• Cross-feeding and interkingdom communication in dual-species biofilms of Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.

      Sztajer, Helena; Szafranski, Szymon P; Tomasch, Jürgen; Reck, Michael; Nimtz, Manfred; Rohde, Manfred; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-11)
      Polymicrobial biofilms are of large medical importance, but relatively little is known about the role of interspecies interactions for their physiology and virulence. Here, we studied two human pathogens co-occuring in the oral cavity, the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans and the caries-promoting bacterium Streptococcus mutans. Dual-species biofilms reached higher biomass and cell numbers than mono-species biofilms, and the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) by S. mutans was strongly suppressed, which was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and transcriptome analysis. To detect interkingdom communication, C. albicans was co-cultivated with a strain of S. mutans carrying a transcriptional fusion between a green fluorescent protein-encoding gene and the promoter for sigX, the alternative sigma factor of S. mutans, which is induced by quorum sensing signals. Strong induction of sigX was observed in dual-species biofilms, but not in single-species biofilms. Conditioned media from mixed biofilms but not from C. albicans or S. mutans cultivated alone activated sigX in the reporter strain. Deletion of comS encoding the synthesis of the sigX-inducing peptide precursor abolished this activity, whereas deletion of comC encoding the competence-stimulating peptide precursor had no effect. Transcriptome analysis of S. mutans confirmed induction of comS, sigX, bacteriocins and the downstream late competence genes, including fratricins, in dual-species biofilms. We show here for the first time the stimulation of the complete quorum sensing system of S. mutans by a species from another kingdom, namely the fungus C. albicans, resulting in fundamentally changed virulence properties of the caries pathogen.
    • The CtrA phosphorelay integrates differentiation and communication in the marine alphaproteobacterium Dinoroseobacter shibae.

      Wang, Hui; Ziesche, Lisa; Frank, Oliver; Michael, Victoria; Martin, Madeleine; Petersen, Jörn; Schulz, Stefan; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Tomasch, Jürgen; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014)
      Dinoroseobacter shibae, a member of the Roseobacter clade abundant in marine environments, maintains morphological heterogeneity throughout growth, with small cells dividing by binary fission and large cells dividing by budding from one or both cell poles. This morphological heterogeneity is lost if the quorum sensing (QS) system is silenced, concurrent with a decreased expression of the CtrA phosphorelay, a regulatory system conserved in Alphaproteobacteria and the master regulator of the Caulobacter crescentus cell cycle. It consists of the sensor histidine kinase CckA, the phosphotransferase ChpT and the transcriptional regulator CtrA. Here we tested if the QS induced differentiation of D. shibae is mediated by the CtrA phosphorelay.
    • Damage of Streptococcus mutans biofilms by carolacton, a secondary metabolite from the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum

      Kunze, Brigitte; Reck, Michael; Dötsch, Andreas; Lemme, André; Schummer, Dietmar; Irschik, Herbert; Steinmetz, Heinrich; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (2010-07-26)
      Abstract Background Streptococcus mutans is a major pathogen in human dental caries. One of its important virulence properties is the ability to form biofilms (dental plaque) on tooth surfaces. Eradication of such biofilms is extremely difficult. We therefore screened a library of secondary metabolites from myxobacteria for their ability to damage biofilms of S. mutans. Results Here we show that carolacton, a secondary metabolite isolated from Sorangium cellulosum, has high antibacterial activity against biofilms of S. mutans. Planktonic growth of bacteria was only slightly impaired and no acute cytotoxicity against mouse fibroblasts could be observed. Carolacton caused death of S. mutans biofilm cells, elongation of cell chains, and changes in cell morphology. At a concentration of 10 nM carolacton, biofilm damage was already at 35% under anaerobic conditions. A knock-out mutant for comD, encoding a histidine kinase specific for the competence stimulating peptide (CSP), was slightly less sensitive to carolacton than the wildtype. Expression of the competence related alternate sigma factor ComX was strongly reduced by carolacton, as determined by a pcomX luciferase reporter strain. Conclusions Carolacton possibly interferes with the density dependent signalling systems in S. mutans and may represent a novel approach for the prevention of dental caries.
    • Deep sequencing of biofilm microbiomes on dental composite materials.

      Conrads, Georg; Wendt, Laura Katharina; Hetrodt, Franziska; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Pieper, Dietmar; Abdelbary, Mohamed M H; Barg, Andree; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Apel, Christian (2019-01-01)
      Background: The microbiome on dental composites has not been studied in detail before. It has not been conclusively clarified whether restorative materials influence the oral microbiome. Methods: We used Illumina Miseq next-generation sequencing of the 16S V1-V2 region to compare the colonisation patterns of bovine enamel (BE) and the composite materials Grandio Flow (GF) and Grandio Blocs (GB) after 48 h in vivo in 14 volunteers. Applying a new method to maintain the oral microbiome ex vivo for 48 h also, we compared the microbiome on GF alone and with the new antimicrobial substance carolacton (GF+C). Results: All in vitro biofilm communities showed a higher diversity and richness than those grown in vivo but the very different atmospheric conditions must be considered. Contrary to expectations, there were only a few significant differences between BE and the composite materials GB and GF either in vivo or in vitro: Oribacterium, Peptostreptococcaceae [XI][G-1] and Streptococcus mutans were more prevalent and Megasphaera, Prevotella oulorum, Veillonella atypica, V. parvula, Gemella morbillorum, and Fusobacterium periodonticum were less prevalent on BE than on composites. In vivo, such preferences were only significant for Granulicatella adiacens (more prevalent on BE) and Fusobacterium nucleatum subsp. animalis (more prevalent on composites). On DNA sequence level, there were no significant differences between the biofilm communities on GF and GF+C. Conclusion: We found that the oral microbiome showed an increased richness when grown on various composites compared to BE in vitro, but otherwise changed only slightly independent of the in vivo or in vitro condition. Our new ex vivo biofilm model might be useful for pre-clinical testing of preventive strategies.
    • The delta subunit of RNA polymerase, RpoE, is a global modulator of Streptococcus mutans environmental adaptation.

      Xue, Xiaoli; Tomasch, Jürgen; Sztajer, Helena; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Research Group Microbial Communication, Division of Cell Biology, Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-10)
      The delta subunit of RNA polymerase, RpoE, is widespread in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria and is thought to play a role in enhancing transcriptional specificity by blocking RNA polymerase binding at weak promoter sites and stimulating RNA synthesis by accelerating core enzyme recycling. Despite the well-studied biochemical properties of RpoE, a role for this protein in vivo has not been defined in depth. In this study, we show that inactivation of rpoE in the human dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans causes impaired growth and loss of important virulence traits, including biofilm formation, resistance to antibiotics, and tolerance to environmental stresses. Complementation of the mutant with rpoE expressed in trans restored its phenotype to wild type. The luciferase fusion reporter showed that rpoE was highly transcribed throughout growth and that acid and hydrogen peroxide stresses repressed rpoE expression. Transcriptome profiling of wild-type and ΔrpoE cells in the exponential and early stationary phase of growth, under acid and hydrogen peroxide stress and under both stresses combined, revealed that genes involved in histidine synthesis, malolactic fermentation, biofilm formation, and antibiotic resistance were downregulated in the ΔrpoE mutant under all conditions. Moreover, the loss of RpoE resulted in dramatic changes in transport and metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. Interestingly, differential expression, mostly upregulation, of 330 noncoding regions was found. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that RpoE is an important global modulator of gene expression in S. mutans which is required for optimal growth and environmental adaptation.
    • Description of Labrenzia alexandrii gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel alphaproteobacterium containing bacteriochlorophyll a, and a proposal for reclassification of Stappia aggregata as Labrenzia aggregata comb. nov., of Stappia marina as Labrenzia marina comb. nov. and of Stappia alba as Labrenzia alba comb. nov., and emended descriptions of the genera Pannonibacter, Stappia and Roseibium, and of the species Roseibium denhamense and Roseibium hamelinense.

      Biebl, Hanno; Pukall, Rüdiger; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Schulz, Stefan; Allgaier, Martin; Tindall, Brian J; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research HZI, Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-05)
      A slightly pink-coloured strain, strain DFL-11(T), was isolated from single cells of the marine dinoflagellate Alexandrium lusitanicum and was found to contain the genes encoding two proteins of the photosynthetic reaction centre, pufL and pufM. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that the novel strain belonged to the alpha-2 subgroup of the Proteobacteria and was most closely related to Stappia aggregata (97.7 % similarity), Stappia alba (98.0 %) and Stappia marina (98.0 %). Dark-grown cells of strain DFL-11(T) contained small amounts of bacteriochlorophyll a (bchl a) and a carotenoid. Cells of strain DFL-11(T) were rods, 0.5-0.7 x 0.9-3.0 microm in size and motile by means of a single, subpolarly inserted flagellum. The novel strain was strictly aerobic and utilized a wide range of organic carbon sources, including fatty acids, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and sugars. Biotin and thiamine were required as growth factors. Growth was obtained at sea salt concentrations of between 1 and 10 % (w/v), at a pH between 6 and 9.2 and at a temperature of up to 33 degrees C (optimum, 26 degrees C). Nitrate was not reduced and indole was not produced from tryptophan. Strain DFL11(T) was resistant to potassium tellurite and transformed it to elemental tellurium. The major respiratory lipoquinone was ubiquinone 10 (Q10). The polar lipids comprised phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, an unidentified aminolipid and the glycolipid sulphoquinovosyldiacylglyceride. The fatty acids comprised 16 : 1 omega7c, 16 : 0, 18 : 1 omega7c, 18 : 0, 11-methyl 18 : 1 omega6t, 11-methyl 20 : 1 omega6t, 20 : 1 omega7c, 22 : 0, 22 : 1 and the hydroxy fatty acids 3-OH 14 : 0, 3-OH 16 : 0 (ester-linked), 3-OH 18 : 0, 3-OH 20 : 1 and 3-OH 20 : 0, all of which are amide-linked. The DNA G+C value was 56 mol%. Comparative analysis of alpha-2 subgroup 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the type species of the genus Stappia, Stappia stellulata, is only distantly related to S. aggregata (95.3 % sequence similarity). Based on the combination of the 16S rRNA gene sequence data, a detailed chemotaxonomic study and the biochemical and physiological properties of members of the genera Stappia, Pannonibacter and Roseibium, it is proposed that S. aggregata, S. alba, S. marina are transferred to a new genus, Labrenzia gen. nov., as Labrenzia aggregata comb. nov., Labrenzia alba comb. nov. and Labrenzia marina comb. nov. The type species of the new genus is Labrenzia alexandrii sp. nov., with strain DFL-11(T) (=DSM 17067(T)=NCIMB 14079(T)) as the type strain. The pufLM genes of the photosynthesis reaction centre were shown to be present in some, but not all, species of the new genus Labrenzia and they were identified for the first time in S. stellulata. In accordance with the new data collected in this study, emended descriptions are provided for the genera Pannonibacter, Roseibium and Stappia.
    • Design and characterization of dietary assessment in the German National Cohort.

      Knüppel, Sven; Clemens, Matthias; Conrad, Johanna; Gastell, Sylvia; Michels, Karin B; Leitzmann, Michael; Krist, Lilian; Pischon, Tobias; Krause, Gerard; Ahrens, Wolfgang; et al. (Springer Nature, 2019-01-15)
      BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to describe a novel dietary assessment strategy based on two instruments complemented by information from an external population applied to estimate usual food intake in the large-scale multicenter German National Cohort (GNC). As proof of concept, we applied the assessment strategy to data from a pretest study (2012-2013) to assess the feasibility of the novel assessment strategy. SUBJECTS/METHODS: First, the consumption probability for each individual was modeled using three 24 h food lists (24h-FLs) and frequencies from one food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Second, daily consumed food amounts were estimated from the representative German National Nutrition Survey II (NVS II) taking the characteristics of the participants into account. Usual food intake was estimated using the product of consumption probability and amounts. RESULTS: We estimated usual intake of 41 food groups in 318 men and 377 women. The participation proportion was 100, 84.4, and 68.5% for the first, second, and third 24h-FL, respectively. We observed no associations between the probability of participating and lifestyle factors. The estimated distributions of usual food intakes were plausible and total energy was estimated to be 2707 kcal/day for men and 2103 kcal/day for women. The estimated consumption frequencies did not differ substantially between men and women with only few exceptions. The differences in energy intake between men and women were mostly due to differences in estimated daily amounts. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of repeated 24h-FLs, a FFQ, and consumption-day amounts from a reference population represents a user-friendly dietary assessment approach having generated plausible, but not yet validated, food intake values in the pretest study
    • Discovery of antiviral molecules for dengue: In silico search and biological evaluation.

      Cabarcas-Montalvo, Maria; Maldonado-Rojas, Wilson; Montes-Grajales, Diana; Bertel-Sevilla, Angela; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Sztajer, Helena; Reck, Michael; Flechas-Alarcon, Maria; Ocazionez, Raquel; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus; et al. (2016-03-03)
      Dengue disease is a global disease that has no effective treatment. The dengue virus (DENV) NS2B/NS3 protease complex is a target for designing specific antivirals due to its importance in viral replication and its high degree of conservation.
    • Diversity and community composition of particle-associated and free-living bacteria in mesopelagic and bathypelagic Southern Ocean water masses: Evidence of dispersal limitation in the Bransfield Strait

      Milici, Mathias; Vital, Marius; Tomasch, Jürgen; Badewien, Thomas H.; Giebel, Helge A.; Plumeier, Iris; Wang, Hui; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Simon, Meinhard; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-05-01)
      The Southern Ocean constitutes about 10% of the global oceans' volume and is characterized by high primary production. Particulate organic matter (POM) is exported from the photic zone to the deep ocean and sustains life of particle associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacterial communities in the dark realm. Little is known about the composition and diversity of PA and FL bacterial communities below the photic zone and how they differ among various regions of the Southern Ocean. Therefore, we investigated the composition of small (3–8 μm) and large (> 8 μm) PA and FL (0.2–3 μm) bacterial communities between 500 m and 3600 m in the Bransfield Strait, Drake Passage, and the south Atlantic Ocean featuring also Southern Ocean water masses. PA bacterial communities had a higher OTU richness and evenness than FL ones. Taxonomic analysis revealed a different community composition between FL and PA bacteria. A large number of OTUs belonging to diverse phyla (Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Betaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia) were significantly enriched on particles; in contrast very few bacterial lineages were FL specialists. Life-style (FL vs. PA) and region (Bransfield basin vs. other regions) strongly influenced bacterial communities. Depth explained only marginal fraction of the total variation (∼ 12%), suggesting that selective processes driven by depth have a smaller effect in the Southern Ocean when compared to life-style (25%) and region (31%). Overall these data indicate a strong influence of isolated water masses such as the basin of the Bransfield Strait on the composition of bacterial communities in the dark ocean. © 2017 The Authors Limnology and Oceanography published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
    • Draft Genome Sequence of Roseovarius tolerans EL-164, a Producer of N-Acylated Alanine Methyl Esters and N-Acylhomoserine Lactones.

      Voget, Sonja; Bruns, Hilke; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Schulz, Stefan; Daniel, Rolf; Genomic and Applied Microbiology and Göttingen Genomics Laboratory, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany. (2015)
      Roseovarius tolerans EL-164 is a member of the Roseobacter clade, a group of marine bacteria within the Alphaproteobacteria. It produces different N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) autoinducers as well as five AHL-related but functionally different compounds, the N-acylated alanine methyl esters. The size of the draft genome is 3,749,755 bp.
    • Dual function of tropodithietic acid as antibiotic and signaling molecule in global gene regulation of the probiotic bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens.

      Beyersmann, Paul G; Tomasch, Jürgen; Son, Kwangmin; Stocker, Roman; Göker, Markus; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Simon, Meinhard; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-04-07)
      Antibiotics are typically regarded as microbial weapons, but whereas their function at concentrations lethal for bacteria is often well characterized, the role of antibiotics at much lower concentrations as possibly found under natural conditions remains poorly understood. By using whole-transcriptome analyses and phenotypic screenings of the marine bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens we found that the broad-spectrum antibiotic tropodithietic acid (TDA) causes the same regulatory effects in quorum sensing (QS) as the common signaling molecule N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) at concentrations 100-fold lower than the minimal inhibitory concentration against bacteria. Our results show that TDA has a significant impact on the expression of ~10% of the total genes of P. inhibens, in the same manner as the AHL. Furthermore, TDA needs the AHL associated LuxR-type transcriptional regulator, just as the AHL molecule. Low concentrations of antibiotics can obviously have a strong influence on the global gene expression of the bacterium that produces it and drastically change the metabolism and behaviour of the bacterium. For P. inhibens this includes motility, biofilm formation and antibiotic production, all important for settlement on new host-associated surfaces. Our results demonstrate that bacteria can produce antibiotics not only to antagonise other bacteria, but also to mediate QS like endogenous AHL molecules.
    • Dysbiosis in chronic periodontitis: Key microbial players and interactions with the human host.

      Deng, Zhi-Luo; Szafrański, Szymon P; Jarek, Michael; Bhuju, Sabin; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7., 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-06-16)
      Periodontitis is an extremely prevalent disease worldwide and is driven by complex dysbiotic microbiota. Here we analyzed the transcriptional activity of the periodontal pocket microbiota from all domains of life as well as the human host in health and chronic periodontitis. Bacteria showed strong enrichment of 18 KEGG functional modules in chronic periodontitis, including bacterial chemotaxis, flagellar assembly, type III secretion system, type III CRISPR-Cas system, and two component system proteins. Upregulation of these functions was driven by the red-complex pathogens and candidate pathogens, e.g. Filifactor alocis, Prevotella intermedia, Fretibacterium fastidiosum and Selenomonas sputigena. Nine virulence factors were strongly up-regulated, among them the arginine deiminase arcA from Porphyromonas gingivalis and Mycoplasma arginini. Viruses and archaea accounted for about 0.1% and 0.22% of total putative mRNA reads, respectively, and a protozoan, Entamoeba gingivalis, was highly enriched in periodontitis. Fourteen human transcripts were enriched in periodontitis, including a gene for a ferric iron binding protein, indicating competition with the microbiota for iron, and genes associated with cancer, namely nucleolar phosphoprotein B23, ankyrin-repeat domain 30B-like protein and beta-enolase. The data provide evidence on the level of gene expression in vivo for the potentially severe impact of the dysbiotic microbiota on human health.
    • Ectopic expression of homeobox gene NKX2-1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is mediated by aberrant chromatin modifications.

      Nagel, Stefan; Ehrentraut, Stefan; Tomasch, Jürgen; Quentmeier, Hilmar; Meyer, Corinna; Kaufmann, Maren; Drexler, Hans G; MacLeod, Roderick A F; Department of Human and Animal Cell Lines, Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig, Germany. sna@dsmz.de (2013)
      Homeobox genes encode transcription factors ubiquitously involved in basic developmental processes, deregulation of which promotes cell transformation in multiple cancers including hematopoietic malignancies. In particular, NKL-family homeobox genes TLX1, TLX3 and NKX2-5 are ectopically activated by chromosomal rearrangements in T-cell neoplasias. Here, using transcriptional microarray profiling and RQ-PCR we identified ectopic expression of NKL-family member NKX2-1, in a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cell line SU-DHL-5. Moreover, in silico analysis demonstrated NKX2-1 overexpression in 5% of examined DLBCL patient samples. NKX2-1 is physiologically expressed in lung and thyroid tissues where it regulates differentiation. Chromosomal and genomic analyses excluded rearrangements at the NKX2-1 locus in SU-DHL-5, implying alternative activation. Comparative expression profiling implicated several candidate genes in NKX2-1 regulation, variously encoding transcription factors, chromatin modifiers and signaling components. Accordingly, siRNA-mediated knockdown and overexpression studies confirmed involvement of transcription factor HEY1, histone methyltransferase MLL and ubiquitinated histone H2B in NKX2-1 deregulation. Chromosomal aberrations targeting MLL at 11q23 and the histone gene cluster HIST1 at 6p22 which we observed in SU-DHL-5 may, therefore, represent fundamental mutations mediating an aberrant chromatin structure at NKX2-1. Taken together, we identified ectopic expression of NKX2-1 in DLBCL cells, representing the central player in an oncogenic regulative network compromising B-cell differentiation. Thus, our data extend the paradigm of NKL homeobox gene deregulation in lymphoid malignancies.
    • Environmental biology of the marine Roseobacter lineage.

      Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Biebl, Hanno; National Research Institute for Biotechnology (GBF), Department for Cell Biology, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. iwd@gbf.de (2006)
      The Roseobacter lineage is a phylogenetically coherent, physiologically heterogeneous group of alpha-Proteobacteria comprising up to 25% of marine microbial communities, especially in coastal and polar oceans, and it is the only lineage in which cultivated bacteria are closely related to environmental clones. Currently 41 subclusters are described, covering all major marine ecological niches (seawater, algal blooms, microbial mats, sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates). Members of the Roseobacter lineage play an important role for the global carbon and sulfur cycle and the climate, since they have the trait of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxidize the greenhouse gas carbon monoxide, and produce the climate-relevant gas dimethylsulfide through the degradation of algal osmolytes. Production of bioactive metabolites and quorum-sensing-regulated control of gene expression mediate their success in complex communities. Studies of representative isolates in culture, whole-genome sequencing, e.g., of Silicibacter pomeroyi, and the analysis of marine metagenome libraries have started to reveal the environmental biology of this important marine group.
    • Functional biomarkers for chronic periodontitis and insights into the roles of Prevotella nigrescens and Fusobacterium nucleatum; a metatranscriptome analysis

      Szafrański, Szymon P; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Jarek, Michael; Bhuju, Sabin; Meisinger, Christa; Kühnisch, Jan; Sztajer, Helena; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-09-23)
    • Functioning of the mercury resistance operon at extremely high Hg(II) loads in a chemostat: a proteome analysis.

      Leonhäuser, Johannes; Wang, Wei; Deckwer, Wolf-Dieter; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Technical University Braunschweig/HZI-Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Biochemical Engineering, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-12-01)
      The transformation of extremely high concentrations of ionic mercury (up to 500 mg L(-1)) was investigated in a chemostat for two mercury-resistant Pseudomonas putida strains, the sediment isolate Spi3 carrying a regulated mercury resistance (mer) operon, and the genetically engineered strain KT2442Colon, two colonsmer73 expressing the mer operon constitutively. Both strains reduced Hg(II) with an efficiency of 99.9% even at the maximum load, but the concentration of particle bound mercury in the chemostat increased strongly. A proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry (2-DE/MS) showed constant expression of the MerA and MerB proteins in KT2442Colon, two colonsmer73 as expected, while in Spi3 expression of both proteins was strongly dependent on the Hg(II) concentration. The total cellular proteome of the two strains showed very little changes at high Hg(II) load. However, certain cellular responses of the two strains were identified, especially in membrane-related transport proteins. In Spi3, an up to 45-fold strong induction of a cation efflux transporter was observed, accompanied by a drastic downregulation (106-fold) of an outer membrane porin. In such a way, the cell complemented the highly specific mercury resistance mechanism with a general detoxification response. No indication of a higher demand on energy metabolism could be found for both strains.
    • Gene Flow Across Genus Barriers - Conjugation of Dinoroseobacter shibae's 191-kb Killer Plasmid into Phaeobacter inhibens and AHL-mediated Expression of Type IV Secretion Systems.

      Patzelt, Diana; Michael, Victoria; Päuker, Orsola; Ebert, Matthias; Tielen, Petra; Jahn, Dieter; Tomasch, Jürgen; Petersen, Jörn; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (2016)
      Rhodobacteraceae harbor a conspicuous wealth of extrachromosomal replicons (ECRs) and therefore the exchange of genetic material via horizontal transfer has been supposed to be a major evolutionary driving force. Many plasmids in this group encode type IV secretion systems (T4SS) that are expected to mediate transfer of proteins and/or DNA into host cells, but no experimental evidence of either has yet been provided. Dinoroseobacter shibae, a species of the Roseobacter group within the Rhodobacteraceae family, contains five ECRs that are crucial for anaerobic growth, survival under starvation and the pathogenicity of this model organism. Here we tagged two syntenous but compatible RepABC-type plasmids of 191 and 126-kb size, each encoding a T4SS, with antibiotic resistance genes and demonstrated their conjugational transfer into a distantly related Roseobacter species, namely Phaeobacter inhibens. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis showed transfer of those replicons into the recipient both individually but also together documenting the efficiency of conjugation. We then studied the influence of externally added quorum sensing (QS) signals on the expression of the T4SS located on the sister plasmids. A QS deficient D. shibae null mutant (ΔluxI1 ) lacking synthesis of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) was cultivated with a wide spectrum of chemically diverse long-chain AHLs. All AHLs with lengths of the acid side-chain ≥14 reverted the ΔluxI1 phenotype to wild-type. Expression of the T4SS was induced up to log2 ∼3fold above wild-type level. We hypothesize that conjugation in roseobacters is QS-controlled and that the QS system may detect a wide array of long-chain AHLs at the cell surface.
    • Genetic tools for the investigation of Roseobacter clade bacteria.

      Piekarski, Tanja; Buchholz, Ina; Drepper, Thomas; Schobert, Max; Wagner-Doebler, Irene; Tielen, Petra; Jahn, Dieter (2009)
      The Roseobacter clade represents one of the most abundant, metabolically versatile and ecologically important bacterial groups found in marine habitats. A detailed molecular investigation of the regulatory and metabolic networks of these organisms is currently limited for many strains by missing suitable genetic tools.