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Advances in Applied Microbiology

Graeme M Walker, Roy S K Walker
The production of ethanol by yeast fermentation represents the largest of all global biotechnologies. Consequently, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the world's premier industrial microorganism, which is responsible not only for the production of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and distilled spirits, but also for the billions of liters of bioethanol produced annually for use as a renewable transportation fuel. Although humankind has exploited the fermentative activities of yeasts for millennia, many aspects of alcohol fermentation remain poorly understood...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Clifford Morrison, Elizabeth Heitmann, William Armiger, David Dodds, Mattheos Koffas
Two seemingly distinct fields, industrial biocatalysis and microbial electrosynthesis, can be viewed together through the lens of electrochemical bioreactor technology in order to highlight the challenges that exist in creating a versatile platform technology for use in chemical and biological applications. Industrial biocatalysis applications requiring NAD(P)H to perform redox transformations often necessitate convoluted coupled-enzyme regeneration systems to regenerate reduced cofactor, NAD(P)H from oxidized cofactor, NAD(P)...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Xinyi Nie, Bowen Li, Shihua Wang
Epigenetic and posttranslational modifications have been proved to participate in multiple cellular processes and suggested to be an important regulatory mechanism on transcription of genes in eukaryotes. However, our knowledge about epigenetic and posttranslational modifications mainly comes from the studies of yeasts, plants, and animals. Recently, epigenetic and posttranslational modifications have also raised concern for the relevance of regulating fungal biology in Aspergillus. Emerging evidence indicates that these modifications could be a connection between genetic elements and environmental factors, and their combined effects may finally lead to fungal phenotypical changes...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Andrew Free, Michael A McDonald, Eulyn Pagaling
The connection between ecosystem function and taxonomic diversity has been of interest and relevance to macroecologists for decades. After many years of lagging behind due to the difficulty of assigning both taxonomy and function to poorly distinguishable microscopic cells, microbial ecology now has access to a suite of powerful molecular tools which allow its practitioners to generate data relating to diversity and function of a microbial community on an unprecedented scale. Instead, the problem facing today's microbial ecologists is coupling the ease of generation of these datasets with the formulation and testing of workable hypotheses relating the diversity and function of environmental, host-associated, and engineered microbial communities...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Shahneela Mazhar, Colin Hill, Olivia McAuliffe
The Gram-positive genus Macrococcus is composed of eight species that are evolutionarily closely related to species of the Staphylococcus genus. In contrast to Staphylococcus species, species of Macrococcus are generally regarded to be avirulent in their animal hosts. Recent reports on Macrococcus have focused on the presence of novel methicillin resistance genes in Macrococcus caseolyticus and Macrococcus canis, with the discovery of the first plasmid-encoded methicillin resistance gene in clinical Staphylococcus aureus of probable macrococcal origin generating further interest in these organisms...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Anja Worrich, Lukas Y Wick, Thomas Banitz
Fungi and bacteria often share common microhabitats. Their co-occurrence and coevolution give rise to manifold ecological interactions in the mycosphere, here defined as the microhabitats surrounding and affected by hyphae and mycelia. The extensive structure of mycelia provides ideal "logistic networks" for transport of bacteria and matter in structurally and chemically heterogeneous soil ecosystems. We describe the characteristics of the mycosphere as a unique and highly dynamic bacterial habitat and a hot spot for contaminant biotransformation...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Grainne El Mountassir, James M Minto, Leon A van Paassen, Emmanuel Salifu, Rebecca J Lunn
Over the last 10-15 years, a new field of "biogeotechnics" has emerged as geotechnical engineers seek to find ground improvement technologies which have the potential to be lower carbon, more ecologically friendly, and more cost-effective than existing practices. This review summarizes the developments which have occurred in this new field, outlining in particular the microbial processes which have been shown to be most promising for altering the hydraulic and mechanical responses of soils and rocks...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Samuel McCarthy, Chenbing Ai, Paul Blum
Thermophilic and lithoautotrophic archaea such as Metallosphaera sedula occupy acidic, metal-rich environments and are used in biomining processes. Biotechnological approaches could accelerate these processes and improve metal recovery by biomining organisms, but systems for genetic manipulation in these organisms are currently lacking. To gain a better understanding of the interplay between metal resistance, autotrophy, and lithotrophic metabolism, a genetic system was developed for M. sedula and used to evaluate parameters governing the efficiency of copper bioleaching...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Steven C Ricke, Turki M Dawoud, Sun Ae Kim, Si Hong Park, Young Min Kwon
Since bacteria in foods often encounter various cold environments during food processing, such as chilling, cold chain distribution, and cold storage, lower temperatures can become a major stress environment for foodborne pathogens. Bacterial responses in stressful environments have been considered in the past, but now the importance of stress responses at the molecular level is becoming recognized. Documenting how bacterial changes occur at the molecular level may help to achieve the in-depth understanding of stress responses, to predict microbial fate when they encounter cold temperatures, and to design and develop more effective strategies to control pathogens in food for ensuring food safety...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Steve Forsythe
Being able to track bacterial pathogens is essential for epidemiological purposes as well as monitoring in-house production facilities. Common bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella serovars, are already been well defined, and their detection methods are very advanced. However, this will not be the case for emergent bacterial pathogens, as was the case for Cronobacter. The clinical significance of the organism is due to its association with rare sporadic infections in adults, and severe life-threatening outbreaks of necrotizing enterocolitis and meningitis in newborn babies...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Live L Nesse, Roger Simm
Bacteria have the ability to adapt to changing environments through rapid evolution mediated by modification of existing genetic information, as well as by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). This makes bacteria a highly successful life form when it comes to survival. Unfortunately, this genetic plasticity may result in emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes, and even the creation of multiresistant "superbugs" which may pose serious threats to public health. As bacteria commonly reside in biofilms, there has been an increased interest in studying these phenomena within biofilms in recent years...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Frank R Bengelsdorf, Matthias H Beck, Catarina Erz, Sabrina Hoffmeister, Michael M Karl, Peter Riegler, Steffen Wirth, Anja Poehlein, Dirk Weuster-Botz, Peter Dürre
Anaerobic bacterial gas fermentation gains broad interest in various scientific, social, and industrial fields. This microbial process is carried out by a specific group of bacterial strains called acetogens. All these strains employ the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway but they belong to different taxonomic groups. Here we provide an overview of the metabolism of acetogens and naturally occurring products. Characteristics of 61 strains were summarized and selected acetogens described in detail. Acetobacterium woodii, Clostridium ljungdahlii, and Moorella thermoacetica serve as model organisms...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Saptarshi Sinha, Rajdeep K Grewal, Soumen Roy
Bacteriophages are more abundant than any other organism on our planet. The interaction of bacteriophages and bacteria and their coevolution is well known. In this chapter, we describe various aspects of modeling such systems and their dynamics. We explore their interaction in: (i) liquid media, which leads to well-mixed populations and (ii) solid media, where their interaction is spatially restricted. Such modeling, when used in conjunction with experiments would not only shed deep insight into the underlying dynamics but also provide useful clues toward potential therapeutic applications...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Chris A Whitehouse, Shaohua Zhao, Heather Tate
The Campylobacter genus is a large and diverse group of Gram-negative bacteria that are known to colonize humans and other mammals, birds, reptiles, and shellfish. While it is now recognized that several emerging Campylobacter species can be associated with human disease, two species, C. jejuni and C. coli, are responsible for the vast majority of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Infection with C. jejuni, in particular, has also been associated with a number of extragastrointestinal manifestations and autoimmune conditions, most notably Guillain-Barré syndrome...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Magnus Ivarsson, Stefan Bengtson, Henrik Drake, Warren Francis
The igneous crust of the oceans and the continents represents the major part of Earth's lithosphere and has recently been recognized as a substantial, yet underexplored, microbial habitat. While prokaryotes have been the focus of most investigations, microeukaryotes have been surprisingly neglected. However, recent work acknowledges eukaryotes, and in particular fungi, as common inhabitants of the deep biosphere, including the deep igneous provinces. The fossil record of the subseafloor igneous crust, and to some extent the continental bedrock, establishes fungi or fungus-like organisms as inhabitants of deep rock since at least the Paleoproterozoic, which challenges the present notion of early fungal evolution...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Ricardo Araujo, Benedita Sampaio-Maia
The availability of complete fungal genomes is expanding rapidly and is offering an extensive and accurate view of this "kingdom." The scientific milestone of free access to more than 1000 fungal genomes of different species was reached, and new and stimulating projects have meanwhile been released. The "1000 Fungal Genomes Project" represents one of the largest sequencing initiative regarding fungal organisms trying to fill some gaps on fungal genomics. Presently, there are 329 fungal families with at least one representative genome sequenced, but there is still a large number of fungal families without a single sequenced genome...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Sarah L Sherrington, Pizga Kumwenda, Courtney Kousser, Rebecca A Hall
The ability to cause disease extends from the ability to grow within the host environment. The human host provides a dynamic environment to which fungal pathogens must adapt to in order to survive. The ability to grow under a particular condition (i.e., the ability to grow at mammalian body temperature) is considered a fitness attribute and is essential for growth within the human host. On the other hand, some environmental conditions activate signaling mechanisms resulting in the expression of virulence factors, which aid pathogenicity...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Poppy C S Sephton-Clark, Kerstin Voelz
Fungi, algae, plants, protozoa, and bacteria are all known to form spores, especially hardy and ubiquitous propagation structures that are also often the infectious agents of diseases. Spores can survive for thousands of years, frozen in the permafrost (Kochkina et al., 2012), with the oldest viable spores extracted after 250 million years from salt crystals (Vreeland, Rosenzweig, & Powers, 2000). Their resistance to high levels of UV, desiccation, pressure, heat, and cold enables the survival of spores in the harshest conditions (Setlow, 2016)...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Amy C Vollmer, Steven J Bark
Since the initial discovery of universal stress protein A (UspA) 25 years ago, remarkable advances in molecular and biochemical technologies have revolutionized our understanding of biology. Many studies using these technologies have focused on characterization of the uspA gene and Usp-type proteins. These studies have identified the conservation of Usp-like proteins across bacteria, archaea, plants, and even some invertebrate animals. Regulation of these proteins under diverse stresses has been associated with different stress-response genes including spoT and relA in the stringent response and the dosR two-component signaling pathways...
2018: Advances in Applied Microbiology
Chris M Yeager, Seigo Amachi, Russell Grandbois, Daniel I Kaplan, Chen Xu, Kathy A Schwehr, Peter H Santschi
Iodine is a biophilic element that is important for human health, both as an essential component of several thyroid hormones and, on the other hand, as a potential carcinogen in the form of radioiodine generated by anthropogenic nuclear activity. Iodine exists in multiple oxidation states (-1, 0, +1, +3, +5, and +7), primarily as molecular iodine (I2 ), iodide (I- ), iodate [Formula: see text] , or organic iodine (org-I). The mobility of iodine in the environment is dependent on its speciation and a series of redox, complexation, sorption, precipitation, and microbial reactions...
2017: Advances in Applied Microbiology
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