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FEMS Microbiology Reviews

E Prudent, D Raoult
Many obligate or facultative intracellular bacteria pose a critical problem in clinical microbiology diagnosis as a result of their fastidious growth or lack of growth in conventional culture media. Molecular diagnosis is based on the analysis and demonstration of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). In the field of infectiology, it combines laboratory medicine with the technology of molecular genetics to identify infectious pathogens. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) is used for the detection and localization of nucleotide sequences in various samples while preserving cell integrity...
November 10, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Pablo Mateos-Gil, Pedro Tarazona, Marisela Vélez
The bacterial cytoskeletal protein FtsZ binds and hydrolyzes GTP, self-aggregates into dynamic filaments and guides the assembly of the septal ring on the inner side of the membrane at midcell. This ring constricts the cell during division and is present in most bacteria. Despite exhaustive studies undertaken in the last 25 years after its discovery, we do not yet know the mechanism by which this GTP-dependent self-aggregating protein exerts force on the underlying membrane. This paper reviews recent experiments and theoretical models proposed to explain FtsZ filament dynamic assembly and force generation...
October 29, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Ario de Marco, Neus Ferrer-Miralles, Elena Garcia-Fruitós, Anna Mitraki, Spela Peternel, Ursula Rinas, Mauricio A Trujillo-Roldán, Norma A Valdez-Cruz, Esther Vázquez, Antonio Villaverde
Understanding the structure, functionalities and biology of functional amyloids is an issue of emerging interest. Inclusion bodies, namely protein clusters formed in recombinant bacteria during protein production processes, have emerged as unanticipated, highly tunable models for the scrutiny of the physiology and architecture of functional amyloids. Based on an amyloidal skeleton combined with varying amounts of native or native-like protein forms, bacterial inclusion bodies exhibit an unusual arrangement that confers mechanical stability, biological activity and conditional protein release, being thus exploitable as versatile biomaterials...
October 24, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sangyong Lim, Jong-Hyun Jung, Laurence Blanchard, Arjan de Groot
Deinococcus bacteria are famous for their extreme resistance to ionizing radiation and other DNA damage- and oxidative stress-generating agents. More than a hundred genes have been reported to contribute to resistance to radiation, desiccation and/or oxidative stress in Deinococcus radiodurans. These encode proteins involved in DNA repair, oxidative stress defence, regulation, and proteins of yet unknown function or with an extracytoplasmic location. Here, we analysed the conservation of radiation resistance-associated proteins in other radiation-resistant Deinococcus species...
October 18, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Lianrong Wang, Susu Jiang, Zixin Deng, Peter C Dedon, Shi Chen
Synthetic phosphorothioate (PT) internucleotide linkages, in which a nonbridging oxygen is replaced by a sulfur atom, share similar physical and chemical properties with phosphodiesters but confer enhanced nuclease tolerance on DNA/RNA, making PTs a valuable biochemical and pharmacological tool. Interestingly, PT modification was recently found to occur naturally in bacteria in a sequence-selective and RP configuration-specific manner. This oxygen-sulfur swap is catalysed by the gene products of dndABCDE, which constitute a defence barrier with DndFGH in some bacterial strains that can distinguish and attack non-PT-modified foreign DNA, resembling DNA methylation-based restriction-modification (R-M) systems...
October 4, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Marines du Teil Espina, Giorgio Gabarrini, Hermie J M Harmsen, Johanna Westra, Arie Jan van Winkelhoff, Jan Maarten van Dijl
Microbial communities inhabiting the human body, collectively called the microbiome, are critical modulators of immunity. This notion is underpinned by associations between changes in the microbiome and particular autoimmune disorders. Specifically, in rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most frequently occurring autoimmune disorders worldwide, changes in the oral and gut microbiomes have been implicated in the loss of tolerance against self-antigens and in increased inflammatory events promoting the damage of joints...
September 14, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Annika Gillis, Nancy Fayad, Lionel Makart, Alexander Bolotin, Alexei Sorokin, Mireille Kallassy, Jacques Mahillon
Bacillus thuringiensis is a well-known biopesticide that has been used for more than 80 years. This spore-forming bacterium belongs to the group of Bacillus cereus that also includes, among others, emetic and diarrheic pathotypes of B. cereus, the animal pathogen Bacillus anthracis and the psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis. Bacillus thuringiensis is rather unique since it has adapted its lifestyle as an efficient pathogen of specific insect larvae. One of the peculiarities of B. thuringiensis strains is the extent of their extrachromosomal pool, with strains harbouring more than 10 distinct plasmid molecules...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Mecky Pohlschroder, Sonja-Verena Albers
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Lisa Röttjers, Karoline Faust
Microbial networks are an increasingly popular tool to investigate microbial community structure, as they integrate multiple types of information and may represent systems-level behaviour. Interpreting these networks is not straightforward, and the biological implications of network properties are unclear. Analysis of microbial networks allows researchers to predict hub species and species interactions. Additionally, such analyses can help identify alternative community states and niches. Here, we review factors that can result in spurious predictions and address emergent properties that may be meaningful in the context of the microbiome...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Michelle M C Buckner, Maria Laura Ciusa, Laura J V Piddock
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem hindering treatment of bacterial infections, rendering many aspects of modern medicine less effective. AMR genes (ARGs) are frequently located on plasmids, which are self-replicating elements of DNA. They are often transmissible between bacteria, and some have spread globally. Novel strategies to combat AMR are needed, and plasmid curing and anti-plasmid approaches could reduce ARG prevalence, and sensitise bacteria to antibiotics. We discuss the use of curing agents as laboratory tools including chemicals (e...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Jeella Z Acedo, Sorina Chiorean, John C Vederas, Marco J van Belkum
Bacteria use various strategies to compete in an ecological niche, including the production of bacteriocins. Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antibacterial peptides, and it has been postulated that the majority of Gram-positive bacteria produce one or more of these natural products. Bacteriocins can be used in food preservation and are also considered as potential alternatives to antibiotics. The majority of bacteriocins from Gram-positive bacteria had been traditionally divided into two major classes, namely lantibiotics, which are post-translationally modified bacteriocins, and unmodified bacteriocins...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Colin R Harwood, Jean-Marie Mouillon, Susanne Pohl, José Arnau
Members of the 'Bacillus subtilis group' include some of the most commercially important bacteria, used for the production of a wide range of industrial enzymes and fine biochemicals. Increasingly, group members have been developed for use as animal feed enhancers and antifungal biocontrol agents. The group has long been recognised to produce a range of secondary metabolites and, despite their long history of safe usage, this has resulted in an increased focus on their safety. Traditional methods used to detect the production of secondary metabolites and other potentially harmful compounds have relied on phenotypic tests...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Sandra Wiegand, Mareike Jogler, Christian Jogler
Planctomycetes are ubiquitous, environmentally and biotechnologically important bacteria that are key players in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Ever since their first discovery in the 1920s they seemed to blur the prokaryote /eukaryote dichotomy. After initially being described as fungi and reclassified as bacteria later, they were still thought to feature a nucleus-like compartment surrounding their highly condensed DNA. Also, an endocytosis-like uptake mechanism for macromolecules was described. Besides these eukaryotic hallmark traits, Planctomycetes seemed to lack typical bacterial features such as a peptidoglycan cell wall or the universal bacterial cell division protein FtsZ, while mostly dividing by polar budding instead of binary fission...
November 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Christopher T Straub, James A Counts, Diep M N Nguyen, Chang-Hao Wu, Benjamin M Zeldes, James R Crosby, Jonathan M Conway, Jonathan K Otten, Gina L Lipscomb, Gerrit J Schut, Michael W W Adams, Robert M Kelly
Although the extremely thermophilic archaea (Topt ≥ 70°C) may be the most primitive extant forms of life, they have been studied to a limited extent relative to mesophilic microorganisms. Many of these organisms have unique biochemical and physiological characteristics with important biotechnological implications. These include methanogens that generate methane, fermentative anaerobes that produce hydrogen gas with high efficiency, and acidophiles that can mobilize base, precious and strategic metals from mineral ores...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Mechthild Pohlschroder, Friedhelm Pfeiffer, Stefan Schulze, Mohd Farid Abdul Halim
Cell surfaces are critical for diverse functions across all domains of life, from cell-cell communication and nutrient uptake to cell stability and surface attachment. While certain aspects of the mechanisms supporting the biosynthesis of the archaeal cell surface are unique, likely due to important differences in cell surface compositions between domains, others are shared with bacteria or eukaryotes or both. Based on recent studies completed on a phylogenetically diverse array of archaea, from a wide variety of habitats, here we discuss advances in the characterization of mechanisms underpinning archaeal cell surface biogenesis...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Callum J D Lee, Phillip E McMullan, Callum J O'Kane, Andrew Stevenson, Inês C Santos, Chayan Roy, Wriddhiman Ghosh, Rocco L Mancinelli, Melanie R Mormile, Geoffrey McMullan, Horia L Banciu, Mario A Fares, Kathleen C Benison, Aharon Oren, Mike L Dyall-Smith, John E Hallsworth
NaCl-saturated brines such as saltern crystalliser ponds, inland salt lakes, deep-sea brines and liquids-of-deliquescence on halite are commonly regarded as a paradigm for the limit of life on Earth. There are, however, other habitats that are thermodynamically more extreme. Typically, NaCl-saturated environments contain all domains of life and perform complete biogeochemical cycling. Despite their reduced water activity, ∼0.755 at 5 M NaCl, some halophiles belonging to the Archaea and Bacteria exhibit optimum growth/metabolism in these brines...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Fatemeh Askarian, Theresa Wagner, Mona Johannessen, Victor Nizet
Early recognition of pathogens by the innate immune system is crucial for bacterial clearance. Many pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like (TLRs) and (NOD)-like (NLRs) receptors have been implicated in initial sensing of bacterial components. The intracellular signaling cascades triggered by these receptors result in transcriptional upregulation of inflammatory pathways. Although this step is crucial for bacterial elimination, it is also associated with the potential for substantial immunopathology, which underscores the need for tight control of inflammatory responses...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Zhichao Zhou, Jie Pan, Fengping Wang, Ji-Dong Gu, Meng Li
Bathyarchaeota, formerly known as the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, is a phylum of global generalists that are widespread in anoxic sediments, which host relatively high abundance archaeal communities. Until now, 25 subgroups have been identified in the Bathyarchaeota. The distinct bathyarchaeotal subgroups diverged to adapt to marine and freshwater environments. Based on the physiological and genomic evidence, acetyl-coenzyme A-centralized heterotrophic pathways of energy conservation have been proposed to function in Bathyarchaeota; these microbes are able to anaerobically utilize (i) detrital proteins, (ii) polymeric carbohydrates, (iii) fatty acids/aromatic compounds, (iv) methane (or short chain alkane) and methylated compounds, and/or (v) potentially other organic matter...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Jorge Barriuso, Deborah A Hogan, Tajalli Keshavarz, María Jesús Martínez
Microbial cells do not live in isolation in their environment, but rather they communicate with each other using chemical signals. This sophisticated mode of cell-to-cell signalling, known as quorum sensing, was first discovered in bacteria, and coordinates the behaviour of microbial population behaviour in a cell-density-dependent manner. More recently, these mechanisms have been described in eukaryotes, particularly in fungi, where they regulate processes such as pathogenesis, morphological differentiation, secondary metabolite production and biofilm formation...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Christelle Bressuire-Isoard, Véronique Broussolle, Frédéric Carlin
Bacterial spores are resistant to physical and chemical insults, which makes them a major concern for public health and industry. Spores help bacteria to survive extreme environmental conditions that vegetative cells cannot tolerate. Spore resistance and dormancy are important properties for applications in medicine, veterinary health, food safety, crop protection and other domains. The resistance of bacterial spores results from a protective multilayered structure and from the unique composition of the spore core...
September 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
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