Minimally processed fresh produce has been implicated as a major source of foodborne microbial pathogens globally. These pathogens must attach to the produce in order to be transmitted. Cut surfaces of produce that expose cell walls are particularly vulnerable. Little is known about the roles that different structural components (cellulose, pectin, and xyloglucan) of plant cell walls play in the attachment of foodborne bacterial pathogens. Using bacterial cellulose-derived plant cell wall models, we showed that the presence of pectin alone or xyloglucan alone affected the attachment of three Salmonella enterica strains (Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis ATCC 13076, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC 14028, and Salmonella enterica subsp. indica M4) and Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644. In addition, we showed that this effect was modulated in the presence of both polysaccharides. Assays using pairwise combinations of S. Typhimurium ATCC 14028 and L. monocytogenes ATCC 7644 showed that bacterial attachment to all plant cell wall models was dependent on the characteristics of the individual bacterial strains and was not directly proportional to the initial concentration of the bacterial inoculum. This work showed that bacterial attachment was not determined directly by the plant cell wall model or bacterial physicochemical properties. We suggest that attachment of the Salmonella strains may be influenced by the effects of these polysaccharides on physical and structural properties of the plant cell wall model. Our findings improve the understanding of how Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes attach to plant cell walls, which may facilitate the development of better ways to prevent the attachment of these pathogens to such surfaces.
Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 is able to degrade various lignin-derived biaryls, including a phenylcoumaran-type compound, dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol (DCA). In SYK-6 cells, the alcohol group of the B-ring side chain of DCA is initially oxidized to the carboxyl group to generate 3-(2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-7-methoxy-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-5-yl) acrylic acid (DCA-C). Next, the alcohol group of the A-ring side chain of DCA-C is oxidized to the carboxyl group, and then the resulting metabolite is catabolized through vanillin and 5-formylferulate. In this study, the genes involved in the conversion of DCA-C were identified and characterized. The DCA-C oxidation activities in SYK-6 were enhanced in the presence of flavin adenine dinucleotide and an artificial electron acceptor and were induced ca. 1.6-fold when the cells were grown with DCA. Based on these observations, SLG_09480 (phcC) and SLG_09500 (phcD), encoding glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase family proteins, were presumed to encode DCA-C oxidases. Analyses of phcC and phcD mutants indicated that PhcC and PhcD are essential for the conversion of (+)-DCA-C and (-)-DCA-C, respectively. When phcC and phcD were expressed in SYK-6 and Escherichia coli, the gene products were mainly observed in their membrane fractions. The membrane fractions of E. coli that expressed phcC and phcD catalyzed the specific conversion of DCA-C into the corresponding carboxyl derivatives. In the oxidation of DCA-C, PhcC and PhcD effectively utilized ubiquinone derivatives as electron acceptors. Furthermore, the transcription of a putative cytochrome c gene was significantly induced in SYK-6 grown with DCA. The DCA-C oxidation catalyzed by membrane-associated PhcC and PhcD appears to be coupled to the respiratory chain.
A Mo -reducing bacterium (strain 48), which grew on medium supplemented with 200 mM Mo, was isolated from stream water obtained from Chengkau, Malaysia. The chemical properties of strain 48 conform to the characteristics of Enterobacter cloacae. Under anaerobic conditions in the glucose-yeast extract medium containing phosphate ion (2.9 mM) and Mo (10 mM), the bacterium reduced Mo to form molybdenum blue. Approximately 27% of Mo added to the medium was reduced after 28 h of cultivation. The reduction of Mo with glucose as an electron donor was strongly inhibited by iodoacetic acid, sodium fluoride, and sodium cyanide, suggesting an involvement of the glycolytic pathway and electron transport in Mo reduction. NADH and N,N,N',N' -tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine served as electron donors for Mo reduction. When NADH was used as an electron donor, at first cytochrome b in the cell extract was reduced, and then molybdenum blue was formed. Sodium cyanide strongly inhibited Mo reduction by NADH (5 mM) but not the reduction of cytochrome b in the cell extract, suggesting that the reduced component of the electron transport system after cytochrome b serves as an electron donor for Mo reduction. Both ferric and stannous ions strongly enhanced the activity of Mo reduction by NADH.
Trace (microgram liter) quantities of either toluene or benzene injected into an amino-acid-limited continuous culture of Pseudomonas sp. strain T2 were utilized immediately with affinities of 2.6 and 6.8 liters g of cells h, respectively, and yielded large amounts of organic products, carbon dioxide, and cells. The immediate utilization of hydrocarbons by hydrocarbon-deprived organisms helps to establish the nutritional value of nonpolar substrates in the environment. The observation of small Michaelis constants for toluene transport led to tests of metabolic competition between hydrocarbons; however, competitive inhibition of toluene metabolism was not found for benzene, naphthalene, xylene, dodecane, or amino acids. Benzene and terpenes were inhibitory at milligram liter concentrations. Toluene was metabolized by a strongly inducible system when compared with benzene. The capacity of toluene to effect larger affinity values increased with exposure time and concentration. The kinetics of induction suggested saturation phenomena, resulting in an induction constant, K(ind), of 96 mug of toluene liter. Maximal induction of amino-acid-grown cells required about 80 h, with the affinity reaching 317 liters g of cells h.
Several infectious disease outbreaks with high mortality in humans have been attributed to viruses that are thought to have evolved from bat viruses. In this study from Luxembourg, the genetic diversity and epidemiology of paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses shed by the bat species Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Myotis emarginatus were evaluated. Feces collection (n = 624) was performed longitudinally in a mixed-species colony in 2015 and 2016. In addition, feces (n = 254) were collected cross-sectionally from six Myotis emarginatus colonies in 2016. By use of degenerate primers in a nested format, overall prevalences of 1.1% (10/878) and 4.9% (43/878) were determined for paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses. Sequences of the partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and spike glycoprotein genes of coronaviruses, as well as sequences of the partial L gene of paramyxoviruses, were obtained. Novel paramyxovirus and Alphacoronavirus strains were identified in different Myotis emarginatus colonies, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related Betacoronavirus strains were shed by Rhinolophus ferrumequinum Logistic regression revealed that the level of Alphacoronavirus shedding was highest in July (odds ratio, 2.8; P < 0.01), probably due to periparturient stress. Phylogenetic analyses point to close virus-host coevolution, and the high genetic similarity of the study strains suggests that the Myotis emarginatus colonies in Luxembourg are socially connected. Most interestingly, we show that bats also host Betacoronavirus1 strains. The high similarity of the spike gene sequences of these viruses with mammalian Betacoronavirus 1 strains may be of concern. Both the SARS-related and Betacoronavirus 1 strains detected in bats in Luxembourg may cross the species barrier after a host adaptation process.IMPORTANCE Bats are a natural reservoir of a number of zoonotic pathogens. Several severe outbreaks in humans (e.g., a Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia in 1998, and the almost global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003) have been caused by bat-borne viruses that were transmitted to humans mostly after virus adaptation (e.g., in intermediate animal hosts). Despite the indigenousness of bat species that host viruses with suspected zoonotic potential and despite the zoonotic transmission of European bat 1 lyssavirus in Luxembourg, knowledge about the diversity and epidemiology of bat viruses remains limited in this country. Moreover, in contrast to other European countries, bat viruses are currently not included in the national surveillance activities of this land-locked country. We suggest that this gap in disease surveillance should be addressed, since we show here that synanthropic bats host viruses that may be able to cross the species barrier.
Gastrointestinal (GI) or gut microbiotas play essential roles in host development and physiology. These roles are influenced partly by the microbial community composition. During early developmental stages, the ecological processes underlying the assembly and successional changes in host GI community composition are influenced by numerous factors, including dispersal from the surrounding environment, age-dependent changes in the gut environment, and changes in dietary regimes. However, the relative importance of these factors to the gut microbiota is not well understood. We examined the effects of environmental (diet and water sources) and host early ontogenetic development on the diversity of and the compositional changes in the gut microbiota of a primitive teleost fish, the lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), based on massively parallel sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Fish larvae were raised in environments that differed in water source (stream versus filtered groundwater) and diet (supplemented versus nonsupplemented Artemia fish). We quantified the gut microbial community structure at three stages (prefeeding and 1 and 2 weeks after exogenous feeding began). The diversity declined and the community composition differed significantly among stages; however, only modest differences associated with dietary or water source treatments were documented. Many taxa present in the gut were over- or underrepresented relative to neutral expectations in each sampling period. The findings indicate dynamic relationships between the gut microbiota composition and host gastrointestinal physiology, with comparatively smaller influences being associated with the rearing environments. Neutral models of community assembly could not be rejected, but selectivity associated with microbe-host GI tract interactions through early ontogenetic stages was evident. The results have implications for sturgeon conservation and aquaculture production specifically and applications of microbe-based management in teleost fish generally.IMPORTANCE We quantified the effects of environment (diet and water sources) and host early ontogenetic development on the diversity of and compositional changes in gut microbial communities based on massively parallel sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes from the GI tracts of larval lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens). The gut microbial community diversity declined and the community composition differed significantly among ontogenetic stages; however, only modest differences associated with dietary or water source treatments were documented. Selectivity associated with microbe-host GI tract interactions through early ontogenetic stages was evident. The results have implications for lake sturgeon and early larval ecology and survival in their natural habitat and for conservation and aquaculture production specifically, as well as applications of microbe-based management in teleost fish generally.
Pretreatment of waste-activated sludge (WAS) is an effective way to destabilize sludge floc structure and release organic matter for improving sludge digestion efficiency. Nonetheless, information on the impact of WAS pretreatment on digestion sludge microbiomes, as well as mechanistic insights into how sludge pretreatment improves digestion performance, remains elusive. In this study, a genome-centric metagenomic approach was employed to investigate the digestion sludge microbiome in four sludge digesters with different types of feeding sludge: WAS pretreated with 0.25 mol/liter alkaline/acid (APAD), WAS pretreated with 0.8 mol/liter alkaline/acid (HS-APAD), thermally pretreated WAS (thermal-AD), and fresh WAS (control-AD). We retrieved 254 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) to identify the key functional populations involved in the methanogenic digestion process. These MAGs span 28 phyla, including 69 yet-to-be-cultivated lineages, and 30 novel lineages were characterized with metabolic potential associated with hydrolysis and fermentation. Interestingly, functional populations involving carbohydrate digestion were enriched in APAD and HS-APAD, while lineages related to protein and lipid fermentation were enriched in thermal-AD, corroborating the idea that different substrates are released from alkaline/acid and thermal pretreatments. Among the major functional populations (i.e., fermenters, syntrophic acetogens, and methanogens), significant correlations between genome sizes and abundance of the fermenters were observed, particularly in APAD and HS-APAD, which had improved digestion performance.IMPORTANCE Wastewater treatment generates large amounts of waste-activated sludge (WAS), which consists mainly of recalcitrant microbial cells and particulate organic matter. Though WAS pretreatment is an effective way to release sludge organic matter for subsequent digestion, detailed information on the impact of the sludge pretreatment on the digestion sludge microbiome remains scarce. Our study provides unprecedented genome-centric metagenomic insights into how WAS pretreatments change the digestion sludge microbiomes, as well as their metabolic networks. Moreover, digestion sludge microbiomes could be a unique source for exploring microbial dark matter. These results may inform future optimization of methanogenic sludge digestion and resource recovery.
The management and control of mosquito vectors of human disease currently rely primarily on chemical insecticides. However, larvicidal treatments can be effective, and if based on biological insecticides, they can also ameliorate the risk posed to human health by chemical insecticides. The aerobic bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus have been used for vector control for a number of decades. But a more cost-effective use would be an anaerobic bacterium because of the ease with which these can be cultured. More recently, the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium bifermentans subsp. malaysia has been reported to have high mosquitocidal activity, and a number of proteins were identified as potentially mosquitocidal. However, the cloned proteins showed no mosquitocidal activity. We show here that four toxins encoded by the Cry operon, Cry16A, Cry17A, Cbm17.1, and Cbm17.2, are all required for toxicity, and these toxins collectively show remarkable selectivity for Aedes rather than Anopheles mosquitoes, even though C. bifermentans subsp. malaysia is more toxic to Anopheles. Hence, toxins that target Anopheles are different from those expressed by the Cry operon.
Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most frequent causes of bacterial gastrointestinal food-borne infection worldwide. This species is part of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tracts of animals used for food production, including poultry, which is regarded as the primary source of human Campylobacter infections. The survival and persistence of C. jejuni in food processing environments, especially in poultry processing plants, represent significant risk factors that contribute to the spread of this pathogen through the food chain. Compared to other food-borne pathogens, C. jejuni is more fastidious in its growth requirements and is very susceptible to various environmental stressors. Biofilm formation is suggested to play a significant role in the survival of C. jejuni in the food production and processing environment. The aims of this minireview were (i) to examine the evidence that C. jejuni forms biofilms and (ii) to establish the extent to which reported and largely laboratory-based studies of C. jejuni biofilms provide evidence for biofilm formation by this pathogen in food processing environments. Overall existing studies do not provide strong evidence for biofilm formation (as usually defined) by most C. jejuni strains in food-related environments under the combined conditions of atmosphere, temperature, and shear that they are likely to encounter. Simple attachment to and survival on surfaces and in existing biofilms of other species are far more likely to contribute to C. jejuni survival in food-related environments based on our current understanding of this species.
Tropical forests are being rapidly altered by logging and cleared for agriculture. Understanding the effects of these land use changes on soil bacteria, which constitute a large proportion of total biodiversity and perform important ecosystem functions, is a major conservation frontier. Here we studied the effects of logging history and forest conversion to oil palm plantations in Sabah, Borneo, on the soil bacterial community. We used paired-end Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, V3 region, to compare the bacterial communities in primary, once-logged, and twice-logged forest and land converted to oil palm plantations. Bacteria were grouped into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the 97% similarity level, and OTU richness and local-scale α-diversity showed no difference between the various forest types and oil palm plantations. Focusing on the turnover of bacteria across space, true β-diversity was higher in oil palm plantation soil than in forest soil, whereas community dissimilarity-based metrics of β-diversity were only marginally different between habitats, suggesting that at large scales, oil palm plantation soil could have higher overall γ-diversity than forest soil, driven by a slightly more heterogeneous community across space. Clearance of primary and logged forest for oil palm plantations did, however, significantly impact the composition of soil bacterial communities, reflecting in part the loss of some forest bacteria, whereas primary and logged forests did not differ in composition. Overall, our results suggest that the soil bacteria of tropical forest are to some extent resilient or resistant to logging but that the impacts of forest conversion to oil palm plantations are more severe.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have been reported to be present in humans, chickens, and pigs in Malaysia. In the present study, representative samples of VRE isolated from these populations were examined for similarities and differences by using the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) method. Housekeeping genes of Enterococcus faecium (n = 14) and Enterococcus faecalis (n = 11) isolates were sequenced and analyzed using the MLST databases eBURST and goeBURST. We found five sequence types (STs) of E. faecium and six STs of E. faecalis existing in Malaysia. Enterococcus faecium isolates belonging to ST203, ST17, ST55, ST79, and ST29 were identified, and E. faecium ST203 was the most common among humans. The MLST profiles of E. faecium from humans in this study were similar to the globally reported nosocomial-related strain lineage belonging to clonal complex 17 (CC17). Isolates from chickens and pigs have few similarities to those from humans, except for one isolate from a chicken, which was identified as ST203. E. faecalis isolates were more diverse and were identified as ST4, ST6, ST87, ST108, ST274, and ST244, which were grouped as specific to the three hosts. E. faecalis, belonging to the high-risk CC2 and CC87, were detected among isolates from humans. In conclusion, even though one isolate from a chicken was found clonal to that of humans, the MLST analysis of E. faecium and E. faecalis supports the findings of others who suggest VRE to be predominantly host specific and that clinically important strains are found mainly among humans. The infrequent detection of a human VRE clone in a chicken may in fact suggest a reverse transmission of VRE from humans to animals.
Bacterial attachment onto materials has been suggested to be stochastic by some authors but nonstochastic and based on surface properties by others. We investigated this by attaching pairwise combinations of two Salmonella enterica serovar Sofia (S. Sofia) strains (with different physicochemical and attachment properties) with one strain each of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium, S. enterica serovar Infantis, or S. enterica serovar Virchow (all with similar physicochemical and attachment abilities) in ratios of 0.428, 1, and 2.333 onto glass, stainless steel, Teflon, and polysulfone. Attached bacterial cells were recovered and counted. If the ratio of attached cells of each Salmonella serovar pair recovered was the same as the initial inoculum ratio, the attachment process was deemed stochastic. Experimental outcomes from the study were compared to those predicted by the extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) theory. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between the initial and the attached ratios for serovar pairs containing S. Sofia S1296a for all different ratios were apparent for all materials. For S. Sofia S1635-containing pairs, 7 out of 12 combinations of serovar pairs and materials had attachment ratios not significantly different (P > 0.05) from the initial ratio of 0.428. Five out of 12 and 10 out of 12 samples had attachment ratios not significantly different (P > 0.05) from the initial ratios of 1 and 2.333, respectively. These results demonstrate that bacterial attachment to different materials is likely to be nonstochastic only when the key physicochemical properties of the bacteria were significantly different (P < 0.05) from each other. XDLVO theory could successfully predict the attachment of some individual isolates to particular materials but could not be used to predict the likelihood of stochasticity in pairwise attachment experiments.
The synthesis of bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) is very much dependent on the expression and activity of a key enzyme, PHA synthase (PhaC). Many efforts are being pursued to enhance the activity and broaden the substrate specificity of PhaC. Here, we report the identification of a highly active wild-type PhaC belonging to the recently isolated Chromobacterium sp. USM2 (PhaC(Cs)). PhaC(Cs) showed the ability to utilize 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV), and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (3HHx) monomers in PHA biosynthesis. An in vitro assay of recombinant PhaC(Cs) expressed in Escherichia coli showed that its polymerization of 3-hydroxybutyryl-coenzyme A activity was nearly 8-fold higher (2,462 ± 80 U/g) than that of the synthase from the model strain C. necator (307 ± 24 U/g). Specific activity using a Strep2-tagged, purified PhaC(Cs) was 238 ± 98 U/mg, almost 5-fold higher than findings of previous studies using purified PhaC from C. necator. Efficient poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] accumulation in Escherichia coli expressing PhaC(Cs) of up to 76 ± 2 weight percent was observed within 24 h of cultivation. To date, this is the highest activity reported for a purified PHA synthase. PhaC(Cs) is a naturally occurring, highly active PHA synthase with superior polymerizing ability.
We investigated the temporal variation of bacterial production, respiration, and growth efficiency in the tropical coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia. We selected five stations including two estuaries and three coastal water stations. The temperature was relatively stable (averaging around 29.5 degrees C), whereas salinity was more variable in the estuaries. We also measured dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen (DOC and DON, respectively) concentrations. DOC generally ranged from 100 to 900 microM, whereas DON ranged from 0 to 32 microM. Bacterial respiration ranged from 0.5 to 3.2 microM O2 h(-1), whereas bacterial production ranged from 0.05 to 0.51 microM C h(-1). Bacterial growth efficiency was calculated as bacterial production/(bacterial production + respiration), and ranged from 0.02 to 0.40. Multiple correlation analyses revealed that bacterial production was dependent upon primary production (r2 = 0.169, df = 31, and P < 0.02) whereas bacterial respiration was dependent upon both substrate quality (i.e., DOC/DON ratio) (r2 = 0.137, df = 32, and P = 0.03) and temperature (r2 = 0.113, df = 36, and P = 0.04). Substrate quality was the most important factor (r2 = 0.119, df = 33, and P = 0.04) for the regulation of bacterial growth efficiency. Using bacterial growth efficiency values, the average bacterial carbon demand calculated was from 5.30 to 11.28 microM C h(-1). When the bacterial carbon demand was compared with primary productivity, we found that net heterotrophy was established at only two stations. The ratio of bacterial carbon demand to net primary production correlated significantly with bacterial growth efficiency (r2 = 0.341, df = 35, and P < 0.001). From nonlinear regression analysis, we found that net heterotrophy was established when bacterial growth efficiency was <0.08. Our study showed the extent of net heterotrophy in these waters and illustrated the importance of heterotrophic microbial processes in coastal aquatic food webs.
Blastocystis cysts were detected in 38% (47/123) (37 Scottish, 17 Malaysian) of sewage treatment works. Fifty percent of influents (29% Scottish, 76% Malaysian) and 28% of effluents (9% Scottish, 60% Malaysian) contained viable cysts. Viable cysts, discharged in effluent, provide further evidence for the potential for waterborne transmission of Blastocystis.
A proteomic analysis of a soil-dwelling, plant growth-promoting Azotobacter vinelandii strain showed the presence of a protein encoded by the hypothetical Avin_16040 gene when the bacterial cells were attached to the Oryza sativa root surface. An Avin_16040 deletion mutant demonstrated reduced cellular adherence to the root surface, surface hydrophobicity, and biofilm formation compared to those of the wild type. By atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis of the cell surface topography, the deletion mutant displayed a cell surface architectural pattern that was different from that of the wild type. Escherichia coli transformed with the wild-type Avin_16040 gene displayed on its cell surface organized motifs which looked like the S-layer monomers of A. vinelandii. The recombinant E. coli also demonstrated enhanced adhesion to the root surface.
Enterococci rank as one of the leading causes of nosocomial infections, such as urinary tract infections, surgical wound infections, and endocarditis, in humans. These infections can be hard to treat because of the rising incidence of antibiotic resistance. Enterococci inhabiting nonhuman reservoirs appear to play a critical role in the acquisition and dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants. The spread of antibiotic resistance has become a major concern in both human and veterinary medicine, especially in Southeast Asia, where many developing countries have poor legislation and regulations to control the supply and excessive use of antimicrobials. This review addresses the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant enterococci in Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and proposes infection control measures that should be applied to limit the spread of multiple-drug-resistant enterococci.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a deadly pathogen that has killed countless people worldwide. Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived HBV vaccines based upon hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is highly effective. However, the emergence of vaccine escape mutants due to mutations on the HBsAg and polymerase genes has produced a continuous need for the development of new HBV vaccines. In this study, the "a" determinant within HBsAg was displayed on the recombinant capsid protein of Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV), which can be purified easily in a single step through immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). The purified protein self-assembled into virus-like particles (VLPs) when observed under a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Immunization of BALB/c mice with this chimeric protein induced specific antibodies against the "a" determinant. In addition, it induced significantly more natural killer and cytotoxic T cells, as well as an increase in interferon gamma (IFN-γ) secretion, which are vital for virus clearance. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that the MrNV capsid protein is a potential carrier for the HBV "a" determinant, which can be further extended to display other foreign epitopes. This paper is the first to report the application of MrNV VLPs as a novel platform to display foreign epitopes.
The long-term usefulness of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins, either in sprays or in transgenic crops, may be compromised by the evolution of resistance in target insects. Managing the evolution of resistance to B. thuringiensis toxins requires extensive knowledge about the mechanisms, genetics, and ecology of resistance genes. To date, laboratory-selected populations have provided information on the diverse genetics and mechanisms of resistance to B. thuringiensis, highly resistant field populations being rare. However, the selection pressures on field and laboratory populations are very different and may produce resistance genes with distinct characteristics. In order to better understand the genetics, biochemical mechanisms, and ecology of field-evolved resistance, a diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) field population (Karak) which had been exposed to intensive spraying with B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki was collected from Malaysia. We detected a very high level of resistance to Cry1Ac; high levels of resistance to B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, and Cry1Fa; and a moderate level of resistance to Cry1Ca. The toxicity of Cry1Ja to the Karak population was not significantly different from that to a standard laboratory population (LAB-UK). Notable features of the Karak population were that field-selected resistance to B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki did not decline at all in unselected populations over 11 generations in laboratory microcosm experiments and that resistance to Cry1Ac declined only threefold over the same period. This finding may be due to a lack of fitness costs expressed by resistance strains, since such costs can be environmentally dependent and may not occur under ordinary laboratory culture conditions. Alternatively, resistance in the Karak population may have been near fixation, leading to a very slow increase in heterozygosity. Reciprocal genetic crosses between Karak and LAB-UK populations indicated that resistance was autosomal and recessive. At the highest dose of Cry1Ac tested, resistance was completely recessive, while at the lowest dose, it was incompletely dominant. A direct test of monogenic inheritance based on a backcross of F1 progeny with the Karak population suggested that resistance to Cry1Ac was controlled by a single locus. Binding studies with 125I-labeled Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac revealed greatly reduced binding to brush border membrane vesicles prepared from this field population.
Of 97 strains of Vibrio cholerae isolated from various seafoods in Malaysia in 1998 and 1999, 20 strains carried the ctx gene and produced cholera toxin. Fourteen, one, and five of these toxigenic strains belonged to the O139, O1 Ogawa, and rough serotypes, respectively. The rough strains had the rfb gene of the O1 serotype. The toxigenic strains varied in their biochemical characteristics, the amount of cholera toxin produced, their antibiograms, and the presence or absence of the pTLC plasmid sequence. DNA fingerprinting analysis by arbitrarily primed PCR, ribotyping, and a pulsed-field gel electrophoresis method classified the toxigenic strains into 3, 7, and 10 types, respectively. The relatedness of these toxigenic strains to clinical strains isolated in other countries and from international travelers was examined by using a dendrogram constructed from the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles. The results of the examination of the antibiogram and the possession of the toxin-linked cryptic plasmid were consistent with the dendrogram-based relatedness: the O139 strains isolated from Malaysian seafoods could be separated into two groups that appear to have been introduced from the Bengal area independently. The rough strains of Malaysian seafood origin formed one group and belonged to a cluster unique to the Thailand-Malaysia-Laos region, and this group may have persisted in this area for a long period. The single O1 Ogawa strain detected in Malaysian seafood appears to have an origin and route of introduction different from those of the O139 and the rough strains.