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Nicholas A Hilton, Thomas E Sladewski, Jenna A Perry, Zemplen Pataki, Amy N Sinclair-Davis, Richard S Muniz, Holly L Tran, Jenna I Wurster, Jiwon Seo, Christopher L de Graffenried
The protist parasite Trypanosoma brucei is an obligate extracellular pathogen that retains its highly-polarized morphology during cell division and has evolved a novel cytokinetic process independent of non-muscle myosin II. The polo-like kinase homolog TbPLK is essential for transmission of cell polarity during division and for cytokinesis. We previously identified a putative TbPLK substrate named Tip of the Extending FAZ 1 (TOEFAZ1) as an essential kinetoplastid-specific component of the T. brucei cytokinetic machinery...
May 21, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Anke Kuppardt, Thomas Fester, Claus Härtig, Antonis Chatzinotas
Plant growth and productivity depend on the interactions of the plant with the associated rhizosphere microbes. Rhizosphere protists play a significant role in this respect: considerable efforts have been made in the past to reveal the impact of protist-bacteria interactions on the remobilization of essential nutrients for plant uptake, or the grazing induced changes on plant-growth promoting bacteria and the root-architecture. However, the metabolic responses of plants to the presence of protists or to protist-bacteria interactions in the rhizosphere have not yet been analyzed...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Yasuhiro Kurasawa, Huiqing Hu, Qing Zhou, Ziyin Li
Cytokinesis, the terminal step in cell division, in the protist human pathogen Trypanosoma brucei occurs along the longitudinal axis from the anterior tip of the new flagellum attachment zone (FAZ) towards the posterior cell tip. This process is regulated by a signaling cascade composed of the Polo-like kinase homolog TbPLK, the Aurora B kinase homolog TbAUK1, and the trypanosome-specific CIF1-CIF2 protein complex. However, the regulatory mechanism and the signaling pathway for this unusual mode of cytokinesis remain poorly understood...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Susanne Warrenfeltz, Evelina Y Basenko, Kathryn Crouch, Omar S Harb, Jessica C Kissinger, David S Roos, Achchuthan Shanmugasundram, Fatima Silva-Franco
Fighting infections and developing novel drugs and vaccines requires advanced knowledge of pathogen's biology. Readily accessible genomic, functional genomic, and population data aids biological and translational discovery. The Eukaryotic Pathogen Database Resources ( ) are data mining resources that support hypothesis driven research by facilitating the discovery of meaningful biological relationships from large volumes of data. The resource encompasses 13 sites that support over 170 species including pathogenic protists, oomycetes, and fungi as well as evolutionarily related nonpathogenic species...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Julia K Nuy, Anja Lange, Arne J Beermann, Manfred Jensen, Vasco Elbrecht, Oliver Röhl, Derek Peršoh, Dominik Begerow, Florian Leese, Jens Boenigk
Stream ecosystems are affected by multiple anthropogenic stressors worldwide. Even though effects of many single stressors are comparatively well studied, the effects of multiple stressors are difficult to predict. In particular bacteria and protists, which are responsible for the majority of ecosystem respiration and element flows, are infrequently studied with respect to multiple stressors responses. We conducted a stream mesocosm experiment to characterize the responses of single and multiple stressors on microbiota...
August 15, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Liliana Rojas-Velázquez, Patricia Morán, Angélica Serrano-Vázquez, Leonardo D Fernández, Horacio Pérez-Juárez, Augusto C Poot-Hernández, Tobías Portillo, Enrique González, Eric Hernández, Oswaldo Partida-Rodríguez, Miriam E Nieves-Ramírez, Ulises Magaña, Javier Torres, Luis E Eguiarte, Daniel Piñero, Cecilia Ximénez
Blastocystis subtype 3 (ST3) is a parasitic protist found in the digestive tract of symptomatic and asymptomatic humans around the world. While this parasite exhibits a high prevalence in the human population, its true geographic distribution and global genetic diversity are still unknown. This gap in knowledge limits the understanding of the spread mechanisms, epidemiology, and impact that this parasite has on human populations. Herein, we provided new data on the geographical distribution and genetic diversity of Blastocystis ST3 from a rural human population in Mexico...
2018: BioMed Research International
Takashi Nishida, Naho Hara, Kenta Watanabe, Takashi Shimizu, Masahiro Fujishima, Masahisa Watarai
Legionella pneumophila is a facultative intracellular Gram-negative bacterium, which is a major causative agent of Legionnaires' disease. In the environment, this bacterium survives in free-living protists such as amoebae and Tetrahymena . The association of L. pneumophila and protists leads to the replication and spread of this bacterium. Thus, from a public health perspective, their association can enhance the risk of L. pneumophila infection for humans. Paramecium spp. are candidates of natural hosts of L...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Vincent Delafont, Marie-Helene Rodier, Elodie Maisonneuve, Estelle Cateau
Free-living amoebae are protists that are widely distributed in the environment including water, soil, and air. Although the amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are still the most studied, other species, such as Vermamoeba vermiformis (formerly Hartmannella vermiformis), are the subject of increased interest. Found in natural or man-made aquatic environments, V. vermiformis can support the multiplication of other microorganisms and is able to harbor and potentially protect pathogenic bacteria or viruses. This feature is to be noted because of the presence of this thermotolerant amoeba in hospital water networks...
May 8, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Qiuzhen Wang, Biswarup Sen, Xianhua Liu, Yaodong He, Yunxuan Xie, Guangyi Wang
Heterotrophic marine protists (Thraustochytrids) have received increasingly global attention as a renewable, sustainable and alternative source of biodiesel because of their high ability of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) accumulation. Yet, the influence of extrinsic factors (nutrients and environmental conditions) on thraustochytrid culture and optimal conditions for high SFAs production are poorly described. In the present study, two different thraustochytrid strains, Schizochytrium sp. PKU#Mn4 and Thraustochytriidae sp...
August 1, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Vittorio Boscaro, Luciana F Santoferrara, Qianqian Zhang, Eleni Gentekaki, Mitchell J Syberg-Olsen, Javier Del Campo, Patrick J Keeling
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) surveys, among the most common approaches currently used in environmental microbiology, require reliable reference databases to be correctly interpreted. The EukRef Initiative ( is a community effort to manually screen available small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene sequences and produce a public, high-quality, and informative framework of phylogeny-based taxonomic annotations. In the context of EukRef, we present a database for the monophyletic phylum Ciliophora, one of the most complex, diverse, and ubiquitous protist groups...
May 4, 2018: Environmental Microbiology
Melanie T Cushion, Andrew H Limper, Aleksey Porollo, Vivian Saper, Anthony P Sinai, Louis M Weiss
The 14th International Workshops on Opportunistic Protists (IWOP-14) was held August 10 to 12, 2017 in Cincinnati, OH, USA. The IWOP meetings focus on opportunistic protists (OIs); e.g. free-living amoebae, Pneumocystis, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, the Microsporidia, and kinetoplastid flagellates. Highlights of Pneumocystis research included reports of primary homothallism for mating; a potential requirement for sexual replication in its life cycle; a new antigen on the surface of small asci; and roles for CLRs, Dectin-1 and Mincle in host responses; and identification of MSG families and mechanisms used for surface variation...
May 3, 2018: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
José O Bonilla, Daniel G Kurth, Fabricio D Cid, José H Ulacco, Raúl A Gil, Liliana B Villegas
The acid mine drainage that originates in the abandoned gold mine in San Luis, Argentina, is released into La Carolina stream. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of this mine drainage on the physicochemical parameters of the area studied and on both prokaryotic and eukaryotic community structure. In addition, specific relationships between microbial taxonomic groups and physicochemical parameters were established. The drainage that flows into La Carolina stream acidifies the stream and increases its sulfate, Zn, Cd and Te concentrations...
April 28, 2018: Extremophiles: Life Under Extreme Conditions
Fei Chen, Liangsheng Zhang, Zhenguo Lin, Zong-Ming Max Cheng
BACKGROUND: Both calcium signals and protein phosphorylation responses are universal signals in eukaryotic cell signaling. Currently three pathways have been characterized in different eukaryotes converting the Ca2+ signals to the protein phosphorylation responses. All these pathways have based mostly on studies in plants and animals. RESULTS: Based on the exploration of genomes and transcriptomes from all the six eukaryotic supergroups, we report here in Metakinetoplastina protists a novel gene family...
April 27, 2018: BMC Genomics
Kevin J Flynn, David O F Skibinski, Christian Lindemann
Nutrient acquisition is a critical determinant for the competitive advantage for auto- and osmohetero- trophs alike. Nutrient limited growth is commonly described on a whole cell basis through reference to a maximum growth rate (Gmax) and a half-saturation constant (KG). This empirical application of a Michaelis-Menten like description ignores the multiple underlying feedbacks between physiology contributing to growth, cell size, elemental stoichiometry and cell motion. Here we explore these relationships with reference to the kinetics of the nutrient transporter protein, the transporter rate density at the cell surface (TRD; potential transport rate per unit plasma-membrane area), and diffusion gradients...
April 27, 2018: PLoS Computational Biology
Courtney W Stairs, Laura Eme, Sergio Muñoz-Gómez, Alejandro Cohen, Graham Dellaire, Jennifer N Shepherd, James P Fawcett, Andrew J Roger
Under hypoxic conditions, some organisms use an electron transport chain consisting of only complex I and II (CII) to generate the proton gradient essential for ATP production. In these cases, CII functions as a fumarate reductase that accepts electrons from a low electron potential quinol, rhodoquinol (RQ). To clarify the origins of RQ-mediated fumarate reduction in eukaryotes, we investigated the origin and function of rqua , a gene encoding an RQ biosynthetic enzyme. Rqua is very patchily distributed across eukaryotes and bacteria adapted to hypoxia...
April 26, 2018: ELife
Jordan Leroy, Marjorie Cornu, Anne-Sophie Deleplancque, Aldert Bart, Séverine Loridant, Emilie Fréalle, Emmanuel Dutoit, Olivier Gaillot, Tom van Gool, François Puisieux, Pierre Labalette, Boualem Sendid
Microsporidia are protists close to the kingdom of fungi that may cause eye infections. Most cases are reported in Asia and affect both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients. Here, we report a rare case of microsporidial keratoconjunctivitis in an immunocompetent French patient 3 weeks after returning from India. In our patient, Weber trichrome staining of conjunctival scrapings revealed rounded elements approximately 1-3 μm in size. Conventional PCR analysis by ribosomal RNA subunit sequencing showed 100% identity with Vittaforma corneae ...
April 23, 2018: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Samantha J Emery, Louise Baker, Brendan R E Ansell, Mehdi Mirzaei, Paul A Haynes, Malcom J McConville, Staffan G Svärd, Aaron R Jex
Background: Metronidazole (Mtz) is the frontline drug treatment for multiple anaerobic pathogens, including the gastrointestinal protist, Giardia duodenalis. However, treatment failure is common and linked to in vivo drug resistance. In Giardia, in vitro drug-resistant lines allow controlled experimental interrogation of resistance mechanisms in isogenic cultures. However, resistance-associated changes are inconsistent between lines, phenotypic data are incomplete, and resistance is rarely genetically fixed, highlighted by reversion to sensitivity after drug selection ceases or via passage through the life cycle...
April 1, 2018: GigaScience
Nataliia V Annenkova, Dag Ahrén, Ramiro Logares, Anke Kremp, Karin Rengefors
Recently radiated dinoflagellates Apocalathium aciculiferum (collected in Lake Erken, Sweden), A. malmogiense (Baltic Sea) and Apocalathium aff. malmogiense (Highway Lake, Antarctica) represent a lineage with an unresolved phylogeny. We determined their phylogenetic relationships using phylotranscriptomics based on 792 amino acid sequences. Our results showed that A. aciculiferum diverged from the other two closely related lineages, consistent with their different morphologies in cell size, relative cell length and presence of spines...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Phycology
Iqbal Aijaz, Gerald B Koudelka
Temperate phage encoded Shiga toxin (Stx) kills the bacterivorous predator, Tetrahymena thermophila, providing Stx+ Escherichia coli with a survival advantage over Stx- cells. Although bacterial death accompanies Stx release, since bacteria grow clonally the fitness benefits of predator killing accrue to the kin of the sacrificed organism, meaning Stx-mediated protist killing is a form of self-destructive cooperation. We show here that the fitness benefits of Stx production are not restricted to the kin of the phage-encoding bacteria...
April 19, 2018: MicrobiologyOpen
Ravi Bharadwaj, Shalini Sharma, Janhawi, Ranjana Arya, Sudha Bhattacharya, Alok Bhattacharya
The protist parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes amoebiasis, a major public health problem in developing countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Invasive infection in amoebiasis mostly affects intestinal epithelial cell lining, but can also involve other organs, such as liver, lungs or brain. Phagocytosis is an essential mode of nutrition in amoeba and has often been associated with virulence behaviour of E. histolytica. E. histolytica possesses a highly dynamic and actin-rich cytoskeleton that is thought to be involved in many processes, such as motility, pseudopod formation and pathogenesis...
April 17, 2018: Cellular Microbiology
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