• Bacterial microcompartment-directed polyphosphate kinase promotes stable polyphosphate accumulation in E. coli.

      Liang, Mingzhi; Frank, Stefanie; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Warren, Martin J; Prentice, Michael B; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig Germany. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-03-01)
      Processes for the biological removal of phosphate from wastewater rely on temporary manipulation of bacterial polyphosphate levels by phased environmental stimuli. In E. coli polyphosphate levels are controlled via the polyphosphate-synthesizing enzyme polyphosphate kinase (PPK1) and exopolyphosphatases (PPX and GPPA), and are temporarily enhanced by PPK1 overexpression and reduced by PPX overexpression. We hypothesised that partitioning PPK1 from cytoplasmic exopolyphosphatases would increase and stabilise E. coli polyphosphate levels. Partitioning was achieved by co-expression of E. coli PPK1 fused with a microcompartment-targeting sequence and an artificial operon of Citrobacter freundii bacterial microcompartment genes. Encapsulation of targeted PPK1 resulted in persistent phosphate uptake and stably increased cellular polyphosphate levels throughout cell growth and into the stationary phase, while PPK1 overexpression alone produced temporary polyphosphate increase and phosphate uptake. Targeted PPK1 increased polyphosphate in microcompartments 8-fold compared with non-targeted PPK1. Co-expression of PPX polyphosphatase with targeted PPK1 had little effect on elevated cellular polyphosphate levels because microcompartments retained polyphosphate. Co-expression of PPX with non-targeted PPK1 reduced cellular polyphosphate levels. Thus, subcellular compartmentalisation of a polymerising enzyme sequesters metabolic products from competing catabolism by preventing catabolic enzyme access. Specific application of this process to polyphosphate is of potential application for biological phosphate removal.
    • Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in the ruhr district, germany: History, distribution, decline dynamics and disease symptoms of the salamander plague

      Schulz, Vanessa; Schulz, Alina; Klamke, Marine; Preissler, Kathleen; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Müsken, Mathias; Schlüpmann, Martin; Heldt, Lorenz; Kamprad, Felix; Enss, Julian; et al. (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT), 2020-08-15)
      he chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), recently introduced from Asia to Europe, causes mortality in numerous species of salamanders and newts and has led to catastrophic declines and local extinctions of the European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Due to the continuous spread of the pathogen, Germany can be considered as the current ‘hotspot’ of Bsal-driven salamander declines. The pathogen was detected in 2015 in the Eifel Mountains where it probably has been present at least since 2004. Moreover, Bsal was found in 2017 in the Ruhr District where it also might occur since 2004. The Ruhr District is a heavily urbanized and industrialized region in western Germany, which offers an unprecedented opportunity to monitor range expansion and infection dynamics of Bsal in an area affected by intense human activities. We here review the current knowledge on Bsal in the Ruhr District where the pathogen by now has been recorded based on qPCR data from 18 sites distributed over eight cities. Transect counts (adult salamanders) and larval removal-sampling at two sites where Bsal was recorded in 2017 and 2018, confirm that fire salamander populations at the affected sites have declined dramatically. However, single negative-tested individuals were still observed and reproduction could be ascertained. Moreover, we successfully detected Bsal by analysing environmental DNA (eDNA) from samples obtained from a standing water body as well as a stream. Detailed monitoring of a site in Essen (Kruppwald) from January to May 2019 provided data on infection and disease dynamics during an acute Bsal-outbreak in a population of European fire salamanders. After initial observation of single dead infected salamanders in January and February 2019, the maximum Bsal loads in the population ranged from 7.90E+03 ITS copies in early March to 2.29E+09 ITS copies at the end of March. Prevalence of infection ranged from 4% to 50% and significantly increased over time; prevalence of externally visible disease symptoms peaked on May 2 and May 8. Single dead salamanders were encountered throughout the monitoring period. Recaptures of two infected salamanders indicated an increase of Bsal load by about one order of magnitude within one week. Infected salamanders showed small-sized regular round ulcerations usually of 0.25–1 mm but sometimes up to 2.5 mm in diameter, which gave the impression of outward growth from the centre of each ulceration. Among salamander individuals monitored in the Kruppwald, such ulcerations were only found in infected salamanders, but we found no significant correlation between the intensity of the ulcerations and Bsal load. Heat treatment proved effective to cure even deep ulcerations when salamanders were kept for 10 days at 25–27°C or 14 days at 25°C, but infection persisted and ulcerations reappeared six weeks after the end of the treatment; only heat treatment at 25°C for 21 days proved effective to reliably clear the infection in three tested salamanders. Key words. Amphibia, Caudata, Salamandra salamandra, European fire salamander, Bsal, chytridiomycosis, heat treatment, emerging infectious disease, amphibian disease, eDNA.
    • Belliella kenyensis sp. nov., isolated from an alkaline lake.

      Akhwale, Juliah Khayeli; Göker, Markus; Rohde, Manfred; Schumann, Peter; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Boga, Hamadi Iddi; Leibniz Institute DSMZ – German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstraße 7B, 7 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-02)
      A red-pigmented, Gram-reaction-negative, aerobic bacterial strain, designated No.164(T), was isolated from sediment sample from the alkaline Lake Elmenteita located in the Kenyan Rift Valley. Results of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated that the isolate represented a member of the genus Belliella, with the highest sequence similarity (97 %) to Belliella pelovolcani DSM 46698(T). Optimal growth temperature was 30-35 °C, at pH 7.0-12.0 in the presence of 0-4 % (w/v) NaCl. Flexirubins were absent. The respiratory menaquinone (MK-7), predominant cellular fatty acids (iso-C15 : 0, anteiso-C15 : 0 and a mixture of C16 : 1ω7c and/or iso-C15 : 0 2-OH) and DNA G+C content (38.1 mol%) of strain No.164(T) were consistent with those of other members of the genus Belliella. The polar lipids consisted of phosphatidylethanolamine, eight unspecified lipids and one unspecified phospholipid. Several phenotypic characteristics can be used to differentiate this isolate from those of other species of the genus Belliella. The results of polyphasic analyses presented in this study indicated that this isolate should be classified as representing a novel species of the genus Belliella. The name Belliella kenyensis sp. nov. is therefore proposed; the type strain is strain No.164(T) ( = DSM 46651(T) = CECT 8551(T)).
    • Biology of archaea from a novel family Cuniculiplasmataceae (Thermoplasmata) ubiquitous in hyperacidic environments.

      Golyshina, Olga V; Kublanov, Ilya V; Tran, Hai; Korzhenkov, Alexei A; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Nechitaylo, Taras Y; Gavrilov, Sergey N; Toshchakov, Stepan V; Golyshin, Peter N; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-12-14)
      The order Thermoplasmatales (Euryarchaeota) is represented by the most acidophilic organisms known so far that are poorly amenable to cultivation. Earlier culture-independent studies in Iron Mountain (California) pointed at an abundant archaeal group, dubbed 'G-plasma'. We examined the genomes and physiology of two cultured representatives of a Family Cuniculiplasmataceae, recently isolated from acidic (pH 1-1.5) sites in Spain and UK that are 16S rRNA gene sequence-identical with 'G-plasma'. Organisms had largest genomes among Thermoplasmatales (1.87-1.94 Mbp), that shared 98.7-98.8% average nucleotide identities between themselves and 'G-plasma' and exhibited a high genome conservation even within their genomic islands, despite their remote geographical localisations. Facultatively anaerobic heterotrophs, they possess an ancestral form of A-type terminal oxygen reductase from a distinct parental clade. The lack of complete pathways for biosynthesis of histidine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine and proline pre-determines the reliance on external sources of amino acids and hence the lifestyle of these organisms as scavengers of proteinaceous compounds from surrounding microbial community members. In contrast to earlier metagenomics-based assumptions, isolates were S-layer-deficient, non-motile, non-methylotrophic and devoid of iron-oxidation despite the abundance of methylotrophy substrates and ferrous iron in situ, which underlines the essentiality of experimental validation of bioinformatic predictions.
    • Blastopirellula retiformator sp. nov. isolated from the shallow-sea hydrothermal vent system close to Panarea Island.

      Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Wiegand, Sandra; Heuer, Anja; Rensink, Stephanie; Boersma, Alje S; Jogler, Mareike; Boedeker, Christian; Peeters, Stijn H; Rast, Patrick; Jetten, Mike S M; et al. (2020-01-01)
      Aquatic bacteria belonging to the deep-branching phylum Planctomycetes play a major role in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. However, their uncommon morphology and physiology, and their roles and survival on biotic surfaces in marine environments, are only partially understood. Access to axenic cultures of different planctomycetal genera is key to study their complex lifestyles, uncommon cell biology and primary and secondary metabolism in more detail. Here, we describe the characterisation of strain Enr8T isolated from a marine biotic surface in the seawater close to the shallow-sea hydrothermal vent system off Panarea Island, an area with high temperature and pH gradients, and high availability of different sulphur and nitrogen sources resulting in a great microbial diversity. Strain Enr8T showed typical planctomycetal traits such as division by polar budding, aggregate formation and presence of fimbriae and crateriform structures. Growth was observed at ranges of 15-33 °C (optimum 30 °C), pH 6.0-8.0 (optimum 7.0) and at NaCl concentrations from 100 to 1200 mM (optimum 350-700 mM). Strain Enr8T forms white colonies on solid medium and white flakes in liquid culture. Its genome has a size of 6.20 Mb and a G + C content of 59.2%. Phylogenetically, the strain belongs to the genus Blastopirellula. We propose the name Blastopirellula retiformator sp. nov. for the novel species, represented by the type strain Enr8T (DSM 100415T = LMG 29081T).
    • Bordetella bronchiseptica promotes adherence, colonization, and cytotoxicity of Streptococcus suis in a porcine precision-cut lung slice model.

      Vötsch, Désirée; Willenborg, Maren; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Rohde, M; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Taylor & Francis, 2020-12-29)
      Bordetella (B.) bronchiseptica and Streptococcus (S.) suis are major pathogens in pigs, which are frequently isolated from co-infections in the respiratory tract and contribute to the porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). Despite the high impact of co-infections on respiratory diseases of swine (and other hosts), very little is known about pathogen-pathogen-host interactions and the mechanisms of pathogenesis. In the present study, we established a porcine precision-cut lung slice (PCLS) model to analyze the effects of B. bronchiseptica infection on adherence, colonization, and cytotoxic effects of S. suis. We hypothesized that induction of ciliostasis by a clinical isolate of B. bronchiseptica may promote subsequent infection with a virulent S. suis serotype 2 strain. To investigate this theory, we monitored the ciliary activity by light microscopy, measured the release of lactate dehydrogenase, and calculated the number of PCLS-associated bacteria. To study the role of the pore-forming toxin suilysin (SLY) in S. suis-induced cytotoxicity, we included a SLY-negative isogenic mutant and the complemented mutant strain. Furthermore, we analyzed infected PCLS by histopathology, immunofluorescence microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy. Our results showed that pre-infection with B. bronchiseptica promoted adherence, colonization, and, as a consequence of the increased colonization, the cytotoxic effects of S. suis, probably by reduction of the ciliary activity. Moreover, cytotoxicity induced by S. suis is strictly dependent on the presence of SLY. Though the underlying molecular mechanisms remain to be fully clarified, our results clearly support the hypothesis that B. bronchiseptica paves the way for S. suis infection.
    • Calycomorphotria hydatis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel species in the family Planctomycetaceae with conspicuous subcellular structures.

      Schubert, Torsten; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Wiegand, Sandra; Boedeker, Christian; Peeters, Stijn H; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian (2020-05-12)
      A novel strain belonging to the family Planctomycetaceae, designated V22T, was isolated from sediment of a seawater fish tank in Braunschweig, Germany. The isolate forms pink colonies on solid medium and displays common characteristics of planctomycetal strains, such as division by budding, formation of rosettes, a condensed nucleoid and presence of crateriform structures and fimbriae. Unusual invaginations of the cytoplasmic membrane and filamentous putative cytoskeletal elements were observed in thin sections analysed by transmission electron microscopy. Strain V22T is an aerobic heterotroph showing optimal growth at 30 °C and pH 8.5. During laboratory cultivations, strain V22T reached generation times of 10 h (maximal growth rate of 0.069 h-1). Its genome has a size of 5.2 Mb and a G + C content of 54.9%. Phylogenetically, the strain represents a novel genus and species in the family Planctomycetaceae, order Planctomycetales, class Planctomycetia. We propose the name Calycomorphotria hydatis gen. nov., sp. nov. for the novel taxon, represented by the type strain V22T (DSM 29767T = LMG 29080T).
    • Capsule and fimbriae modulate the invasion of Haemophilus influenzae in a human blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier model.

      Häuser, Svenja; Wegele, Christian; Stump-Guthier, Carolin; Borkowski, Julia; Weiss, Christel; Rohde, Manfred; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Schroten, Horst; Schwerk, Christian; Adam, Rüdiger; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-07-17)
      The Gram-negative bacterium Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) can commensally colonize the upper respiratory tract, but also cause life threatening disease including epiglottitis, sepsis and meningitis. The H. influenzae capsule protects the bacteria against both phagocytosis and opsonization. Encapsulated H. influenzae strains are classified into serotypes ranging from a to f dependent on their distinct polysaccharide capsule. Due to the implementation of vaccination the incidence of invasive H. influenzae type b (Hib) infections has strongly decreased and infections with other capsulated types, including H. influenzae type f (Hif), are emerging. The pathogenesis of H. influenzae meningitis is not clarified. To enter the central nervous system (CNS) the bacteria generally have to cross either the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BSCFB). Using a cell culture model of the BCSFB based on human choroid plexus papilloma (HIBCPP) cells and different H. influenzae strains we investigated whether Hib and Hif invade the cells, and if invasion differs between encapsulated vs. capsular-deficient and fimbriated vs. non-fimbriated variants. We find that Hib can adhere to and invade into HIBCPP cells. Invasion occurs in a strongly polar fashion, since the bacteria enter the cells preferentially from the basolateral "blood "side. Fimbriae and capsule attenuate invasion into choroid plexus (CP) epithelial cells, and capsulation can influence the bacterial distribution pattern. Finally, analysis of clinical Hib and Hif isolates confirms the detected invasive properties of H. influenzae. Our data point to roles of capsule and fimbriae during invasion of CP epithelial cells.
    • Caulifigura coniformis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of the family Planctomycetaceae isolated from a red biofilm sampled in a hydrothermal area.

      Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Wiegand, Sandra; Boedeker, Christian; Peeters, Stijn H; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-06-24)
      Pan44T, a novel strain belonging to the phylum Planctomycetes, was isolated from a red biofilm in a hydrothermal area close to the island Panarea in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, Italy. The strain forms white colonies on solid medium and displays the following characteristics: cell division by budding, formation of rosettes, presence of matrix or fimbriae and long stalks. The cell surface has an interesting and characteristic texture made up of triangles and rectangles, which leads to a pine cone-like morphology of the strain. Strain Pan44T is mesophilic (temperature optimum 26 °C), slightly alkaliphilic (pH optimum 8.0), aerobic and heterotrophic. The strain has a genome size of 6.76 Mb with a G + C content of 63.2%. Phylogenetically, the strain is a member of the family Planctomycetaceae, order Planctomycetales, class Planctomycetia. Our analysis supports delineation of strain Pan44T from all known genera in this family, hence, we propose to assign it to a novel species within a novel genus, for which we propose the name Caulifigura coniformis gen. nov., sp. nov., represented by Pan44T (DSM 29405T = LMG 29788T) as the type strain.
    • Cell sheet technology: Influence of culture conditions on in vitro-cultivated corneal stromal tissue for regenerative therapies of the ocular surface.

      Hasenzahl, Meike; Müsken, Mathias; Mertsch, Sonja; Schrader, Stefan; Reichl, Stephan; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley, 2021-02-03)
      The in vitro reconstruction of stromal tissue by long-term cultivation of corneal fibroblasts is a smart approach for regenerative therapies of ocular surface diseases. However, systematic investigations evaluating optimized cultivation protocols for the realization of a biomaterial are lacking. This study investigated the influence of supplements to the culture media of human corneal fibroblasts on the formation of a cell sheet consisting of cells and extracellular matrix. Among the supplements studied are vitamin C, fetal bovine serum, L-glutamine, components of collagen such as L-proline, L-4-hydroxyproline and glycine, and TGF-β1, bFGF, IGF-2, PDGF-BB and insulin. After long-term cultivation, the proliferation, collagen and glycosaminoglycan content and light transmission of the cell sheets were examined. Biomechanical properties were investigated by tensile tests and the ultrastructure was characterized by electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, antibody staining and ELISA. The synthesis of extracellular matrix was significantly increased by cultivation with insulin or TGF-β1, each with vitamin C. The sheets exhibited a high transparency and suitable material properties. The production of a transparent, scaffold-free, potentially autologous, in vitro-generated construct by culturing fibroblasts with extracellular matrix synthesis-stimulating supplements represents a promising approach for a biomaterial that can be used for ocular surface reconstruction in slowly progressing diseases.
    • Characterization of Five Zoonotic Streptococcus suis Strains from Germany, Including One Isolate from a Recent Fatal Case of Streptococcal Toxic Shock-Like Syndrome in a Hunter.

      Eisenberg, Tobias; Hudemann, Christoph; Hossain, Hamid M; Hewer, Angela; Tello, Khodr; Bandorski, Dirk; Rohde, M; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Baums, Christoph Georg; Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University Leipzig, Leipzig. (2015-12)
      A Streptococcus suis isolate from a German hunter with streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome (STSLS) and four additional zoonotic isolates were genotyped as mrp(+) epf* (variant 1890) sly(+) cps2(+). All five zoonotic German strains were characterized by high multiplication in human blood samples ex vivo, but induction of only low levels of proinflammatory cytokines compared to a Chinese STSLS strain.
    • Characterization of the first cultured representative of Verrucomicrobia subdivision 5 indicates the proposal of a novel phylum.

      Spring, Stefan; Bunk, Boyke; Spröer, Cathrin; Schumann, Peter; Rohde, M; Tindall, Brian J; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      The recently isolated strain L21-Fru-ABTrepresents moderately halophilic, obligately anaerobic and saccharolytic bacteria that thrive in the suboxic transition zones of hypersaline microbial mats. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA genes, RpoB proteins and gene content indicated that strain L21-Fru-ABTrepresents a novel species and genus affiliated with a distinct phylum-level lineage originally designated Verrucomicrobia subdivision 5. A survey of environmental 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that members of this newly recognized phylum are wide-spread and ecologically important in various anoxic environments ranging from hypersaline sediments to wastewater and the intestine of animals. Characteristic phenotypic traits of the novel strain included the formation of extracellular polymeric substances, a Gram-negative cell wall containing peptidoglycan and the absence of odd-numbered cellular fatty acids. Unusual metabolic features deduced from analysis of the genome sequence were the production of sucrose as osmoprotectant, an atypical glycolytic pathway lacking pyruvate kinase and the synthesis of isoprenoids via mevalonate. On the basis of the analyses of phenotypic, genomic and environmental data, it is proposed that strain L21-Fru-ABTand related bacteria are specifically adapted to the utilization of sulfated glycopolymers produced in microbial mats or biofilms.
    • Comparative genomic analysis of eight novel haloalkaliphilic bacteriophages from Lake Elmenteita, Kenya.

      Akhwale, Juliah Khayeli; Rohde, M; Rohde, Christine; Bunk, Boyke; Spröer, Cathrin; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Boga, Hamadi Iddi; Wittmann, Johannes; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig Germany. (PLOS, 2019-01-01)
      We report complete genome sequences of eight bacteriophages isolated from Haloalkaline Lake Elmenteita found on the floor of Kenyan Rift Valley. The bacteriophages were sequenced, annotated and a comparative genomic analysis using various Bioinformatics tools carried out to determine relatedness of the bacteriophages to each other, and to those in public databases. Basic genome properties like genome size, percentage coding density, number of open reading frames, percentage GC content and gene organizations revealed the bacteriophages had no relationship to each other. Comparison to other nucleotide sequences in GenBank database showed no significant similarities hence novel. At the amino acid level, phages of our study revealed mosaicism to genes with conserved domains to already described phages. Phylogenetic analyses of large terminase gene responsible for DNA packaging and DNA polymerase gene for replication further showed diversity among the bacteriophages. Our results give insight into diversity of bacteriophages in Lake Elmenteita and provide information on their evolution. By providing primary sequence information, this study not only provides novel sequences for biotechnological exploitation, but also sets stage for future studies aimed at better understanding of virus diversity and genomes from haloalkaline lakes in the Rift Valley.
    • Comparing polysaccharide decomposition between the type strains Gramella echinicola KMM 6050(T) (DSM 19838(T)) and Gramella portivictoriae UST040801-001(T) (DSM 23547(T)), and emended description of Gramella echinicola Nedashkovskaya et al. 2005 emend. Shahina et al. 2014 and Gramella portivictoriae Lau et al. 2005.

      Panschin, Irina; Huang, Sixing; Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Tindall, Brian J; Rohde, Manfred; Verbarg, Susanne; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Trong, Stephan; Haynes, Matthew; et al. (2016)
      Strains of the genus Gramella (family Flavobacteriacae, phylum Bacteroidetes) were isolated from marine habitats such as tidal flat sediments, coastal surface seawater and sea urchins. Flavobacteriaceae have been shown to be involved in the decomposition of plant and algal polysaccharides. However, the potential to decompose polysaccharides may differ tremendously even between species of the same genus. Gramella echinicola KMM 6050(T) (DSM 19838(T)) and Gramella portivictoriae UST040801-001(T) (DSM 23547(T)) have genomes of similar lengths, similar numbers of protein coding genes and RNA genes. Both genomes encode for a greater number of peptidases compared to 'G. forsetii'. In contrast to the genome of 'G. forsetii', both genomes comprised a smaller set of CAZymes. Seven polysaccharide utilization loci were identified in the genomes of DSM 19838(T) and DSM 23547(T). Both Gramella strains hydrolyzed starch, galactomannan, arabinoxylan and hydroxyethyl-cellulose, but not pectin, chitosan and cellulose (Avicel). Galactan and xylan were hydrolyzed by strain DSM 19838(T), whereas strain DSM 23547(T) hydrolyzed pachyman and carboxy-methyl cellulose. Conclusively, both Gramella type strains exhibit characteristic physiological, morphological and genomic differences that might be linked to their habitat. Furthermore, the identified enzymes mediating polysaccharide decomposition, are of biotechnological interest.
    • Comparison of mcl-Poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) synthesis by different Pseudomonas putida strains from crude glycerol: citrate accumulates at high titer under PHA-producing conditions.

      Poblete-Castro, Ignacio; Binger, Danielle; Oehlert, Rene; Rohde, Manfred; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014)
      Achieving a sustainable society requires, among other things, the use of renewable feedstocks to replace chemicals obtained from petroleum-derived compounds. Crude glycerol synthesized inexpensively as a byproduct of biodiesel production is currently considered a waste product, which can potentially be converted into value-added compounds by bacterial fermentation. This study aimed at evaluating several characterized P. putida strains to produce medium-chain-length poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (mcl-PHA) using raw glycerol as the only carbon/energy source.
    • Complete genome sequence and description of Salinispira pacifica gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel spirochaete isolated form a hypersaline microbial mat.

      Ben Hania, Wajdi; Joseph, Manon; Schumann, Peter; Bunk, Boyke; Fiebig, Anne; Spröer, Cathrin; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Fardeau, Marie-Laure; Spring, Stefan; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      During a study of the anaerobic microbial community of a lithifying hypersaline microbial mat of Lake 21 on the Kiritimati atoll (Kiribati Republic, Central Pacific) strain L21-RPul-D2(T) was isolated. The closest phylogenetic neighbor was Spirochaeta africana Z-7692(T) that shared a 16S rRNA gene sequence identity value of 90% with the novel strain and thus was only distantly related. A comprehensive polyphasic study including determination of the complete genome sequence was initiated to characterize the novel isolate. Cells of strain L21-RPul-D2(T) had a size of 0.2 - 0.25 × 8-9 μm, were helical, motile, stained Gram-negative and produced an orange carotenoid-like pigment. Optimal conditions for growth were 35°C, a salinity of 50 g/l NaCl and a pH around 7.0. Preferred substrates for growth were carbohydrates and a few carboxylic acids. The novel strain had an obligate fermentative metabolism and produced ethanol, acetate, lactate, hydrogen and carbon dioxide during growth on glucose. Strain L21-RPul-D2(T) was aerotolerant, but oxygen did not stimulate growth. Major cellular fatty acids were C14:0, iso-C15:0, C16:0 and C18:0. The major polar lipids were an unidentified aminolipid, phosphatidylglycerol, an unidentified phospholipid and two unidentified glycolipids. Whole-cell hydrolysates contained L-ornithine as diagnostic diamino acid of the cell wall peptidoglycan. The complete genome sequence was determined and annotated. The genome comprised one circular chromosome with a size of 3.78 Mbp that contained 3450 protein-coding genes and 50 RNA genes, including 2 operons of ribosomal RNA genes. The DNA G + C content was determined from the genome sequence as 51.9 mol%. There were no predicted genes encoding cytochromes or enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of respiratory lipoquinones. Based on significant differences to the uncultured type species of the genus Spirochaeta, S. plicatilis, as well as to any other phylogenetically related cultured species it is suggested to place strain L21-RPul-D2(T) (=DSM 27196(T) = JCM 18663(T)) in a novel species and genus, for which the name Salinispira pacifica gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed.
    • Complete genome sequence of C130_2, a novel myovirus infecting pathogenic Escherichia coli and Shigella strains.

      Sváb, Domonkos; Falgenhauer, Linda; Rohde, M; Chakraborty, Trinad; Tóth, István; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-09-20)
      The genome sequence of a novel virulent bacteriophage, named " C130_2", that is morphologically a member of the family Myoviridae is reported. The 41,775-base-pair double-stranded DNA genome of C130_2 contains 59 ORFs but exhibits overall low sequence similarity to bacteriophage genomes for which sequences are publicly available. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that C130_2 represents a new phage type. C130_2 could be propagated well on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 and other pathogenic E. coli strains, as well as on strains of various Shigella species.
    • Complete genome sequence of Coriobacterium glomerans type strain (PW2T) from the midgut of Pyrrhocoris apterus L. (red soldier bug)

      Stackebrandt, Erko; Zeytun, Ahmet; Lapidus, Alla; Nolan, Matt; Lucas, Susan; Hammon, Nancy; Deshpande, Shweta; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Tapia, Roxanne; Goodwin, Lynne A.; et al. (2014-01-09)
    • Complete genome sequence of DSM 30083(T), the type strain (U5/41(T)) of Escherichia coli, and a proposal for delineating subspecies in microbial taxonomy.

      Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Hahnke, Richard L; Petersen, Jörn; Scheuner, Carmen; Michael, Victoria; Fiebig, Anne; Rohde, Christine; Rohde, Manfred; Fartmann, Berthold; Goodwin, Lynne A; et al. (2014)
      Although Escherichia coli is the most widely studied bacterial model organism and often considered to be the model bacterium per se, its type strain was until now forgotten from microbial genomics. As a part of the G enomic E ncyclopedia of B acteria and A rchaea project, we here describe the features of E. coli DSM 30083(T) together with its genome sequence and annotation as well as novel aspects of its phenotype. The 5,038,133 bp containing genome sequence includes 4,762 protein-coding genes and 175 RNA genes as well as a single plasmid. Affiliation of a set of 250 genome-sequenced E. coli strains, Shigella and outgroup strains to the type strain of E. coli was investigated using digital DNA:DNA-hybridization (dDDH) similarities and differences in genomic G+C content. As in the majority of previous studies, results show Shigella spp. embedded within E. coli and in most cases forming a single subgroup of it. Phylogenomic trees also recover the proposed E. coli phylotypes as monophyla with minor exceptions and place DSM 30083(T) in phylotype B2 with E. coli S88 as its closest neighbor. The widely used lab strain K-12 is not only genomically but also physiologically strongly different from the type strain. The phylotypes do not express a uniform level of character divergence as measured using dDDH, however, thus an alternative arrangement is proposed and discussed in the context of bacterial subspecies. Analyses of the genome sequences of a large number of E. coli strains and of strains from > 100 other bacterial genera indicate a value of 79-80% dDDH as the most promising threshold for delineating subspecies, which in turn suggests the presence of five subspecies within E. coli.
    • Complete genome sequence of DSM 30083T, the type strain (U5/41T) of Escherichia coli, and a proposal for delineating subspecies in microbial taxonomy

      Meier-Kolthoff, Jan P; Hahnke, Richard L; Petersen, Jörn; Scheuner, Carmen; Michael, Victoria; Fiebig, Anne; Rohde, Christine; Rohde, Manfred; Fartmann, Berthold; Goodwin, Lynne A; et al. (2014-12-08)
      Abstract Although Escherichia coli is the most widely studied bacterial model organism and often considered to be the model bacterium per se, its type strain was until now forgotten from microbial genomics. As a part of the G enomic E ncyclopedia of B acteria and A rchaea project, we here describe the features of E. coli DSM 30083T together with its genome sequence and annotation as well as novel aspects of its phenotype. The 5,038,133 bp containing genome sequence includes 4,762 protein-coding genes and 175 RNA genes as well as a single plasmid. Affiliation of a set of 250 genome-sequenced E. coli strains, Shigella and outgroup strains to the type strain of E. coli was investigated using digital DNA:DNA-hybridization (dDDH) similarities and differences in genomic G+C content. As in the majority of previous studies, results show Shigella spp. embedded within E. coli and in most cases forming a single subgroup of it. Phylogenomic trees also recover the proposed E. coli phylotypes as monophyla with minor exceptions and place DSM 30083T in phylotype B2 with E. coli S88 as its closest neighbor. The widely used lab strain K-12 is not only genomically but also physiologically strongly different from the type strain. The phylotypes do not express a uniform level of character divergence as measured using dDDH, however, thus an alternative arrangement is proposed and discussed in the context of bacterial subspecies. Analyses of the genome sequences of a large number of E. coli strains and of strains from > 100 other bacterial genera indicate a value of 79-80% dDDH as the most promising threshold for delineating subspecies, which in turn suggests the presence of five subspecies within E. coli.