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Concept: Pseudomonas


BACKGROUND: Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is able to synthesize large amounts of medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs). To reduce the substrate cost, which represents nearly 50% of the total PHA production cost, xylose, a hemicellulose derivate, was tested as the growth carbon source in an engineered P. putida KT2440 strain. RESULTS: The genes encoding xylose isomerase (XylA) and xylulokinase (XylB) from Escherichia coli W3110 were introduced into P. putida KT2440. The recombinant KT2440 exhibited a XylA activity of 1.47 U and a XylB activity of 0.97 U when grown on a defined medium supplemented with xylose. The cells reached a maximum specific growth rate of 0.24 h-1 and a final cell dry weight (CDW) of 2.5 g L-1 with a maximal yield of 0.5 g CDW g-1 xylose. Since no mcl-PHA was accumulated from xylose, mcl-PHA production can be controlled by the addition of fatty acids leading to tailor-made PHA compositions. Sequential feeding strategy was applied using xylose as the growth substrate and octanoic acid as the precursor for mcl-PHA production. In this way, up to 20% w w-1 of mcl-PHA was obtained. A yield of 0.37 g mcl-PHA per g octanoic acid was achieved under employed conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Sequential feeding of relatively cheap carbohydrates and expensive fatty acids is a practical way to achieve more cost-effective mcl-PHA production. This study is the first reported attempt to produce mcl-PHA by using xylose as the growth substrate. Further process optimizations to achieve higher cell density and higher productivity of mcl-PHA should be investigated. These scientific exercises will undoubtedly contribute to the economic feasibility of mcl-PHA production from renewable feedstock.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Escherichia coli, Fatty acid metabolism, Pseudomonas, Pseudomonas putida, Polyhydroxyalkanoates


BACKGROUND: Pseudomonas putida exerts a filamentous phenotype in response to environmental stress conditions that are encountered during its natural life cycle. This study assessed whether P. putida filamentation could confer survival advantages. Filamentation of P. putida was induced through culturing at low shaking speed and was compared to culturing in high shaking speed conditions, after which whole proteomic analysis and stress exposure assays were performed. RESULTS: P. putida grown in filament-inducing conditions showed increased resistance to heat and saline stressors compared to non-filamented cultures. Proteomic analysis showed a significant metabolic change and a pronounced induction of the heat shock protein IbpA and recombinase RecA in filament-inducing conditions. Our data further indicated that the associated heat shock resistance, but not filamentation, was dependent of RecA. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insights into the altered metabolism of P. putida in filament-inducing conditions, and indicates that the formation of filaments could potentially be utilized by P. putida as a survival strategy in its hostile, recurrently changing habitat.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Proteomics, Pseudomonas, Heat shock protein, Pseudomonadaceae, Pseudomonas putida, Incandescent light bulb


The Pseudomonas fluorescens complex includes Pseudomonas strains that have been taxonomically assigned to more than fifty different species, many of which have been described as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) with potential applications in biocontrol and biofertilization. So far the phylogeny of this complex has been analyzed according to phenotypic traits, 16S rDNA, MLSA and inferred by whole-genome analysis. However, since most of the type strains have not been fully sequenced and new species are frequently described, correlation between taxonomy and phylogenomic analysis is missing. In recent years, the genomes of a large number of strains have been sequenced, showing important genomic heterogeneity and providing information suitable for genomic studies that are important to understand the genomic and genetic diversity shown by strains of this complex. Based on MLSA and several whole-genome sequence-based analyses of 93 sequenced strains, we have divided the P. fluorescens complex into eight phylogenomic groups that agree with previous works based on type strains. Digital DDH (dDDH) identified 69 species and 75 subspecies within the 93 genomes. The eight groups corresponded to clustering with a threshold of 31.8% dDDH, in full agreement with our MLSA. The Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) approach showed inconsistencies regarding the assignment to species and to the eight groups. The small core genome of 1,334 CDSs and the large pan-genome of 30,848 CDSs, show the large diversity and genetic heterogeneity of the P. fluorescens complex. However, a low number of strains were enough to explain most of the CDSs diversity at core and strain-specific genomic fractions. Finally, the identification and analysis of group-specific genome and the screening for distinctive characters revealed a phylogenomic distribution of traits among the groups that provided insights into biocontrol and bioremediation applications as well as their role as PGPR.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Bacteria, Genome, Genomics, Species, Pseudomonas


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogen that is prevalent in serious infections in compromised patients worldwide. A unique virulence factor of this bacterium is the redox-active molecule pyocyanin, which is a potential biomarker for the identification of P. aeruginosa infections. Here we report a direct, selective and rapid detection technique of pyocyanin.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Opportunistic infection, Microbiology, Antibiotic resistance, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas, Pseudomonadales


In this study, the degradation of tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide (TTAB) by freely suspended and alginate-entrapped cells from the bacteria Pseudomonas putida (P. putida) A ATCC 12633 was investigated in batch cultures. The optimal conditions to prepare beads for achieving a higher TTAB degradation rate were investigated by changing the concentration of sodium alginate, pH, temperature, agitation rate and initial concentration of TTAB. The results show that the optimal embedding conditions of calcium alginate beads are 4 % w/v of sodium alginate content and 2 × 10(8) cfu ml(-1) of P. putida A ATCC 12633 cells that had been previously grown in rich medium. The optimal degradation process was carried out in pH 7.4 buffered medium at 30 °C on a rotary shaker at 100 rpm. After 48 h of incubation, the free cells degraded 26 mg l(-1) of TTAB from an initial concentration of 50 mg l(-1) TTAB. When the initial TTAB concentration was increased to 100 mg l(-1), the free cells lost their degrading activity and were no longer viable. In contrast, when the cells were immobilized on alginate, they degraded 75 % of the TTAB after 24 h of incubation from an initial concentration of 330 mg l(-1) of TTAB. The immobilized cells can be stored at 4 °C for 25 days without loss of viability and can be reused without losing degrading capacity for three cycles.

Concepts: Cell wall, Pseudomonas, Surfactant, Seawater, Solution, Pseudomonadales, Pseudomonadaceae, Pseudomonas putida


In Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, the pvdQ gene has been shown to have at least two functions. It encodes the acylase enzyme and hydrolyzes 3-oxo-C12-HSL, the key signaling molecule of quorum sensing system. In addition, pvdQ is involved in swarming motility. It is required and up-regulated during swarming motility, which is triggered by high cell densities. As high density bacterial populations also display elevated antibiotics resistance, studies have demonstrated swarm-cell differentiation in P. aeruginosa promotes increased resistance to various antibiotics. PvdQ acts as a signal during swarm-cell differentiation, and thus may play a role in P. aeruginosa antibiotic resistance. The aim of this study was to examine whether pvdQ was involved in modifying antibiotic susceptibility during swarming conditions and to investigate the mechanism by which this occurred. We constructed the PAO1pMEpvdQ strain, which overproduces PvdQ. PAO1pMEpvdQ promotes swarming motility, while PAO1ΔpvdQ abolishes swarming motility. In addition, both PAO1 and PAO1pMEpvdQ acquired resistance to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, meropenem, polymyxin B, and gentamicin, though PAO1pMEpvdQ exhibited a twofold to eightfold increase in antibiotic resistance compared to PAO1. These results indicate that pvdQ plays an important role in elevating antibiotic resistance via swarm-cell differentiation and possibly other mechanisms as well. We analyzed outer membrane permeability. Our data also suggest that pvdQ decreases P. aeruginosa outer membrane permeability, thereby elevating antibiotic resistance under swarming conditions. Our results suggest new approaches for reducing P. aeruginosa resistance.

Concepts: Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Phage therapy, Biofilm, Pseudomonas, Quorum sensing, Quinolone


Pseudomonas putida KT2440 has evolved a tightly regulated system for metabolizing glycerol implying a prolonged growth lag-phase. We have learnt that this fact can be avoided by the addition of small amounts of some growth precursors. The addition of 1 mM octanoic acid as co-feeder completely eliminated the lag-phase, resulting in an improvement, in terms of invested time, of both growth and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) accumulation. To investigate this phenomenon, we have followed co-metabolic approaches combined with mutations of the specific and global regulatory networks that connect glycerol catabolism and PHA synthesis. By using mutant strains in metabolic genes from the PHA and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycles, we have demonstrated that the co-feeding effect is independent of PHA accumulation, but driven on active glyoxylate shunt and Entner-Doudoroff (ED) routes. These findings suggested that the effect of octanoate on glycerol metabolism could rely, either on a global activation of the cell energy state, or on the generation of specific metabolites or cofactors needed for the activation of glycerol metabolism. Our results addressed GlpR as the key factor controlling the efficient utilization of glycerol as growth precursor in P. putida KT2440. Accordingly, a glpR knockout mutant of P. putida KT2440 showed an elimination of the lag-phase when cultured on glycerol in the absence of co-feeder. Besides, the production of PHA in this strain was increased near twofold, resulting in a higher final yield in terms of PHA accumulation. The repressor activity of the GlpR protein over the glp genes in the absence of glycerol was finally demonstrated by qRT-PCR. This work contributed to unravel the physiological causes of the long lag-phase produced by glycerol in the model strain P. putida KT2440 that hinders its use as carbon source in biotechnological applications for generating valuable products.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Evolution, Amino acid, Metabolism, Pseudomonas, Pseudomonas putida, Polyhydroxyalkanoates


Ceftolozane is a new cephalosporin with potent activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacteriaceae. The neutropenic murine thigh-infection was used to determine which pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic index and magnitude drives efficacy of ceftolozane with gram-negative bacilli, compare the rate of in-vivo killing of ceftolozane with ceftazidime against P. aeruginosa, and determine the impact of different ratios of ceftolozane plus tazobactam on Enterobacteriaceae containing extended-spectrum-β-lactamases (ESBLs). Neutropenic mice had 10(6.2-7.1) cfu/thigh when treated with ceftolozane for 24 h with [1] varying doses (3.12 to 1600 mg/kg) and dosage intervals (3, 6, 12 and 24 h) against 2 Enterobacteriaceae, [2] 0.39-800 mg/kg every 6 h for 4 Enterobacteriaceae and 4 P. aeruginosa, and [3] 400 or 800 mg/kg with 2:1. 4:1, and 8:1 ratios of tazobactam against 5 Enterobacteriaceae with ESBLs. Pharmacokinetics of ceftolozane at 25, 100, and 400 mg/kg was linear with peak/dose values of 1.0-1.4 and half-lives of 12-14 min. T>MIC was the primary index driving efficacy. For stasis (1 log kill), T>MIC was 26.3% ± 2.1 (31.6% ± 1.6) for wild-type Enterobacteriaceae, 31.1% ± 4.9 (34.8% ±4.4) for Enterobacteriaceae with ESBLs, and 24.0% ± 3.3 (31.5% ± 3.9) for P. aeruginosa. At 200 mg/kg every 3 h, the rate of in-vivo killing of P. aeruginosa was faster with ceftolozane than with ceftazidime (-0.34 to -0.41 versus -0.21 to -0.24 log(10) cfu/thigh/h). The 2:1 ratio of ceftolozane with tazobactam was the most potent combination studied. T>MIC required for ceftolozane is less than with other cephalosporins and may be due to more rapid killing.

Concepts: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas, Gram negative bacteria, Beta-lactamase, Pseudomonadales, Cephalosporin, Ceftazidime


Pseudomonas fluorescens grows at low temperature and produces thermo-resistant protease(s) that can destabilize UHT (Ultra High Temperature) milk during its storage. The consequences of contamination of microfiltered milk with 9 strains of P. fluorescens on the stability of the corresponding UHT milk during storage had been investigated in this study. The strains were classified in two groups according to their ability to destabilize UHT milk. For the group of highly destabilizing strains, sedimentations of UHT milks, low values to phosphate test and the presence of aggregates were observed. Zeta potential and hydration of casein micelles decreased, whereas non casein nitrogen (NCN) and non protein nitrogen (NPN) contents increased. The analyses of NCN fraction by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry indicated that the different casein molecules were hydrolyzed in a similar way for the destabilizing strains suggesting that the same enzyme was implicated. For the group of slightly or not destabilizing strains no visual and biochemical alteration were found. This study showed that destabilization of UHT milk by P. fluorescens was highly variable and strain-dependent.

Concepts: Protein, Oxygen, Milk, Biochemistry, Pseudomonas, Casein, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Ultra-high-temperature processing


Here, we present systems metabolic engineering driven by in-silico modeling to tailor Pseudomonas putida for synthesis of medium chain length PHAs on glucose. Using physiological properties of the parent wild type as constraints, elementary flux mode analysis of a large-scale model of the metabolism of P. putida was used to predict genetic targets for strain engineering. Among a set of priority ranked targets, glucose dehydrogenase (encoded by gcd) was predicted as most promising deletion target. The mutant P. putida Δgcd, generated on basis of the computational design, exhibited 100% increased PHA accumulation as compared to the parent wild type, maintained a high specific growth rate and exhibited an almost unaffected gene expression profile, which excluded detrimental side effects of the modification. A second mutant strain, P. putida Δpgl, that lacked 6-phosphogluconolactonase, exhibited a substantially decreased PHA synthesis, as was also predicted by the model. The production potential of P. putida Δgcd was assessed in batch bioreactors. The novel strain showed an increase of the PHA yield (+80%), the PHA titer (+100%) and cellular PHA content (+50%) and revealed almost unaffected growth and diminished by-product formation. It was thus found superior in all relevant criteria towards industrial production. Beyond the contribution to more efficient PHA production processes at reduced costs that might replace petrochemical plastics in the future, the study illustrates the power of computational prediction to tailor microbial strains for enhanced biosynthesis of added-value compounds.

Concepts: Gene, Bacteria, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Pseudomonas, Pseudomonas putida, Polyhydroxyalkanoates