Matching Items (18)

132599-Thumbnail Image.png

Characterization of Lipid Transport Mutants that Overcome the Iron-Transport Defect in Escherichia coli

Description

When limited for iron, Escherichia coli secretes a siderophore, enterobactin, to solubilize and intake extracellular Fe3+ by a TonB-dependent high-affinity pathway. Consequently, E. coli tonB mutants grow poorly on a

When limited for iron, Escherichia coli secretes a siderophore, enterobactin, to solubilize and intake extracellular Fe3+ by a TonB-dependent high-affinity pathway. Consequently, E. coli tonB mutants grow poorly on a medium limited for iron. Upon longer incubation, however, faster growing colonies emerge and overcome this growth defect. The work presented in this paper reports and characterizes these faster growing colonies (revertants) in an attempt to dissect the mechanism by which they overcome the TonB deficiency. Genomic analysis revealed mutations in yejM, a putative inner-to-outer membrane cardiolipin transporter, which are responsible for the faster growth phenotype in a tonB mutant background. Further characterization of the revertants revealed that they display hypersensitivity to vancomycin, a large antibiotic that is normally precluded from entering E. coli cells, and leaked periplasmic proteins into the culture supernatant, indicating a compromised outer membrane permeability barrier. All phenotypes were reversed by supplying the wild type copy of yejM on a plasmid, suggesting that yejM mutations are solely responsible for the observed phenotypes. In the absence of wild type tonB, however, the deletion of all known of cardiolipin synthase genes (clsABC) did not produce the phenotype similar to mutations in the yejM gene, suggesting the absence of cardiolipin from the outer membrane per se is not responsible for the increased outer membrane permeability. These data show that a defect in lipid biogenesis and transport can compromise outer membrane permeability barrier to allow siderophore intake and that YejM may have additional roles other than transporting cardiolipin.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

135929-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effect of Heterotrophic Bacteria on the Growth Rate of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803

Description

With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels

With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels produced from photosynthetic microorganisms like algae or cyanobacteria offer a carbon neutral replacement for petroleum fuel sources; however, with the technology and information available today, the amount of biomass that would need to be produced is not economically feasible. In this work, I examined a possible factor impacting the growth of a model cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, which is heterotrophic bacteria communities accompanying the cyanobacteria. I experimented with three variables: the type of heterotrophic bacteria strain, the initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria, and the addition of a carbon source (glucose) to the culture. With experimental information, I identified if given conditions would increase Synechocystis growth and thus increase the yield of biomass. I found that under non-limiting growth conditions, heterotrophic bacteria do not significantly affect the growth of Synechocystis or the corresponding biomass yield. The initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria and the added glucose also did not affect the growth of Synechocystis. I did see some nutrient recycling from the heterotrophic bacteria as the phosphate levels in the growth medium were depleted, which was apparent from prolonged growth phase and higher levels of reactive phosphate in the media.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

135949-Thumbnail Image.png

Aerosolization Methods for Dispersion of Bacterial Cells in Air

Description

Legionella is a gram-negative bacterium with the ability for human infection by inhalation or aspiration of water containing the bacteria. Legionella live in aquatic environments and have been identified in

Legionella is a gram-negative bacterium with the ability for human infection by inhalation or aspiration of water containing the bacteria. Legionella live in aquatic environments and have been identified in cooling towers, humidifiers and respiratory therapy treatments, among others. Infection with Legionella bacteria leads to Legionnaire’s Disease or Pontiac Fever (Edelstein, 1993). Information regarding the means of aerosolization of Legionella bacteria has not yet been reported, therefore the relevance of experimentation was defined. The objective of this study is to determine the modes by which bacteria may be aerosolized under laboratory conditions. Specifically, to measure the amount of bacteria transported over a specific distance in a given amount of time and determine the most effective mode of bacterial aerosolization. Three methods of bacterial aerosolization were tested, these included an electric paint sprayer, an air paint sprayer and a hand-held spray bottle. E. coli was used as a surrogate for Legionella in experimentation due to its similar bacterial properties. Both bacteria are gram-negative, aerobic bacilli while Legionella is approximately 2 μm in length (Botzenhart, 1998), and E. coli is between 1 and 3 μm in length (Reshes, 2007). The accessibility and non-pathogenicity of E. coli also served as factors for the substitution.
In order to measure the aerosolization efficiency of each spray method, an air sampler was placed opposite to the position of the sprayer, on either side of a sealed box. Each sprayer was filled with E. coli concentrated at 104 CFU/ml in a PBS solution and sprayed for a time span of 1 and 5 seconds. For each of these time intervals an air sample was collected immediately following the spray as well as 5 minutes after the spray. Compared to the other two methods, the air spray method consistently showed the highest number of bacterial cells aerosolized. While all three methods resulted in the aerosolization of bacteria, the results determined the Air Spray method as the most efficient means of bacterial aerosolization. In this study, we provide a practical and efficient method of bacterial aerosolization for microbial dispersion in air. The suggested method can be used in future research for microbial dispersion and transmission studies.
In addition, a humidifier was filled with a spiked solution of E. coli and operated for a period of 1 and 5 seconds at its maximum output. Air samples were collected after 0 and 5 minutes. Immediately after the humidifier operation was stopped a small number of colonies were detected in the air sample and no colonies were detected in the air sample collected after a 5-minute elapsed time. This experiment served as a proof of concept for airborne pathogen’s transmission by a humidifier.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

131550-Thumbnail Image.png

Characterization of the Heat Stress Tolerance of an  Escherichia coli RNA Polymerase Mutant

Description

Abiotic stresses, such as heat, can drive protein misfolding and aggregation, leading to inhibition of cellular function and ultimately cell death. Unexpectedly, a thermotolerant Escherichia coli was identified from a

Abiotic stresses, such as heat, can drive protein misfolding and aggregation, leading to inhibition of cellular function and ultimately cell death. Unexpectedly, a thermotolerant Escherichia coli was identified from a pool of antibiotic resistant RNA polymerase β subunit (rpoB) mutants. This stress tolerant phenotype was characterized through exposure to high temperature and ethanol. After 30-minute exposure of cells to 55°C or 25% ethanol, the mutant displayed 100 times greater viability than the wild-type, indicating that the rpoB mutation may have broadly affected the cellular environment to reduce protein misfolding and/or prevent protein aggregation. To further test this hypothesis, we examined thermotolerance of cells lacking heat shock chaperone DnaJ (Hsp40), which is a cochaperone of one of the most abundant and conserved chaperones, DnaK (Hsp70). The deletion of dnaJ led to severe growth defects in the wild-type, namely a slower growth rate and extreme filamentation at 42°C. The severity of the growth defects increased after additionally deleting DnaJ analog, CbpA. However, these defects were significantly ameliorated by the rpoB mutation. Finally, the rpoB mutant was found to be minimally affected by the simultaneous depletion of DnaK and DnaJ compared to the wild-type, which failed to form single colonies at 37°C and 42°C. Based on these observations, it is proposed that the rpoB mutant’s robust thermotolerant phenotype results from a cellular environment protective against protein aggregation or improper folding. The folding environment of the rpoB mutants should be further examined to elucidate the mechanism by which both antibiotic resistance and thermotolerance can be conferred.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

131516-Thumbnail Image.png

Multivariable Analysis for Irrigation with Gray Water, Impact of Turbidity and Organic Content in Gray Water on Bacterial Inactivation

Description

The impact of physical/chemical properties of gray water on microbial inactivation in gray water using chlorine was investigated through creating artificial gray water in lab, varying specific components, and then

The impact of physical/chemical properties of gray water on microbial inactivation in gray water using chlorine was investigated through creating artificial gray water in lab, varying specific components, and then measuring microbial inactivation. Gray water was made through taking autoclaved nanopure water, and increasing the concentration of surfacants, the turbidity, the concentration of organic content, and spiking E. coli grown in tryptic soy broth (TSB); chlorine was introduced using Clorox Disinfecting Bleach2. Bacteria was detected using tryptic soy agar (TSA), and E. coli was specifically detected using the selective media, brilliance. The log inactivation of bacteria detected using TSA was shown to be inversely related to the turbidity of the solution. Complete inactivation of E. coli concentrations between 104-105 CFU/100 ml in gray water with turbidities between 10-100 NTU, 0.1-0.5 mg/L of humic acid, and 0.1 ml of Dawn Ultra, was shown to occur, as detected by brilliance, at chlorine concentrations of 1-2 mg/L within 30 seconds. These result in concentration time (CT) values between 0.5-1 mg/L·min. Under the same gray water conditions, and an E. coli concentration of 104 CFU/100 ml and a chlorine concentration of 0.01 mg/L, complete inactivation was shown to occur in all trials within two minutes. These result in CT values ranging from 0.005 to 0.02. The turbidity and humic acid concentration were shown to be inversely related to the log inactivation and directly related to the CT value. This study shows that chlorination is a valid method of treatment of gray water for certain irrigation reuses.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

135365-Thumbnail Image.png

How the EnvZ/OmpR Two-component Regulatory System Affects fepA Gene Expression in Escherichia coli

Description

This study focused on the connection between the EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system and the iron homeostasis system in Escherichia coli, specifically how a mutant form of EnvZ11/OmpR is able to

This study focused on the connection between the EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system and the iron homeostasis system in Escherichia coli, specifically how a mutant form of EnvZ11/OmpR is able to reduce the expression of fepA::lacZ, a reporter gene fusion in E. coli. FepA is one of several outer membrane siderophore receptors that allow extracellular siderophores bound to iron to enter the cells to power various biological processes. Previous studies have shown that in E. coli cells that expressed a mutant allele of envZ, called envZ11, which led to altered expression of various iron genes including down regulation of fepA::lacZ. The wild type EnvZ/OmpR system is not considered to regulate iron genes, but because these envz11 strains had downregulated fepA::lacZ, this study was undertaken to understand the connection and mechanisms of this downregulation. A large number of Lac+ revertants were obtained from the B32-2483 strain (envz11 and fepA::lacZ) and 7 Lac+ revertants that had reversion mutations not directly correcting the envZ11 allele were further characterized. With P1 phage transduction genetic mapping that involved moving a kanamycin resistance marker linked to fepA::lacZ, two Lac+ revertants were found to have their reversion mutations in the fepA promoter region, while the other five revertants had their mutations mapping outside the fepA region. These two revertants underwent DNA sequencing and found to carry two different single base pair mutations in two different locations of the fepA promoter region. Each one is in the Fur repressor binding region, but one also may have affected the Shine-Dalgarno region involved in translation initiation. All 7 reveratants underwent beta-galactosidase assays to measure fepA::lacZ expression. The two revertants that had mutations in the fepA promoter region had significantly increased fepA activity, with the revertant with the Shine-Dalgarno mutation having the most elevated fepA expression. The other 5 revertants that did not map in the fepA region had fepA expression elevated to the same level as that found in the wild type EnvZ/OmpR background. The data suggest that the negative effect of envZ11 can be overcome by multiple mechanisms, including directly correcting the envZ11 allele or changing the fepA promoter region.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

133151-Thumbnail Image.png

Cheminformatic-based characterization of malate and lactate export networks

Description

Fermentative bioproduction is an efficient production avenue for many small organic acids with less greenhouse gas emissions than petrochemical conversion. Export of these organic acids from the cell is proposed

Fermentative bioproduction is an efficient production avenue for many small organic acids with less greenhouse gas emissions than petrochemical conversion. Export of these organic acids from the cell is proposed to be mediated by networks of transmembrane transport proteins. However characterization of full transporter networks or the substrate promiscuity of individual transporters is often incomplete. Here, we used a cheminformatic approach to predict previously unknown native activity of E. coli transporters based on substrate promiscuity. Experimental validation in characterized several major putative malate exporters, whereas others were characterized as weak putative lactate exporters. The lactate export network remains incompletely characterized and might be mediated by a large, evolved network of promiscuous transporters.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12

147582-Thumbnail Image.png

A Bacterial Vaccine Polypeptide Against Moraxella catarrhalis

Description

Moraxella catarrhalis is a gram negative commensal bacteria that is a primary cause of otitis media in infants and severe exacerbations of COPD in adults. M. catarrhalis treatment has become

Moraxella catarrhalis is a gram negative commensal bacteria that is a primary cause of otitis media in infants and severe exacerbations of COPD in adults. M. catarrhalis treatment has become increasingly difficult and expensive over the past half-century due to the emergence of beta-lactamase producing strains. There are currently no vaccines available to protect against infections. In this paper, we propose a transcriptomics-based approach for identifying potential vaccine targets. Additionally, a novel method was used to create bacterial vaccine polypeptides composed of sequence conserved peptides secreted through the outer membrane. Polypeptides were tested for immunogenicity and protective capacity in mice. We show that relative abundance of outer membrane proteins does not correlate with immunogenicity. We also show promising results for polypeptide protection in a mouse pulmonary clearance model.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

148119-Thumbnail Image.png

The Metagenomic Analysis of the Gut Microbiome of the South American Locust (Schistocerca cancellata)

Description

Locusts are generalist herbivores meaning that they are able to consume a variety of plants. Because of their broad diet, and ability to respond rapidly to a favorable environment with

Locusts are generalist herbivores meaning that they are able to consume a variety of plants. Because of their broad diet, and ability to respond rapidly to a favorable environment with giant swarms of voracious insects, they are dangerous pests. Their potential impacts on humans increase dramatically when individuals switch from their solitarious phase to their gregarious phase where they congregate and begin marching and eventually swarming together. These swarms, often billions strong, can consume the vegetation of enormous swaths of land and can travel hundreds of kilometers in a single day producing a complex threat to food security. To better understand the biology of these important pests we explored the gut microbiome of the South American locust (Schistocerca cancellata). We hypothesized generally that the gut microbiome in this species would be critically important as has been shown in many other species. We extracted and homogenized entire guts from male S. cancellata, and then extracted gut microbiome genomic DNA. Genomic DNA was then confirmed on a gel. The initial extractions were of poor quality for sequencing, but subsequent extractions performed by collaborators during troubleshooting at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville proved more useful and were used for PCR. This resulted in the detections of the following bacterial genera in the gut of S. cancellata: Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Serratia, Pseudomonas, Actinobacter, and Weisella. With this data, we are able to speculate about the physiological roles that they hold within the locust gut generating hypotheses for further testing. Understanding the microbial composition of this species’ gut may help us better understand the locust in general in an effort to more sustainably manage them.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

133440-Thumbnail Image.png

Detoxifying Lipid A in Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Description

Agrobacterium tumefaciens has the ability to transfer its tumor inducing (Ti) plasmid into plant cells. In the last decade, agroinfiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants has shown promising results for recombinant

Agrobacterium tumefaciens has the ability to transfer its tumor inducing (Ti) plasmid into plant cells. In the last decade, agroinfiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants has shown promising results for recombinant protein production. However, A. tumefaciens produce endotoxins in the form of lipopolysaccharides (LPS), a component of their outer membrane that can induce organ failure and septic shock. Therefore, we aimed to detoxify A. tumefaciens by modifying their Lipid A structure, the toxic region of LPS, via mutating the genes for lipid A biosynthesis. Two mutant strains of A. tumefaciens were infiltrated into N. benthamiana stems to test for tumor formation to ensure that the detoxifying process did not compromise the ability of gene transfer. Our results demonstrated that A. tumefaciens with both single and double mutations retained the ability to form tumors. Thus, these mutants can be utilized to generate engineered A. tumefaciens strains for the production of plant-based pharmaceuticals with low endotoxicity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05