Publications by authors named "Michael S DuBow"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prokaryotic diversity and biogeochemical characteristics of field living and laboratory cultured stromatolites from the hypersaline Laguna Interna, Salar de Atacama (Chile).

Extremophiles 2021 Jul 16;25(4):327-342. Epub 2021 May 16.

Laboratorio de Microbiología y Biotecnología, Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad de Chile, Santos Dumont #964, Independencia, Santiago, Chile.

Stromatolites are organo-sedimentary structures found principally in seas and saline lakes that contain sheets of sediments and minerals formed by layers of microbial communities, which trap sediments and induce the precipitation of minerals.A living stromatolite from the alkaline Laguna Interna in the Salar de Atacama was collected and one of the fragments was deposited in an experimental aquarium for 18 months. We used Illumina sequencing of PCR-amplified V4 regions of 16S rRNA genes from total extracted DNA to identify the microbial populations. The chemical structure was studied using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and bench chemical methods. We found that members belonging to the Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi and Bacteroidetes phyla dominated the bacterial communities of the living and aquarium cultured samples. The potential metabolic functionality of the prokaryotic community reveals that sulfur, nitrogen, methane and carbon fixation metabolism functions are present in the samples. This study is the first to provide new insights into the prokaryotic community composition from this unusual aquatic desert site. Further studies will be helpful to obtain a better understanding of the biotic and abiotic mechanisms residing in stromatolites from Laguna Interna, as well as to have better knowledge about the formation of these biosignatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00792-021-01232-1DOI Listing
July 2021

The bacterial communities of surface soils from desert sites in the eastern Utah (USA) portion of the Colorado Plateau.

Microbiol Res 2021 Mar 5;244:126664. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Univ Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 409, 91405, Orsay, France. Electronic address:

Desert-like areas located in the eastern portion of the state of Utah (USA) have geographic features that can resemble the surface of the planet Mars, characterized by red-colored hills, soils and sandstones. We examined the bacterial biodiversity of surface soil samples from several sites from the Colorado Plateau Desert in eastern Utah using pyrosequencing of PCR amplified bacterial 16S rRNA genes from total extracted soil DNA. The sample sites cover the Great Basin, Goblin Valley State Park and nearby regions on the Colorado Plateau. We also examined several physicochemical parameters of the soil samples to investigate any possible correlations between bacterial community structure and environmental drivers. The predominant bacterial phyla present in the samples were found to belong to members of the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Gemmatimonadetes. The most abundant genera in our samples were found to belong to the Cesiribacter, Lysobacter, Adhaeribacter, Microvirga and Pontibacter genera. We found that the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes were significantly correlated with soil pH and a low concentration of organic matter, suggesting that, in these relatively high-altitude desert soils, these two parameters may be of primary importance to influence bacterial community composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2020.126664DOI Listing
March 2021

Bacterial Communities on the Surface of the Mineral Sandy Soil from the Desert of Maine (USA).

Curr Microbiol 2020 Aug 19;77(8):1429-1437. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Univ Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 409, 91405, Orsay, France.

The Desert of Maine, not a real desert, is a 160,000 m tourist attraction of glacial silt which resembles a desert, surrounded by a pine forest in the state of Maine located in the northeastern USA. Though not a true desert, the soil of the Desert of Maine has a sandy texture with poor water-holding abilities, nutrient retention capabilities, and a relatively low pH value (pH 5.09). Samples from this site may be of interest to examine the bacterial diversity present on mineral sandy loam soils with an acidic pH, low concentrations of organic materials though surrounded by a pine forest, and compare it with true desert soil microbial populations. Two surface sand samples from the Desert of Maine were obtained, and pyrosequencing of PCR amplified 16S rRNA genes from total extracted DNA was used to assess bacterial diversity, community structure, and the relative abundance of major bacterial taxa. We found that the soil samples from the Desert of Maine displayed high levels of bacterial diversity, with a predominance of members belonging to the Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria phyla. Bacteria from the most abundant genus, Acidiphilium, represent 12.5% of the total 16S rDNA sequences. In total, 1394 OTUs were observed in the two samples, with 668 OTUs being observed in both samples. By comparing Desert of Maine bacterial populations with studies on similar soil environments, we found that the samples contained less Acidobacteria than soils from acid soil forests, and less Firmicutes plus more Proteobacteria than oligotrophic desert soils. Interestingly, our samples were found to be highly similar in their composition to an oak forest soil in France.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00284-020-01946-zDOI Listing
August 2020

Countermeasures Defeat a Virulent Bacteriophage.

Viruses 2019 01 10;11(1). Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Micalis Institute, INRA, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France.

is an opportunistic pathogen that has emerged as a major cause of nosocomial infections worldwide. Many clinical strains are indeed resistant to last resort antibiotics and there is consequently a reawakening of interest in exploiting virulent phages to combat them. However, little is still known about phage receptors and phage resistance mechanisms in enterococci. We made use of a prophageless derivative of the well-known clinical strain V583 to isolate a virulent phage belonging to the subfamily and to the P68 genus that we named Idefix. Interestingly, most isolates of tested-including V583-were resistant to this phage and we investigated more deeply into phage resistance mechanisms. We found that V583 prophage 6 was particularly efficient in resisting Idefix infection thanks to a new abortive infection (Abi) mechanism, which we designated Abiα. It corresponded to the Pfam domain family with unknown function DUF4393 and conferred a typical Abi phenotype by causing a premature lysis of infected . The gene is widespread among prophages of enterococci and other Gram-positive bacteria. Furthermore, we identified two genes involved in the synthesis of the side chains of the surface rhamnopolysaccharide that are important for Idefix adsorption. Interestingly, mutants in these genes arose at a frequency of ~10 resistant mutants per generation, conferring a supplemental bacterial line of defense against Idefix.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11010048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356687PMC
January 2019

Variation of bacterial biodiversity from saline soils and estuary sediments present near the Mediterranean Sea coast of Camargue (France).

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2019 Mar 19;112(3):351-365. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Laboratoire de Génomique et Biodiversité Microbienne des Biofilms, Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Univ Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 409, 91405, Orsay, France.

Salinity is an important environmental factor influencing microbial community composition. To better understand this influence, we determined the bacterial communities present in 17 different sites of brackish sediment (underwater) and soil (surface) samples from the Camargue region (Rhône river delta) in southern France during the fall of 2013 and 2014 using pyrosequencing of the V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA genes amplified by PCR. This region is known for abundant flora and fauna and, though saline, 30% of rice consumed in France is grown here. We found that bacterial abundance in 1 g of soil or sediment, calculated by qPCR, was higher in sediments than in surface soil samples. Members belonging to the Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi and Firmicutes phyla dominated the bacterial communities of sediment samples, while members belonging to the Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Acidobacteria phyla dominated the bacterial communities of the soil samples. The most abundant bacterial genera present in the saline sediments and soils from the Camargue belonged mostly to halophilic and sulphate reducing bacteria, suggesting that the Camargue may be a valuable system to investigate saline, yet agriculturally productive, sediment and soil microbial ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10482-018-1164-zDOI Listing
March 2019

Comparison of deep-water viromes from the atlantic ocean and the mediterranean sea.

PLoS One 2014 24;9(6):e100600. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Department of Limnology and Oceanography, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Department of Biological Oceanography, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Den Burg, The Netherlands.

The aim of this study was to compare the composition of two deep-sea viral communities obtained from the Romanche Fracture Zone in the Atlantic Ocean (collected at 5200 m depth) and the southwest Mediterranean Sea (from 2400 m depth) using a pyro-sequencing approach. The results are based on 18.7% and 6.9% of the sequences obtained from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively, with hits to genomes in the non-redundant viral RefSeq database. The identifiable richness and relative abundance in both viromes were dominated by archaeal and bacterial viruses accounting for 92.3% of the relative abundance in the Atlantic Ocean and for 83.6% in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite characteristic differences in hydrographic features between the sampling sites in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, 440 virus genomes were found in both viromes. An additional 431 virus genomes were identified in the Atlantic Ocean and 75 virus genomes were only found in the Mediterranean Sea. The results indicate that the rather contrasting deep-sea environments of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea share a common core set of virus types constituting the majority of both virus communities in terms of relative abundance (Atlantic Ocean: 81.4%; Mediterranean Sea: 88.7%).
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0100600PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4069082PMC
March 2015

Bacterial diversity of surface sand samples from the Gobi and Taklamaken deserts.

Microb Ecol 2013 Nov 22;66(4):850-60. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Univ. Paris-Sud, Laboratoire de Génomique et Biodiversité Microbienne des Biofilms (LGBMB), Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, CNRS UMR 8621, Bâtiment 409, 91405, Orsay, France.

Arid regions represent nearly 30 % of the Earth's terrestrial surface, but their microbial biodiversity is not yet well characterized. The surface sands of deserts, a subset of arid regions, are generally subjected to large temperature fluctuations plus high UV light exposure and are low in organic matter. We examined surface sand samples from the Taklamaken (China, three samples) and Gobi (Mongolia, two samples) deserts, using pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified 16S V1/V2 rDNA sequences from total extracted DNA in order to gain an assessment of the bacterial population diversity. In total, 4,088 OTUs (using ≥97 % sequence similarity levels), with Chao1 estimates varying from 1,172 to 2,425 OTUs per sample, were discernable. These could be grouped into 102 families belonging to 15 phyla, with OTUs belonging to the Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria phyla being the most abundant. The bacterial population composition was statistically different among the samples, though members from 30 genera were found to be common among the five samples. An increase in phylotype numbers with increasing C/N ratio was noted, suggesting a possible role in the bacterial richness of these desert sand environments. Our results imply an unexpectedly large bacterial diversity residing in the harsh environment of these two Asian deserts, worthy of further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00248-013-0276-2DOI Listing
November 2013

The bacteria and bacteriophages from a Mesquite Flats site of the Death Valley desert.

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2013 Jun 5;103(6):1329-41. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Laboratoire de Génomique et Biodiversité Microbienne des Biofilms, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie; CNRS UMR 8621, Univ Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 409, 91405, Orsay, France.

Arid zones cover over 30 % of the Earth's continental surface. In order to better understand the role of microbes in this type of harsh environment, we isolated and characterized the bacteriophages from samples of the surface sand of the Mesquite Flats region via electron microscopy and DNA sequencing of a select number of cloned phage DNAs. An electron microscopic analysis of the recovered virus-like particles revealed at least 11 apparently different morphotypes sharing structural characteristics of the Caudoviridae family of tailed phages. We found that 36 % of the sequences contained no significant identity (e-value >10(-3)) with sequences in the databases. Pilot sequencing of cloned 16S rRNA genes identified Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria as the major bacterial groups present in this severe environment. The majority of the 16S rDNA sequences from the total (uncultured) bacterial population displayed ≤96 % identity to 16S rRNA genes in the database, suggesting an unexplored bacterial population likely adapted to a desert environment. In addition, we also isolated and identified 38 cultivable bacterial strains, the majority of which belonged to the genus Bacillus. Mitomycin-C treatment of the cultivable bacteria demonstrated that the vast majority (84 %) contained at least one SOS-inducible prophage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10482-013-9914-4DOI Listing
June 2013

Effect of increased pCO(2) on bacterial assemblage shifts in response to glucose addition in Fram Strait seawater mesocosms.

FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2012 Dec 6;82(3):713-23. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Uni Environment, Uni Research AS, Bergen, Norway.

Ocean acidification may stimulate primary production through increased availability of inorganic carbon in the photic zone, which may in turn change the biogenic flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the growth potential of heterotrophic bacteria. To investigate the effects of ocean acidification on marine bacterial assemblages, a two-by-three factorial mescosom experiment was conducted using surface sea water from the East Greenland Current in Fram Strait. Pyrosequencing of the V1-V2 region of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes was used to investigate differences in the endpoint (Day 9) composition of bacterial assemblages in mineral nutrient-replete mesocosms amended with glucose (0 μM, 5.3 μM and 15.9 μM) under ambient (250 μatm) or acidified (400 μatm) partial pressures of CO(2) (pCO(2)). All mesocosms showed low richness and diversity by Chao1 estimator and Shannon index, respectively, with general dominance by Gammaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis and two-way analysis of variance of the Jaccard dissimilarity matrix (97% similarity cut-off) demonstrated that the significant community shift between 0 μM and 15.9 μM glucose addition at 250 μatm pCO(2) was eliminated at 400 μatm pCO(2). These results suggest that the response potential of marine bacteria to DOC input may be altered under acidified conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01443.xDOI Listing
December 2012

The cyst-dividing bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 genome reveals a well-stocked toolbox for adaptation to a desert environment.

PLoS One 2011 1;6(9):e23784. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

CEA, Lab Ecol Microbienne Rhizosphere & Environm Extre, iBEB, DSV, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France.

Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310(T) (strain TTB310), a betaproteobacterium isolated from a semi-arid region of South Tunisia (Tataouine), is characterized by the presence of both spherical and rod-shaped cells in pure culture. Cell division of strain TTB310 occurs by the binary fission of spherical "cyst-like" cells ("cyst-cyst" division). The rod-shaped cells formed at the periphery of a colony (consisting mainly of cysts) are highly motile and colonize a new environment, where they form a new colony by reversion to cyst-like cells. This unique cell cycle of strain TTB310, with desiccation tolerant cyst-like cells capable of division and desiccation sensitive motile rods capable of dissemination, appears to be a novel adaptation for life in a hot and dry desert environment. In order to gain insights into strain TTB310's underlying genetic repertoire and possible mechanisms responsible for its unusual lifestyle, the genome of strain TTB310 was completely sequenced and subsequently annotated. The complete genome consists of a single circular chromosome of 4,070,194 bp with an average G+C content of 70.0%, the highest among the Betaproteobacteria sequenced to date, with total of 3,899 predicted coding sequences covering 92% of the genome. We found that strain TTB310 has developed a highly complex network of two-component systems, which may utilize responses to light and perhaps a rudimentary circadian hourglass to anticipate water availability at the dew time in the middle/end of the desert winter nights and thus direct the growth window to cyclic water availability times. Other interesting features of the strain TTB310 genome that appear to be important for desiccation tolerance, including intermediary metabolism compounds such as trehalose or polyhydroxyalkanoate, and signal transduction pathways, are presented and discussed.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023784PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164672PMC
December 2011

Subinhibitory arsenite concentrations lead to population dispersal in Thiomonas sp.

PLoS One 2011 18;6(8):e23181. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Génétique Moléculaire, Génomique et Microbiologie, UMR7156 CNRS & Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.

Biofilms represent the most common microbial lifestyle, allowing the survival of microbial populations exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Here, we show that the biofilm development of a bacterial species belonging to the Thiomonas genus, frequently found in arsenic polluted sites and playing a key role in arsenic natural remediation, is markedly modified when exposed to subinhibitory doses of this toxic element. Indeed, arsenite [As(III)] exposure led to a considerable impact on biofilm maturation by strongly increasing the extracellular matrix synthesis and by promoting significant cell death and lysis within microcolonies. These events were followed by the development of complex 3D-biofilm structures and subsequently by the dispersal of remobilized cells observed inside the previously formed hollow voids. Our results demonstrate that this biofilm community responds to arsenite stress in a multimodal way, enhancing both survival and dispersal. Addressing this complex bacterial response to As(III) stress, which might be used by other microorganisms under various adverse conditions, may be essential to understand how Thiomonas strains persist in extreme environments.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023181PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3158062PMC
December 2011

Isolation and characterization of two serine proteases from metagenomic libraries of the Gobi and Death Valley deserts.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2011 Aug 15;91(3):635-44. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Univ Paris-Sud, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, CNRS UMR 8621, Bât. 409, Orsay 91405, France.

The screening of environmental DNA metagenome libraries for functional activities can provide an important source of new molecules and enzymes. In this study, we identified 17 potential protease-producing clones from two metagenomic libraries derived from samples of surface sand from the Gobi and Death Valley deserts. Two of the proteases, DV1 and M30, were purified and biochemically examined. These two proteases displayed a molecular mass of 41.5 kDa and 45.7 kDa, respectively, on SDS polyacrylamide gels. Alignments with known protease sequences showed less than 55% amino acid sequence identity. These two serine proteases appear to belong to the subtilisin (S8A) family and displayed several unique biochemical properties. Protease DV1 had an optimum pH of 8 and an optimal activity at 55°C, while protease M30 had an optimum pH >11 and optimal activity at 40°C. The properties of these enzymes make them potentially useful for biotechnological applications and again demonstrate that metagenomic approaches can be useful, especially when coupled with the study of novel environments such as deserts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3256-9DOI Listing
August 2011

The use of genomic signature distance between bacteriophages and their hosts displays evolutionary relationships and phage growth cycle determination.

Virol J 2010 Jul 17;7:163. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

Molécules Thérapeutiques in Silico MTI, INSERM UMR-M 973, Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, Bât Lamarck, 75205, Paris Cedex 13, France.

Background: Bacteriophage classification is mainly based on morphological traits and genome characteristics combined with host information and in some cases on phage growth lifestyle. A lack of molecular tools can impede more precise studies on phylogenetic relationships or even a taxonomic classification. The use of methods to analyze genome sequences without the requirement for homology has allowed advances in classification.

Results: Here, we proposed to use genome sequence signature to characterize bacteriophages and to compare them to their host genome signature in order to obtain host-phage relationships and information on their lifestyle. We analyze the host-phage relationships in the four most representative groups of Caudoviridae, the dsDNA group of phages. We demonstrate that the use of phage genomic signature and its comparison with that of the host allows a grouping of phages and is also able to predict the host-phage relationships (lytic vs. temperate).

Conclusions: We can thus condense, in relatively simple figures, this phage information dispersed over many publications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-422X-7-163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917420PMC
July 2010

Variations of bacterial 16S rDNA phylotypes prior to and after chlorination for drinking water production from two surface water treatment plants.

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2010 Feb 12;37(2):117-28. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

EAU DE PARIS, Paris, France.

We examined the variations of bacterial populations in treated drinking water prior to and after the final chlorine disinfection step at two different surface water treatment plants. For this purpose, the bacterial communities present in treated water were sampled after granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration and chlorine disinfection from two drinking water treatment plants supplying the city of Paris (France). Samples were analyzed after genomic DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloning, and sequencing of a number of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. The 16S rDNA sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the OTU abundance patterns were obtained for each sample. The observed differences suggest that the chlorine disinfection step markedly affects the bacterial community structure and composition present in GAC water. Members of the Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria were found to be predominant in the GAC water samples after phylogenetic analyses of the OTUs. Following the chlorine disinfection step, numerous changes were observed, including decreased representation of Proteobacteria phylotypes. Our results indicate that the use of molecular methods to investigate changes in the abundance of certain bacterial groups following chlorine-based disinfection will aid in further understanding the bacterial ecology of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), particularly the disinfection step, as it constitutes the final barrier before drinking water distribution to the consumer's tap.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10295-009-0653-5DOI Listing
February 2010

Assessment of phylogenetic diversity of bacterial microflora in drinking water using serial analysis of ribosomal sequence tags.

Water Res 2009 Sep 18;43(17):4197-206. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

EAU DE PARIS, 9 rue Schoelcher, 75014 Paris, France.

We examined chlorinated drinking water samples from three different surface water treatment plants for bacterial 16S rDNA diversity using the serial analysis of V6 ribosomal sequence tag (SARST-V6) method. A considerable degree of diversity was observed in each sample, with an estimated richness ranging from 173 to 333 phylotypes. The community structure shows that there are differences in bacterial evenness between sampled sites. The taxonomic composition of the microbial communities was found to be dominated by members of the Proteobacteria (57.2-77.4%), broadly distributed among the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Deltaproteobacteria. Additionally, a large proportion of sequences (6.3-36.5%) were found to be distantly related to database sequences of unknown phylogenetic affiliation. Given the apparent significance of this bacterial group in drinking water, a 16S rDNA analysis was performed and confirmed their presence and phylogeny. Notwithstanding the potential under-representation of certain bacterial phyla using the SARST-V6 primer pairs, as revealed by a refined computer algorithm, our results suggest that 16S rDNA corresponding to a variety of eubacterial groups can be detected in finished drinking water, suggesting that this water may contain a higher level of bacterial diversity than previously observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2009.07.020DOI Listing
September 2009

An examination of the bacteriophages and bacteria of the Namib desert.

J Microbiol 2008 Aug 31;46(4):364-72. Epub 2008 Aug 31.

Laboratoire de Génomique et Biodiversité Microbienne des Biofilms, Université Paris-Sud 11, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, CNRS UMR 8621, Bâtiment 409, 91405 Orsay, France.

Bacteria and their viruses (called bacteriophages, or phages), have been found in virtually every ecological niche on Earth. Arid regions, including their most extreme form called deserts, represent the single largest ecosystem type on the Earth's terrestrial surface. The Namib desert is believed to be the oldest (80 million years) desert. We report here an initial analysis of bacteriophages isolated from the Namib desert using a combination of electron microscopy and genomic approaches. The virus-like particles observed by electron microscopy revealed 20 seemingly different phage-like morphologies and sizes belonging to the Myoviridae and Siphoviridae families of tailed phages. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed a majority of phage genomes of 55-65 kb in length, with genomes of approximately 200, 300, and 350 kb also observable. Sample sequencing of cloned phage DNA fragments revealed that approximately 50% appeared to be of bacterial origin. Of the remaining DNA sequences, approximately 50% displayed no significant match to any sequence in the databases. The majority of the 16S rDNA sequences amplified from DNA extracted from the sand displayed considerable (94-98%) homology to members of the Firmicutes, and in particular to members of the genus Bacillus, though members of the Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, and delta-Proteobacteria groups were also observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12275-008-0007-4DOI Listing
August 2008

The ygaVP genes of Escherichia coli form a tributyltin-inducible operon.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2008 Mar 1;74(6):1954-8. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

Université de Nantes, CNRS UMR 6144, GEPEA, ERT CBAC, Département Génie Biologique, 18 Bd. Gaston Defferre, 85035 La Roche sur Yon, France.

A tributyltin (TBT) luxAB transcriptional fusion in Escherichia coli revealed that a TBT-activated promoter is located upstream of two cotranscribed orphan genes, ygaV and ygaP. We demonstrate that transcription from the promoter upstream of ygaVP is constitutive in a ygaVP mutant, suggesting that YgaV is an autoregulated, TBT-inducible repressor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02294-07DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2268312PMC
March 2008

A diversity of bacteriophage forms and genomes can be isolated from the surface sands of the Sahara Desert.

Extremophiles 2005 Aug 10;9(4):289-96. Epub 2005 Jun 10.

Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, CNRS UMR 8621, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.

The surface sands of the Sahara Desert are exposed to extremes of ultraviolet light irradiation, desiccation and temperature variation. Nonetheless, the presence of bacteria has recently been demonstrated in this environment by cultivation methods and by 16S rDNA analyses from total DNA isolated from surface sands. To discern the presence of bacteriophages in this harsh environment, we searched for extracellular phages and intracellularly located phages present as prophages or within pseudolysogens. Mild sonication of the sand, in different liquid culture media, incubated with and without Mitomycin-C, was followed by differential centrifugation to enrich for dsDNA phages. The resulting preparations, examined by electron microscopy, revealed the presence of virus-like particles with a diversity of morphotypes representative of all three major double-stranded DNA bacteriophage families (Myoviridae, Siphoviridae and Podoviridae). Moreover, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of DNA, extracted from the enriched bacteriophage preparations, revealed the presence of distinct bands suggesting the presence of putative dsDNA phage genomes ranging in size from 45 kb to 270 kb. Characterization of the bacteriophages present in the surface sands of the Sahara Desert extends the range of environments from which bacteriophages can be isolated, and provides an important point of departure for the study of phages in extreme terrestrial environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00792-005-0444-5DOI Listing
August 2005

Comparison of the spectral emission of lux recombinant and bioluminescent marine bacteria.

Luminescence 2003 May-Jun;18(3):145-55

Université de Nantes, IUT, Département Génie Biologique, Laboratoire de Microbiologie, 18 Bd G. Defferre, 85000 La Roche sur Yon, France.

The purpose of the present paper was to study the influence of bacteria harbouring the luciferase-encoding Vibrio harveyi luxAB genes upon the spectral emission during growth in batch-culture conditions. In vivo bioluminescence spectra were compared from several bioluminescent strains, either naturally luminescent (Vibrio fischeri and Vibrio harveyi) or in recombinant strains (two Gram-negative Escherichia coli::luxAB strains and a Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis::luxAB strain). Spectral emission was recorded from 400 nm to 750 nm using a highly sensitive spectrometer initially devoted to Raman scattering. Two peaks were clearly identified, one at 491-500 nm (+/- 5 nm) and a second peak at 585-595 (+/- 5 nm) with the Raman CCD. The former peak was the only one detected with traditional spectrometers with a photomultiplier detector commonly used for spectral emission measurement, due to their lack of sensitivity and low resolution in the 550-650 nm window. When spectra were compared between all the studied bacteria, no difference was observed between natural or recombinant cells, between Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains, and growth conditions and growth medium were not found to modify the spectrum of light emission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bio.716DOI Listing
February 2004

A chromosomal ars operon homologue of Pseudomonas aeruginosa confers increased resistance to arsenic and antimony in Escherichia coli.

Microbiology (Reading) 1998 Oct;144 ( Pt 10):2705-2729

Operons encoding homologous arsenic-resistance determinants (ars) have been discovered in bacterial plasmids from Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms, as well as in the Escherichia coli chromosome. However, evidence for this arsenic-resistance determinant in the medically and environmentally important bacterial species Pseudomonas aeruginosa is conflicting. Here the identification of a P. aeruginosa chromosomal ars operon homologue via cloning and complementation of an E. coli ars mutant is reported. The P. aeruginosa chromosomal ars operon contains three potential ORFs encoding proteins with significant sequence similarity to those encoded by the arsR, arsB and arsC genes of the plasmid-based and E. coli chromosomal ars operons. The cloned P. aeruginosa chromosomal ars operon confers augmented resistance to arsenic and antimony oxyanions in an E. coli arsB mutant and in wild-type P. aeruginosa. Expression of the operon was induced by arsenite at the mRNA level. DNA sequences homologous with this operon were detected in some, but not all, species of the genus Pseudomonas, suggesting that its conservation follows their taxonomic-based evolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/00221287-144-10-2705DOI Listing
October 1998
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