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UV photolysis for relieved inhibition of sulfadiazine (SD) to biomass growth

Description

UV photolysis was used to relieve inhibition of biomass growth by sulfadiazine (SD), a broad-spectrum anti-microbial. To investigate the effects of SD on biomass growth, three substrates—glucose alone (G), glucose plus sulfadiazine (G+SD), and glucose plus photolyzed SD (G+PSD)—were used

UV photolysis was used to relieve inhibition of biomass growth by sulfadiazine (SD), a broad-spectrum anti-microbial. To investigate the effects of SD on biomass growth, three substrates—glucose alone (G), glucose plus sulfadiazine (G+SD), and glucose plus photolyzed SD (G+PSD)—were used to culture the bacteria acclimated to glucose. The biomass was strongly inhibited when SD was added into the glucose solution, but inhibition was relieved to a significant degree when the SD was treated with UV irradiation as a pretreatment. The biomass growth kinetics were described well by the Monod model when glucose was used as a substrate alone, but the kinetics followed a hybrid Aiba model for non-competitive inhibition when SD was added to the solution. When photolyzed SD was added to glucose solution to replace original SD, the growth still followed Aiba inhibition, but inhibition was significantly relieved: the maximum specific growth rate (μ[subscript max]) increased by 17 %, and the Aiba inhibition concentration increased by 60 %. Aniline, a major product of UV photolysis, supported the growth of the glucose-biodegrading bacteria. Thus, UV photolysis of SD significantly relieved inhibition by lowering the SD concentration and by generating a biodegradable product.

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Date Created
2015-05-01

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Phosphorus recovery from microbial biofuel residual using microwave peroxide digestion and anion exchange

Description

Sustainable production of microalgae for biofuel requires efficient phosphorus (P) utilization, which is a limited resource and vital for global food security. This research tracks the fate of P through biofuel production and investigates P recovery from the biomass using

Sustainable production of microalgae for biofuel requires efficient phosphorus (P) utilization, which is a limited resource and vital for global food security. This research tracks the fate of P through biofuel production and investigates P recovery from the biomass using the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Our results show that Synechocystis contained 1.4% P dry weight. After crude lipids were extracted (e.g., for biofuel processing), 92% of the intracellular P remained in the residual biomass, indicating phospholipids comprised only a small percentage of cellular P. We estimate a majority of the P is primarily associated with nucleic acids. Advanced oxidation using hydrogen peroxide and microwave heating released 92% of the cellular P into orthophosphate. We then recovered the orthophosphate from the digestion matrix using two different types of anion exchange resins. One resin impregnated with iron nanoparticles adsorbed 98% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes, but only released 23% during regeneration. A strong-base anion exchange resin adsorbed 87% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes and released 50% of it upon regeneration. This recovered P subsequently supported growth of Synechocystis. This proof-of-concept recovery process reduced P demand of biofuel microalgae by 54%.

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Date Created
2015-03-01

Nitrite Accumulation From Simultaneous Free-Ammonia and Free-Nitrous-Acid Inhibition and Oxygen Limitation in a Continuous-Flow Biofilm Reactor

Description

To achieve nitrite accumulation for shortcut biological nitrogen removal (SBNR) in a biofilm process, we explored the simultaneous effects of oxygen limitation and free ammonia (FA) and free nitrous acid (FNA) inhibition in the nitrifying biofilm. We used the multi-species

To achieve nitrite accumulation for shortcut biological nitrogen removal (SBNR) in a biofilm process, we explored the simultaneous effects of oxygen limitation and free ammonia (FA) and free nitrous acid (FNA) inhibition in the nitrifying biofilm. We used the multi-species nitrifying biofilm model (MSNBM) to identify conditions that should or should not lead to nitrite accumulation, and evaluated the effectiveness of those conditions with experiments in continuous flow biofilm reactors (CFBRs). CFBR experiments were organized into four sets with these expected outcomes based on the MSNBM as follows: (i) Control, giving full nitrification; (ii) oxygen limitation, giving modest long-term nitrite build up; (iii) FA inhibition, giving no long-term nitrite accumulation; and (iv) FA inhibition plus oxygen limitation, giving major long-term nitrite accumulation. Consistent with MSNBM predictions, the experimental results showed that nitrite accumulated in sets 2–4 in the short term, but long-term nitrite accumulation was maintained only in sets 2 and 4, which involved oxygen limitation. Furthermore, nitrite accumulation was substantially greater in set 4, which also included FA inhibition. However, FA inhibition (and accompanying FNA inhibition) alone in set 3 did not maintained long-term nitrite accumulation. Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) activity batch tests confirmed that little NOB or only a small fraction of NOB were present in the biofilms for sets 4 and 2, respectively. The experimental data supported the previous modeling results that nitrite accumulation could be achieved with a lower ammonium concentration than had been required for a suspended-growth process. Additional findings were that the biofilm exposed to low dissolved oxygen (DO) limitation and FA inhibition was substantially denser and probably had a lower detachment rate.

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Created

Date Created
2015-01-01

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Effects of pulsed electric field treatment on enhancing lipid recovery from the microalga, Scenedesmus

Description

Chloroform and methanol are superior solvents for lipid extraction from photosynthetic microorganisms, because they can overcome the resistance offered by the cell walls and membranes, but they are too toxic and expensive to use for large-scale fuel production. Biomass from

Chloroform and methanol are superior solvents for lipid extraction from photosynthetic microorganisms, because they can overcome the resistance offered by the cell walls and membranes, but they are too toxic and expensive to use for large-scale fuel production. Biomass from the photosynthetic microalga Scenedesmus, subjected to a commercially available pre-treatment technology called Focused-Pulsed® (FP), yielded 3.1-fold more crude lipid and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) after extraction with a range of solvents. FP treatment increased the FAME-to-crude-lipid ratio for all solvents, which means that the extraction of non-lipid materials was minimized, while the FAME profile itself was unchanged compared to the control. FP treatment also made it possible to use only a small proportion of chloroform and methanol, along with isopropanol, to obtain equivalent yields of lipid and FAME as with 100% chloroform plus methanol.

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Date Created
2014-12-01

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How UV photolysis accelerates the biodegradation and mineralization of sulfadiazine (SD)

Description

Sulfadiazine (SD), one of broad-spectrum antibiotics, exhibits limited biodegradation in wastewater treatment due to its chemical structure, which requires initial mono-oxygenation reactions to initiate its biodegradation. Intimately coupling UV photolysis with biodegradation, realized with the internal loop photobiodegradation reactor, accelerated

Sulfadiazine (SD), one of broad-spectrum antibiotics, exhibits limited biodegradation in wastewater treatment due to its chemical structure, which requires initial mono-oxygenation reactions to initiate its biodegradation. Intimately coupling UV photolysis with biodegradation, realized with the internal loop photobiodegradation reactor, accelerated SD biodegradation and mineralization by 35 and 71 %, respectively. The main organic products from photolysis were 2-aminopyrimidine (2-AP), p-aminobenzenesulfonic acid (ABS), and aniline (An), and an SD-photolysis pathway could be identified using C, N, and S balances. Adding An or ABS (but not 2-AP) into the SD solution during biodegradation experiments (no UV photolysis) gave SD removal and mineralization rates similar to intimately coupled photolysis and biodegradation. An SD biodegradation pathway, based on a diverse set of the experimental results, explains how the mineralization of ABS and An (but not 2-AP) provided internal electron carriers that accelerated the initial mono-oxygenation reactions of SD biodegradation. Thus, multiple lines of evidence support that the mechanism by which intimately coupled photolysis and biodegradation accelerated SD removal and mineralization was through producing co-substrates whose oxidation produced electron equivalents that stimulated the initial mono-oxygenation reactions for SD biodegradation.

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Date Created
2014-11-01

Solution-state conformation and stoichiometry of yeast Sir3 heterochromatin fibres

Description

Heterochromatin is a repressive chromatin compartment essential for maintaining genomic integrity. A hallmark of heterochromatin is the presence of specialized nonhistone proteins that alter chromatin structure to inhibit transcription and recombination. It is generally assumed that heterochromatin is highly condensed.

Heterochromatin is a repressive chromatin compartment essential for maintaining genomic integrity. A hallmark of heterochromatin is the presence of specialized nonhistone proteins that alter chromatin structure to inhibit transcription and recombination. It is generally assumed that heterochromatin is highly condensed. However, surprisingly little is known about the structure of heterochromatin or its dynamics in solution. In budding yeast, formation of heterochromatin at telomeres and the homothallic silent mating type loci require the Sir3 protein. Here, we use a combination of sedimentation velocity, atomic force microscopy and nucleosomal array capture to characterize the stoichiometry and conformation of Sir3 nucleosomal arrays. The results indicate that Sir3 interacts with nucleosomal arrays with a stoichiometry of two Sir3 monomers per nucleosome. We also find that Sir3 fibres are less compact than canonical magnesium-induced 30 nm fibres. We suggest that heterochromatin proteins promote silencing by ‘coating’ nucleosomal arrays, stabilizing interactions between nucleosomal histones and DNA.

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Created

Date Created
2014-08-01

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Pyrosequencing Analysis Yields Comprehensive Assessment of Microbial Communities in Pilot-Scale Two-Stage Membrane Biofilm Reactors

Description

We studied the microbial community structure of pilot two-stage membrane biofilm reactors (MBfRs) designed to reduce nitrate (NO[subscript 3]–) and perchlorate (ClO[subscript 4]–) in contaminated groundwater. The groundwater also contained oxygen (O[subscript 2]) and sulfate (SO[2 over 4]–), which became

We studied the microbial community structure of pilot two-stage membrane biofilm reactors (MBfRs) designed to reduce nitrate (NO[subscript 3]–) and perchlorate (ClO[subscript 4]–) in contaminated groundwater. The groundwater also contained oxygen (O[subscript 2]) and sulfate (SO[2 over 4]–), which became important electron sinks that affected the NO[subscript 3]– and ClO[subscript 4]– removal rates. Using pyrosequencing, we elucidated how important phylotypes of each “primary” microbial group, i.e., denitrifying bacteria (DB), perchlorate-reducing bacteria (PRB), and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), responded to changes in electron-acceptor loading. UniFrac, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA), and diversity analyses documented that the microbial community of biofilms sampled when the MBfRs had a high acceptor loading were phylogenetically distant from and less diverse than the microbial community of biofilm samples with lower acceptor loadings. Diminished acceptor loading led to SO[2 over 4]– reduction in the lag MBfR, which allowed Desulfovibrionales (an SRB) and Thiothrichales (sulfur-oxidizers) to thrive through S cycling. As a result of this cooperative relationship, they competed effectively with DB/PRB phylotypes such as Xanthomonadales and Rhodobacterales. Thus, pyrosequencing illustrated that while DB, PRB, and SRB responded predictably to changes in acceptor loading, a decrease in total acceptor loading led to important shifts within the “primary” groups, the onset of other members (e.g., Thiothrichales), and overall greater diversity.

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Created

Date Created
2014-07-01

A Combined Activated Sludge Anaerobic Digestion Model (CASADM) to Understand the Role of Anaerobic Sludge Recycling in Wastewater Treatment Plant Performance

Description

The Combined Activated Sludge-Anaerobic Digestion Model (CASADM) quantifies the effects of recycling anaerobic-digester (AD) sludge on the performance of a hybrid activated sludge (AS)-AD system. The model includes nitrification, denitrification, hydrolysis, fermentation, methanogenesis, and production/utilization of soluble microbial products and

The Combined Activated Sludge-Anaerobic Digestion Model (CASADM) quantifies the effects of recycling anaerobic-digester (AD) sludge on the performance of a hybrid activated sludge (AS)-AD system. The model includes nitrification, denitrification, hydrolysis, fermentation, methanogenesis, and production/utilization of soluble microbial products and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). A CASADM example shows that, while effluent COD and N are not changed much by hybrid operation, the hybrid system gives increased methane production in the AD and decreased sludge wasting, both caused mainly by a negative actual solids retention time in the hybrid AD. Increased retention of biomass and EPS allows for more hydrolysis and conversion to methane in the hybrid AD. However, fermenters and methanogens survive in the AS, allowing significant methane production in the settler and thickener of both systems, and AD sludge recycle makes methane formation greater in the hybrid system.

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Created

Date Created
2013-08-13

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Biophysical Characterization of a Vaccine Candidate Against HIV-1: The Transmembrane and Membrane Proximal Domains of HIV-1 gp41 as a Maltose Binding Protein Fusion

Description

The membrane proximal region (MPR, residues 649–683) and transmembrane domain (TMD, residues 684–705) of the gp41 subunit of HIV-1’s envelope protein are highly conserved and are important in viral mucosal transmission, virus attachment and membrane fusion with target cells. Several

The membrane proximal region (MPR, residues 649–683) and transmembrane domain (TMD, residues 684–705) of the gp41 subunit of HIV-1’s envelope protein are highly conserved and are important in viral mucosal transmission, virus attachment and membrane fusion with target cells. Several structures of the trimeric membrane proximal external region (residues 662–683) of MPR have been reported at the atomic level; however, the atomic structure of the TMD still remains unknown. To elucidate the structure of both MPR and TMD, we expressed the region spanning both domains, MPR-TM (residues 649–705), in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with maltose binding protein (MBP). MPR-TM was initially fused to the C-terminus of MBP via a 42 aa-long linker containing a TEV protease recognition site (MBP-linker-MPR-TM).

Biophysical characterization indicated that the purified MBP-linker-MPR-TM protein was a monodisperse and stable candidate for crystallization. However, crystals of the MBP-linker-MPR-TM protein could not be obtained in extensive crystallization screens. It is possible that the 42 residue-long linker between MBP and MPR-TM was interfering with crystal formation. To test this hypothesis, the 42 residue-long linker was replaced with three alanine residues. The fusion protein, MBP-AAA-MPR-TM, was similarly purified and characterized. Significantly, both the MBP-linker-MPR-TM and MBP-AAA-MPR-TM proteins strongly interacted with broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies 2F5 and 4E10. With epitopes accessible to the broadly neutralizing antibodies, these MBP/MPR-TM recombinant proteins may be in immunologically relevant conformations that mimic a pre-hairpin intermediate of gp41.

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Created

Date Created
2015-08-21

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Bacterial Expression, Correct Membrane Targeting, and Functional Folding of the HIV-1 Membrane Protein Vpu Using a Periplasmic Signal Peptide

Description

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral progeny escape from infected cells, including down-regulation of CD4 receptors.

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral progeny escape from infected cells, including down-regulation of CD4 receptors. But key structure/function questions remain regarding the mechanisms by which the Vpu protein contributes to HIV-1 pathogenesis. Here we describe expression of Vpu in bacteria, its purification and characterization. We report the successful expression of PelB-Vpu in Escherichia coli using the leader peptide pectate lyase B (PelB) from Erwinia carotovora. The protein was detergent extractable and could be isolated in a very pure form. We demonstrate that the PelB signal peptide successfully targets Vpu to the cell membranes and inserts it as a type I membrane protein. PelB-Vpu was biophysically characterized by circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering experiments and was shown to be an excellent candidate for elucidating structural models.

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Created

Date Created
2017-02-22