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See detailThe role of protein modifications in senescence of freeze-dried Acetobacter senegalensis during storage
Shafiei, Rasoul ULg; Zarmehrkhorshid, Raziyeh ULg; Bentaib, Azeddine ULg et al

in Microbial Cell Factories (2014)

Background Loss of viability is one of the most important problems during starter culture production. Previous research has mostly focused on the production process of bacterial starters, but there are ... [more ▼]

Background Loss of viability is one of the most important problems during starter culture production. Previous research has mostly focused on the production process of bacterial starters, but there are few studies about cellular protein deterioration causing cell defectiveness during storage. In the present study, we investigated the influence of storage temperature (−21, 4, 35°C) on the cellular protein modifications which may contribute to the senescence of freeze-dried Acetobacter senegalensis. Results Heterogeneous populations composed of culturable cells, viable but non-culturable cells (VBNC) and dead cells were generated when freeze-dried cells were kept at −21 and 4°C for 12 months whereas higher storage temperature (35°C) mainly caused death of the cells. The analysis of stored cell proteome by 2D-DiGE demonstrated a modified pattern of protein profile for cell kept at 4 and 35°C due to the formation of protein spot trains and shift of Isoelectric point (pI). Quantification of carbonylated protein by ELISA showed that the cells stored at 4 and 35°C had higher carbonylated protein contents than fresh cells. 2D-DiGE followed by Western blotting also confirmed the carbonylation of cellular proteins involved in translation process and energy generation. The auto-fluorescent feature of cells kept at 35°C increased significantly which may be an indication of protein glycation during storage. In addition, the percentage of cellular unsaturated fatty acid and the solubility of cellular proteins decreased upon storage of cells at higher temperature suggesting that peroxidation of fatty acids and possibly protein lipidation and oxidation occurred. Conclusions High storage temperature induces some deteriorative reactions such as protein oxidation, lipidation and glycation which may cause further protein modifications like pI-shift, and protein insolubility. These modifications can partly account for the changes in cell viability. It can also be deduced that even moderate carbonylation of some critical cellular proteins (like ribosomal proteins) may lead to VBNC formation or death of freeze-dried bacteria. Moreover, it seems that other mechanisms of biomolecule deterioration preceding protein carbonylation lead to VBNC formation under very low storage temperature. [less ▲]

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See detailA low-cost, multiplexable, automated flow cytometry procedure for the characterization of microbial stress dynamics in bioreactors
Brognaux, Alison ULg; Han, Shanshan; Sorensen, Soren J et al

in Microbial Cell Factories (2013), 12(100), 1-14

Background Microbial cell population heterogeneity is now recognized as a major source of issues in the development and optimization of bioprocesses. Even if single cell technologies are available for the ... [more ▼]

Background Microbial cell population heterogeneity is now recognized as a major source of issues in the development and optimization of bioprocesses. Even if single cell technologies are available for the study of microbial population heterogeneity, only a few of these methods are available in order to study the dynamics of segregation directly in bioreactors. In this context, specific interfaces have been developed in order to connect a flow cytometer directly to a bioreactor for automated analyses. In this work, we propose a simplified version of such an interface and demonstrate its usefulness for multiplexed experiments.Results A low-cost automated flow cytometer has been used in order to monitor the synthesis of a destabilized Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) under the regulation of the fis promoter and propidium iodide (PI) uptake. The results obtained showed that the dynamics of GFP synthesis are complex and can be attributed to a complex set of biological parameters, i.e. on the one hand the release of protein into the extracellular medium and its uptake modifying the activity of the fis promoter, and on the other hand the stability of the GFP molecule itself, which can be attributed to the protease content and energy status of the cells. In this respect, multiplexed experiments have shown a correlation between heat shock and ATP content and the stability of the reporter molecule. Conclusion This work demonstrates that a simplified version of on-line FC can be used at the process level or in a multiplexed version to investigate the dynamics of complex physiological mechanisms. In this respect, the determination of new on-line parameters derived from automated FC is of primary importance in order to fully integrate the power of FC in dedicated feedback control loops. [less ▲]

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See detailBacillus amyloliquefaciens GA1 as a source of potent antibiotics and other secondary metabolites for biocontrol of plant pathogens.
Arguelles-Arias, A.; Ongena, MARC ULg; Halimi, B. et al

in Microbial Cell Factories (2009), 8(1), 63

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Phytopathogenic fungi affecting crop and post-harvested vegetables are a major threat to food production and food storage. To face these drawbacks, producers have become increasingly ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Phytopathogenic fungi affecting crop and post-harvested vegetables are a major threat to food production and food storage. To face these drawbacks, producers have become increasingly dependent on agrochemicals. However, intensive use of these compounds has led to the emergence of pathogen resistance and severe negative environmental impacts. There are also a number of plant diseases for which chemical solutions are ineffective or non-existent as well as an increasing demand by consumers for pesticide-free food. Thus, biological control through the use of natural antagonistic microorganisms has emerged as a promising alternative to chemical pesticides for more rational and safe crop management. RESULTS: The genome of the plant-associated B. amyloliquefaciens GA1 was sample sequenced. Several gene clusters involved in the synthesis of biocontrol agents were detected. Four gene clusters were shown to direct the synthesis of the cyclic lipopeptides surfactin, iturin A and fengycin as well as the iron-siderophore bacillibactin. Beside these non-ribosomaly synthetised peptides, three additional gene clusters directing the synthesis of the antibacterial polyketides macrolactin, bacillaene and difficidin were identified. Mass spectrometry analysis of culture supernatants led to the identification of these secondary metabolites, hence demonstrating that the corresponding biosynthetic gene clusters are functional in strain GA1. In addition, genes encoding enzymes involved in synthesis and export of the dipeptide antibiotic bacilysin were highlighted. However, only its chlorinated derivative, chlorotetaine, could be detected in culture supernatants. On the contrary, genes involved in ribosome-dependent synthesis of bacteriocin and other antibiotic peptides were not detected as compared to the reference strain B. amyloliquefaciens FZB42. CONCLUSION: The production of all of these antibiotic compounds highlights B. amyloliquefaciens GA1 as a good candidate for the development of biocontrol agents. [less ▲]

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See detailBioreactor mixing efficiency modulates the activity of a prpoS::gfp reporter gene in E. coli
Delvigne, Frank ULg; Boxus, Mathieu ULg; Ingels, Sophie et al

in Microbial Cell Factories (2009), 8(15),

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Extensive studies have shown that up-scaling of bioprocesses has a significant impact on the physiology of the microorganisms. Among the factors associated with the fluid dynamics of ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Extensive studies have shown that up-scaling of bioprocesses has a significant impact on the physiology of the microorganisms. Among the factors associated with the fluid dynamics of the bioreactor, concentration gradients induced by loss of the global mixing efficiency associated with the increasing scale is the main phenomena leading to strong physiological modifications at the level of the microbial population. These changes are not fully understood since they involve complex physiological mechanisms. In this work, we intend to investigate, at the single cell level, the expression of the rpoS gene associated with the stress response of E. coli. The cultures of the reporter strain have been performed in a small scale reactor as well as in a series of scaled-down bioreactors able to induce extracellular perturbations with increasing level of magnitude. RESULTS: The rpoS level has been monitored by the aim of a transcriptional reporter gene based on the synthesis of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). It has been observed that the level of GFP increases during the transition from batch to fed-batch phase. After this initial increase, the GFP content of the cell drops, primarily due to the dilution by cell division. However, a significant drop of the GFP content has been observed if using a partitioned bioreactor, for which the mixing conditions are very bad, leading to the exposure of the cells to cyclic and stochastic extracellular fluctuations. If considering the flow cytometric profile of the cell to cell GFP content, this drop has to be attributed to the appearance of segregation at the level of the GFP content among the microbial population. CONCLUSION: The generation of extracellular perturbations (in the present case, at the level of the sugar concentration and the dissolved oxygen level) has led to a drop at the level of the rpoS expression level. This drop has to be attributed to a segregation phenomenon in microbial population, with a major sub-population exhibiting a low expression level and a minor sub-population keeping its initial elevated expression level. The intensity of the segregation, as well as its time of appearance during the culture can be related to the bioreactor mixing efficiency. [less ▲]

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