S inputs have drastically increased due to anthropogenic forcing and Fe inputs have decreased at a global scale, this combined approach has become even more urgent.

  9. Biologically mediated dissolution of volcanic glass in seawater

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staudigel, H; Yayanos, A; Chastain, R; Davies, G.T.; Verdurmen, E.A Th; Schiffmann, P; Bourcier, R; de Baar, H.J.W.

    1998-01-01

    We studied the effects of biological mediation on the dissolution of basaltic glass in seawater. Experiments with typical seawater microbial populations were contrasted with a sterile control, and reactions were monitored chemically and isotopically. Biologically mediated experiments produce twice

  10. Are biological effects of desert shrubs more important than physical effects on soil microorganisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Naama; Steinberger, Yosef

    2010-01-01

    Vegetation cover plays a major role in providing organic matter and in acting as a physical barrier, with both together contributing to the formation of "fertile islands," which play an active role in prolonging biological activity in desert ecosystems. By undertaking this study, a longterm research, we designed an experiment to separate the two components-the physical and biotic parts of the perennial plants-and to identify the factor that contributes the most to the ecosystem. The study site was located in the northern Negev Desert, Israel, where 50 Hammada scoparia shrubs and 50 artificial plants were randomly marked. Soil samples were collected monthly over 3 years of research at three locations: under the canopy of H. scoparia shrubs, in the vicinity of the artificial plants, and between the shrubs (control). The contribution to microbial activity was measured by evaluation of the microbial community functions in soil. The functional aspects of the microbial community that were measured were CO2 evolution, microbial biomass, microbial functional diversity, and the physiological profile of the community. The results of this study are presented in two ways: (1) according to the three locations/treatments; and (2) according to the phenological situation of the vegetation (annual and perennial plants) in the research field: the growing phase, the drying process, and the absence of annual plants. The only parameters that were found to affect microbial activity were the contribution of the organic matter of perennial shrubs and the growth of vegetation (annual and perennial) during the growing seasons. The physical component was found to have no effect on soil microbial functional diversity, which elucidates the important contribution of the desert shrub in enhancing biological multiplicity and activity.

  11. Ethnobotanical and biological activities of Leptadenia pyrotechnica ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: This review includes the substance of different ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry and exclusive capability of this plant in the field of anti-microbial and human disease activities. Key words: Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Biological activities, Desert plant, Ethnobotanical, Phytochemical activity, phytochemistry.

  12. General Biology Syllabus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Scott; Watthews, Thomas

    This syllabus has been developed as an alternative to Regents biology and is intended for the average student who could benefit from an introductory biology course. It is divided into seven major units dealing with, respectively: (1) similarities among living things; (2) human biology (focusing on nutrition, transport, respiration, excretion, and…

  13. Impact of Organic and Conventional Systems of Coffee Farming on Soil Properties and Culturable Microbial Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velmourougane, Kulandaivelu

    2016-01-01

    A study was undertaken with an objective of evaluating the long-term impacts of organic (ORG) and conventional (CON) methods of coffee farming on soil physical, chemical, biological, and microbial diversity. Electrical conductivity and bulk density were found to increase by 34% and 21%, respectively, in CON compared to ORG system, while water holding capacity was found decreased in both the systems. Significant increase in organic carbon was observed in ORG system. Major nutrients, nitrogen and potassium, levels showed inclination in both ORG and CON system, but the trend was much more pronounced in CON system. Phosphorus was found to increase in both ORG and CON system, but its availability was found to be more with CON system. In biological attributes, higher soil respiration and fluorescein diacetate activity were recorded in ORG system compared to CON system. Higher soil urease activity was observed in CON system, while dehydrogenase activity does not show significant differences between ORG and CON systems. ORG system was found to have higher macrofauna (31.4%), microbial population (34%), and microbial diversity indices compared to CON system. From the present study, it is accomplished that coffee soil under long-term ORG system has better soil properties compared to CON system.

  14. Microbial electrosynthetic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Harold D.; Marshall, Christopher W.; Labelle, Edward V.

    2018-01-30

    Methods are provided for microbial electrosynthesis of H.sub.2 and organic compounds such as methane and acetate. Method of producing mature electrosynthetic microbial populations by continuous culture is also provided. Microbial populations produced in accordance with the embodiments as shown to efficiently synthesize H.sub.2, methane and acetate in the presence of CO.sub.2 and a voltage potential. The production of biodegradable and renewable plastics from electricity and carbon dioxide is also disclosed.

  15. Characterization of microbial degradation of oxytetracycline in river ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Characterization of microbial degradation of oxytetracycline in river water and sediment using reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... The present results have shown that microbial degradation plays a major role in the removal of OTC in natural environments.

  16. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index

  17. Systems Level Dissection of Anaerobic Methane Cycling: Quantitative Measurements of Single Cell Ecophysiology, Genetic Mechanisms, and Microbial Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orphan, Victoria [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Tyson, Gene [University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia; Meile, Christof [University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; McGlynn, Shawn [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Yu, Hang [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Chadwick, Grayson [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Marlow, Jeffrey [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Dekas, Anne [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Hettich, Robert [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pan, Chongle [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Ellisman, Mark [University of California San Diego; Hatzenpichler, Roland [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Skennerton, Connor [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Scheller, Silvan [California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)

    2017-12-25

    The global biological CH4 cycle is largely controlled through coordinated and often intimate microbial interactions between archaea and bacteria, the majority of which are still unknown or have been only cursorily identified. Members of the methanotrophic archaea, aka ‘ANME’, are believed to play a major role in the cycling of methane in anoxic environments coupled to sulfate, nitrate, and possibly iron and manganese oxides, frequently forming diverse physical and metabolic partnerships with a range of bacteria. The thermodynamic challenges overcome by the ANME and their bacterial partners and corresponding slow rates of growth are common characteristics in anaerobic ecosystems, and, in stark contrast to most cultured microorganisms, this type of energy and resource limited microbial lifestyle is likely the norm in the environment. While we have gained an in-depth systems level understanding of fast-growing, energy-replete microorganisms, comparatively little is known about the dynamics of cell respiration, growth, protein turnover, gene expression, and energy storage in the slow-growing microbial majority. These fundamental properties, combined with the observed metabolic and symbiotic versatility of methanotrophic ANME, make these cooperative microbial systems a relevant (albeit challenging) system to study and for which to develop and optimize culture-independent methodologies, which enable a systems-level understanding of microbial interactions and metabolic networks. We used an integrative systems biology approach to study anaerobic sediment microcosms and methane-oxidizing bioreactors and expanded our understanding of the methanotrophic ANME archaea, their interactions with physically-associated bacteria, ecophysiological characteristics, and underlying genetic basis for cooperative microbial methane-oxidation linked with different terminal electron acceptors. Our approach is inherently multi-disciplinary and multi-scaled, combining transcriptional and

  18. The information science of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Microbial Profiling Of Cyanobacteria From VIT Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Singh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The application of molecular biological methods to study the diversity and ecology of micro-organisms in natural environments has been practice in mid-1980. The aim of our research is to access the diversity composition and functioning of complex microbial community found in VIT Lake. Molecular ecology is a new field in which microbes can be recognized and their function can be understood at the DNA or RNA level which is useful for constructing genetically modified microbes by recombinant DNA technology for reputed use in the environment. In this research first we will isolate cyanobacteria in lab using conventional methods like broth culture and spread plate method then we will analyze their morphology using various staining methods and DNA and protein composition using electrophoresis method. The applications of community profiling approaches will advance our understanding of the functional role of microbial diversity in VIT Lake controls on microbial community composition.

  20. Microbial changes during pregnancy, birth and infancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meital Nuriel-Ohayon

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Several healthy developmental processes such as pregnancy, fetal development and infant development include a multitude of physiological changes: weight gain, hormonal and metabolic changes, as well as immune changes. In this review we present an additional important factor which both influences and is affected by these physiological processes- the microbiome. We summarize the known changes in microbiota composition at a variety of body sites including gut, vagina, oral cavity and placenta, throughout pregnancy, fetal development and early childhood. There is still a lot to be discovered; yet several pieces of research point to the healthy desired microbial changes. Future research is likely to unravel precise roles and mechanisms of the microbiota in gestation; perhaps linking the metabolic, hormonal and immune changes together. Although some research has started to link microbial dysbiosis and specific microbial populations with unhealthy pregnancy complications, it is important to first understand the context of the natural healthy microbial changes occurring. Until recently the placenta and developing fetus were considered to be germ free, containing no apparent microbiome. We present multiple study results showing distinct microbiota compositions in the placenta and meconium, alluding to early microbial colonization. These results may change dogmas and our overall understanding of the importance and roles of microbiota from the beginning of life. We further review the main factors shaping the infant microbiome- modes of delivery, feeding, weaning, and exposure to antibiotics. Taken together, we are starting to build a broader understanding of healthy vs. abnormal microbial alterations throughout major developmental time-points.

  1. Microbial terroir for wine grapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilbert, J. A.; van der Lelie, D.; Zarraonaindia, I.

    2013-12-05

    The viticulture industry has been selectively growing vine cultivars with different traits (grape size, shape, color, flavor, yield of fruit, and so forth) for millennia, and small variations in soil composition, water management, climate, and the aspect of vineyards have long been associated with shifts in these traits. As such, many different clonal varieties of vines exist, even within given grape varieties, such as merlot, pinot noir, and chardonnay. The commensal microbial flora that coexists with the plant may be one of the key factors that influence these traits. To date, the role of microbes has been largely ignored, outside of microbial pathogens, mainly because the technologies did not exist to allow us to look in any real depth or breadth at the community structure of the multitudes of bacterial and fungal species associated with each plant. In PNAS, Bokulich et al. (1) used next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer ribosomal sequence to determine the relative abundances of bacteria and fungi, respectively, from grape must (freshly pressed grape juice, containing the skins and seeds) from plants in eight vineyards representing four of the major wine growing regions in California. The authors show that the microbiomes (bacterial and fungal taxonomic structure) associated with this early fermentation stage show defined biogeography, illustrating that different wine-growing regions maintain different microbial communities, with some influences from the grape variety and the year of production.

  2. 16S/18S ribosomal DNA clone library analysis of rumen microbial diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, A.G.; Kiyoshi Tajima; Aminov, R.I.

    2005-01-01

    The rumen contains a complex ecosystem where billions of bacteria, archaea, protozoa and fungi reside. This diverse microbiota is well adapted to live in the rumen and play an important role in the digestion of feed and nutrient supply to the host in the form of microbial protein and volatile fatty acids. It is estimated that the rumen microbial population consists of about 10 6 protozoa/ml, 10 3 -10 7 fungi/ml, 10 10 bacteria/ml, and 10 9 methanogens/ml. To better understand the complex relationships in the rumen, it is necessary to gain an insight into the diversity of the rumen microbes and how the quantity and composition of rumen micro-organisms are altered by a number of different host factors such as age, genetics and diet. In the past, the diversity of micro-organisms from the digestive tracts of domesticated ruminants has been identified by classical microbiological techniques. However, given the fastidious growth requirements of rumen micro-organisms, it is reasonable to concede that the culture-dependent methods may select against some species, or taxonomic groups, leading researchers to underestimate the microbial diversity that is actually present in the rumen. In fact, it has been speculated that 90% of micro-organisms in nature have escaped traditional cultivation methods. Therefore, a major challenge in microbial ecology has been to assess the diversity and structure of natural microbial communities. The field of molecular biology has advanced with many innovative technological breakthroughs. The ability to extract and to isolate high-molecular weight DNA from rumen digesta, PCR amplify genes from specific microbial groups and obtain gene sequence data is now a routine event. The small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) gene, called 16S in prokaryotes and 18S in eukaryotes, is the most widely used molecular marker to presumptively identify morphologically indistinguishable species, to infer their phylogenetic relationships, and to elucidate microbial

  3. Microbial accumulation of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wei; Dong Faqin; Dai Qunwei

    2005-01-01

    The mechanism of microbial accumulation of uranium and the effects of some factors (including pH, initial uranium concentration, pretreatment of bacteria, and so on) on microbial accumulation of uranium are discussed briefly. The research direction and application prospect are presented. (authors)

  4. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    A novel microbial fuel cell construction for the generation of electrical energy. The microbial fuel cell comprises: (i) an anode electrode, (ii) a cathode chamber, said cathode chamber comprising an in let through which an influent enters the cathode chamber, an outlet through which an effluent...

  5. Microbial control of pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, J C; Gadd, G M; Herbert, R A; Jones, C W; Watson-Craik, I A [eds.

    1992-01-01

    12 papers are presented on the microbial control of pollution. Topics covered include: bioremediation of oil spills; microbial control of heavy metal pollution; pollution control using microorganisms and magnetic separation; degradation of cyanide and nitriles; nitrogen removal from water and waste; and land reclamation and restoration.

  6. Which Members of the Microbial Communities Are Active? Microarrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Brandon E. L.

    Here, we introduce the concept of microarrays, discuss the advantages of several different types of arrays and present a case study that illustrates a targeted-profiling approach to bioremediation of a hydrocarbon-contaminated site in an Arctic environment. The majority of microorganisms in the terrestrial subsurface, particularly those involved in 'heavy oil' formation, reservoir souring or biofouling remain largely uncharacterised (Handelsman, 2004). There is evidence though that these processes are biologically catalysed, including stable isotopic composition of hydrocarbons in oil formations (Pallasser, 2000; Sun et al., 2005), the absence of biodegraded oil from reservoirs warmer than 80°C (Head et al., 2003) or negligible biofouling in the absence of biofilms (Dobretsov et al., 2009; Lewandowski and Beyenal, 2008), and all clearly suggest an important role for microorganisms in the deep biosphere in general and oilfield systems in particular. While the presence of sulphate-reducing bacteria in oilfields was first observed in the early twentieth century (Bastin, 1926), it was only through careful experiments with isolates from oil systems or contaminated environments that unequivocal evidence for hydrocarbon biodegradation under anaerobic conditions was provided (for a review, see Widdel et al., 2006). Work with pure cultures and microbial enrichments also led to the elucidation of the biochemistry of anaerobic aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation and the identification of central metabolites and genes involved in the process, e.g. (Callaghan et al., 2008; Griebler et al., 2003; Kropp et al., 2000). This information could then be extrapolated to the environment to monitor degradation processes and determine if in situ microbial populations possessed the potential for contaminant bioremediation, e.g. Parisi et al. (2009). While other methods have also been developed to monitor natural attenuation of hydrocarbons (Meckenstock et al., 2004), we are

  7. Microbial population changes in tropical agricultural soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impacts of crude petroleum pollution on the soil environment and microbial population dynamics as well as recovery rates of an abandoned farmland was monitored for seven months spanning the two major seasons in Nigeria with a ... The physico-chemistry of the control and contaminated soils differed just significantly (P ...

  8. Microbial safety of foods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bandekar, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    Despite advances in hygiene, consumer knowledge and food treatment and processing, food-borne diseases have become one of the most widespread public health problems in the world to-day. About two thirds of all outbreaks are traced to microbial contaminated food - one of the most hazardous being Clostridium botulinum, E. coli 0157: H7 and Salmonella. The pathogens can be introduced in the food products anywhere in the food chain and hence it is of prime important to have microbial vigilance in the entire food chain. WHO estimates that food-borne and water-borne diarrhoeal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually. The infants, children, elderly and immune-compromised people are particularly susceptible to food-borne diseases. Unsafe food causes many acute and life-long diseases, ranging from diarrhoeal diseases to various forms of cancer. A number of factors such as emergence of new food-borne pathogens, development of drug resistance in the pathogens, changing life style, global trade of food etc. are responsible for the continued persistence of food-borne diseases. Due to consumer demand, a number of Ready-To-Eat (RTE) minimally processed foods are increasingly marketed. However, there is increased risk of food-borne diseases with these products. The food-borne disease outbreaks due to E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Campylobacter are responsible for recall of many foods resulting in heavy losses to food industry. The development of multi drug resistant pathogens due to indiscriminate use of antibiotics is also a major problem. Food Technology Division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has been working on food-borne bacterial pathogens particularly Salmonella, Campylobacter, Vibrio and Aeromonas species, their prevalence in export quality seafood as well in foods sold in retail market such as poultry, fish, sprouts and salads. These pathogens from Indian foods have been characterized for the presence of virulence genes

  9. Advancing analytical algorithms and pipelines for billions of microbial sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Antonio; Knight, Rob

    2012-02-01

    The vast number of microbial sequences resulting from sequencing efforts using new technologies require us to re-assess currently available analysis methodologies and tools. Here we describe trends in the development and distribution of software for analyzing microbial sequence data. We then focus on one widely used set of methods, dimensionality reduction techniques, which allow users to summarize and compare these vast datasets. We conclude by emphasizing the utility of formal software engineering methods for the development of computational biology tools, and the need for new algorithms for comparing microbial communities. Such large-scale comparisons will allow us to fulfill the dream of rapid integration and comparison of microbial sequence data sets, in a replicable analytical environment, in order to describe the microbial world we inhabit. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Review of Micro/Nanotechnologies for Microbial Biosensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Won eLim

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available A microbial biosensor is an analytical device with a biologically integrated transducer that generates a measurable signal indicating the analyte concentration. This method is ideally suited for the analysis of extracellular chemicals and the environment, and for metabolic sensory-regulation. Although microbial biosensors show promise for application in various detection fields, some limitations still remain such as poor selectivity, low sensitivity, and impractical portability. To overcome such limitations, microbial biosensors have been integrated with many recently developed micro/nanotechnologies and applied to a wide range of detection purposes. This review article discusses micro/nanotechnologies that have been integrated with microbial biosensors and summarizes recent advances and the applications achieved through such novel integration. Future perspectives on the combination of micro/nanotechnologies and microbial biosensors will be discussed, and the necessary developments and improvements will be strategically deliberated.

  11. Improving Microbial Genome Annotations in an Integrated Database Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Min A.; Markowitz, Victor M.; Chu, Ken; Anderson, Iain; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Ivanova, Natalia N.

    2013-01-01

    Effective comparative analysis of microbial genomes requires a consistent and complete view of biological data. Consistency regards the biological coherence of annotations, while completeness regards the extent and coverage of functional characterization for genomes. We have developed tools that allow scientists to assess and improve the consistency and completeness of microbial genome annotations in the context of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) family of systems. All publicly available microbial genomes are characterized in IMG using different functional annotation and pathway resources, thus providing a comprehensive framework for identifying and resolving annotation discrepancies. A rule based system for predicting phenotypes in IMG provides a powerful mechanism for validating functional annotations, whereby the phenotypic traits of an organism are inferred based on the presence of certain metabolic reactions and pathways and compared to experimentally observed phenotypes. The IMG family of systems are available at http://img.jgi.doe.gov/. PMID:23424620

  12. An overview of field specific designs of microbial EOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robertson, E.P.; Bala, G.A.; Fox, S.L.; Jackson, J.D.; Thomas, C.P.

    1995-12-01

    The selection and design of a microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) process for application in a specific field involves geological, reservoir, and biological characterization. Microbially mediated oil recovery mechanisms (biogenic gas, biopolymers, and biosurfactants) are defined by the types of microorganisms used. The engineering and biological character of a given reservoir must be understood to correctly select a microbial system to enhance oil recovery. The objective of this paper is to discuss the methods used to evaluate three fields with distinct characteristics and production problems for the applicability of MEOR technology. Reservoir characteristics and laboratory results indicated that MEOR would not be applicable in two of the three fields considered. The development of a microbial oil recovery process for the third field appeared promising. Development of a bacterial consortium capable of producing the desired metabolites was initiated and field isolates were characterized.

  13. Improving microbial genome annotations in an integrated database context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I-Min A Chen

    Full Text Available Effective comparative analysis of microbial genomes requires a consistent and complete view of biological data. Consistency regards the biological coherence of annotations, while completeness regards the extent and coverage of functional characterization for genomes. We have developed tools that allow scientists to assess and improve the consistency and completeness of microbial genome annotations in the context of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG family of systems. All publicly available microbial genomes are characterized in IMG using different functional annotation and pathway resources, thus providing a comprehensive framework for identifying and resolving annotation discrepancies. A rule based system for predicting phenotypes in IMG provides a powerful mechanism for validating functional annotations, whereby the phenotypic traits of an organism are inferred based on the presence of certain metabolic reactions and pathways and compared to experimentally observed phenotypes. The IMG family of systems are available at http://img.jgi.doe.gov/.

  14. Effect of glyphosate on the microbial activity of two Romanian soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumalan, R M; Alexa, E; Negrea, M; Sumalan, R L; Doncean, A; Pop, G

    2010-01-01

    Glyphosate applied to soils potentially affect microbial activity. A series of field and laboratory experiments assessed the effect of this herbicide on soil microorganisms. The aim of experiments was to evaluate the effect of glyphosate application on the soil microbial community structure, function and their activity. We studied "in vitro", changes in the microbial activity of typical Chernozem and Gleysol soils, with and without applied glyphosate. The herbicide was applied at a rate of 2, respectively 4 mg kg(-1) of soil and microbial activity were measured by fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis. We found an increase of 9 to 13% in FDA hydrolyses in the presence of glyphosate in rate of 2 mg kg (-1) compared with the same type of soil which had never received herbicide. The double quantity of glyphosate decrease soil microbial activity; the amount of hydrolyzed fluorescein is lower than the addition of 2 ppm. The greater decrease was observed in the Gleysol type where the fluorescein hydrolyzed is with 4, 85% lower than version control without glyphosate. Chemical characters of soil, influence soil biological activity when herbicide is added. In Chemozem case, rich in humus, whose predominant micro flora is represented by actinomycetes through glyphosate treatment these organisms growths of as major producers of antibiotics actinomycetes determine an inhibitory effect on eubacteria and micromycetes growth, which is highlighted by estimating a relatively small number of them. After 10 days, once with decreasing of glyphosate content in soil, decreases the number of active actinomycetes, therefore we are witnessing to a numerical growth of bacterial population. In Gleysol type the indigenous micro flora is represented by eubacteria, so when the glyphosate is added it was registered a high growth of these organisms fraction.

  15. The Earth Microbiome Project and modeling the planets microbial potential (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of Earth's climate and ecology requires multiscale observations of the biosphere, of which microbial life are a major component. However, to acquire and process physical samples of soil, water and air that comprise the appropriate spatial and temporal resolution to capture the immense variation in microbial dynamics, would require a herculean effort and immense financial resources dwarfing even the most ambitious projects to date. To overcome this hurdle we created the Earth Microbiome Project, a crowd-sourced effort to acquire physical samples from researchers around the world that are, importantly, contextualized with physical, chemical and biological data detailing the environmental properties of that sample in the location and time it was acquired. The EMP leverages these existing efforts to target a systematic analysis of microbial taxonomic and functional dynamics across a vast array of environmental parameter gradients. The EMP captures the environmental gradients, location, time and sampling protocol information about every sample donated by our valued collaborators. Physical samples are then processed using a standardized DNA extraction, PCR, and shotgun sequencing protocol to generate comparable data regarding the microbial community structure and function in each sample. To date we have processed >17,000 samples from 40 different biomes. One of the key goals of the EMP is to map the spatiotemporal variability of microbial communities to capture the changes in important functional processes that need to be appropriately expressed in models to provide reliable forecasts of ecosystem phenotype across our changing planet. This is essential if we are to develop economically sound strategies to be good stewards of our Earth. The EMP recognizes that environments are comprised of complex sets of interdependent parameters and that the development of useful predictive computational models of both terrestrial and atmospheric systems requires

  16. Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rinke, Christian; Schwientek, Patrick; Sczyrba, Alexander; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Anderson, Iain J.; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Darling, Aaron; Malfatti, Stephanie; Swan, Brandon K.; Gies, Esther A.; Dodsworth, Jeremy A.; Hedlund, Brian P.; Tsiamis, George; Sievert, Stefan M.; Liu, Wen-Tso; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Hallam, Steven J.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Rubin, Edward M.; Hugenholtz, Philip; Woyke, Tanja

    2013-07-01

    Genome sequencing enhances our understanding of the biological world by providing blueprints for the evolutionary and functional diversity that shapes the biosphere. However, microbial genomes that are currently available are of limited phylogenetic breadth, owing to our historical inability to cultivate most microorganisms in the laboratory. We apply single-cell genomics to target and sequence 201 uncultivated archaeal and bacterial cells fromnine diverse habitats belonging to 29 major mostly uncharted branches of the tree of life, so-called microbial dark matter. With this additional genomic information, we are able to resolve many intra- and inter-phylum-level relationships and to propose two new superphyla. We uncover unexpected metabolic features that extend our understanding of biology and challenge established boundaries between the three domains of life. These include a novel amino acid use for the opal stop codon, an archaeal-type purine synthesis in Bacteria and complete sigma factors in Archaea similar to those in Bacteria. The single-cell genomes also served to phylogenetically anchor up to 20percent of metagenomic reads in some habitats, facilitating organism-level interpretation of ecosystem function. This study greatly expands the genomic representation of the tree of life and provides a systematic step towards a better understanding of biological evolution on our planet.

  17. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Ruud A; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P B T B; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    2012-04-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors.

  18. Soil Microbes and soil microbial proteins: interactions with clay minerals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spence, A.; Kelleher, B. P.

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial enumeration in soil environments estimates that the population may reach approximately 10 1 0 g - 1 of soil and comprise up to 90% of the total soil microbial biomass. Bacteria are present in soils as single cells or multicell colonies and often strongly adsorb onto mineral surfaces such as sand and clay. The interactions of microbes and microbial biomolecules with these minerals have profound impacts on the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils. (Author)

  19. Understanding Mechanism of Photocatalytic Microbial Decontamination of Environmental Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chhabilal Regmi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Several photocatalytic nanoparticles are synthesized and studied for potential application for the degradation of organic and biological wastes. Although these materials degrade organic compounds by advance oxidation process, the exact mechanisms of microbial decontamination remains partially known. Understanding the real mechanisms of these materials for microbial cell death and growth inhibition helps to fabricate more efficient semiconductor photocatalyst for large-scale decontamination of environmental wastewater or industries and hospitals/biomedical labs generating highly pathogenic bacteria and toxic molecules containing liquid waste by designing a reactor. Recent studies on microbial decontamination by photocatalytic nanoparticles and their possible mechanisms of action is highlighted with examples in this mini review.

  20. Microbial-Catalyzed Biotransformation of Multifunctional Triterpenoids Derived from Phytonutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Syed Adnan Ali; Tan, Huey Ling; Sultan, Sadia; Mohd Faridz, Muhammad Afifi Bin; Mohd Shah, Mohamad Azlan Bin; Nurfazilah, Sharifah; Hussain, Munawar

    2014-01-01

    Microbial-catalyzed biotransformations have considerable potential for the generation of an enormous variety of structurally diversified organic compounds, especially natural products with complex structures like triterpenoids. They offer efficient and economical ways to produce semi-synthetic analogues and novel lead molecules. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi could catalyze chemo-, regio- and stereospecific hydroxylations of diverse triterpenoid substrates that are extremely difficult to produce by chemical routes. During recent years, considerable research has been performed on the microbial transformation of bioactive triterpenoids, in order to obtain biologically active molecules with diverse structures features. This article reviews the microbial modifications of tetranortriterpenoids, tetracyclic triterpenoids and pentacyclic triterpenoids. PMID:25003642

  1. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E

    2017-09-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2 . However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14). © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  2. The path to next generation biofuels: successes and challenges in the era of synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Volatility of oil prices along with major concerns about climate change, oil supply security and depleting reserves have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Recent advances in synthetic biology provide new tools for metabolic engineers to direct their strategies and construct optimal biocatalysts for the sustainable production of biofuels. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts entailing the engineering of native and de novo pathways for conversion of biomass constituents to short-chain alcohols and advanced biofuels are herewith reviewed. In the foreseeable future, formal integration of functional genomics and systems biology with synthetic biology and metabolic engineering will undoubtedly support the discovery, characterization, and engineering of new metabolic routes and more efficient microbial systems for the production of biofuels. PMID:20089184

  3. Apple replant disease: role of microbial ecology in cause and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzola, Mark; Manici, Luisa M

    2012-01-01

    Replant disease of apple is common to all major apple growing regions of the world. Difficulties in defining disease etiology, which can be exacerbated by abiotic factors, have limited progress toward developing alternatives to soil fumigation for disease control. However, the preponderance of data derived from studies of orchard soil biology employing multidisciplinary approaches has defined a complex of pathogens/parasites as causal agents of the disease. Approaches to manipulate microbial resources endemic to the orchard soil system have been proposed to induce a state of general soil suppressiveness to replant disease. Such a long-term strategy may benefit the existing orchard through extending the period of economic viability and reduce overall disease pressure to which young trees are exposed during establishment of successive plantings on the site. Alternatively, more near-term methods have been devised to achieve specific quantitative and qualitative changes in soil biology during the period of orchard renovation that may lead to effective disease suppression.

  4. Microbial Metabolic Roles in Bedrock Degradation and the Genesis of Biomineral and Biopattern Biosignatures in Caves and Mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P. J.

    2016-12-01

    In subsurface environments like natural or anthropogenic caves (aka mines), microorganisms facilitate considerable bedrock degradation under a variety of circumstances. Mobilization of materials from these processes frequently produces distinctive biominerals, identifiable biotextures, and unique biopatterns. Microbial activities can even determine the form of speleothems (secondary mineral cave decorations), thus providing highly conspicuous macroscopic biosignatures. It is critical to understand microbial-mineral interactions, recognizing that while the lithology controls important aspects of the environment, in turn, the geochemistry is greatly affected by the biology. Microbial communities can contribute to the actual formation of cavities (speleogenesis), and subsequent enlargement of caves and vugs and the mineral deposits that enrich many subterranean spaces. A major challenge is to quantify such influences. Genetic analysis is revealing a vast but highly partitioned biodiversity in the overall rock fracture habitat of Earth's crust especially in caves and mines where the three phases of matter (solid rock, fluids, and gases) typically interact producing high niche richness. Lessons learned from the microbial/geochemical systems that we have studied include: 1) significant similarities in metabolic functions between different geochemical systems, 2) ubiquity of metal oxidation for energy, 3) ubiquity of biofilms, some highly mineralized, 4) highly interdependent, multi-species communities that can only transform materials in consortia, 5) complex ecological succession including characteristic pioneer species, 6) often very slow growth rates in culture, 7) prevalence of very small cell sizes, ( 100 - 500 nm diam.), 8) mineral reprecipitation of mobilized materials, often dependent on the presence of live microbial communities to produce initial amorphous compounds followed by gradual crystallization, and 9) resultant in situ self-fossilization. Microbial

  5. The fifth international conference on microbial enhanced oil recovery and related biotechnology for solving environmental problems: 1995 Conference proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bryant, R. [ed.

    1995-12-31

    This volume contains 41 papers covering the following topics: field trials of microbial enhanced recovery of oil; control and treatment of sour crudes and natural gas with microorganisms; bioremediation of hydrocarbon contamination in soils; microbial plugging processes; microbial waste water treatment; the use of microorganisms as biological indicators of oils; and characterization and behavior of microbial systems. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  6. [Progress in synthetic biology of "973 Funding Program" in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guoqiang; Wang, Ying

    2015-06-01

    This paper reviews progresses made in China from 2011 in areas of "Synthetic Biology" supported by State Basic Research 973 Program. Till the end of 2014, 9 "synthetic biology" projects have been initiated with emphasis on "microbial manufactures" with the 973 Funding Program. Combined with the very recent launch of one project on "mammalian cell synthetic biology" and another on "plant synthetic biology", Chinese "synthetic biology" research reflects its focus on "manufactures" while not giving up efforts on "synthetic biology" of complex systems.

  7. Evolution of microbial pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DiRita, Victor J; Seifert, H. Steven

    2006-01-01

    ... A. Hogan vvi ■ CONTENTS 8. Evolution of Pathogens in Soil Rachel Muir and Man-Wah Tan / 131 9. Experimental Models of Symbiotic Host-Microbial Relationships: Understanding the Underpinnings of ...

  8. Research on condensed matter and atomic physics, using major experimental facilities and devices: Physics, chemistry, biology. Reports on results. Vol. 1. 1. Atomic and molecular physics. 2. Physics and chemistry of surfaces and interfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    This report in three volumes substantiates the contents of the programme survey published in September 1989. The progress reports cover the following research areas: Vol. I, (1). Atomic and molecular physics - free atoms, molecules, macromolecules, clusters, matrix-isolated atoms and molecules. (2) Physics and chemistry of surfaces and interfaces - epitaxy, surface structure, adsorption, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties, thin films, synthetic layer structure. Vol. II, (3). Solid-state physics, and materials science -structural research, lattice dynamics, magnetic structure and dynamics, electronic states; load; spin and pulse density fluctuations; diffusion and internal motion, defects, unordered systems and liquids. Vol. III, (4). Chemistry - bonding and structure, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, polymer research, analysis and synthesis. (5). Biology, - structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, membrane and cell biology. (6) Development of methods and instruments - neutron sources, synchrotron sources, special accelerators, research with interlinked systems and devices. (orig.) [de

  9. An overview of physico-chemical mechanisms of biogas production by microbial communities: a step towards sustainable waste management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Ramansu; Chattopadhyay, Pritam; Shome, Arunima; Banerjee, Sambhu Nath; Chakraborty, Amit Kumar; Mathew, Anil K; Chaudhury, Shibani

    2016-06-01

    Biogas is a combination of methane, CO 2 , nitrogen, H 2 S and traces of few other gases. Almost any organic waste can be biologically transformed into biogas and other energy-rich organic compounds through the process of anaerobic digestion (AD) and thus helping in sustainable waste management. Although microbes are involved in each step of AD, knowledge about those microbial consortia is limited due to the lack of phylogenetic and metabolic data of predominantly unculturable microorganisms. However, culture-independent methods like PCR-based ribotyping has been successfully employed to get information about the microbial consortia involved in AD. Microbes identified have been found to belong mainly to the bacterial phyla of Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Among the archaeal population, the majority have been found to be methanogens (mainly unculturable), the remaining being thermophilic microbes. Thus, the AD process as a whole could be controlled by regulating the microbial consortia involved in it. Optimization in the feedstock, pH, temperature and other physical parameters would be beneficial for the microbial growth and viability and thus helpful for biogas production in AD. Besides, the biogas production is also dependent upon the activity of several key genes, ion-specific transporters and enzymes, like genes coding for methyl-CoM reductase, formylmethanofuran transferase, formate dehydrogenase present in the microbes. Fishing for these high-efficiency genes will ultimately increase the biogas production and sustain the production plant.

  10. Non-microbial methane emissions from soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Hou, Longyu; Liu, Wei; Wang, Zhiping

    2013-12-01

    Traditionally, methane (CH4) is anaerobically formed by methanogenic archaea. However, non-microbial CH4 can also be produced from geologic processes, biomass burning, animals, plants, and recently identified soils. Recognition of non-microbial CH4 emissions from soils remains inadequate. To better understand this phenomenon, a series of laboratory incubations were conducted to examine effects of temperature, water, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on CH4 emissions under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions using autoclaved (30 min, 121 °C) soils and aggregates (>2000 μm, A1; 2000-250 μm, A2; 250-53 μm, M1; and A2 > A1 > M2 and C-based emission an order of M2 > M1 > A1 > A2, demonstrating that both organic carbon quantity and property are responsible for CH4 emissions from soils at the scale of aggregate. Whole soil-based order of A2 > A1 > M1 > M2 suggests that non-microbial CH4 release from forest soils is majorly contributed by macro-aggregates (i.e., >250 μm). The underlying mechanism is that organic matter through thermal treatment, photolysis, or reactions with free radicals produce CH4, which, in essence, is identical with mechanisms of other non-microbial sources, indicating that non-microbial CH4 production may be a widespread phenomenon in nature. This work further elucidates the importance of non-microbial CH4 formation which should be distinguished from the well-known microbial CH4 formation in order to define both roles in the atmospheric CH4 global budget.

  11. Microbial bioinformatics 2020.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallen, Mark J

    2016-09-01

    Microbial bioinformatics in 2020 will remain a vibrant, creative discipline, adding value to the ever-growing flood of new sequence data, while embracing novel technologies and fresh approaches. Databases and search strategies will struggle to cope and manual curation will not be sustainable during the scale-up to the million-microbial-genome era. Microbial taxonomy will have to adapt to a situation in which most microorganisms are discovered and characterised through the analysis of sequences. Genome sequencing will become a routine approach in clinical and research laboratories, with fresh demands for interpretable user-friendly outputs. The "internet of things" will penetrate healthcare systems, so that even a piece of hospital plumbing might have its own IP address that can be integrated with pathogen genome sequences. Microbiome mania will continue, but the tide will turn from molecular barcoding towards metagenomics. Crowd-sourced analyses will collide with cloud computing, but eternal vigilance will be the price of preventing the misinterpretation and overselling of microbial sequence data. Output from hand-held sequencers will be analysed on mobile devices. Open-source training materials will address the need for the development of a skilled labour force. As we boldly go into the third decade of the twenty-first century, microbial sequence space will remain the final frontier! © 2016 The Author. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  12. Research of radiation-resistant microbial organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Dongho; Lim, Sangyong; Joe, Minho; Park, Haejoon; Song, Hyunpa; Im, Seunghun; Kim, Haram; Kim, Whajung; Choi, Jinsu; Park, Jongchun

    2012-01-15

    Many extremophiles including radiation-resistant bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans have special characteristics such as novel enzymes and physiological active substances different from known biological materials and are being in the spotlight of biotechnology science. In this research, basic technologies for the production of new genetic resources and microbial strains by a series of studies in radiation-resistant microbial organisms were investigated and developed. Mechanisms required for radiation-resistant in Deinococcus radiodurans were partly defined by analyzing the function of dinB, pprI, recG, DRA{sub 0}279, pprM, and two-component signal transduction systems. To apply genetic resource and functional materials from Deinococcus species, omics analysis in response to cadmium, construction of macroscopic biosensor, and characterization of carotenoids and chaperon protein were performed. Additionally, potential use of D. geothermalis in monosaccharide production from non-biodegradable plant materials was evaluated. Novel radiation resistant yeasts and bacteria were isolated and identified from environmental samples to obtain microbial and genomic resources. An optimal radiation mutant breeding method was set up for efficient and rapid isolation of target microbial mutants. Furthermore, an efficient ethanol producing mutant strain with high production yield and productivity was constructed using the breeding method in collaboration with Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology. Three Deinococcal bioindicators for radiation dosage confirmation after radiation sterilization process were developed. These results provide a comprehensive information for novel functional genetic elements, enzymes, and physiological active substances production or application. Eventually, industrial microbial cell factories based on radiation resistant microbial genomes can be developed and the technologies can be diffused to bioindustry continuously by this project.

  13. Research of radiation-resistant microbial organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Dongho; Lim, Sangyong; Joe, Minho; Park, Haejoon; Song, Hyunpa; Im, Seunghun; Kim, Haram; Kim, Whajung; Choi, Jinsu; Park, Jongchun

    2012-01-01

    Many extremophiles including radiation-resistant bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans have special characteristics such as novel enzymes and physiological active substances different from known biological materials and are being in the spotlight of biotechnology science. In this research, basic technologies for the production of new genetic resources and microbial strains by a series of studies in radiation-resistant microbial organisms were investigated and developed. Mechanisms required for radiation-resistant in Deinococcus radiodurans were partly defined by analyzing the function of dinB, pprI, recG, DRA 0 279, pprM, and two-component signal transduction systems. To apply genetic resource and functional materials from Deinococcus species, omics analysis in response to cadmium, construction of macroscopic biosensor, and characterization of carotenoids and chaperon protein were performed. Additionally, potential use of D. geothermalis in monosaccharide production from non-biodegradable plant materials was evaluated. Novel radiation resistant yeasts and bacteria were isolated and identified from environmental samples to obtain microbial and genomic resources. An optimal radiation mutant breeding method was set up for efficient and rapid isolation of target microbial mutants. Furthermore, an efficient ethanol producing mutant strain with high production yield and productivity was constructed using the breeding method in collaboration with Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology. Three Deinococcal bioindicators for radiation dosage confirmation after radiation sterilization process were developed. These results provide a comprehensive information for novel functional genetic elements, enzymes, and physiological active substances production or application. Eventually, industrial microbial cell factories based on radiation resistant microbial genomes can be developed and the technologies can be diffused to bioindustry continuously by this project

  14. Electricity generation by Enterobacter cloacae SU-1 in mediator less microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samrot, Antony V.; Senthilkumar, P.; Pavankumar, K.; Akilandeswari, G.C. [Department of Biotechnology, Sathyabama University, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Chennai, Tamilnadu (India); Rajalakshmi, N.; Dhathathreyan, K.S. [Center for Fuel Cell Technology ARCI, IITM Research Park, Phase I, 2nd Floor, 6 Kanagam Road, Tharamani, Chennai 600 113, Tamilnadu (India)

    2010-08-15

    We have investigated a Enterobacter cloacae SU-1, bacteria for mediator less microbial fuel cell with different carbon sources and is found to be more effective as the microorganism is able to transfer electrons directly (exo-electrogenic organism) via the cytochromes or the ubiquinone. These carriers of electrons are in form of stable reversible redox couples, not biologically degraded and not toxic to cell. The major advantage of mediator less microbial fuel cells emphasize that additives in the anolyte is not compatible with the purpose of water purification. The anode chamber with the bacteria is maintained under anaerobic conditions so that the bacteria will undergo anaerobic biochemical pathways like Glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron Transport Chain (ETC) where electrons and protons are released. Here protons are released in TCA cycle and whereas electrons are released from ETC. The mediator less microbial fuel cell delivered an open circuit potential (OCP) of 0.93 V and power of 3 mW/sq cm. During power generation from the microbes, there was a drop in coulombic efficiency in terms of fluctuations during drawing power, as the carbon source is being utilized for the cell growth. (author)

  15. Egypt’s Red Sea Coast: Phylogenetic analysis of cultured microbial consortia in industrialized sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada A. Mustafa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The Red Sea has a unique geography and ecosystem and its shores are very rich in mangrove, macro-algae and coral reefs. Different sources of pollution are affecting the Red Sea shores and waters which impacts biological life including microbial life. We assessed the effects of industrialization, along the Egyptian Red Sea coast in eight coastal sites and two lakes, on microbial life. The bacterial community in sediment samples was analyzed using bacterial 16S rDNApyrosequencing of V6-V4 hypervariable regions. Taxonomical assignment of 131,402 significant reads to major bacterial taxa revealed five main bacterial phyla dominating the sampled Red Sea sites. This includes Proteobacteria (68%, Firmicutes (13%, Fusobacteria (12%, Bacteriodetes (6% and Spirochetes (0.03%. Further analysis revealed distinct bacterial consortium formed mainly of: 1 marine Vibrio’s- suggesting a Marine Vibrio phenomenon 2 potential human pathogens and 3 oil-degrading bacteria. We discuss a distinct microbial consortium in Solar Lake West near Taba/Eilat and Saline Lake in Ras Muhammad; revealing the highest abundance of human pathogens versus no pathogens, respectively. Our results draw attention to the affects of industrialization on the Red Sea, and suggest further analysis to overcome hazardous affects on the impacted sites.

  16. Role of Genomic Typing in Taxonomy, Evolutionary Genetics, and Microbial Epidemiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Belkum, Alex; Struelens, Marc; de Visser, Arjan; Verbrugh, Henri; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2001-01-01

    Currently, genetic typing of microorganisms is widely used in several major fields of microbiological research. Taxonomy, research aimed at elucidation of evolutionary dynamics or phylogenetic relationships, population genetics of microorganisms, and microbial epidemiology all rely on genetic typing data for discrimination between genotypes. Apart from being an essential component of these fundamental sciences, microbial typing clearly affects several areas of applied microbiogical research. The epidemiological investigation of outbreaks of infectious diseases and the measurement of genetic diversity in relation to relevant biological properties such as pathogenicity, drug resistance, and biodegradation capacities are obvious examples. The diversity among nucleic acid molecules provides the basic information for all fields described above. However, researchers in various disciplines tend to use different vocabularies, a wide variety of different experimental methods to monitor genetic variation, and sometimes widely differing modes of data processing and interpretation. The aim of the present review is to summarize the technological and fundamental concepts used in microbial taxonomy, evolutionary genetics, and epidemiology. Information on the nomenclature used in the different fields of research is provided, descriptions of the diverse genetic typing procedures are presented, and examples of both conceptual and technological research developments for Escherichia coli are included. Recommendations for unification of the different fields through standardization of laboratory techniques are made. PMID:11432813

  17. Microbial Inoculants and Their Impact on Soil Microbial Communities: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darine Trabelsi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the survival of inoculated fungal and bacterial strains in field and the effects of their release on the indigenous microbial communities has been of great interest since the practical use of selected natural or genetically modified microorganisms has been developed. Soil inoculation or seed bacterization may lead to changes in the structure of the indigenous microbial communities, which is important with regard to the safety of introduction of microbes into the environment. Many reports indicate that application of microbial inoculants can influence, at least temporarily, the resident microbial communities. However, the major concern remains regarding how the impact on taxonomic groups can be related to effects on functional capabilities of the soil microbial communities. These changes could be the result of direct effects resulting from trophic competitions and antagonistic/synergic interactions with the resident microbial populations, or indirect effects mediated by enhanced root growth and exudation. Combination of inoculants will not necessarily produce an additive or synergic effect, but rather a competitive process. The extent of the inoculation impact on the subsequent crops in relation to the buffering capacity of the plant-soil-biota is still not well documented and should be the focus of future research.

  18. The Egyptian Red Sea coastal microbiome: A study revealing differential microbial responses to diverse anthropogenic pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustafa, Ghada A; Abd-Elgawad, Amr; Ouf, Amged; Siam, Rania

    2016-07-01

    The Red Sea is considered one of the youngest oceanic systems, with unique physical, geochemical and biological characteristics. Tourism, industrialization, extensive fishing, oil processing and shipping are extensive sources of pollution in the Red Sea. We analyzed the geochemical characteristics and microbial community of sediments along the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. Our sites mainly included 1) four ports used for shipping aluminum, ilmenite and phosphate; 2) a site previously reported to have suffered extensive oil spills; and 3) a site impacted by tourism. Two major datasets for the sediment of ten Red Sea coastal sites were generated; i) a chemical dataset included measurements of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur, metals and selected semi-volatile oil; and ii) a 16S rRNA Pyrotags bacterial metagenomic dataset. Based on the taxonomic assignments of the 16S rRNA Pyrotags to major bacterial groups, we report 30 taxa constituting an Egyptian Red Sea Coastal Microbiome. Bacteria that degrade hydrocarbons were predominant in the majority of the sites, particularly in two ports where they reached up to 76% of the total identified genera. In contrast, sulfate-reducing and sulfate-oxidizing bacteria dominated two lakes at the expense of other hydrocarbon metabolizers. Despite the reported "Egyptian Red Sea Coastal Microbiome," sites with similar anthropogenic pollutants showed unique microbial community abundances. This suggests that the abundance of a specific bacterial community is an evolutionary mechanism induced in response to selected anthropogenic pollutants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The role of hyperparasitism in microbial pathogen ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parratt, Steven R; Laine, Anna-Liisa

    2016-08-01

    Many micro-organisms employ a parasitic lifestyle and, through their antagonistic interactions with host populations, have major impacts on human, agricultural and natural ecosystems. Most pathogens are likely to host parasites of their own, that is, hyperparasites, but how nested chains of parasites impact on disease dynamics is grossly neglected in the ecological and evolutionary literature. In this minireview we argue that the diversity and dynamics of micro-hyperparasites are an important component of natural host-pathogen systems. We use the current literature from a handful of key systems to show that observed patterns of pathogen virulence and disease dynamics may well be influenced by hyperparasites. Exploring these factors will shed light on many aspects of microbial ecology and disease biology, including resistance-virulence evolution, apparent competition, epidemiology and ecosystem stability. Considering the importance of hyperparasites in natural populations will have applied consequences for the field of biological control and therapeutic science, where hyperparastism is employed as a control mechanism but not necessarily ecologically understood.

  20. Major Depressive Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Grobler

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The treatment guideline draws on several international guidelines: (iPractice Guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association (APAfor the Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder, SecondEdition;[1](ii Clinical Guidelines for the Treatment of DepressiveDisorders by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the CanadianNetwork for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT;[2](iiiNational Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE guidelines;[3](iv RoyalAustralian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Clinical PracticeGuidelines Team for Depression (RANZCAP;[4](v Texas MedicationAlgorithm Project (TMAP Guidelines;[5](vi World Federation ofSocieties of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP Treatment Guideline forUnipolar Depressive Disorder;[6]and (vii British Association forPsychopharmacology Guidelines.[7

  1. Deep subsurface microbial processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovley, D.R.; Chapelle, F.H.

    1995-01-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed redox reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Furthermore, there is an increasing threat that deep aquifers, an important drinking water resource, may be contaminated by man's activities, and there is a need to predict the extent to which microbial activity may remediate such contamination. Metabolically active microorganisms can be recovered from a diversity of deep subsurface environments. The available evidence suggests that these microorganisms are responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of organic matter coupled to a variety of electron acceptors just as microorganisms do in surface sediments, but at much slower rates. The technical difficulties in aseptically sampling deep subsurface sediments and the fact that microbial processes in laboratory incubations of deep subsurface material often do not mimic in situ processes frequently necessitate that microbial activity in the deep subsurface be inferred through nonmicrobiological analyses of ground water. These approaches include measurements of dissolved H2, which can predict the predominant microbially catalyzed redox reactions in aquifers, as well as geochemical and groundwater flow modeling, which can be used to estimate the rates of microbial processes. Microorganisms recovered from the deep subsurface have the potential to affect the fate of toxic organics and inorganic contaminants in groundwater. Microbial activity also greatly influences 1 the chemistry of many pristine groundwaters and contributes to such phenomena as porosity development in carbonate aquifers, accumulation of undesirably high concentrations of dissolved iron, and production of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Although the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in interest in deep subsurface microbiology, in comparison with the study of

  2. Innovative biological approaches for monitoring and improving water quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanja eAracic

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Water quality is largely influenced by the abundance and diversity of indigenous microbes present within an aquatic environment. Physical, chemical and biological contaminants from anthropogenic activities can accumulate in aquatic systems causing detrimental ecological consequences. Approaches exploiting microbial processes are now being utilized for the detection, and removal or reduction of contaminants. Contaminants can be identified and quantified in situ using microbial whole-cell biosensors, negating the need for water samples to be tested off-site. Similarly, the innate biodegradative processes can be enhanced through manipulation of the composition and/or function of the indigenous microbial communities present within the contaminated environments. Biological contaminants, such as detrimental/pathogenic bacteria, can be specifically targeted and reduced in number using bacteriophages. This mini-review discusses the potential application of whole-cell microbial biosensors for the detection of contaminants, the exploitation of microbial biodegradative processes for environmental restoration and the manipulation of microbial communities using phages.

  3. Innovative biological approaches for monitoring and improving water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aracic, Sanja; Manna, Sam; Petrovski, Steve; Wiltshire, Jennifer L.; Mann, Gülay; Franks, Ashley E.

    2015-01-01

    Water quality is largely influenced by the abundance and diversity of indigenous microbes present within an aquatic environment. Physical, chemical and biological contaminants from anthropogenic activities can accumulate in aquatic systems causing detrimental ecological consequences. Approaches exploiting microbial processes are now being utilized for the detection, and removal or reduction of contaminants. Contaminants can be identified and quantified in situ using microbial whole-cell biosensors, negating the need for water samples to be tested off-site. Similarly, the innate biodegradative processes can be enhanced through manipulation of the composition and/or function of the indigenous microbial communities present within the contaminated environments. Biological contaminants, such as detrimental/pathogenic bacteria, can be specifically targeted and reduced in number using bacteriophages. This mini-review discusses the potential application of whole-cell microbial biosensors for the detection of contaminants, the exploitation of microbial biodegradative processes for environmental restoration and the manipulation of microbial communities using phages. PMID:26322034

  4. Diretrizes da World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP para tratamento biológico de transtornos depressivos unipolares, 2ª parte: tratamento de manutenção do transtorno depressivo maior e tratamento dos transtornos depressivos crônicos e das depressões subliminares World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP Guidelines for biological treatment of unipolar depressive disorders, part 2: maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder and treatment of chronic depressive disorders and subthreshold depressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Bauer

    2009-01-01

    treatment of the complete spectrum of unipolar depressive disorders, and to produce a series of practice recommendations that are clinically and scientifically meaningful based on the available evidence. These guidelines are intended for use by all physicians seeing and treating patients with these conditions. The data used for developing these guidelines have been extracted primarily from various national treatment guidelines and panels for depressive disorders, as well as from meta-analyses and reviews on the efficacy of antidepressant medications and other biological treatment interventions identified by a search of the MEDLINE database and Cochrane Library. The identified literature was evaluated with respect to the strength of evidence for its efficacy and was then categorized into four levels of evidence (A-D. The first part of these WFSBP guidelines on unipolar depressive disorders covered the acute and continuation treatment of major depressive disorder (Bauer et al., 2002. This second part of the guidelines covers the management of the maintenance-phase treatment of major depressive disorder, as well as the treatment of chronic and subthreshold depressive disorders (dysthymic disorder, double depression, minor depressive disorder and recurrent brief depression. These guidelines are primarily concerned with thebiological treatment (including antidepressants, lithium, other psychopharmacological and hormonal medications, and electroconvulsive therapy of young adults and also, albeit to a lesser extent, children, adolescents and older adults.

  5. Microbial Enzymatic Degradation of Biodegradable Plastics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roohi; Bano, Kulsoom; Kuddus, Mohammed; Zaheer, Mohammed R; Zia, Qamar; Khan, Mohammed F; Ashraf, Ghulam Md; Gupta, Anamika; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2017-01-01

    The renewable feedstock derived biodegradable plastics are important in various industries such as packaging, agricultural, paper coating, garbage bags and biomedical implants. The increasing water and waste pollution due to the available decomposition methods of plastic degradation have led to the emergence of biodegradable plastics and biological degradation with microbial (bacteria and fungi) extracellular enzymes. The microbes utilize biodegradable polymers as the substrate under starvation and in unavailability of microbial nutrients. Microbial enzymatic degradation is suitable from bioremediation point of view as no waste accumulation occurs. It is important to understand the microbial interaction and mechanism involved in the enzymatic degradation of biodegradable plastics under the influence of several environmental factors such as applied pH, thermo-stability, substrate molecular weight and/or complexity. To study the surface erosion of polymer film is another approach for hydrolytic degradation characteristion. The degradation of biopolymer is associated with the production of low molecular weight monomer and generation of carbon dioxide, methane and water molecule. This review reported the degradation study of various existing biodegradable plastics along with the potent degrading microbes (bacteria and fungi). Patents available on plastic biodegradation with biotechnological significance is also summarized in this paper. This paper assesses that new disposal technique should be adopted for the degradation of polymers and further research is required for the economical production of biodegradable plastics along with their enzymatic degradation. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Uncharted Microbial World: Microbes and Their Activities in the Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harwood, Caroline; Buckley, Merry

    2007-12-31

    Microbes are the foundation for all of life. From the air we breathe to the soil we rely on for farming to the water we drink, everything humans need to survive is intimately coupled with the activities of microbes. Major advances have been made in the understanding of disease and the use of microorganisms in the industrial production of drugs, food products and wastewater treatment. However, our understanding of many complicated microbial environments (the gut and teeth), soil fertility, and biogeochemical cycles of the elements is lagging behind due to their enormous complexity. Inadequate technology and limited resources have stymied many lines of investigation. Today, most environmental microorganisms have yet to be isolated and identified, let alone rigorously studied. The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium in Seattle, Washington, in February 2007, to deliberate the way forward in the study of microorganisms and microbial activities in the environment. Researchers in microbiology, marine science, pathobiology, evolutionary biology, medicine, engineering, and other fields discussed ways to build on and extend recent successes in microbiology. The participants made specific recommendations for targeting future research, improving methodologies and techniques, and enhancing training and collaboration in the field. Microbiology has made a great deal of progress in the past 100 years, and the useful applications for these new discoveries are numerous. Microorganisms and microbial products are now used in industrial capacities ranging from bioremediation of toxic chemicals to probiotic therapies for humans and livestock. On the medical front, studies of microbial communities have revealed, among other things, new ways for controlling human pathogens. The immediate future for research in this field is extremely promising. In order to optimize the effectiveness of community research efforts in the future, scientists should include manageable

  7. Biological Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... E-Tools Safety and Health Topics / Biological Agents Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... 202) 693-2300 if additional assistance is required. Biological Agents Menu Overview In Focus: Ebola Frederick A. ...

  8. Response of soil microbial activities and microbial community structure to vanadium stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xi-Yuan; Wang, Ming-Wei; Zhu, Hui-Wen; Guo, Zhao-Hui; Han, Xiao-Qing; Zeng, Peng

    2017-08-01

    High levels of vanadium (V) have long-term, hazardous impacts on soil ecosystems and biological processes. In the present study, the effects of V on soil enzymatic activities, basal respiration (BR), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and the microbial community structure were investigated through 12-week greenhouse incubation experiments. The results showed that V content affected soil dehydrogenase activity (DHA), BR, and MBC, while urease activity (UA) was less sensitive to V stress. The average median effective concentration (EC 50 ) thresholds of V were predicted using a log-logistic dose-response model, and they were 362mgV/kg soil for BR and 417mgV/kg soil for DHA. BR and DHA were more sensitive to V addition and could be used as biological indicators for soil V pollution. According to a polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis, the structural diversity of the microbial community decreased for soil V contents ranged between 254 and 1104mg/kg after 1 week of incubation. As the incubation time increased, the diversity of the soil microbial community structure increased for V contents ranged between 354 and 1104mg/kg, indicating that some new V-tolerant bacterial species might have replicated under these conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Microbial community functional change during vertebrate carrion decomposition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Pechal

    Full Text Available Microorganisms play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter, which contributes to energy and nutrient transformation in every ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the functional activity of epinecrotic microbial communities associated with carrion. The objective of this study was to provide a description of the carrion associated microbial community functional activity using differential carbon source use throughout decomposition over seasons, between years and when microbial communities were isolated from eukaryotic colonizers (e.g., necrophagous insects. Additionally, microbial communities were identified at the phyletic level using high throughput sequencing during a single study. We hypothesized that carrion microbial community functional profiles would change over the duration of decomposition, and that this change would depend on season, year and presence of necrophagous insect colonization. Biolog EcoPlates™ were used to measure the variation in epinecrotic microbial community function by the differential use of 29 carbon sources throughout vertebrate carrion decomposition. Pyrosequencing was used to describe the bacterial community composition in one experiment to identify key phyla associated with community functional changes. Overall, microbial functional activity increased throughout decomposition in spring, summer and winter while it decreased in autumn. Additionally, microbial functional activity was higher in 2011 when necrophagous arthropod colonizer effects were tested. There were inconsistent trends in the microbial function of communities isolated from remains colonized by necrophagous insects between 2010 and 2011, suggesting a greater need for a mechanistic understanding of the process. These data indicate that functional analyses can be implemented in carrion studies and will be important in understanding the influence of microbial communities on an essential ecosystem process, carrion decomposition.

  10. Microbial flora of oil-spilled sites in Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The microbial flora of areas with and without oil spillage within the Egbema oil field in Ohaji/Egbema of Imo State was determined by standard microbiological methods. Preliminary results show moderate biological activities in both environments studied. The average microbial population of the area with oil spillage was ...

  11. Microbial flora of oil-spilled sites in Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GREGO

    2007-04-16

    Apr 16, 2007 ... The microbial flora of areas with and without oil spillage within the Egbema oil field in Ohaji/Egbema of. Imo State was determined by standard microbiological methods. Preliminary results show moderate biological activities in both environments studied. The average microbial population of the area with oil.

  12. Glyphosate toxicity and the effects of long-term vegetation control on soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt D. Busse; Alice W. Ratcliff; Carol J. Stestak; Robert F. Powers

    2001-01-01

    We assessed the direct and indirect effect of the herbicide glyphosate on soil microbial communities from soil bioassays at glyphosate concentrations up to 100-fold greater than expected following a single field application. Indirect effects on microbial biomass, respiration, and metabolic diversity (Biolog and catabolic response profile) were compared seasonally after...

  13. Microbial activity in bentonite buffers. Literature study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ratto, M.; Itavaara, M.

    2012-07-01

    The proposed disposal concept for high-level radioactive wastes involves storing the wastes underground in copper-iron containers embedded in buffer material of compacted bentonite. Hydrogen sulphide production by sulphate-reducing prokaryotes is a potential mechanism that could cause corrosion of waste containers in repository conditions. The prevailing conditions in compacted bentonite buffer will be harsh. The swelling pressure is 7-8 MPa, the amount of free water is low and the average pore and pore throat diameters are small. This literature study aims to assess the potential of microbial activity in bentonite buffers. Literature on the environmental limits of microbial life in extreme conditions and the occurrence of sulphatereducing prokaryotes in extreme environments is reviewed briefly and the results of published studies characterizing microbes and microbial processes in repository conditions or in relevant subsurface environments are presented. The presence of bacteria, including SRBs, has been confirmed in deep groundwater and bentonite-based materials. Sulphate reducers have been detected in various high-pressure environments, and sulphate-reduction based on hydrogen as an energy source is considered a major microbial process in deep subsurface environments. In bentonite, microbial activity is strongly suppressed, mainly due to the low amount of free water and small pores, which limit the transport of microbes and nutrients. Spore-forming bacteria have been shown to survive in compacted bentonite as dormant spores, and they are able to resume a metabolically active state after decompaction. Thus, microbial sulphide production may increase in repository conditions if the dry density of the bentonite buffer is locally reduced. (orig.)

  14. Microbially derived biosensors for diagnosis, monitoring and epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hung-Ju; Voyvodic, Peter L; Zúñiga, Ana; Bonnet, Jérôme

    2017-09-01

    Living cells have evolved to detect and process various signals and can self-replicate, presenting an attractive platform for engineering scalable and affordable biosensing devices. Microbes are perfect candidates: they are inexpensive and easy to manipulate and store. Recent advances in synthetic biology promise to streamline the engineering of microbial biosensors with unprecedented capabilities. Here we review the applications of microbially-derived biosensors with a focus on environmental monitoring and healthcare applications. We also identify critical challenges that need to be addressed in order to translate the potential of synthetic microbial biosensors into large-scale, real-world applications. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Linkages between benthic microbial and feshwater insect communities in degraded peatland ditches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whatley, M.H.; van Loon, E.E.; Cerli, C.; Vonk, J.A.; van der Geest, H.G.; Admiraal, W.

    2014-01-01

    Many wetlands are heavily modified and identifying the environmental drivers of indicator groups like aquatic insects is complicated by multiple stressors and co-varying environmental factors. Yet, incorporating data from other biological groups, such as microbial communities, potentially reveals

  16. Streamlining genomes: toward the generation of simplified and stabilized microbial systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leprince, A.; Passel, van M.W.J.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.

    2012-01-01

    At the junction between systems and synthetic biology, genome streamlining provides a solid foundation both for increased understanding of cellular circuitry, and for the tailoring of microbial chassis towards innovative biotechnological applications. Iterative genomic deletions (targeted and

  17. Application of microbial photosynthesis to energy production and CO2 fixation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asada, Y.; Miyake, J.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents different applications of microbial photosynthesis for energy production and carbon dioxide fixation. The authors discuss about energetic aspects of photosynthesis and features of biological way for solar energy conversion. (TEC). 4 figs., 12 refs

  18. Evaluation of microbial diversity of different soil layers at a contaminated diesel site

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Maila, MP

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available with high TPH removal. Analysis of the microbial diversity in the different soil layers using functional diversity (community-level physiological profile, via Biolog) and genetic diversity using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel...

  19. EVA Suit Microbial Leakage Investigation

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this project is to collect microbial samples from various EVA suits to determine how much microbial contamination is typically released during...

  20. Approaches to chemical synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Stano, Pasquale; Anella, Fabrizio; Carrara, Paolo; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2012-07-16

    Synthetic biology is first represented in terms of two complementary aspects, the bio-engineering one, based on the genetic manipulation of extant microbial forms in order to obtain forms of life which do not exist in nature; and the chemical synthetic biology, an approach mostly based on chemical manipulation for the laboratory synthesis of biological structures that do not exist in nature. The paper is mostly devoted to shortly review chemical synthetic biology projects currently carried out in our laboratory. In particular, we describe: the minimal cell project, then the "Never Born Proteins" and lastly the Never Born RNAs. We describe and critically analyze the main results, emphasizing the possible relevance of chemical synthetic biology for the progress in basic science and biotechnology. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Microbial production of value-added nutraceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian; Guleria, Sanjay; Koffas, Mattheos Ag; Yan, Yajun

    2016-02-01

    Nutraceuticals are important natural bioactive compounds that confer health-promoting and medical benefits to humans. Globally growing demands for value-added nutraceuticals for prevention and treatment of human diseases have rendered nutraceuticals a multi-billion dollar market. However, supply limitations and extraction difficulties from natural sources such as plants, animals or fungi, restrict the large-scale use of nutraceuticals. Metabolic engineering via microbial production platforms has been advanced as an eco-friendly alternative approach for production of value-added nutraceuticals from simple carbon sources. Microbial platforms like the most widely used Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been engineered as versatile cell factories for production of diverse and complex value-added chemicals such as phytochemicals, prebiotics, polysaccaharides and poly amino acids. This review highlights the recent progresses in biological production of value-added nutraceuticals via metabolic engineering approaches. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Does iron inhibit cryptoendolithic microbial communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, C. G.; Vestal, J. R.; Friedmann, E. I. (Principal Investigator)

    1988-01-01

    Photosynthetic activity of three cryptoendolithic microbial communities was studied under controlled conditions in the laboratory. In two of these communities, the dominant organisms were lichens, collected from Linnaeus Terrace and from Battleship Promontory. The third community, dominated by cyanobacteria, was collected from Battleship Promontory. Both sites are in the ice-free valleys of southern Victoria Land. Previous efforts have shown how physical conditions can influence metabolic activity in endolithic communities (Kappen and Friedmann 1983; Kappen, Friedmann, and Garty 1981; Vestal, Federle, and Friedmann 1984). Biological activity can also be strongly influenced by the chemical environment. Inorganic nutrients such as nitrate, ammonia, and phosphate are often limiting factors, so their effects on photosynthetic carbon-14 bicarbonate incorporation were investigated. Iron and manganese are two metals present in Linnaeus Terrace and Battleship Promontory sandstones, and their effects on photosynthesis were also studied. The results may add to our understanding of biogeochemical interactions within this unique microbial community.

  3. Astrobiology and Microbial Diversity Websites at MBL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, M.; Bordenstein, S. R.

    2006-12-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) mission is to study the origin, evolution and future of life in the Universe. The MBL Astrobiology team explores the evolution and interaction of genomes of diverse organisms that play significant roles in environmental biology over evolutionary time scales. Communication about our research includes the personal contact of teacher workshops, and the development of web-based resources. Microbial Life Educational Resources (MLER) provides an expanding internet resource about the ecology, diversity and evolution for students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, and the general public. MLER includes websites, PowerPoint presentations, teaching activities, data sets, and other useful materials for creating or enhancing courses related to astrobiology. Our second site, micro*scope (http://microscope.mbl.edu), has images of microbes, classification schemes, descriptions of organisms, talks and other educational resources to improve awareness of the biodiversity of our microbial partners.

  4. Microbial transformation of biomacromolecules in a membrane bioreactor: implications for membrane fouling investigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongbo Zhou

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The complex characteristics and unclear biological fate of biomacromolecules (BMM, including colloidal and soluble microbial products (SMP, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS and membrane surface foulants (MSF, are crucial factors that limit our understanding of membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs. FINDINGS: In this study, the microbial transformation of BMM was investigated in a lab-scale MBR by well-controlled bioassay tests. The results of experimental measurements and mathematical modeling show that SMP, EPS, and MSF had different biodegradation behaviors and kinetic models. Based on the multi-exponential G models, SMP were mainly composed of slowly biodegradable polysaccharides (PS, proteins (PN, and non-biodegradable humic substances (HS. In contrast, EPS contained a large number of readily biodegradable PN, slowly biodegradable PS and HS. MSF were dominated by slowly biodegradable PS, which had a degradation rate constant similar to that of SMP-PS, while degradation behaviors of MSF-PN and MSF-HS were much more similar to those of EPS-PN and EPS-HS, respectively. In addition, the large-molecular weight (MW compounds (>100 kDa in BMM were found to have a faster microbial transformation rate compared to the small-MW compounds (<5 kDa. The parallel factor (PARAFAC modeling of three-dimensional fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM spectra showed that the tryptophan-like PN were one of the major fractions in the BMM and they were more readily biodegradable than the HS. Besides microbial mineralization, humification and hydrolysis could be viewed as two important biotransformation mechanisms of large-MW compounds during the biodegradation process. SIGNIFICANCE: The results of this work can aid in tracking the origin of membrane foulants from the perspective of the biotransformation behaviors of SMP, EPS, and MSF.

  5. Multivariate analyses in soil microbial ecology : a new paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Thioulouse, J.; Prin, Y.; Duponnois, Robin

    2012-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a key component of a sustainable soil-plant system, governing the cycles of major plant nutrients and vegetation cover. The mycorrhizosphere includes plants roots, the mycorrhizal fungi, and a complex microbial compartment. A large number of methods have been used to characterize the genetic and functional diversity of these soil microbial communities. We present here a review of the multivariate data analysis methods that have been used in 16 research articles publis...

  6. Management of microbial food safety in Arab countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamleh, Rabih; Jurdi, Mey; Annous, Bassam A

    2012-11-01

    Microbial food safety remains a major economic and public health concern in Arab countries. Over the past several years, many of these countries have attempted to revise and upgrade food quality control and surveillance programs; however, these systems vary in scope and effectiveness. This review addresses the major reported foodborne outbreaks and multidrug resistance of pathogenic microorganisms isolated from food products. Major foodborne pathogens of concern included Brucella spp., Clostridium botulinum, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus. Measures for managing microbial food hazards based on a comprehensive risk analysis also are proposed.

  7. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster

    OpenAIRE

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E.

    2017-01-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2. However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14).

  8. An overview of field-specific designs of microbial EOR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robertson, E.P.; Bala, G.A.; Fox, S.L.; Jackson, J.D.; Thomas, C.P. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The selection and design of an MEOR process for application in a specific field involves geological, reservoir, and biological characterization. Microbially mediated oil recovery mechanisms (bigenic gas, biopolymers, and biosurfactants) are defined by the types of microorganisms used. The engineering and biological character of a given reservoir must be understood to correctly select a microbial system to enhance oil recovery. This paper discusses the methods used to evaluate three fields with distinct characteristics and production problems for the applicability of MEOR would not be applicable in two of the three fields considered. The development of a microbial oil recovery process for the third field appeared promising. Development of a bacterial consortium capable of producing the desired metabolites was initiated, and field isolates were characterized.

  9. Microbial electrolysis cells turning to be versatile technology: recent advances and future challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    2014-01-01

    and achieve high-yield hydrogen production from wide range of organic matters at relatively mild conditions. This approach greatly reduces the electric energy cost for hydrogen production in contrast to direct water electrolysis. In addition to hydrogen production, MECs may also support several energetically......Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) are an electricity-mediated microbial bioelectrochemical technology, which is originally developed for high-efficiency biological hydrogen production from waste streams. Compared to traditional biological technologies, MECs can overcome thermodynamic limitations...

  10. Anaerobic microbial dehalogenation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smidt, H.; Vos, de W.M.

    2004-01-01

    The natural production and anthropogenic release of halogenated hydrocarbons into the environment has been the likely driving force for the evolution of an unexpectedly high microbial capacity to dehalogenate different classes of xenobiotic haloorganics. This contribution provides an update on the

  11. Diazotrophic microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Stal, L.J.; Seckbach, J.; Oren, A.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats have been the focus of scientific research for a few decades. These small-scale ecosystems are examples of versatile benthic communities of microorganisms, usually dominated by phototrophic bacteria (e.g., Krumbein et al., 1977; Jørgensen et al., 1983). They develop as vertically

  12. Microbial Energy Conversion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buckley, Merry [American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Washington, DC (United States); Wall, Judy D. [Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)

    2006-10-01

    The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium March 10-12, 2006, in San Francisco, California, to discuss the production of energy fuels by microbial conversions. The status of research into various microbial energy technologies, the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches, research needs in the field, and education and training issues were examined, with the goal of identifying routes for producing biofuels that would both decrease the need for fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the choices for providing energy are limited. Policy makers and the research community must begin to pursue a broader array of potential energy technologies. A diverse energy portfolio that includes an assortment of microbial energy choices will allow communities and consumers to select the best energy solution for their own particular needs. Funding agencies and governments alike need to prepare for future energy needs by investing both in the microbial energy technologies that work today and in the untested technologies that will serve the world’s needs tomorrow. More mature bioprocesses, such as ethanol production from starchy materials and methane from waste digestors, will find applications in the short term. However, innovative techniques for liquid fuel or biohydrogen production are among the longer term possibilities that should also be vigorously explored, starting now. Microorganisms can help meet human energy needs in any of a number of ways. In their most obvious role in energy conversion, microorganisms can generate fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen, methane, lipids, and butanol, which can be burned to produce energy. Alternatively, bacteria can be put to use in microbial fuel cells, where they carry out the direct conversion of biomass into electricity. Microorganisms may also be used some day to make oil and natural gas technologies more efficient by sequestering carbon or by assisting in the recovery of oil and

  13. Microbial electrosynthesis of biochemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bajracharya, S.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is an electricity-driven production of chemicals from low-value waste using microorganisms as biocatalysts. MES from CO2 comprises conversion of CO2 to multi-carbon compounds employing microbes at the cathode which use electricity as an energy source. This thesis

  14. Can soil microbial diversity influence plant metabolites and life history traits of a rhizophagous insect? A demonstration in oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaise, Tom; Ourry, Morgane; Lebreton, Lionel; Guillerm-Erckelboudt, Anne-Yvonne; Linglin, Juliette; Paty, Chrystelle; Chaminade, Valérie; Marnet, Nathalie; Aubert, Julie; Poinsot, Denis; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Mougel, Christophe

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and phytophagous insects play an important part in shaping the biochemical composition of plants. Reciprocally plant metabolites can influence major life history traits in these insects and largely contribute to their fitness. Plant rhizospheric microorganisms are an important biotic factor modulating plant metabolites and adaptation to stress. While plant-insects or plant-microorganisms interactions and their consequences on the plant metabolite signature are well-documented, the impact of soil microbial communities on plant defenses against phytophagous insects remains poorly known. In this study, we used oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and the cabbage root fly (Delia radicum) as biological models to tackle this question. Even though D. radicum is a belowground herbivore as a larva, its adult life history traits depend on aboveground signals. We therefore tested whether soil microbial diversity influenced emergence rate and fitness but also fly oviposition behavior, and tried to link possible effects to modifications in leaf and root metabolites. Through a removal-recolonization experiment, 3 soil microbial modalities ("high," "medium," "low") were established and assessed through amplicon sequencing of 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. The "medium" modality in the rhizosphere significantly improved insect development traits. Plant-microorganism interactions were marginally associated to modulations of root metabolites profiles, which could partly explain these results. We highlighted the potential role of plant-microbial interaction in plant defenses against Delia radicum. Rhizospheric microbial communities must be taken into account when analyzing plant defenses against herbivores, being either below or aboveground. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  15. Microbial Response to Spaceflight Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Moeller, R.

    2017-01-01

    Space radiation, including Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE), represents a major hazard for biological systems beyond Earth. Spores of Bacillus subtilis have been shown to be suitable dosimeters for probing extreme terrestrial and extraterrestrial environmental conditions in astrobiological and environmental studies. During dormancy spores are metabolically inactive; thus substantial DNA, protein, tRNA and ribosome damage can accumulate while the spo...

  16. Microbial transformation of low-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francis, A.J.

    1982-01-01

    Micro-organisms play a significant role in the transformation of the radioactive waste and waste forms disposed of at shallow-land burial sites. Microbial degradation products of organic wastes may influence the transport of buried radionuclides by leaching, solubilization, and formation of organoradionuclide complexes. The ability of indigenous microflora of the radioactive waste to degrade the organic compounds under aerobic and anaerobic conditions was examined. Leachate samples were extracted with methylene chloride and analysed for organic compounds by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. In general, several of the organic compounds in the leachates were degraded under aerobic conditions. Addition of a nitrogen source increased the rate of decomposition. Under anaerobic conditions, the degradation of the organics was very slow, and changes in concentrations of several acidic compounds were observed. Several low-molecular-weight organic acids are formed by breakdown of complex organic materials and are further metabolized by micro-organisms; hence these compounds are in a dynamic state, being both synthesized and destroyed. Addition of a nitrogen source had only a slight effect on these degradation rates. Tributyl phosphate, a compound used in the extraction of metal ions from solutions of reactor products, was not degraded under anaerobic conditions. The formation of straight- and branched-chain aliphatic acids and their long residence time in an anaerobic environment could significantly affect the migration of radionuclides from the disposal sites. The chemical and biological stabilities of the synthetic chelating and decontamination agents and of naturally occurring and microbially synthesized radionuclide complexes are among the major factors determining the mobility of radionuclides from a burial environment into the biosphere. (author)

  17. Microbial ecology of halo-alkaliphilic sulfur bacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foti, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    The research of this thesis focussed on the investigation of the microbial diversity in soda lakes, giving a special attention to the micro-organisms involved in the sulphur cycle. The present PhD was part of a bigger project aiming to develop a biological process for the removal of hydrogen

  18. Selection of culturable environmental microbial strains for cellular ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Environmental pollution by organic compounds is a global problem. Biological treatment methods are used to restore polluted environments. Microbial immobilization on abiotic surfaces is a recent strategy to improve the efficiency of these processes. In this technique, cell adhesion is a fundamental step for subsequent ...

  19. Analysis of phosphoric ore bacterial and eucaryal microbial diversity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    These findings provided new opportunities into phosphoric ore microbiology that could be useful in biological system removing waste gases generated from the phosphoric industry. Keywords: Microbial community, bacteria, archaea, eucarya, mining residue. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13(30) 3023-3029 ...

  20. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari J S Ferreira

    Full Text Available Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  1. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S

    2014-06-12

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world\\'s oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  2. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, Joã o C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvä slaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André ; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A.C.; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B.; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  3. Application of biocathode in microbial fuel cells: cell performance and microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo-Wei, Chen [Pusan National Univ. (Korea). Dept. of Environmental Engineering; Hefei Univ. of Technology (China). School of Civil Engineering; Choi, Soo-Jung; Lee, Tae-Ho; Lee, Gil-Young; Cha, Jae-Hwan; Kim, Chang-Won [Pusan National Univ. (Korea). Dept. of Environmental Engineering

    2008-06-15

    Instead of the utilization of artificial redox mediators or other catalysts, a biocathode has been applied in a two-chamber microbial fuel cell in this study, and the cell performance and microbial community were analyzed. After a 2-month startup, the microorganisms of each compartment in microbial fuel cell were well developed, and the output of microbial fuel cell increased and became stable gradually, in terms of electricity generation. At 20 ml/min flow rate of the cathodic influent, the maximum power density reached 19.53 W/m{sup 3}, while the corresponding current and cell voltage were 15.36 mA and 223 mV at an external resistor of 14.9 {omega}, respectively. With the development of microorganisms in both compartments, the internal resistance decreased from initial 40.2 to 14.0 {omega}, too. Microbial community analysis demonstrated that five major groups of the clones were categorized among those 26 clone types derived from the cathode microorganisms. Betaproteobacteria was the most abundant division with 50.0% (37 of 74) of the sequenced clones in the cathode compartment, followed by 21.6% (16 of 74) Bacteroidetes, 9.5% (7 of 74) Alphaproteobacteria, 8.1% (6 of 74) Chlorobi, 4.1% (3 of 74) Deltaproteobacteria, 4.1% (3 of 74) Actinobacteria, and 2.6% (2 of 74) Gammaproteobacteria. (orig.)

  4. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools......, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex...... regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal...

  6. Effect of Elevated Salt Concentrations on the Aerobic Granular Sludge Process : Linking Microbial Activity with Microbial Community Structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bassin, J.P.; Pronk, M.; Muyzer, G.; Kleerebezem, R.; Dezotti, M.; Van Loosdrecht, M.C.M.

    2011-01-01

    The long- and short-term effects of salt on biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal processes were studied in an aerobic granular sludge reactor. The microbial community structure was investigated by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on 16S rRNA and amoA genes. PCR products

  7. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing; Wang, Jingyuan; Dippold, Michaela; Gao, Yang; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-06-15

    The application of biochar (BC) in conjunction with mineral fertilizers is one of the most promising management practices recommended to improve soil quality. However, the interactive mechanisms of BC and mineral fertilizer addition affecting microbial communities and functions associated with soil organic matter (SOM) cycling are poorly understood. We investigated the SOM in physical and chemical fractions, microbial community structure (using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, PLFA) and functions (by analyzing enzymes involved in C and N cycling and Biolog) in a 6-year field experiment with BC and NPK amendment. BC application increased total soil C and particulate organic C for 47.4-50.4% and 63.7-74.6%, respectively. The effects of BC on the microbial community and C-cycling enzymes were dependent on fertilization. Addition of BC alone did not change the microbial community compared with the control, but altered the microbial community structure in conjunction with NPK fertilization. SOM fractions accounted for 55% of the variance in the PLFA-related microbial community structure. The particulate organic N explained the largest variation in the microbial community structure. Microbial metabolic activity strongly increased after BC addition, particularly the utilization of amino acids and amines due to an increase in the activity of proteolytic (l-leucine aminopeptidase) enzymes. These results indicate that microorganisms start to mine N from the SOM to compensate for high C:N ratios after BC application, which consequently accelerate cycling of stable N. Concluding, BC in combination with NPK fertilizer application strongly affected microbial community composition and functions, which consequently influenced SOM cycling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The apoptotic machinery as a biological complex system: analysis of its omics and evolution, identification of candidate genes for fourteen major types of cancer, and experimental validation in CML and neuroblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Destri Giovanni

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Apoptosis is a critical biological phenomenon, executed under the guidance of the Apoptotic Machinery (AM, which allows the physiologic elimination of terminally differentiated, senescent or diseased cells. Because of its relevance to BioMedicine, we have sought to obtain a detailed characterization of AM Omics in Homo sapiens, namely its Genomics and Evolution, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Interactomics, Oncogenomics, and Pharmacogenomics. Methods This project exploited the methodology commonly used in Computational Biology (i.e., mining of many omics databases of the web as well as the High Throughput biomolecular analytical techniques. Results In Homo sapiens AM is comprised of 342 protein-encoding genes (possessing either anti- or pro-apoptotic activity, or a regulatory function and 110 MIR-encoding genes targeting them: some have a critical role within the system (core AM nodes, others perform tissue-, pathway-, or disease-specific functions (peripheral AM nodes. By overlapping the cancer type-specific AM mutation map in the fourteen most frequent cancers in western societies (breast, colon, kidney, leukaemia, liver, lung, neuroblastoma, ovary, pancreas, prostate, skin, stomach, thyroid, and uterus to their transcriptome, proteome and interactome in the same tumour type, we have identified the most prominent AM molecular alterations within each class. The comparison of the fourteen mutated AM networks (both protein- as MIR-based has allowed us to pinpoint the hubs with a general and critical role in tumour development and, conversely, in cell physiology: in particular, we found that some of these had already been used as targets for pharmacological anticancer therapy. For a better understanding of the relationship between AM molecular alterations and pharmacological induction of apoptosis in cancer, we examined the expression of AM genes in K562 and SH-SY5Y after anticancer treatment. Conclusion We believe that our data

  9. Advances and bottlenecks in microbial hydrogen production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, Alan J; Archer, Sophie A; Orozco, Rafael L; Macaskie, Lynne E

    2017-09-01

    Biological production of hydrogen is poised to become a significant player in the future energy mix. This review highlights recent advances and bottlenecks in various approaches to biohydrogen processes, often in concert with management of organic wastes or waste CO 2 . Some key bottlenecks are highlighted in terms of the overall energy balance of the process and highlighting the need for economic and environmental life cycle analyses with regard also to socio-economic and geographical issues. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. Systems biology approach to bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chakraborty, Romy; Wu, Cindy H.; Hazen, Terry C.

    2012-06-01

    Bioremediation has historically been approached as a ‘black box’ in terms of our fundamental understanding. Thus it succeeds and fails, seldom without a complete understanding of why. Systems biology is an integrated research approach to study complex biological systems, by investigating interactions and networks at the molecular, cellular, community, and ecosystem level. The knowledge of these interactions within individual components is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of the ecosystem under investigation. Finally, understanding and modeling functional microbial community structure and stress responses in environments at all levels have tremendous implications for our fundamental understanding of hydrobiogeochemical processes and the potential for making bioremediation breakthroughs and illuminating the ‘black box’.

  11. Data warehousing in molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönbach, C; Kowalski-Saunders, P; Brusic, V

    2000-05-01

    In the business and healthcare sectors data warehousing has provided effective solutions for information usage and knowledge discovery from databases. However, data warehousing applications in the biological research and development (R&D) sector are lagging far behind. The fuzziness and complexity of biological data represent a major challenge in data warehousing for molecular biology. By combining experiences in other domains with our findings from building a model database, we have defined the requirements for data warehousing in molecular biology.

  12. Invasion in microbial communities: Role of community composition and assembly processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta

    of microbial community assembly. Biotic factors include interactions between different microbial groups as well as the community response to alien species – invaders. Microbial invasions can have significant effects on the composition and functioning of resident communities. There is, however, lack......Microbes contribute to all biogeochemical cycles on earth and are responsible for key biological processes that support the survival of plants and animals. There is increased interest in controlling and managing microbial communities in different ecosystems in order to make targeted microbiological...... processes more effective. In order to manage microbial communities, it is essential to understand the factors that shape and influence microbial community composition. In addition to abiotic factors, such as environmental conditions and resource availability, biotic factors also shape the dynamics...

  13. In situ and Enriched Microbial Community Composition and Function Associated with Coal Bed Methane from Powder River Basin Coals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnhart, Elliott; Davis, Katherine; Varonka, Matthew; Orem, William; Fields, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    Coal bed methane (CBM) is a relatively clean source of energy but current CBM production techniques have not sustained long-term production or produced enough methane to remain economically practical with lower natural gas prices. Enhancement of the in situ microbial community that actively generates CBM with the addition of specific nutrients could potentially sustain development. CBM production more than doubled from native microbial populations from Powder River Basin (PRB) coal beds, when yeast extract and several individual components of yeast extract (proteins and amino acids) were added to laboratory microcosms. Microbial populations capable of hydrogenotrophic (hydrogen production/utilization) methanogenesis were detected in situ and under non-stimulated conditions. Stimulation with yeast extract caused a shift in the community to microorganisms capable of acetoclastic (acetate production/utilization) methanogenesis. Previous isotope analysis from CBM production wells indicated a similar microbial community shift as observed in stimulation experiments: hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was found throughout the PRB, but acetoclastic methanogenesis dominated major recharge areas. In conjunction, a high proportion of cyanobacterial and algal SSU rRNA gene sequences were detected in a CBM well within a major recharge area, suggesting that these phototrophic organisms naturally stimulate methane production. In laboratory studies, adding phototrophic (algal) biomass stimulated CBM production by PRB microorganisms similarly to yeast extract (~40μg methane increase per gram of coal). Analysis of the British thermal unit (BTU) content of coal from long-term incubations indicated >99.5% of BTU content remained after CBM stimulation with either algae or yeast extract. Biomimicry of in situ algal CBM stimulation could lead to technologies that utilize coupled biological systems (photosynthesis and methane production) that sustainably enhance CBM production and generate

  14. The inadequacy of morphology for species and genus delineation in microbial eukaryotes: an example from the parabasalian termite symbiont coronympha.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James T Harper

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For the majority of microbial eukaryotes (protists, algae, there is no clearly superior species concept that is consistently applied. In the absence of a practical biological species concept, most species and genus level delineations have historically been based on morphology, which may lead to an underestimate of the diversity of microbial eukaryotes. Indeed, a growing body of molecular evidence, such as barcoding surveys, is beginning to support the conclusion that significant cryptic species diversity exists. This underestimate of diversity appears to be due to a combination of using morphology as the sole basis for assessing diversity and our inability to culture the vast majority of microbial life. Here we have used molecular markers to assess the species delineations in two related but morphologically distinct genera of uncultivated symbionts found in the hindgut of termites. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using single-cell isolation and environmental PCR, we have used a barcoding approach to characterize the diversity of Coronympha and Metacoronympha symbionts in four species of Incisitermes termites, which were also examined using scanning electron microscopy and light microcopy. Despite the fact that these genera are significantly different in morphological complexity and structural organisation, we find they are two life history stages of the same species. At the same time, we show that the symbionts from different termite hosts show an equal or greater level of sequence diversity than do the hosts, despite the fact that the symbionts are all classified as one species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The morphological information used to describe the diversity of these microbial symbionts is misleading at both the genus and species levels, and led to an underestimate of species level diversity as well as an overestimate of genus level diversity. The genus 'Metacoronympha' is invalid and appears to be a life history stage of

  15. Charcoal Increases Microbial Activity in Eastern Sierra Nevada Forest Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary W. Carter

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Fire is an important component of forests in the western United States. Not only are forests subjected to wildfires, but fire is also an important management tool to reduce fuels loads. Charcoal, a product of fire, can have major impacts on carbon (C and nitrogen (N cycling in forest soils, but it is unclear how these effects vary by dominant vegetation. In this study, soils collected from Jeffrey pine (JP or lodgepole pine (LP dominated areas and amended with charcoal derived from JP or LP were incubated to assess the importance of charcoal on microbial respiration and potential nitrification. In addition, polyphenol sorption was measured in unamended and charcoal-amended soils. In general, microbial respiration was highest at the 1% and 2.5% charcoal additions, but charcoal amendment had limited effects on potential nitrification rates throughout the incubation. Microbial respiration rates decreased but potential nitrification rates increased over time across most treatments. Increased microbial respiration may have been caused by priming of native organic matter rather than the decomposition of charcoal itself. Charcoal had a larger stimulatory effect on microbial respiration in LP soils than JP soils. Charcoal type had little effect on microbial processes, but polyphenol sorption was higher on LP-derived than JP-derived charcoal at higher amendment levels despite surface area being similar for both charcoal types. The results from our study suggest that the presence of charcoal can increase microbial activity in soils, but the exact mechanisms are still unclear.

  16. IAEA biological reference materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parr, R.M.; Schelenz, R.; Ballestra, S.

    1988-01-01

    The Analytical Quality Control Services programme of the IAEA encompasses a wide variety of intercomparisons and reference materials. This paper reviews only those aspects of the subject having to do with biological reference materials. The 1988 programme foresees 13 new intercomparison exercises, one for major, minor and trace elements, five for radionuclides, and seven for stable isotopes. Twenty-two natural matrix biological reference materials are available: twelve for major, minor and trace elements, six for radionuclides, and four for chlorinated hydrocarbons. Seven new intercomparisons and reference materials are in preparation or under active consideration. Guidelines on the correct use of reference materials are being prepared for publication in 1989 in consultation with other major international producers and users of biological reference materials. The IAEA database on available reference materials is being updated and expanded in scope, and a new publication is planned for 1989. (orig.)

  17. Rumen microbial genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, M.; Nelson, K.E.

    2005-01-01

    Improving microbial degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides remains one of the highest priority goals for all livestock enterprises, including the cattle herds and draught animals of developing countries. The North American Consortium for Genomics of Fibrolytic Ruminal Bacteria was created to promote the sequencing and comparative analysis of rumen microbial genomes, offering the potential to fully assess the genetic potential in a functional and comparative fashion. It has been found that the Fibrobacter succinogenes genome encodes many more endoglucanases and cellodextrinases than previously isolated, and several new processive endoglucanases have been identified by genome and proteomic analysis of Ruminococcus albus, in addition to a variety of strategies for its adhesion to fibre. The ramifications of acquiring genome sequence data for rumen microorganisms are profound, including the potential to elucidate and overcome the biochemical, ecological or physiological processes that are rate limiting for ruminal fibre degradation. (author)

  18. Microbial Genomes Multiply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    2002-01-01

    The publication of the first complete sequence of a bacterial genome in 1995 was a signal event, underscored by the fact that the article has been cited more than 2,100 times during the intervening seven years. It was a marvelous technical achievement, made possible by automatic DNA-sequencing machines. The feat is the more impressive in that complete genome sequencing has now been adopted in many different laboratories around the world. Four years ago in these columns I examined the situation after a dozen microbial genomes had been completed. Now, with upwards of 60 microbial genome sequences determined and twice that many in progress, it seems reasonable to assess just what is being learned. Are new concepts emerging about how cells work? Have there been practical benefits in the fields of medicine and agriculture? Is it feasible to determine the genomic sequence of every bacterial species on Earth? The answers to these questions maybe Yes, Perhaps, and No, respectively.

  19. Degradation of microbial polyesters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokiwa, Yutaka; Calabia, Buenaventurada P

    2004-08-01

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), one of the largest groups of thermoplastic polyesters are receiving much attention as biodegradable substitutes for non-degradable plastics. Poly(D-3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) is the most ubiquitous and most intensively studied PHA. Microorganisms degrading these polyesters are widely distributed in various environments. Although various PHB-degrading microorganisms and PHB depolymerases have been studied and characterized, there are still many groups of microorganisms and enzymes with varying properties awaiting various applications. Distributions of PHB-degrading microorganisms, factors affecting the biodegradability of PHB, and microbial and enzymatic degradation of PHB are discussed in this review. We also propose an application of a new isolated, thermophilic PHB-degrading microorganism, Streptomyces strain MG, for producing pure monomers of PHA and useful chemicals, including D-3-hydroxycarboxylic acids such as D-3-hydroxybutyric acid, by enzymatic degradation of PHB.

  20. Global Microbial Identifier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wielinga, Peter; Hendriksen, Rene S.; Aarestrup, Frank Møller

    2017-01-01

    ) will likely also enable a much better understanding of the pathogenesis of the infection and the molecular basis of the host response to infection. But the full potential of these advances will only transpire if the data in this area become transferable and thereby comparable, preferably in open-source...... of microorganisms, for the identification of relevant genes and for the comparison of genomes to detect outbreaks and emerging pathogens. To harness the full potential of WGS, a shared global database of genomes linked to relevant metadata and the necessary software tools needs to be generated, hence the global...... microbial identifier (GMI) initiative. This tool will ideally be used in amongst others in the diagnosis of infectious diseases in humans and animals, in the identification of microorganisms in food and environment, and to track and trace microbial agents in all arenas globally. This will require...

  1. Optimized LC-MS/MS Method for the High-throughput Analysis of Clinical Samples of Ivacaftor, Its Major Metabolites, and Lumacaftor in Biological Fluids of Cystic Fibrosis Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Elena K; Reyes-Ortega, Felisa; Li, Jian; Velkov, Tony

    2017-10-15

    Defects in the cystic fibrosis trans-membrane conductance regulator (CFTR) are the cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease with life-threatening pulmonary manifestations. Ivacaftor (IVA) and ivacaftor-lumacaftor (LUMA) combination are two new breakthrough CF drugs that directly modulate the activity and trafficking of the defective CFTR-protein. However, there is still a dearth of understanding on pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic parameters and the pharmacology of ivacaftor and lumacaftor. The HPLC-MS technique for the simultaneous analysis of the concentrations of ivacaftor, hydroxymethyl-ivacaftor, ivacaftor-carboxylate, and lumacaftor in biological fluids in patients receiving standard ivacaftor or ivacaftor-lumacaftor combination therapy has previously been developed by our group and partially validated to FDA standards. However, to allow the high-throughput analysis of a larger number of patient samples, our group has optimized the reported method through the use of a smaller pore size reverse-phase chromatography column (2.6 µm, C8 100 Å; 50 x 2.1 mm) and a gradient solvent system (0-1 min: 40% B; 1-2 min: 40-70% B; 2-2.7 min: held at 70% B; 2.7-2.8 min: 70-90% B; 2.8-4.0 min: 90% B washing; 4.0-4.1 min: 90-40% B; 4.1-6.0 min: held at 40% B) instead of an isocratic elution. The goal of this study was to reduce the HPLC-MS analysis time per sample dramatically from ~15 min to only 6 min per sample, which is essential for the analysis of a large amount of patient samples. This expedient method will be of considerable utility for studies into the exposure-response relationships of these breakthrough CF drugs.

  2. Rumen microbial growth estimation using in vitro radiophosphorous incorporation technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bueno, Ives Claudio da Silva; Machado, Mariana de Carvalho; Cabral Filho, Sergio Lucio Salomon; Gobbo, Sarita Priscila; Vitti, Dorinha Miriam Silber Schmidt; Abdalla, Adibe Luiz

    2002-01-01

    Rumen microorganisms are able to transform low biological value nitrogen of feed stuff into high quality protein. To determine how much microbial protein that process forms, radiomarkers can be used. Radiophosphorous has been used to mark microbial protein, as element P is present in all rumen microorganisms (as phospholipids) and the P:N ratio of rumen biomass is quite constant. The aim of this work was to estimate microbial synthesis from feedstuff commonly used in ruminant nutrition in Brazil. Tested feeds were fresh alfalfa, raw sugarcane bagasse, rice hulls, rice meal, soybean meal, wheat meal, Tifton hay, leucaena, dehydrated citrus pulp, wet brewers' grains and cottonseed meal. 32 P-labelled phosphate solution was used as marker for microbial protein. Results showed the diversity of feeds by distinct quantities of nitrogen incorporated into microbial mass. Low nutrient availability feeds (sugarcane bagasse and rice hulls) promoted the lowest values of incorporated nitrogen. Nitrogen incorporation showed positive relationship (r=0.56; P=0.06) with the rate of degradation and negative relationship (r=-0.59; P<0.05) with fiber content of feeds. The results highlight that easier fermentable feeds (higher rates of degradation) and/or with lower fiber contents promote a more efficient microbial growth and better performance for the host animal. (author)

  3. Rumen microbial growth estimation using in vitro radiophosphorous incorporation technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bueno, Ives Claudio da Silva; Machado, Mariana de Carvalho; Cabral Filho, Sergio Lucio Salomon; Gobbo, Sarita Priscila; Vitti, Dorinha Miriam Silber Schmidt; Abdalla, Adibe Luiz [Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA), Piracicaba, SP (Brazil)

    2002-07-01

    Rumen microorganisms are able to transform low biological value nitrogen of feed stuff into high quality protein. To determine how much microbial protein that process forms, radiomarkers can be used. Radiophosphorous has been used to mark microbial protein, as element P is present in all rumen microorganisms (as phospholipids) and the P:N ratio of rumen biomass is quite constant. The aim of this work was to estimate microbial synthesis from feedstuff commonly used in ruminant nutrition in Brazil. Tested feeds were fresh alfalfa, raw sugarcane bagasse, rice hulls, rice meal, soybean meal, wheat meal, Tifton hay, leucaena, dehydrated citrus pulp, wet brewers' grains and cottonseed meal. {sup 32} P-labelled phosphate solution was used as marker for microbial protein. Results showed the diversity of feeds by distinct quantities of nitrogen incorporated into microbial mass. Low nutrient availability feeds (sugarcane bagasse and rice hulls) promoted the lowest values of incorporated nitrogen. Nitrogen incorporation showed positive relationship (r=0.56; P=0.06) with the rate of degradation and negative relationship (r=-0.59; P<0.05) with fiber content of feeds. The results highlight that easier fermentable feeds (higher rates of degradation) and/or with lower fiber contents promote a more efficient microbial growth and better performance for the host animal. (author)

  4. Energy, ecology and the distribution of microbial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macalady, Jennifer L; Hamilton, Trinity L; Grettenberger, Christen L; Jones, Daniel S; Tsao, Leah E; Burgos, William D

    2013-07-19

    Mechanisms that govern the coexistence of multiple biological species have been studied intensively by ecologists since the turn of the nineteenth century. Microbial ecologists in the meantime have faced many fundamental challenges, such as the lack of an ecologically coherent species definition, lack of adequate methods for evaluating population sizes and community composition in nature, and enormous taxonomic and functional diversity. The accessibility of powerful, culture-independent molecular microbiology methods offers an opportunity to close the gap between microbial science and the main stream of ecological theory, with the promise of new insights and tools needed to meet the grand challenges humans face as planetary engineers and galactic explorers. We focus specifically on resources related to energy metabolism because of their direct links to elemental cycling in the Earth's history, engineering applications and astrobiology. To what extent does the availability of energy resources structure microbial communities in nature? Our recent work on sulfur- and iron-oxidizing autotrophs suggests that apparently subtle variations in the concentration ratios of external electron donors and acceptors select for different microbial populations. We show that quantitative knowledge of microbial energy niches (population-specific patterns of energy resource use) can be used to predict variations in the abundance of specific taxa in microbial communities. Furthermore, we propose that resource ratio theory applied to micro-organisms will provide a useful framework for identifying how environmental communities are organized in space and time.

  5. Microbial reduction of uranium using cellulosic substrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thombre, M.S.; Thomson, B.M.; Barton, L.L.

    1996-01-01

    Previous work at the University of New Mexico and elsewhere has shown that sulfate-reducing bacteria are capable of reducing uranium from the soluble +6 oxidation state to the insoluble +4 oxidation state. This chemistry forms the basis of a proposed ground water remediation strategy in which microbial reduction would be used to immobilize soluble uranium. One such system would consist of a subsurface permeable barrier which would stimulate microbial growth resulting in the reduction of sulfate and nitrate and immobilization of metals while permitting the unhindered flow of ground water through it. This research investigated some of the engineering considerations associated with a microbial reducing barrier such as identifying an appropriate biological substrate, estimating the rate of substrate utilization, and identifying the final fate of the contaminants concentrated in the barrier matrix. The performance of batch reactors and column systems that treated simulated plume water was evaluated using cellulose, wheat straw, alfalfa hay, sawdust, and soluble starch as substrates. The concentrations of sulfate, nitrate, and U(VI) were monitored over time. Precipitates from each system were collected, and the precipitated U(IV) was determined to be crystalline UO 2(s) by x-ray diffraction. The results of this study support the proposed use of cellulosic substrates as candidate barrier materials

  6. Engineering microbial consortia for controllable outputs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindemann, Stephen R.; Bernstein, Hans C.; Song, Hyun-Seob; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Fields, Matthew W.; Shou, Wenying; Johnson, David R.; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2016-03-11

    Much research has been invested into engineering microorganisms to perform desired biotransformations; nonetheless, these efforts frequently fall short of expected results due to the unforeseen effects of biofeedback regulation and functional incompatibility. In nature, metabolic function is compartmentalized into diverse organisms assembled into resilient consortia, in which the division of labor is thought to lead to increased community efficiency and productivity. Here, we consider whether and how consortia can be designed to perform bioprocesses of interest beyond the metabolic flexibility limitations of a single organism. Advances in post-genomic analysis of microbial consortia and application of high-resolution global measurements now offer the promise of systems-level understanding of how microbial consortia adapt to changes in environmental variables and inputs of carbon and energy. We argue that when combined with appropriate modeling framework that predictive knowledge generates testable hypotheses and orthogonal synthetic biology tools, such understanding can dramatically improve our ability to control the fate and functioning of consortia. In this article, we articulate our collective perspective on the current and future state of microbial community engineering and control while placing specific emphasis on ecological principles that promote control over community function and emergent properties.

  7. Microbial respiration per unit microbial biomass increases with carbon-to-nutrient ratios in soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spohn, Marie; Chodak, Marcin

    2015-04-01

    and the litter C:N ratio resulted from an increase in respiration with the C:N ratio in combination with no significant effect of the litter C:N ratio on the soil microbial biomass C concentration. The results suggest that soil microorganisms respire more C both in absolute terms and per unit microbial biomass C when decomposing N-poor substrate. Thus, the findings indicate that atmospheric N deposition, leading to decreased litter C:N ratios, might decrease microbial respiration in soils. Together, the two studies show that the respiration rate per unit microbial biomass C is not constant but increases with the soil carbon-to-nutrient ratio. References Spohn, M; Chodak, M (2015): Microbial respiration per unit biomass increases with carbon-to-nutrient ratios in forest soils, Soil Biology & Biochemistry 81, 128-133, doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.11.008 Spohn, M (2014): Microbial respiration per unit microbial biomass depends on soil litter carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, Biogeosciences Discussions 11, 15037-15051, doi:10.5194/bgd-11-15037-2014

  8. Mathematical biology

    CERN Document Server

    Murray, James D

    1993-01-01

    The book is a textbook (with many exercises) giving an in-depth account of the practical use of mathematical modelling in the biomedical sciences. The mathematical level required is generally not high and the emphasis is on what is required to solve the real biological problem. The subject matter is drawn, e.g. from population biology, reaction kinetics, biological oscillators and switches, Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction, reaction-diffusion theory, biological wave phenomena, central pattern generators, neural models, spread of epidemics, mechanochemical theory of biological pattern formation and importance in evolution. Most of the models are based on real biological problems and the predictions and explanations offered as a direct result of mathematical analysis of the models are important aspects of the book. The aim is to provide a thorough training in practical mathematical biology and to show how exciting and novel mathematical challenges arise from a genuine interdisciplinary involvement with the biosci...

  9. Synthetic microbial ecology and the dynamic interplay between microbial genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolinšek, Jan; Goldschmidt, Felix; Johnson, David R

    2016-11-01

    Assemblages of microbial genotypes growing together can display surprisingly complex and unexpected dynamics and result in community-level functions and behaviors that are not readily expected from analyzing each genotype in isolation. This complexity has, at least in part, inspired a discipline of synthetic microbial ecology. Synthetic microbial ecology focuses on designing, building and analyzing the dynamic behavior of ‘ecological circuits’ (i.e. a set of interacting microbial genotypes) and understanding how community-level properties emerge as a consequence of those interactions. In this review, we discuss typical objectives of synthetic microbial ecology and the main advantages and rationales of using synthetic microbial assemblages. We then summarize recent findings of current synthetic microbial ecology investigations. In particular, we focus on the causes and consequences of the interplay between different microbial genotypes and illustrate how simple interactions can create complex dynamics and promote unexpected community-level properties. We finally propose that distinguishing between active and passive interactions and accounting for the pervasiveness of competition can improve existing frameworks for designing and predicting the dynamics of microbial assemblages.

  10. Microbial keratinases: industrial enzymes with waste management potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Amit; Singh, Hukum; Anwar, Shahbaz; Chattopadhyay, Anirudha; Tiwari, Kapil K; Kaur, Surinder; Dhilon, Gurpreet Singh

    2017-06-01

    Proteases are ubiquitous enzymes that occur in various biological systems ranging from microorganisms to higher organisms. Microbial proteases are largely utilized in various established industrial processes. Despite their numerous industrial applications, they are not efficient in hydrolysis of recalcitrant, protein-rich keratinous wastes which result in environmental pollution and health hazards. This paved the way for the search of keratinolytic microorganisms having the ability to hydrolyze "hard to degrade" keratinous wastes. This new class of proteases is known as "keratinases". Due to their specificity, keratinases have an advantage over normal proteases and have replaced them in many industrial applications, such as nematicidal agents, nitrogenous fertilizer production from keratinous waste, animal feed and biofuel production. Keratinases have also replaced the normal proteases in the leather industry and detergent additive application due to their better performance. They have also been proved efficient in prion protein degradation. Above all, one of the major hurdles of enzyme industrial applications (cost effective production) can be achieved by using keratinous waste biomass, such as chicken feathers and hairs as fermentation substrate. Use of these low cost waste materials serves dual purposes: to reduce the fermentation cost for enzyme production as well as reducing the environmental waste load. The advent of keratinases has given new direction for waste management with industrial applications giving rise to green technology for sustainable development.

  11. Starting up microbial enhanced oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegert, Michael; Sitte, Jana; Galushko, Alexander; Krüger, Martin

    2014-01-01

    This chapter gives the reader a practical introduction into microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) including the microbial production of natural gas from oil. Decision makers who consider the use of one of these technologies are provided with the required scientific background as well as with practical advice for upgrading an existing laboratory in order to conduct microbiological experiments. We believe that the conversion of residual oil into natural gas (methane) and the in situ production of biosurfactants are the most promising approaches for MEOR and therefore focus on these topics. Moreover, we give an introduction to the microbiology of oilfields and demonstrate that in situ microorganisms as well as injected cultures can help displace unrecoverable oil in place (OIP). After an initial research phase, the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) manager must decide whether MEOR would be economical. MEOR generally improves oil production but the increment may not justify the investment. Therefore, we provide a brief economical assessment at the end of this chapter. We describe the necessary state-of-the-art scientific equipment to guide EOR managers towards an appropriate MEOR strategy. Because it is inevitable to characterize the microbial community of an oilfield that should be treated using MEOR techniques, we describe three complementary start-up approaches. These are: (i) culturing methods, (ii) the characterization of microbial communities and possible bio-geochemical pathways by using molecular biology methods, and (iii) interfacial tension measurements. In conclusion, we hope that this chapter will facilitate a decision on whether to launch MEOR activities. We also provide an update on relevant literature for experienced MEOR researchers and oilfield operators. Microbiologists will learn about basic principles of interface physics needed to study the impact of microorganisms living on oil droplets. Last but not least, students and technicians trying to understand

  12. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells for the production of bioelectricity and biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Minghua; Yang, Jie; Wang, Hongyu; Jin, Tao; Xu, Dake; Gu, Tingyue

    2013-01-01

    Today's global energy crisis requires a multifaceted solution. Bioenergy is an important part of the solution. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology stands out as an attractive potential technology in bioenergy. MFCs can convert energy stored in organic matter directly into bioelectricity. MFCs can also be operated in the electrolysis mode as microbial electrolysis cells to produce bioproducts such as hydrogen and ethanol. Various wastewaters containing low-grade organic carbons that are otherwise unutilized can be used as feed streams for MFCs. Despite major advances in the past decade, further improvements in MFC power output and cost reduction are needed for MFCs to be practical. This paper analysed MFC operating principles using bioenergetics and bioelectrochemistry. Several major issues were explored to improve the MFC performance. An emphasis was placed on the use of catalytic materials for MFC electrodes. Recent advances in the production of various biomaterials using MFCs were also investigated.

  13. Chemical and biological studies of the major DNA adduct of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), cis-[Pt(NH3)2/d(GpG)/], built into a specific site in a viral genome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naser, L.J.; Pinto, A.L.; Lippard, S.J.; Essigmann, J.M.

    1988-01-01

    A duplex Escherichia coli bacteriophage M13 genome was constructed containing a single cis-[Pt(NH 3 ) 2 /d(GpG)/] intrastrand cross-link, the major DNA adduct of the anticancer drug cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II). The duplex dodecamer d(AGAAGGCCTAGA) x d(TCTAGGCCTTCT) was ligated into the HincII site of M13mp18 to produce an insertion mutant containing a unique StuI restriction enzyme cleavage site. A genome with a 12-base gap in the minus strand was created by hybridizing HincII-linearized M13mp18 duplex DNA with the single-stranded circular DNA of the 12-base insertion mutant. Characterization by pH-dependent 1 H NMR spectroscopy established that platinum binds to the N7 positions of the adjacent guanosines. The platinated oligonucleotide was phosphorylated in the presence of [γ- 32 P]ATP with bacteriophage T4 polynucleotide kinase and incorporated into the 12-base gap of the heteroduplex, thus situating the adduct specifically within the StuI site in the minus strand of the genome. The site of incorporation of the dodecamer was mapped to the expected 36-base region delimited by the recognition sites of XbaI and HindIII. Gradient denaturing gel electrophoresis of a 289-base-pair fragment encompassing the site of adduction revealed that the presence of the cis-[Pt(NH 3 ) 2 /d)GpG)/] cross-link induces localized weakening of the DNA double helix. Comparative studies revealed no difference in survival between platinated and unmodified double-stranded genomes. In contrast, survival of the single-stranded platinated genome was only 10-12% that of the corresponding unmodified single-stranded genome, indicating that the solitary cis-[Pt(NH 3 ) 2 /d(GpG)/] cross-link is lethal to the single-stranded bacteriophage

  14. The Role of Soil Organic Matter, Nutrients, and Microbial Community Structure on the Performance of Microbial Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney-Varga, J. N.; Dunaj, S. J.; Vallino, J. J.; Hines, M. E.; Gay, M.; Kobyljanec, C.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) offer the potential for generating electricity, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and bioremediating pollutants through utilization of a plentiful, natural, and renewable resource: soil organic carbon. In the current study, we analyzed microbial community structure, MFC performance, and soil characteristics in different microhabitats (bulk soil, anode, and cathode) within MFCs constructed from agricultural or forest soils in order to determine how soil type and microbial dynamics influence MFC performance. MFCs were constructed with soils from agricultural and hardwood forest sites at Harvard Forest (Petersham, MA). The bulk soil characteristics were analyzed, including polyphenols, short chain fatty acids, total organic C and N, abiotic macronutrients, N and P mineralization rates, CO2 respiration rates, and MFC power output. Microbial community structure of the anodes, cathodes, and bulk soils was determined with molecular fingerprinting methods, which included terminal restriction length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. Our results indicated that MFCs constructed from agricultural soil had power output about 17 times that of forest soil-based MFCs and respiration rates about 10 times higher than forest soil MFCs. Agricultural soil MFCs had lower C:N ratios, polyphenol content, and acetate concentrations than forest soil MFCs, suggesting that active agricultural MFC microbial communities were supported by higher quality organic carbon. Microbial community profile data indicate that the microbial communities at the anode of the high power MFCs were less diverse than in low power MFCs and were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Geobacter, and, to a lesser extent, Clostridia, while low-power MFC anode communities were dominated by Clostridia. These data suggest that the presence of organic carbon substrate (acetate) was not the major limiting factor in selecting for highly electrogenic microbial

  15. Biological methanogenesis and the CO2 greenhouse effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, P. D.

    1986-01-01

    It is well established that plants tend to increase net photosynthesis under increased carbon dioxide. It is also well established that a large fraction of atmospheric methane is produced by microbial metabolism of organic sediments in paddies and freshwater wetlands, where a major source of organic debris is local plant growth. As CO2 increases, it may lead to increased methane production and a resulting enhancement of the expected greenhouse warming. A rough estimate of the present rate of this biologically mediated feedback on the climate system indicates that it might account for as much as 30 percent of the observed methane increase and speed up the greenhouse forcing by as much as 15 percent.

  16. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    OpenAIRE

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems.

  17. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems. PMID:25744872

  18. Microbial Cell Dynamics Lab (MCDL)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Microbial Cell Dynamics Laboratory at PNNL enables scientists to study the molecular details of microbes under relevant environmental conditions. The MCDL seeks...

  19. Recent advances in molecular techniques to study microbial communities in food-associated matrices and processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Justé, A.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.; Lievens, B.

    2008-01-01

    In the last two decades major changes have occurred in how microbial ecologists study microbial communities. Limitations associated with traditional culture-based methods have pushed for the development of culture-independent techniques, which are primarily based on the analysis of nucleic acids.

  20. Role of Genomic Typing in Taxonomy, Evolutionary Genetics, and Microbial Epidemiology

    OpenAIRE

    van Belkum, Alex; Struelens, Marc; de Visser, Arjan; Verbrugh, Henri; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2001-01-01

    Currently, genetic typing of microorganisms is widely used in several major fields of microbiological research. Taxonomy, research aimed at elucidation of evolutionary dynamics or phylogenetic relationships, population genetics of microorganisms, and microbial epidemiology all rely on genetic typing data for discrimination between genotypes. Apart from being an essential component of these fundamental sciences, microbial typing clearly affects several areas of applied microbiogical research. ...

  1. Role of genomic typing in taxonomy, evolutionary genetics, and microbial epidemiology.

    OpenAIRE

    Belkum, Alex; Struelens, M.; Visser, Arjan; Verbrugh, Henri; Tibayrench, M.

    2001-01-01

    textabstractCurrently, genetic typing of microorganisms is widely used in several major fields of microbiological research. Taxonomy, research aimed at elucidation of evolutionary dynamics or phylogenetic relationships, population genetics of microorganisms, and microbial epidemiology all rely on genetic typing data for discrimination between genotypes. Apart from being an essential component of these fundamental sciences, microbial typing clearly affects several areas of applied microbiologi...

  2. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  3. Microbial biotransformation of bioactive flavonoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hui; Chen, Xiaoqing; Jassbi, Amir Reza; Xiao, Jianbo

    2015-01-01

    The bioactive flavonoids are considered as the most important phytochemicals in food, which exert a wide range of biological benefits for human being. Microbial biotransformation strategies for production of flavonoids have attracted considerable interest because they allow yielding novel flavonoids, which do not exist in nature. In this review, we summarize the existing knowledge on the production and biotransformation of flavonoids by various microbes. The main reactions during microbial biotransformation are hydroxylation, dehydroxylation, O-methylation, O-demethylation, glycosylation, deglycosylation, dehydrogenation, hydrogenation, C ring cleavage of the benzo-γ-pyrone system, cyclization, and carbonyl reduction. Cunninghamella, Penicillium, and Aspergillus strains are very popular to biotransform flavonoids and they can perform almost all the reactions with excellent yields. Aspergillus niger is one of the most applied microorganisms in the flavonoids' biotransformation; for example, A. niger can transfer flavanone to flavan-4-ol, 2'-hydroxydihydrochalcone, flavone, 3-hydroxyflavone, 6-hydroxyflavanone, and 4'-hydroxyflavanone. The hydroxylation of flavones by microbes usually happens on the ortho position of hydroxyl group on the A ring and C-4' position of the B ring and microbes commonly hydroxylate flavonols at the C-8 position. The microorganisms tend to hydroxylate flavanones at the C-5, 6, and 4' positions; however, for prenylated flavanones, dihydroxylation often takes place on the C4α=C5α double bond on the prenyl group (the side chain of A ring). Isoflavones are usually hydroxylated at the C-3' position of the B ring by microorganisms. The microbes convert flavonoids to their 7-O-glycosides and 3-O-glycosides (when flavonoids have a hydroxyl moiety at the C-3 position). The demethylation of multimethoxyl flavonoids by microbes tends to happen at the C-3' and C-4' positions of the B ring. Multimethoxyl flavanones and isoflavone are demethylated at

  4. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    This introductory textbook covers all the main categories of biological medicines, including vaccines, hormonal preparations, drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases, drugs...

  5. Microbial products II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pape, H; Rehm, H J [eds.

    1986-01-01

    The present volume deals mainly with compounds which have been detected as natural microbial products. Part 1 of this volume introduces the general aspects of the overproduction of metabolites and the concepts and genetics of secondary metabolism. Compounds such as nucleosides, nucleotides, coenzymes, vitamins and lipids are dealt with in part 2. Part 3 then is devoted to products and antibiotics with uses im medicine, veterinary medicine, plant protection and metabolites with antitumor activity. Several secondary metabolites have found uses in human and animal health care. With 244 figs., 109 tabs.

  6. Analysis of the functional diversity of the microbial communities in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Biolog method was thus evaluated in a paper-mill water system. The influence of the production of various paper grades, biocide combinations and monthly maintenance shut-downs on the functional diversity of the microbial communities were determined using the Biolog technique. The communities in the planktonic ...

  7. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Strik, David P.B.T.B.; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees [Wageningen Univ. (Netherlands). Sub-dept. of Environmental Technology; Rothballer, Michael; Hartmann, Anton [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Microbe-Plant Interactions; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg (Germany). Dept. Terrestrial Ecogenetics

    2012-04-15

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors. (orig.)

  8. Water pollution biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, C.F. [University of Essex, Colchester (United Kingdom). Dept. of Biology

    1996-12-31

    Chapter 4 of this book describes the effects of major types of pollutants on aquatic life. These are: organic pollution, eutrophication, acidification, toxic chemicals, oil, and radioactivity. The review includes an description of some of the methods of assessing the biological impacts of pollution. 50 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Systems biology and medicine

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    work could potentially provide us with ways to identify drug ... appropriately balance cause, effect, and context of a given clinical ... would not provide answers/solutions to multitude of tasks that were ... a major challenge of contemporary biology is to embark on an ... nificantly govern the life and responsiveness of cells.

  10. Microbial and Plant-Assisted Bioremediation of Heavy Metal Polluted Environments: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omena Bernard Ojuederie

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Environmental pollution from hazardous waste materials, organic pollutants and heavy metals, has adversely affected the natural ecosystem to the detriment of man. These pollutants arise from anthropogenic sources as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. Toxic metals could accumulate in agricultural soils and get into the food chain, thereby becoming a major threat to food security. Conventional and physical methods are expensive and not effective in areas with low metal toxicity. Bioremediation is therefore an eco-friendly and efficient method of reclaiming environments contaminated with heavy metals by making use of the inherent biological mechanisms of microorganisms and plants to eradicate hazardous contaminants. This review discusses the toxic effects of heavy metal pollution and the mechanisms used by microbes and plants for environmental remediation. It also emphasized the importance of modern biotechnological techniques and approaches in improving the ability of microbial enzymes to effectively degrade heavy metals at a faster rate, highlighting recent advances in microbial bioremediation and phytoremediation for the removal of heavy metals from the environment as well as future prospects and limitations. However, strict adherence to biosafety regulations must be followed in the use of biotechnological methods to ensure safety of the environment.

  11. Microbial and Plant-Assisted Bioremediation of Heavy Metal Polluted Environments: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojuederie, Omena Bernard

    2017-01-01

    Environmental pollution from hazardous waste materials, organic pollutants and heavy metals, has adversely affected the natural ecosystem to the detriment of man. These pollutants arise from anthropogenic sources as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. Toxic metals could accumulate in agricultural soils and get into the food chain, thereby becoming a major threat to food security. Conventional and physical methods are expensive and not effective in areas with low metal toxicity. Bioremediation is therefore an eco-friendly and efficient method of reclaiming environments contaminated with heavy metals by making use of the inherent biological mechanisms of microorganisms and plants to eradicate hazardous contaminants. This review discusses the toxic effects of heavy metal pollution and the mechanisms used by microbes and plants for environmental remediation. It also emphasized the importance of modern biotechnological techniques and approaches in improving the ability of microbial enzymes to effectively degrade heavy metals at a faster rate, highlighting recent advances in microbial bioremediation and phytoremediation for the removal of heavy metals from the environment as well as future prospects and limitations. However, strict adherence to biosafety regulations must be followed in the use of biotechnological methods to ensure safety of the environment. PMID:29207531

  12. Tools for Accurate and Efficient Analysis of Complex Evolutionary Mechanisms in Microbial Genomes. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakhleh, Luay

    2014-03-12

    I proposed to develop computationally efficient tools for accurate detection and reconstruction of microbes' complex evolutionary mechanisms, thus enabling rapid and accurate annotation, analysis and understanding of their genomes. To achieve this goal, I proposed to address three aspects. (1) Mathematical modeling. A major challenge facing the accurate detection of HGT is that of distinguishing between these two events on the one hand and other events that have similar "effects." I proposed to develop a novel mathematical approach for distinguishing among these events. Further, I proposed to develop a set of novel optimization criteria for the evolutionary analysis of microbial genomes in the presence of these complex evolutionary events. (2) Algorithm design. In this aspect of the project, I proposed to develop an array of e cient and accurate algorithms for analyzing microbial genomes based on the formulated optimization criteria. Further, I proposed to test the viability of the criteria and the accuracy of the algorithms in an experimental setting using both synthetic as well as biological data. (3) Software development. I proposed the nal outcome to be a suite of software tools which implements the mathematical models as well as the algorithms developed.

  13. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  14. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  15. Microbial biogeography of San Francisco Bay sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J. A.; Francis, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The largest estuary on the west coast of North America, San Francisco Bay is an ecosystem of enormous biodiversity, and also enormous human impact. The benthos has experienced dredging, occupation by invasive species, and over a century of sediment input as a result of hydraulic mining. Although the Bay's great cultural and ecological importance has inspired numerous surveys of the benthic macrofauna, to date there has been almost no investigation of the microbial communities on the Bay floor. An understanding of those microbial communities would contribute significantly to our understanding of both the biogeochemical processes (which are driven by the microbiota) and the physical processes (which contribute to microbial distributions) in the Bay. Here, we present the first broad survey of bacterial and archaeal taxa in the sediments of the San Francisco Bay. We conducted 16S rRNA community sequencing of bacteria and archaea in sediment samples taken bimonthly for one year, from five sites spanning the salinity gradient between Suisun and Central Bay, in order to capture the effect of both spatial and temporal environmental variation on microbial diversity. From the same samples we also conducted deep sequencing of a nitrogen-cycling functional gene, nirS, allowing an assessment of evolutionary diversity at a much finer taxonomic scale within an important and widespread functional group of bacteria. We paired these sequencing projects with extensive geochemical metadata as well as information about macrofaunal distribution. Our data reveal a diversity of distinct biogeographical patterns among different taxa: clades ubiquitous across sites; clades that respond to measurable environmental drivers; and clades that show geographical site-specificity. These community datasets allow us to test the hypothesis that salinity is a major driver of both overall microbial community structure and community structure of the denitrifying bacteria specifically; and to assess

  16. Microbial transformation of uranium in wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Francis, A.J.; Dodge, C.J.; Gillow, J.B.; Cline, J.E.

    1989-01-01

    Contamination of soils, water, and sediments by radionuclides and toxic metals from the disposal of uranium processing wastes is a major national concern. Although much is known about the physico- chemical aspects of U, we have little information on the effects of aerobic and anaerobic microbial activities on the mobilization or immobilization of U and other toxic metals in mixed wastes. In order to understand the mechanisms of microbial transformations of uranium, we examined a contaminated pond sediment and a sludge sample from the uranium processing facility at Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge, TN. The uranium concentration in the sediment and sludge samples was 923 and 3080 ug/g dry wt, respectively. In addition to U, the sediment and sludge samples contained high levels of toxic metals such as Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Ni, and Zn. The association of uranium with the various mineral fractions of the sediment and sludge was determined by selective chemical extraction techniques. Uranium was associated to varying degrees with the exchangeable carbonate, iron oxide, organic, and inert fractions in both samples. Initial results in samples amended with carbon and nitrogen indicate immobilization of U due to enhanced indigenous microbial activity under anaerobic conditions. 23 refs., 4 figs., 5 tabs

  17. Microbial biodiversity of Sardinian oleic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santona, Mario; Sanna, Maria Lina; Multineddu, Chiara; Fancello, Francesco; de la Fuente, Sara Audije; Dettori, Sandro; Zara, Severino

    2018-04-01

    The olives are rich in microorganisms that, during the extraction process may persist in the oils and can influence their physicochemical and sensory characteristics. In this work, and for the first time, we isolated and identified microbial species, yeast and bacteria, present during the production process in four Sardinian (Italy) oleic ecosystems. Among these varieties, we found that Nera di Gonnos was associated to the highest microbial biodiversity, which was followed by Bosana, Nocellara del Belice and Semidana. Among the different microbial species isolated, some are specific of olive ecological niches, such as Cryptococcus spp and Serratia spp; and others to olive oils such as Candida spp and Saccharomyces. Some other species identified in this work were not found before in oleic ecosystems. The enzymatic analyses of yeast and bacteria showed that they have good β-glucosidase activity and yeast also showed good β-glucanase activity. The majority of bacteria presented lipolytic and catalase activities while in yeast were species-specific. Interestingly, yeast and bacteria isolates presented a high resistance to bile acid, and about 65% of the yeast were able to resist at pH 2.5 for 2 h. Finally, bacteria showed no biofilm activity compared to yeast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  19. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological ...

  20. Microbial ecology of phototrophic biofilms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roeselers, G.

    2007-01-01

    Biofilms are layered structures of microbial cells and an extracellular matrix of polymeric substances, associated with surfaces and interfaces. Biofilms trap nutrients for growth of the enclosed microbial community and help prevent detachment of cells from surfaces in flowing systems. Phototrophic

  1. Microbial contamination in industrial tofu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Teresa Brandão Cavalheiro Ribeiro

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the microbiological quality of tofu sold in supermarkets in Porto Alegre/Brazil. Bacteria counts were performed for Bacillus cereus , mesophilic, coliforms and Staphylococcus coagulase positive and negative. The presence of Listeria sp. was also evaluated. Two different brands of tofu (A and B were collected, one lot per month, for six months. Five samples from each lot were analyzed. All lots presented mesophilic aerobic counts above 4.3x105CFU g-1. Four of the six lots from brand A and all lots from brand B showed E. coli and/or Staphylococcus coagulase positive counts above the Brazilian law accepted limits. The Staphylococcus coagulase negative counts were higher than those of coagulase positive in all lots. In all lots where Staphylococcus coagulase positive counts were above the legal limit, there were counts of coagulase negative above 104CFU g-1. B. cereus and Listeria sp. were not found in either brand. The majority of lots of brand A and all lots of brand B were unsuitable for human consumption. Our results showed that there are problems in tofu manufacturing in both industries analyzed. There is a need of improvement on its microbial quality to avoid problems of food-borne illness, and finally the need of a better control by the Brazilian inspection services.

  2. Microbial community structure of relict niter-beds previously used for saltpeter production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Narihiro

    Full Text Available From the 16th to the 18th centuries in Japan, saltpeter was produced using a biological niter-bed process and was formed under the floor of gassho-style houses in the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, which are classified as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The relict niter-beds are now conserved in the underfloor space of gassho-style houses, where they are isolated from destabilizing environmental factors and retain the ability to produce nitrate. However, little is known about the nitrifying microbes in such relict niter-bed ecosystems. In this study, the microbial community structures within nine relict niter-bed soils were investigated using 454 pyrotag analysis targeting the 16S rRNA gene and the bacterial and archaeal ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA. The 16S rRNA gene pyrotag analysis showed that members of the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Planctomycetes were major microbial constituents, and principal coordinate analysis showed that the NO3-, Cl-, K+, and Na+ contents were potential determinants of the structures of entire microbial communities in relict niter-bed soils. The bacterial and archaeal amoA libraries indicated that members of the Nitrosospira-type ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB and "Ca. Nitrososphaera"-type ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA, respectively, predominated in relict niter-bed soils. In addition, soil pH and organic carbon content were important factors for the ecological niche of AOB and AOA in relict niter-bed soil ecosystems.

  3. The Abundance and Activity of Nitrate-Reducing Microbial Populations in Estuarine Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardarelli, E.; Francis, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Estuaries are productive ecosystems that ameliorate nutrient and metal contaminants from surficial water supplies. At the intersection of terrestrial and aquatic environments, estuarine sediments host major microbially-mediated geochemical transformations. These include denitrification (the conversion of nitrate to nitrous oxide and/or dinitrogen) and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Denitrification has historically been seen as the predominant nitrate attenuation process and functions as an effective sink for nitrate. DNRA has previously been believed to be a minor nitrate reduction process and transforms nitrate within the ecosystem to ammonium, a more biologically available N species. Recent studies have compared the two processes in coastal environments and determined fluctuating environmental conditions may suppress denitrification, supporting an increased role for DNRA in the N cycle. Nitrate availability and salinity are factors thought to influence the membership of the microbial communities present, and the nitrate reduction process that predominates. The aim of this study is to investigate how nitrate concentration and salinity alter the transcript abundances of N cycling functional gene markers for denitrification (nirK, nirS) and DNRA (nrfA) in estuarine sediments at the mouth of the hypernutrified Old Salinas River, CA. Short-term whole core incubations amended with artificial freshwater/artificial seawater (2 psu, 35 psu) and with varying NO3- concentrations (200mM, 2000mM) were conducted to assess the activity as well as the abundance of the nitrate-reducing microbial populations present. Gene expression of nirK, nirS, and nrfA at the conclusion of the incubations was quantified using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). High abundances of nirK, nirS, and nrfA under particular conditions coupled with the resulting geochemical data ultimately provides insight onto how the aforementioned factors

  4. Effects of copper particles on a model septic system's function and microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Alicia A; Walker, Sharon L

    2016-03-15

    There is concern surrounding the addition of nanoparticles into consumer products due to toxicity potential and the increased risk of human and environmental exposures to these particles. Copper nanoparticles are found in many common consumer goods; therefore, the disposal and subsequent interactions between potentially toxic Cu-based nanoparticles and microbial communities may have detrimental impacts on wastewater treatment processes. This study investigates the effects of three copper particles (micron- and nano-scale Cu particles, and a nano-scale Cu(OH)2-based fungicide) on the function and operation of a model septic tank. Septic system analyses included water quality evaluations and microbial community characterizations to detect changes in and relationships between the septic tank function and microbial community phenotype/genotype. As would be expected for optimal wastewater treatment, biological oxygen demand (BOD5) was reduced by at least 63% during nano-scale Cu exposure, indicating normal function. pH was reduced to below the optimum anaerobic fermentation range during the micro Cu exposure, suggesting incomplete degradation of organic waste may have occurred. The copper fungicide, Cu(OH)2, caused a 57% increase in total organic carbon (TOC), which is well above the typical range for septic systems and also corresponded to increased BOD5 during the majority of the Cu(OH)2 exposure. The changes in TOC and BOD5 demonstrate that the system was improperly treating waste. Overall, results imply individual exposures to the three Cu particles caused distinct disruptions in septic tank function. However, it was observed that the system was able to recover to typical operating conditions after three weeks post-exposure. These results imply that during periods of Cu introduction, there are likely pulses of improper removal of total organic carbon and significant changes in pH not in the optimal range for the system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  5. Microbial diversity of a Mediterranean soil and its changes after biotransformed dry olive residue amendment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José A Siles

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean basin has been identified as a biodiversity hotspot, about whose soil microbial diversity little is known. Intensive land use and aggressive management practices are degrading the soil, with a consequent loss of fertility. The use of organic amendments such as dry olive residue (DOR, a waste produced by a two-phase olive-oil extraction system, has been proposed as an effective way to improve soil properties. However, before its application to soil, DOR needs a pre-treatment, such as by a ligninolytic fungal transformation, e.g. Coriolopsis floccosa. The present study aimed to describe the bacterial and fungal diversity in a Mediterranean soil and to assess the impact of raw DOR (DOR and C. floccosa-transformed DOR (CORDOR on function and phylogeny of soil microbial communities after 0, 30 and 60 days. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene demonstrated that bacterial diversity was dominated by the phyla Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria, while 28S-rRNA gene data revealed that Ascomycota and Basidiomycota accounted for the majority of phyla in the fungal community. A Biolog EcoPlate experiment showed that DOR and CORDOR amendments decreased functional diversity and altered microbial functional structures. These changes in soil functionality occurred in parallel with those in phylogenetic bacterial and fungal community structures. Some bacterial and fungal groups increased while others decreased depending on the relative abundance of beneficial and toxic substances incorporated with each amendment. In general, DOR was observed to be more disruptive than CORDOR.

  6. MicroScope in 2017: an expanding and evolving integrated resource for community expertise of microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallenet, David; Calteau, Alexandra; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Gachet, Mathieu; Lajus, Aurélie; Josso, Adrien; Mercier, Jonathan; Renaux, Alexandre; Rollin, Johan; Rouy, Zoe; Roche, David; Scarpelli, Claude; Médigue, Claudine

    2017-01-04

    The annotation of genomes from NGS platforms needs to be automated and fully integrated. However, maintaining consistency and accuracy in genome annotation is a challenging problem because millions of protein database entries are not assigned reliable functions. This shortcoming limits the knowledge that can be extracted from genomes and metabolic models. Launched in 2005, the MicroScope platform (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope) is an integrative resource that supports systematic and efficient revision of microbial genome annotation, data management and comparative analysis. Effective comparative analysis requires a consistent and complete view of biological data, and therefore, support for reviewing the quality of functional annotation is critical. MicroScope allows users to analyze microbial (meta)genomes together with post-genomic experiment results if any (i.e. transcriptomics, re-sequencing of evolved strains, mutant collections, phenotype data). It combines tools and graphical interfaces to analyze genomes and to perform the expert curation of gene functions in a comparative context. Starting with a short overview of the MicroScope system, this paper focuses on some major improvements of the Web interface, mainly for the submission of genomic data and on original tools and pipelines that have been developed and integrated in the platform: computation of pan-genomes and prediction of biosynthetic gene clusters. Today the resource contains data for more than 6000 microbial genomes, and among the 2700 personal accounts (65% of which are now from foreign countries), 14% of the users are performing expert annotations, on at least a weekly basis, contributing to improve the quality of microbial genome annotations. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together...... with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed...... synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead....

  8. Hydrodynamics of microbial filter feeding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Asadzadeh, Seyed Saeed; Dölger, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Microbial filter feeders are an important group of grazers, significant to the microbial loop, aquatic food webs, and biogeochemical cycling. Our understanding of microbial filter feeding is poor, and, importantly, it is unknown what force microbial filter feeders must generate to process adequate......-feeding choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis using particle tracking, and demonstrate that the current understanding of microbial filter feeding is inconsistent with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and analytical estimates. Both approaches underestimate observed filtration rates by more than an order of magnitude......; the beating flagellum is simply unable to draw enough water through the fine filter. We find similar discrepancies for other choanoflagellate species, highlighting an apparent paradox. Our observations motivate us to suggest a radically different filtration mechanism that requires a flagellar vane (sheet...

  9. Biological implications of the Viking mission to Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazur, P.; Barghoorn, E.S.; Jukes, T.H.; Margulis, L.

    1978-01-01

    A central purpose of Viking was to search for evidence that life exists on Mars or may have existed in the past. The missions carried three biology experiments the prime purpose of which was to seek for existing microbial life. They produced clear evidence of chemical reactivity in soil samples, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the chemical reactions were nonbiological in origin. The unexpected release of oxygen by soil moistened with water vapor in the Gas Exchange experiment together with the negative findings of the organic analysis experiment lead to the conclusion that the surface contains powerful oxidants. This conclusion is consistent with models of the atmosphere. The oxidants appear also to have been responsible for the decarboxylation of the organic nutrients that were introduced in the Label Release experiment. The major results of the GEX and LR experiments have been simulated at least qualitatively on Earth. The third, Pyrolytic Release, experiment obtained evidence for organic synthesis by soil samples. Although the mechanism of the synthesis is obscure, the thermal stability of the reaction makes a biological explanation most unlikely. Furthermore, the response of soil samples in all three experiments to the addition of water is not consistent with a biological interpretation. (Auth.)

  10. Biological implications of the Viking mission to Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mazur, P [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA); Barghoorn, E S [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (USA). Dept. of Biology; Halvorson, H O [Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA (USA); Jukes, T H [California Univ., Berkeley (USA). Space Sciences Lab.; Kaplan, I R [California Univ., Los Angeles (USA); Margulis, L [Boston Univ., MA (USA)

    1978-06-01

    A central purpose of Viking was to search for evidence that life exists on Mars or may have existed in the past. The missions carried three biology experiments the prime purpose of which was to seek for existing microbial life. They produced clear evidence of chemical reactivity in soil samples, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the chemical reactions were nonbiological in origin. The unexpected release of oxygen by soil moistened with water vapor in the Gas Exchange experiment together with the negative findings of the organic analysis experiment lead to the conclusion that the surface contains powerful oxidants. This conclusion is consistent with models of the atmosphere. The oxidants appear also to have been responsible for the decarboxylation of the organic nutrients that were introduced in the Label Release experiment. The major results of the GEX and LR experiments have been simulated at least qualitatively on Earth. The third, Pyrolytic Release, experiment obtained evidence for organic synthesis by soil samples. Although the mechanism of the synthesis is obscure, the thermal stability of the reaction makes a biological explanation most unlikely. Furthermore, the response of soil samples in all three experiments to the addition of water is not consistent with a biological interpretation.

  11. Dissecting the genetic and metabolic mechanisms of adaptation to the knockout of a major metabolic enzyme in Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Long, Christopher P.; Gonzalez, Jacqueline E.; Feist, Adam M.

    2018-01-01

    Unraveling the mechanisms of microbial adaptive evolution following genetic or environmental challenges is of fundamental interest in biological science and engineering. When the challenge is the loss of a metabolic enzyme, adaptive responses can also shed significant insight into metabolic...

  12. Microbial causes of endodontic flare-ups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siqueira, Jose F

    2003-07-01

    Inter-appointment flare-up is characterized by the development of pain, swelling or both, following endodontic intervention. The causative factors of flare-ups encompass mechanical, chemical and/or microbial injury to the pulp or periradicular tissues. Of these factors, microorganisms are arguably the major causative agents of flare-ups. Even though the host is usually unable to eliminate the root canal infection, mobilization and further concentration of defence components at the periradicular tissues impede spreading of infection, and a balance between microbial aggression and host defences is commonly achieved. There are some situations during endodontic therapy in which such a balance may be disrupted in favour of microbial aggression, and an acute periradicular inflammation can ensue. Situations include apical extrusion of infected debris, changes in the root canal microbiota and/or in environmental conditions caused by incomplete chemo-mechanical preparation, secondary intraradicular infections and perhaps the increase in the oxidation-reduction potential within the root canal favouring the overgrowth of the facultative bacteria. Based on these situations, preventive measures against infective flare-ups are proposed, including selection of instrumentation techniques that extrude lesser amounts of debris apically; completion of the chemo-mechanical procedures in a single visit; use of an antimicrobial intracanal medicament between appointments in the treatment of infected cases; not leaving teeth open for drainage and maintenance of the aseptic chain throughout endodontic treatment. Knowledge about the microbial causes of flare-ups and adoption of appropriate preventive measures can significantly reduce the incidence of this highly distressing and undesirable clinical phenomenon.

  13. Soil protists: a fertile frontier in soil biology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geisen, Stefan; Mitchell, Edward A D; Adl, Sina; Bonkowski, Michael; Dunthorn, Micah; Ekelund, Flemming; Fernández, Leonardo D; Jousset, Alexandre; Krashevska, Valentyna; Singer, David; Spiegel, Frederick W; Walochnik, Julia; Lara, Enrique

    2018-05-01

    Protists include all eukaryotes except plants, fungi and animals. They are an essential, yet often forgotten, component of the soil microbiome. Method developments have now furthered our understanding of the real taxonomic and functional diversity of soil protists. They occupy key roles in microbial foodwebs as consumers of bacteria, fungi and other small eukaryotes. As parasites of plants, animals and even of larger protists, they regulate populations and shape communities. Pathogenic forms play a major role in public health issues as human parasites, or act as agricultural pests. Predatory soil protists release nutrients enhancing plant growth. Soil protists are of key importance for our understanding of eukaryotic evolution and microbial biogeography. Soil protists are also useful in applied research as bioindicators of soil quality, as models in ecotoxicology and as potential biofertilizers and biocontrol agents. In this review, we provide an overview of the enormous morphological, taxonomical and functional diversity of soil protists, and discuss current challenges and opportunities in soil protistology. Research in soil biology would clearly benefit from incorporating more protistology alongside the study of bacteria, fungi and animals.

  14. Production of microbial glycolipid biosurfactants and their antimicrobial activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial glycolipids produced by bacteria or yeast as secondary metabolites, such as sophorolipids (SLs), rhamnolipids (RLs) and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are “green” biosurfactants desirable in a bioeconomy. High cost of production is a major hurdle toward widespread commercial use of bios...

  15. Microbial minorities modulate methane consumption through niche partitioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Meima-Franke, M.; Hordijk, C.A.; Steenbergh, A.K.; Hefting, M.M.; Bodrossy, L.; von Bergen, M.; Seifert, J.

    2013-01-01

    Microbes catalyze all major geochemical cycles on earth. However, the role of microbial traits and community composition in biogeochemical cycles is still poorly understood mainly due to the inability to assess the community members that are actually performing biogeochemical conversions in complex

  16. Title: Effect of abiotic stress on reduction of microbial contamination ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    TERI

    2016-03-30

    Mar 30, 2016 ... Full Length Research Paper. Effect of osmotic stress on in vitro propagation of. Musa sp. ... In vitro propagation of banana preferably use sword sucker as explant source where microbial contamination poses a great problem in ... micropropagation. Endo-bacterial contamination is one of the major problems ...

  17. Major Sport Venues

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — The Major Public Venues dataset is composed of facilities that host events for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Indy Racing League, Major League...

  18. Major Depression Among Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Depressive Episode Among Adolescents Data Sources Share Major Depression Definitions Major depression is one of the most ... Bethesda, MD 20892-9663 Follow Us Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus NIMH Newsletter NIMH RSS Feed NIMH ...

  19. Influence of heterotrophic microbial growth on biological oxidation of pyrite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchand, E.A.; Silverstein, J. [University of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States). Dept. of Civil Engineering

    2002-12-15

    Experiments were carried out to examine the possibility that enhanced growth of heterotrophic (non-iron-oxidising) bacteria would inhibit pyrite oxidation by Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans by out-competing the more slowly growing autotrophs for oxygen, nutrients or even attachment sites on the mineral surface. Glucose was added to microcosms containing pyrite, acidic mineral solution and cultures of A-ferrooxidans and Acidiphilium acidophilus under various experimental conditions. Results suggest that encouraging the growth of heterotrophic microorganisms under acid mine drainage conditions may be a feasible strategy for decreasing both the rate and the extent of sulfide mineral oxidation. 43 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  20. Biolog for the determination of diversity in microbial communities

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    drinie

    2002-01-01

    Jan 1, 2002 ... be related to the functional diversity of the species present in the community. ... The hypothesis is that the more substrates utilised, the higher the diversity, due to the collective action of individual species. Any one organism will not necessarily utilise all the ..... biofouling control in industrial water systems.