Aspergillus flavus produced approximately 50 U/mL of amylolytic activity when grown in liquid medium with raw low-grade tapioca starch as substrate. Electrophoretic analysis of the culture filtrate showed the presence of only one amylolytic enzyme, identified as an alpha-amylase as evidenced by (i) rapid loss of color in iodine-stained starch and (ii) production of a mixture of glucose, maltose, maltotriose and maltotetraose as starch digestion products. The enzyme was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion-exchange chromatography and was found to be homogeneous on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purified enzyme had a molar mass of 52.5 +/- 2.5 kDa with an isoelectric point at pH 3.5. The enzyme was found to have maximum activity at pH 6.0 and was stable in a pH range from 5.0 to 8.5. The optimum temperature for the enzyme was 55 degrees C and it was stable for 1 h up to 50 degrees C. The Km and V for gelatinized tapioca starch were 0.5 g/L and 108.67 mumol reducing sugars per mg protein per min, respectively.
Biofilms are complex microbial communities that tend to attach to either biotic or abiotic surface. Enclosed in a self-produced extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, the biofilms often cause persistent infections. The objective of this study was to investigate the antibiofilm activity of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and afatinib against Gram-negative pathogens. Test microorganisms used in this study were Escherichia coli ATCC 1299, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 10145, and Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 14028. Biofilms were developed in 96-well microplate at 37°C for 24 h. Following removal of non-adherent cells, analysis of biofilm viability, biofilm biomass, and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) matrix were performed using resazurin assay, crystal violet assay, and attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. Bradford protein assay was conducted to determine the total amount of EPS proteins. The results demonstrated that both 32% DMSO alone and its combination with 3.2 μg/mL afatinib were effective in killing biofilm cells and reducing biofilm biomass. IR spectral variations of EPS matrix of biofilms in the range between 1700 and 900 cm-1 were also observed. Reduction in EPS proteins verified the chemical modifications of EPS matrix. In conclusion, 32% DMSO alone and its combination with 3.2 μg/mL afatinib showed remarkable antibiofilm activities against Gram-negative pathogens. It was suggested that the biofilm inhibition was mediated by the chemical modification of EPS matrix.
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a well-known spice widely utilised for its medicinal properties. There is an extensive record of the many beneficial health effects of garlic which can be traced back to as early as the ancient Egyptian era. One of the most studied properties of garlic is its ability to cure certain ailments caused by infections. In the 1940s, the antimicrobial activities exhibited by garlic were first reported to be due to allicin, a volatile compound extracted from raw garlic. Since then, allicin has been widely investigated for its putative inhibitory activities against a wide range of microorganisms. Allicin has demonstrated a preference for targeting the thiol-containing proteins and/or enzymes in microorganisms. It has also demonstrated the ability to regulate several genes essential for the virulence of microorganisms. Recently, it was reported that allicin may function better in combination with other antimicrobials compared to when used alone. When used in combination with antibiotics or antifungals, allicin enhanced the antimicrobial activities of these substances and improved the antimicrobial efficacy. Hence, it is likely that combination therapy of allicin with additional antimicrobial drug(s) could serve as a viable alternative for combating rising antimicrobial resistance. This review focuses on the antimicrobial activities exhibited by allicin alone as well as in combination with other substances. The mechanisms of action of allicin elucidated by some of the studies are also highlighted in the present review in order to provide a comprehensive overview of this versatile bioactive compound and the mechanistic evidence supporting its potential use in antimicrobial therapy.
The evolution of multiple-drug resistant bacteria is contributing to the global antimicrobial crisis, hence driving us to search for novel antimicrobial(s). Among animals, invertebrates represent up to 80% of all known species suggesting their wide distribution. Despite their ubiquitous and plentiful nature, they have been largely unexplored as potential source of antibacterials. In this study, we selected a broad range of invertebrates from terrestrial and marine environments and tested their lysates for antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aereus (MRSA) and neuropathogenic Escherichia coli K1. Cockroaches, centipedes, tarantulas, prawns, lobster, and mud crabs showed antibacterial activity with selected lysates exhibiting more than 90% bactericidal effects. The red-headed centipede's hemolymph showed 90% and 50% bacteriostatic activity against MRSA and E. coli K1, respectively. Tarantula's body extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against MRSA and E. coli K1. Gut extracts of tiger prawn exhibited more than 90% bacteriostatic activity against both bacteria. The selected lobster and mud crab extract exhibited up to 90% growth inhibitory activity against MRSA. Overall, these results showed that selected invertebrates are an untapped source of broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and suggest the presence of biologically active molecules.
The basidiomycete fungus, Ganoderma boninense, has been identified as the main causal agent of oil palm basal stem rot (BSR) disease which has caused significant economic losses to the industry especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. Various efforts have been initiated to understand the disease and this plant pathogen especially at the molecular level. This is the first study of its kind on the development of a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated protoplast transformation system for G. boninense. Based on the minimal inhibitory concentration study, 60 µg/mL and above of hygromycin were effective to completely inhibit G. boninense growth. Approximately 5.145 × 107 cells/mL of protoplasts with the viability of 97.24% was successfully obtained from G. boninense mycelium tissue. The PEG-mediated G. boninense protoplast transformation using 1 µg of transformation vector, 25% of PEG solution, 10 min of pre-transformation incubation, and 30 min of post-transformation incubation has improved the transformation rate as compared with the previous reported protocols for other basidiomycete fungi. Optimization of four transformation parameters has improved the transformation efficiency of G. boninense from an average of 2 to 67 putative transformants. The presence of hygromycin phosphotransferase (hpt) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) genes in the putative transformants was detected by PCR and verified by gene sequence analysis. Southern hybridization result further confirmed the integration of hpt gene in G. boninense transformants, and the green fluorescent signal was detected in the G. boninense transformants under the microscopic analysis. The establishment of this transformation system will accelerate the gene function studies of G. boninense especially those genes that may contribute to the pathogenesis of this fungus in oil palm.
Biofilm formation is an important physiological process in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) that can cause infections in humans. In this study, the ability of 36 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clinical isolates to form biofilm was studied based on genotypic and phenotypic approaches. These isolates were genotyped based on the microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMMs) and biofilm-associated genes (icaAD) via polymerase chain reactions. Phenotyping was performed based on the determination of the strength of biofilm formation of MRSA isolates in vitro. The most prevalent MSCRAMMs and biofilm-associated genes were clfA, eno, and icaD, followed by clfB. The fnbB (38.9%) and ebpS (11.1%) occurred less frequently among the MRSA isolates, while bbp and fnbA genes were absent from all isolates. The MRSA isolates were mostly moderate to strong biofilm formers, despite the heterogeneity of the MSCRAMM profiles. MRSA isolates from different infection sources (primary, catheter-related bloodstream, or secondary infections) were capable of forming strong biofilms. However, persistent bacteraemia was observed only in 19.4% of the MRSA-infected individuals. This study suggested that persistent MRSA bacteraemia in patients might not be associated with the biofilm-forming ability of the isolates.
Characterization of anthracene metabolites produced by Armillaria sp. F022 was performed in the enzymatic system. The fungal culture was conducted in 100-mL Erlenmeyer flask containing mineral salt broth medium (20 mL) and incubated at 120 rpm for 5-30 days. The culture broth was then centrifuged at 10,000 rpm for 45 min to obtain the extract. Additionally, the effect of glucose consumption, laccase activity, and biomass production in degradation of anthracene were also investigated. Approximately, 92 % of the initial concentration of anthracene was degraded within 30 days of incubation. Dynamic pattern of the biomass production was affected the laccase activity during the experiment. The biomass of the fungus increased with the increasing of laccase activity. The isolation and characterization of four metabolites indicated that the structure of anthracene was transformed by Armillaria sp. F022 in two routes. First, anthracene was oxidized to form anthraquinone, benzoic acid, and second, converted into other products, 2-hydroxy-3-naphthoic acid and coumarin. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis also revealed that the molecular structure of anthracene was transformed by the action of the enzyme, generating a series of intermediate compounds such as anthraquinone by ring-cleavage reactions. The ligninolytic enzymes expecially free extracellular laccase played an important role in the transformation of anthracene during degradation period.
The purpose of this study was to improve the survival of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis 10140 during freeze-drying process by microencapsulation, using a special pediatric prebiotics mixture (galactooligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides). Probiotic microorganisms were encapsulated with a coat combination of prebiotics-calcium-alginate prior to freeze-drying. Both encapsulated and free cells were then freeze-dried in their optimized combinations of skim milk and prebiotics. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to produce a coating combination as well as drying medium with the highest cell viability during freeze-drying. The optimum encapsulation composition was found to be 2.1 % Na-alginate, 2.9 % prebiotic, and 21.7 % glycerol. Maximum survival predicted by the model was 81.2 %. No significant (p > 0.05) difference between the predicted and experimental values verified the adequacy of final reduced models. The protection ability of encapsulation was then examined over 120 days of storage at 4 and 25 °C and exposure to a sequential model of infantile GIT conditions including both gastric conditions (pH 3.0 and 4.0, 90 min, 37 °C) and intestinal conditions (pH 7.5, 5 h, 37 °C). Significantly improved cell viability showed that microencapsulation of B. lactis 10140 with the prebiotics was successful in producing a stable symbiotic powdery nutraceutical.
Despite the great importance of Aureobasidium pullulans in biotechnology, the fungus had emerged as an opportunistic human pathogen, especially among immunocompromised patients. Clinical detection of this rare human fungal pathogen presently relies on morphology diagnosis which may be misleading. Thus, a sensitive and accurate quantitative molecular assay for A. pullulans remains lacking. In this study, we presented the microscopy observations of A. pullulans that reveals the phenotypic plasticity of the fungus. A. pullulans-specific primers and molecular beacon probes were designed based on the fungal 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. Comparison of two probes with varied quencher chemistry, namely BHQ-1 and Tamra, revealed high amplification efficiency of 104% and 108%, respectively. The optimized quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays could detect and quantify up to 1 pg concentration of A. pullulans DNA. Both assays displayed satisfactory performance parameters at fast thermal cycling mode. The molecular assay has great potential as a molecular diagnosis tool for early detection of fungal infection caused by A. pullulans, which merits future study in clinical diagnosis.
A local molybdenum-reducing bacterium was isolated and tentatively identified as Acinetobacter calcoaceticus strain Dr.Y12 based on carbon utilization profiles using Biolog GN plates and 16S rDNA comparative analysis. Molybdate reduction was optimized under conditions of low dissolved oxygen (37 degrees C and pH 6.5). Of the electron donors tested, glucose, fructose, maltose and sucrose supported molybdate reduction after 1 d of incubation, glucose and fructose supporting the highest Mo-blue production. Optimum Mo-blue production was reached at 20 mmol/L molybdate and 5 mmol/L phosphate; increasing the phosphate concentrations inhibited the production. An increase in an overall absorption profiles, especially at peak maximum at 865 nm and the shoulder at 700 nm, was observed in direct correlation with the increased in Mo-blue amounts. Metal ions, such as chromium, cadmium, copper, mercury and lead (2 mmol/L final concentration) caused approximately 88, 53, 80, 100, and 20 % inhibition, respectively. Respiratory inhibitors, such as antimycin A, rotenone, sodium azide and cyanide showed in this bacterium no inhibition of the Mo-blue production, suggesting that the electron transport system is not a site of molybdate reduction.
A. niger produced alpha-glucosidase, alpha-amylase and two forms of glucoamylase when grown in a liquid medium containing raw tapioca starch as the carbon source. The glucoamylases, which formed the dominant components of amylolytic activity manifested by the organism, were purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate precipitation, ion-exchange and two cycles of gel filtration chromatography. The purified enzymes, designated GA1 and GA2, a raw starch digesting glucoamylase, were found to have molar masses of 74 and 96 kDa and isoelectric points of 3.8 and 3.95, respectively. The enzymes were found to have pH optimum of 4.2 and 4.5 for GA1 and GA2, respectively, and were both stable in a pH range of 3.5-9.0. Both enzymes were thermophilic in nature with temperature optimum of 60 and 65 degrees C, respectively, and were stable for 1 h at temperatures of up to 60 degrees C. The kinetic parameters Km and V showed that with both enzymes the branched substrates, starch and amylopectin, were more efficiently hydrolyzed compared to amylose. GA2, the more active of the two glucoamylases produced, was approximately six to thirteen times more active towards raw starches compared to GA1.
A study of the kinetics and performance of solvent-yielding batch fermentation of individual sugars and their mixture derived from enzymic hydrolysis of sago starch by Clostridium acetobutylicum showed that the use of 30 g/L gelatinized sago starch as the sole carbon source produced 11.2 g/L total solvent, i.e. 1.5-2 times more than with pure maltose or glucose used as carbon sources. Enzymic pretreatment of gelatinized sago starch yielding maltose and glucose hydrolyzates prior to the fermentation did not improve solvent production as compared to direct fermentation of gelatinized sago starch. The solvent yield of direct gelatinized sago starch fermentation depended on the activity and stability of amylolytic enzymes produced during the fermentation. The pH optima for alpha-amylase and glucoamylase were found to be at 5.3 and 4.0-4.4, respectively. alpha-Amylase showed a broad pH stability profile, retaining more than 80% of its maximum activity at pH 3.0-8.0 after a 1-d incubation at 37 degrees C. Since C. acetobutylicum alpha-amylase has a high activity and stability at low pH, this strain can potentially be employed in a one-step direct solvent-yielding fermentation of sago starch. However, the C. acetobutylicum glucoamylase was only stable at pH 4-5, maintaining more than 90% of its maximum activity after a 1-d incubation at 37 degrees C.
Direct conversion of gelatinized sago starch into kojic acid by Aspergillus flavus strain having amylolytic enzymes was carried out at two different scales of submerged batch fermentation in a 250-mL shake flask and in a 50-L stirred-tank fermentor. For comparison, fermentations were also carried out using glucose and glucose hydrolyzate from enzymic hydrolysis of sago starch as carbon sources. During kojic acid fermentation of starch, starch was first hydrolyzed to glucose by the action of alpha-amylase and glucoamylase during active growth phase. The glucose remaining during the production phase (non-growing phase) was then converted to kojic acid. Kojic acid production (23.5 g/L) using 100 g/L sago starch in a shake flask was comparable to fermentation of glucose (31.5 g/L) and glucose hydrolyzate (27.9 g/L) but in the 50-L fermentor was greatly reduced due to non-optimal aeration conditions. Kojic acid production using glucose was higher in the 50-L fermentor than in the shake flask.
The production of lignin-degrading enzymes by free and entrapped cells ofPhanerochoete chrysosporium in a tubular air-lift bioreactor was studied. Under optimized cultural conditions the production of lignin peroxidase by free cells, calcium-alginate-entrapped cells and scouring-mesh-entrapped cells was in a ratio of 520ratio720ratio950 mU/mL, while the production of manganese peroxidase was in a ratio of 350ratio480ratio620 mU/mL. The stability of the entrapped cells by fed-batch systems was highest after 3 feeding experiments which is similarly demonstrated in the repeated use of the preparations in batch system.