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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 8
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Article
Gelfand M. S. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018. Vol. 9. P. 1-11.

While most endosymbiotic bacteria are transmitted only vertically, Holospora spp., an alphaproteobacterium from the Rickettsiales order, can desert its host and invade a new one. All bacteria from the genus Holospora are intranuclear symbionts of ciliates Paramecium spp. with strict species and nuclear specificity. Comparative metabolic reconstruction based on the newly sequenced genome of Holospora curviuscula, a macronuclear symbiont of Paramecium bursaria, and known genomes of other Holospora species shows that even though all Holospora spp. can persist outside the host, they cannot synthesize most of the essential small molecules, such as amino acids, and lack some central energy metabolic pathways, including glycolysis and the citric acid cycle. As the main energy source, Holospora spp. likely rely on nucleotides pirated from the host. Holospora-specific genes absent from other Rickettsiales are possibly involved in the lifestyle switch from the infectious to the reproductive form and in cell invasion.

Added: Mar 17, 2019
Article
Суворова И., Gelfand M. S. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2019. Vol. 10. P. 1-18.

Aromatic compounds are a common carbon and energy source for many microorganisms, some of which can even degrade toxic chloroaromatic xenobiotics. This comparative study of aromatic metabolism in 32 Betaproteobacteria species describes the links between several transcription factors (TFs) that control benzoate (BenR, BenM, BoxR, BzdR), catechol (CatR, CatM, BenM), chlorocatechol (ClcR), methylcatechol (MmlR), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate (TfdR, TfdS), phenol (AphS, AphR, AphT), biphenyl (BphS), and toluene (TbuT) metabolism. We characterize the complexity and variability in the organization of aromatic metabolism operons and the structure of regulatory networks that may differ even between closely related species. Generally, the upper parts of pathways, rare pathway variants, and degradative pathways of exotic and complex, in particular, xenobiotic compounds are often controlled by a single TF, while the regulation of more common and/or central parts of the aromatic metabolism may vary widely and often involves several TFs with shared and/or dual, or cascade regulation. The most frequent and at the same time variable connections exist between AphS, AphR, AphT, and BenR. We have identified a novel LysR-family TF that regulates the metabolism of catechol (or some catechol derivative) and either substitutes CatR(M)/BenM, or shares functions with it. We have also predicted several new members of aromatic metabolism regulons, in particular, some COGs regulated by several different TFs.

Added: Oct 31, 2019
Article
Gannesen A. V., Zdorovenko E. L., Botchkova E. A. et al. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2019. Vol. 10:1284. P. 1-16.

In skin, Cutibacterium acnes (former Propionibacterium acnes) can behave as an opportunistic pathogen, depending on the strain and environmental conditions. Acneic strains of C. acnes form biofilms inside skin–gland hollows, inducing inflammation and skin disorders. The essential exogenous products of C. acnes accumulate in the extracellular matrix of the biofilm, conferring essential bacterial functions to this structure. However, little is known about the actual composition of the biofilm matrix of C. acnes. Here, we developed a new technique for the extraction of the biofilm matrix of Gram-positive bacteria without the use of chemical or enzymatic digestion, known to be a source of artifacts. Our method is based on the physical separation of the cells and matrix of sonicated biofilms by ultracentrifugation through a CsCl gradient. Biofilms were grown on the surface of cellulose acetate filters, and the biomass was collected without contamination by the growth medium. The biofilm matrix of the acneic C. acnes RT5 strain appears to consist mainly of polysaccharides. The following is the ratio of the main matrix components: 62.6% polysaccharides, 9.6% proteins, 4.0% DNA, and 23.8% other compounds (porphyrins precursors and other). The chemical structure of the major polysaccharide was determined using a nuclear magnetic resonance technique, the formula being →6)-α-D-Galp-(1→4)-β-D-ManpNAc3NAcA-(1→6)-α-D-Glcp-(1→4)-β-D-ManpNAc3NAcA-(1→3)-β-GalpNAc-(1→. We detected 447 proteins in the matrix, of which the most abundant were the chaperonin GroL, the elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-G, several enzymes of glycolysis, and proteins of unknown function. The matrix also contained more than 20 hydrolases of various substrata, pathogenicity factors, and many intracellular proteins and enzymes. We also performed surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy analysis of the C. acnes RT5 matrix for the first time, providing the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) profiles of the C. acnes RT5 biofilm matrix and biofilm biomass. The difference between the matrix and biofilm biomass spectra showed successful matrix extraction rather than simply the presence of cell debris after sonication. These data show the complexity of the biofilm matrix composition and should be essential for the development of new anti-C. acnes biofilms and potential antibiofilm drugs.

Added: Oct 23, 2020
Article
Bedenkov A., Shpinev V., Suvorov N. et al. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016. Vol. 7. No. 294. P. 1-6.

Background: The World Health Organization recognizes the antibiotic resistance problem as a major health threat in the 21st century. The paper describes an effort to fight it undertaken at the verge of two industries - healthcare and Data Science. One of the major difficulties in monitoring antibiotic resistance is low availability of comprehensive research data. Our aim is to develop a nation-wide antibiotic resistance database using Internet search and data processing algorithms using Russian language publications.  Materials and methods: An interdisciplinary team built an intelligent Internet search filter to locate all publicly available research data on antibiotic resistance in Russia and Eurasia countries, extracted it, and collated it for analysis. A database was constructed using data from 850 original studies conducted at 153 locations in 12 countries between 1992 and 2014. The studies contained susceptibility and resistance rates of 156 microorganisms to 157 antibiotic drugs.  Results: The applied search methodology was highly robust in that it yielded search precision of 58% versus 20% in a typical Internet search. It allowed finding and collating within the database the following data items (among many others): publication details including title, source, date, authors, etc.; study details: time period, locations, research organization, therapy area, etc.; microorganisms and antibiotic drugs included in the study along with prevalence values of resistant and susceptible strains, and numbers of isolates. The next stage in project development will try to validate the data by matching it to major benchmark studies; in addition, a panel of experts will be convened to evaluate the outcomes. Conclusions: The work provides a supplementary tool to national surveillance systems in antibiotic resistance, and consolidates fragmented research data available for 12 countries for a period of more than 20 years.

Added: Feb 26, 2016
Article
Vladimir A. Korshun. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018. Vol. 9. P. 868.

Endophytic actinobacteria are one of the important pharmaceutical resources and well known for producing different types of bioactive substances. Nevertheless, detection of the novelty, diversity, and bioactivity on endophytic actinobacteria isolated from mangrove plants are scarce. In this study, five different mangrove plants, Avicennia marina, Aegiceras corniculatum, Kandelia obovota, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, and Thespesia populnea, were collected from Beilun Estuary National Nature Reserve in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. A total of 101 endophytic actinobacteria strains were recovered by culture-based approaches. They distributed in 7 orders, 15 families, and 28 genera including Streptomyces, Curtobacterium, Mycobacterium, Micrococcus, Brevibacterium, Kocuria, Nocardioides, Kineococcus, Kytococcus, Marmoricola, Microbacterium, Micromonospora, Actinoplanes, Agrococcus, Amnibacterium, Brachybacterium, Citricoccus, Dermacoccus, Glutamicibacter, Gordonia, Isoptericola, Janibacter, Leucobacter, Nocardia, Nocardiopsis, Pseudokineococcus, Sanguibacter, and Verrucosispora. Among them, seven strains were potentially new species of genera Nocardioides, Streptomyces, Amnibacterium, Marmoricola, and Mycobacterium. Above all, strain 8BXZ-J1 has already been characterized as a new species of the genus Marmoricola. A total of 63 out of 101 strains were chosen to screen antibacterial activities by paper-disk diffusion method and inhibitors of ribosome and DNA biosynthesis by means of a double fluorescent protein reporter. A total of 31 strains exhibited positive results in at least one antibacterial assay. Notably, strain 8BXZ-J1 and three other potential novel species, 7BMP-1, 5BQP-J3, and 1BXZ-J1, all showed antibacterial bioactivity. In addition, 21 strains showed inhibitory activities against at least one “ESKAPE” resistant pathogens. We also found that Streptomyces strains 2BBP-J2 and 1BBP-1 produce bioactive compound with inhibitory activity on protein biosynthesis as result of translation stalling. Meanwhile, Streptomyces strain 3BQP-1 produces bioactive compound inducing SOS-response due to DNA damage. In conclusion, this study proved mangrove plants harbored a high diversity of cultivable endophytic actinobacteria, which can be a promising source for discovery of novel species and bioactive compounds.

Added: Nov 8, 2019
Article
Kublanov I., et a., Gelfand M. S. et al. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016. Vol. 8. P. 195-1-195-16.

The genome of Caldithrix abyssi, the first cultivated representative of a phylum-level bacterial lineage, was sequenced within the framework of Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project. The genomic analysis revealed mechanisms allowing this anaerobic bacterium to ferment peptides or to implement nitrate reduction with acetate or molecular hydrogen as electron donors. The genome encoded five different [NiFe]- and [FeFe]-hydrogenases, one of which, group 1 [NiFe]-hydrogenase, is presumably involved in lithoheterotrophic growth, three other produce H2 during fermentation, and one is apparently bidirectional. The ability to reduce nitrate is determined by a nitrate reductase of the Nap family, while nitrite reduction to ammonia is presumably catalyzed by an octaheme cytochrome c nitrite reductase εHao. The genome contained genes of respiratory polysulfide/thiosulfate reductase, however, elemental sulfur and thiosulfate were not used as the electron acceptors for anaerobic respiration with acetate or H2, probably due to the lack of the gene of the maturation protein. Nevertheless, elemental sulfur and thiosulfate stimulated growth on fermentable substrates (peptides), being reduced to sulfide, most probably through the action of the cytoplasmic sulfide dehydrogenase and/or NAD(P)-dependent [NiFe]-hydrogenase (sulfhydrogenase) encoded by the genome. Surprisingly, the genome of this anaerobic microorganism encoded all genes for cytochrome c oxidase, however, its maturation machinery seems to be non-operational due to genomic rearrangements of supplementary genes. Despite the fact that sugars were not among the substrates reported when C. abyssi was first described, our genomic analysis revealed multiple genes of glycoside hydrolases, and some of them were predicted to be secreted. This finding aided in bringing out four carbohydrates that supported the growth of C. abyssi: starch, cellobiose, glucomannan and xyloglucan. The genomic analysis demonstrated the ability of C. abyssi to synthesize nucleotides and most amino acids and vitamins. Finally, the genomic sequence allowed us to perform a phylogenomic analysis, based on 38 protein sequences, which confirmed the deep branching of this lineage and justified the proposal of a novel phylum Calditrichaeota.

Added: Mar 13, 2017
Article
Tsoy O., Ravcheev D., Čuklina J. et al. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016. Vol. 7. P. 1-14.

Biological nitrogen fixation plays a crucial role in the nitrogen cycle. An ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, reducing it to ammonium, was described for multiple species of Bacteria and Archaea. The transcriptional regulatory network for nitrogen fixation was extensively studied in several representatives of the class Alphaproteobacteria. This regulatory network includes the activator of nitrogen fixation NifA, working in tandem with the alternative sigma-factor RpoN as well as oxygen-responsive regulatory systems, one-component regulators FnrN/FixK and two-component system FixLJ. Here we used a comparative genomics approach for in silico study of the transcriptional regulatory network in 50 genomes of Alphaproteobacteria. We extended the known regulons and proposed the scenario for the evolution of the nitrogen fixation transcriptional network. The reconstructed network substantially expands the existing knowledge of transcriptional regulation in nitrogen-fixing microorganisms and can be used for genetic experiments, metabolic reconstruction, and evolutionary analysis. © 2016 Tsoy, Ravcheev, Čuklina and Gelfand.

Added: Nov 12, 2016
Article
Gelfand M. S. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018. Vol. 9. P. 1-11.

The pangenome is the collection of all groups of orthologous genes (OGGs) from a set of genomes. We apply the pangenome analysis to propose a definition of prokaryotic species based on identification of lineage-specific gene sets. While being similar to the classical biological definition based on allele flow, it does not rely on DNA similarity levels and does not require analysis of homologous recombination. Hence this definition is relatively objective and independent of arbitrary thresholds. A systematic analysis of 110 accepted species with the largest numbers of sequenced strains yields results largely consistent with the existing nomenclature. However, it has revealed that abundant marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus marinus should be divided into two species. As a control we have confirmed the paraphyletic origin of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (with embedded, monophyletic Y. pestis) and Burkholderia pseudomallei (with B. mallei). We also demonstrate that by our definition and in accordance with recent studies Escherichia coli and Shigella spp. are one species.

Added: Mar 17, 2019