Title: Microbial oils enriched with carotenoids for cosmetic and nutraceutical applications
Microbial oils (MO) of fungal origin, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, have important opportunities in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. However, due to the high production costs of MO, to date, only two fungal strains (Mucor circinelloides and Mortierella alpina) have been successfully used on an industrial scale, in the food sector, for the production of MO rich in omega-3 and -6. In this frame, our study wanted to develop a sustainable process both from an economic and environmental point of view for the production of MO from specific species of oleaginous yeasts having the ability to accumulate large amounts of intracellular lipids and to produce, at the same time, additional interesting compounds such as carotenoids with antioxidant activity. To this aim, different species of red yeasts belonging to Rhodotorula and Rhodosporidium genera were screened on low-cost substrates (e,g, orange peels, ricotta cheese whey) in order to select the highest lipid producers, with a lipid content with respect to dry biomass over 40 % (w/w). The study, first conducted in shaken flask, allowed to select one strain which was subsequently transferred to bioreactor scale with mechanical agitation in order to evaluate the response of the microorganism and the process scale-up. At the end of the fermentative process, a qualitative and quantitative gas chromatography analysis of the fatty acids produced was performed and total carotenoids were quantified in order to assess the suitability of these oils for nutraceutical and cosmetic applications.
Title: Self-adaptive organizations: the evolution of organizational models inspired by microbiology
This paper provides an overview on the self-adaptation considered as a human skill that we can train and develop in order to balance our organizations. We try here to explain what kind of organizational structures and behaviours can be used to facilitate and accelerate transformations and changes in our economic and social contexts. We are facing fast changes and new problems in economy and society. this current complexity requires new perspectives in designing and managing organizations. We strive to create organizational models and techniques that are as robust and versatile as biological organisms are and evolve in nature. Self-adaptation is an attribute of several systems in nature: it allows the reliability and scalability of recursive processes based on adjustment of collective behaviour of elements and without a central control of structure. Observing adaptive organisms biology focuses on processes at the sub-organism level. Using the latest molecular and physiological tools the adaptations of organisms to environmental stresses are studied and developed. The regulatory mechanisms are understood, including the genetic constraints, the physiological plasticity and the evolutionary history of the responses of organisms. Leafing through a biology book you will be fascinated by the multitude of self-adaptation solutions implemented by natural organisms: plants, animals and micro-organisms convey crucial information for an understanding of the effects of an environmental change on the organisms and the effects of organisms on the environment change. We suggest an approach able to catalyse transformation in people and organisations exposing behaviours and structures able to optimise themselves. These catalysers sometimes are people (change agents), sometimes are things (digital technologies) and sometimes are pieces of culture (knowledge and experience) and more often are combinations of these three factors. This approach has been used in this research for collecting and analysing results achieved in more than 5 years of projects evolution in the change management field.
Title: Streptomyces extracellular metabolites as potent agents to control phytopathogenic fungi
Introduction: Phytopathogenic fungi, causal agents of some of the world’s most serious plant diseases, can significantly reduce yields during large-scale agricultural production. For successful invasion of plant organs, pathogenicdevelopment is tightly regulated and specialized infection structures are formed. To further colonize hosts and establish disease, fungal pathogens deploy a plethora of virulence factors, which makes control solutions less and less powerful. Currently, there is an increasing public concern regarding the continued use of agrichemicals to control the phytopathogenic fungi. This awareness relies mainly in the noxious effects of the pesticides on the environmental and human health. Several efforts have been made to find less hazardous options for controlling these plant pathogens among which the biological control using the microorganisms has been demonstrated to be a feasible alternative, but it is not widely used on commercial scale. In the aim of searching new solutions against several phytopathogen fungi, our investigations were focused to explore the potential of new isolated Streptomyces strain, especially in the biocontrol of Pythium ultimum and Verticillium dahliae, using the bacterial metabolites of Streptomyces sp. TN258. Material and Methods: After fermentation, the supernatant containing the bioactive metabolites was filtered to eliminate bacterial cells. Then, several in-vitro and in-vivo tests were performed to assess the efficacity of the treatment against the pathogens and to understand its mode of action. Several bimolecular and biochemical measurements are also made. Results: The inhibitory effect of TN258 free cell supernatant against P. ultimum was evaluated. As result, by application of 50% (v/v) from 25 mg.ml−1 of concentration, mycelial growth was totally inhibited with hyphal destruction. At the same concentration, the oospores were distorted and the germination was completely stopped. In potato tubers, Streptomyces TN258 filtrated supernatant, applied 24 h before inoculation by P. ultimum (preventive treatment group) was able to significantly decrease pathogen
penetration by 62% and to reduce the percentage of weight loss by 59.43%, in comparison with non-treated group. As regard Verticilium dahliae biocontrol, the outcomes can be summarised as follow: The in-vitro study showed the power of Streptomyces TN258 supernatant in the inhibition of mycelial growth of the fungus, as well as their destructive effect on spores and microsclerotia. In-plant study, in greenhouse, extracellular metabolites of the strain Streptomyces TN258 against displayed curative effect against Verticillium wilt, and induce upregulation of the defence genes. Field study of the curative effect of the extracellular metabolites of the Streptomyces TN258 strain on Verticillium wilt naturally present in olive trees indicated a remarkable general improvement of the trees and the decrease of the number of microsclerotia present in the soil. Conclusion: The extracellular metabolites of Streptomyces TN258 are a promising eco-friendly solution to protect against P. ultimum potato tuber leak and to cure V. dahliae olive tree wilt.
Title: Isolation And Characterization Of Mesophilic And Thermophilic Aerobic Bacteria From Compost
The isolation and characterization of mesophilic and thermophilic aerobic bacteria from home made compost was conducted in Gwagwalada, Nigeria and the composting was done for a period of 90 days. Initial temperature of the heap after mixing was 30°C which was higher than the environmental temperature (25 oC). Within a week (15 days), the pile temperature reached 35 °C and then increased to 50 °C on 45th day, as composting proceeded and finally dropped and stabilized at 28 °C (near to ambient) by the 90th day. The thermophilic and mesophilic bacteria isolated during composting were significantly different (P > 0.05), Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis had the highest number of occurrences, which represented 23.33 % each of the total isolates, followed by Serratia marcescens which represented 10 %. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli represented 6.67 % each being the least isolates. The quantities of the cellulase enzyme produced showed that Bacillus subtilis had the highest cellulase and xylanase activity which give 26.18±0.10 and 24.10±0.12 Enzyme Unit (EU) respectively followed by Bacillus licheniformis which produced 25.10±0.20 EU and 22.50±0.20 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively, Bacillus cereus with 22.14±0.11 EU and 20.02±0.02 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively, Serratia marcescens with 20.09±0.14 EU and 18.20±0.18 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively, Staphylococcus aureus with 19.22±0.21 EU and 17.40±0.17 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively, Escherichia coli 18.50±0.50 EU and 16.33±0.25 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 16.20±0.21 EU and 14.11±0.08 EU for cellulase and xylanase respectively being the least value. There was no significant difference between the cellulase and xylanase activities produced by isolated thermophillic and mesophillic bacteria from compost.
Dr. Machunga-Mambula received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from The Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria; Masters degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and obtained her Ph.D. degree in Medical Microbiology from Manchester University, UK. She did her postdoctoral training at Boston University School of Medicine, USA in the Department of Infectious Diseases where she studied innate immune responses to fungal infections, with numerous scientific publications on Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus. Dr. M-Mambula became a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School in the Department of Radiation Oncology where she conducted numerous research projects on prostrate cancer and heat shock protein that resulted in several publications in international journals. It was during her period at the Harvard Medical School due to her interest in the control of infectious diseases in Nigeria that she developed the concept for the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and had it copyrighted at the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
Title: Behavior of Xanthomonas fragariae Dw in an inorganic medium enriched with N, P, or K
In this study, the behavior of Xanthomonas fragariae, angular leaf spot of strawberry agent, was followed in the AB medium, enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus or with potassium, and in the soil of the Mamora forest with 14% to 28% of humidity in function of these fertilizer elements. The obtained results have shown that Na2HPO4 and NH4Cl, used, 0.01 and 0.05 mol/l, respectively as a phosphorus and nitrogen source, have a significant effect on the survival of Xanthomonas fragariae. By contrast, KCl, used as a source of Potassium, has no significant effect on the number of culturable cells. The three sources used NPK, 14% and 28% showed a great influence on the number of culturable cells of Xanthomonas fragariae, either increasing or decreasing. Potassium, at 28 to 14% of humidity, inhibited the rate growth of Xanthomonas, while the phosphorus and nitrogen stimulated its growth, greater than 28% of humidity than 14%. Similarly the bacterial growth was not affected during the incorporation of NPK at different concentrations in the soil of Mamora.
Keywords: Xanthomonas fragariae, growth, fertilization, Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium, soil, humidity.
Title: Microbiological CRMs: LENTICULE® discs and VITROIDS™ Fast, reliable and easy to use
Characterized authenticated quantitative reference materials are mandatory to ensure that water, food and environmental microbiological laboratory samples as well as prepared culture media (according to EN ISO 11133:2014+Amd1:2018) are of acceptable quality for safe use and comply with relevant legislation or guidelines. Unfortunately, the use of freeze-dried microbiology control strains in order to ensure an acceptable sample / media quality is very time-consuming and expensive. Thus, ready to use microbiological certified reference materials (CRM) reduce such costs, hands-on time and possible error sources.
To determine this incurred costs / time savings, a comparison between freeze-dried microbiology control strains and ready-to-use microbiological CRMs for different media performance testing methods (pour plate method, membrane filtration and spread plate method) were carried out. The results were evaluated whether use of CRMs is worthwhile for laboratories in their day-to-day work.
The comparison shows that hands-on time can be reduced from averagely 65 minutes (over three days) to 6 minutes per control strain by utilizing the above mentioned ready-to-use microbiological CRMs. These reference materials consist of pure bacterial/fungal cultures in a solid water-soluble matrix, which conserves them in a viable state. The time savings are achieved by reducing the time spent preparing stock cultures, recovering banked stocks and performing pre-enrichment steps. The elimination of the pre-enrichment steps additionally decreases the probability of contaminations.
In conclusion, microbiological certified reference materials provide tools for the laboratories to save significant time, to reduce overall expenditure and to avoid errors or contaminations.
Mathias Baeumlisberger finished his Doctoral thesis at the University Medical Centre Freiburg at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (Germany) in 2016 and then started working for the Merck KGaA/Sigma-Aldrich Production GmbH in Buchs Switzerland. He is Senior Scientist in the R&D Reference Materials & Proficiency Testing department.
Title: Direct evidence of viral infection and mitochondrial alterations in the brain of fetuses at high risk for schizophrenia
There is increasing evidences that favor the prenatal beginning of schizophrenia. These evidences point toward intra-uterine environmental factors that act specifically during the second pregnancy trimester producing a direct damage of the brain of the fetus. The current available technology doesn't allow observing what is happening at cellular level since the human brain is not exposed to a direct analysis in that stage of the life in subjects at high risk of developing schizophrenia. Methods. In 1977 we began a direct electron microscopic research of the brain of fetuses at high risk from schizophrenic mothers in order to finding differences at cellular level in relation to controls. Results. In these studies we have observed within the nuclei of neurons the presence of complete and incomplete viral particles that reacted in positive form with antibodies to herpes simplex hominis type I [HSV1] virus, and mitochondria alterations. Conclusion. The importance of these findings can have practical applications in the prevention of the illness keeping in mind its direct relation to the aetiology and physiopathology of schizophrenia. A study of amniotic fluid cells in women at risk of having a schizophrenic offspring is considered. Of being observed the same alterations that those observed previously in the cells of the brain of the studied foetuses, it would intend to these women in risk of having a schizophrenia descendant, previous information of the results, the voluntary medical interruption of the pregnancy or an early anti HSV1 viral treatment as
preventive measure of the later development of the illness.
Segundo Mesa Castillo. As Specialist in Neurology, he worked for 10 years in the Institute of Neurology of Havana, Cuba. He has worked in Electron Microscopic Studies on Schizophrenia for 32 years. He was awarded with the International Price of the Stanley Foundation Award Program and for the Professional Committee to work as a fellowship position in the Laboratory of the Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke under Dr. Joseph Gibbs for a period of 6 months, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, Washington D.C. USA, June 5, 1990.
Title: Accelerated molecular dynamics simulation, functional sequence space clustering and experimentally guided machine learning as an integrated tool for the customization of enzyme performance for defined industrial applications
Enzymes play an important role in a wide range of industries, such as food and feed, agriculture, personal care, textiles, laundry detergents, fine chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Some examples where enzymes are crucial include cheese manufacture, beer and winemaking, baking bread, fruit juice extraction and clarification, leather tanning and more recently in the production of biofuels and biopolymers1,2. Further, due to their high enantio- and regio-selectivity, leading to higher yields of the required enantiomer, enzymes are increasingly used in fine chemical synthesis and in the production of chiral pharmaceutical intermediates and APIs.
The enzymes used for various industrial applications can be harvested from microbial sources or they can be customized for a defined industrial application and overexpressed in heterologous hosts such as bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi. This type of enzyme engineering is a powerful way to obtain large amounts of a customized enzyme to replace traditional chemical processes.
Henryk Kalisz obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Manchester University, has published over 60 papers in reputed scientific journals. He has over 30 years of experience in industrial enzymology and biotechnology. After his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctorate at the University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany, before taking up a senior scientist role at the National Research Institute (Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung) in Braunschweig, Germany. He subsequently worked as Head of Biochemistry at Pharmacia, Nerviano, Italy, and as Chief Scientific Officer at Eucodis Bioscience in Vienna, Austria. Since October 2011 he has been applying his expertise in industrial enzymology as a consultant and independent representative to provide scientific and technological advice and assistance to various Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals organizations.
Title: Bacillus thuringiensis Isolation from the Environments of Boron Mines and Effects of Boric Acid on Bioactivity
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolation from the environments of boron mines, the characterization based on cry gene content, boron tolerance, insecticidal crystal protein production and bioactivity of Bt isolates were examined in this study. PCR analysis indicated the presence of Bt strains with cry1 (100%), cry2 (41%) and cry1 plus cry2 (43%) genes. Boron tolerance of Bt isolates grown in different boric acid concentrations changed from 25 to 75 mM. Moreover, boric acid prolonged the lag phase of the growth curve. Furthermore, Bt-KE63-64 isolate at 50 ppm caused 75% mortality against Cadra cautella larvae. Two protein bands at 132 kDa and 64 kDa were detected with SDS-PAGE analysis. Increasing concentration of boric acid resulted in a decrease at the level of Cry protein expression. Finally, addition of 1% boric acid to spore-crystal mixtures of Bt isolate didn’t cause any additive effect on the bioactivity. In conclusion, it is the first time that Bt with high bioactivity was isolated from the environments of boron mines and boric acid tolerance of some of the Bt isolates was up to 75 mM.
Title: 16S rDNA metagenomic approach for studying the degradation of Azo dyes and its efficiencies
Azo dyes has gained much attention lately due to its improper disposal from textiles and dyeing industries since it causes toxicity to animals, aquatic organism as well as human. Enhancement of cost effective, efficiencies and environmental friendly provides as alternative way for bioremediation of azo dyes. Soil sample is collected from Wangkhei, Imphal East district, Manipur, India (24°47´31.9632´´ N, 93°57´35.0784´´ E). In this present study, bacterial community that are able to survive in the bacterial consortia grown in Congo Red (500 mg/L) was analysed using its 16S rDNA approach. From the metagenomic study, the most abundant phylum, genus and species was found to be “Proteobacteria”, “Acinetobacter” and “Unclassified species” respectively. Metagenomic reads which are assigned to the Cluster of Orthologous Groups of protein (COG) and Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) hits revealed genomic potential of indigenous communities of microbes. The enzymes which are involved in biodegradation pathways of xenobiotic were also predicted. The information obtained from the present study can provide necessary conditions which are needed for cleaning up of the effluent released from the industries.
Key word: Azo dyes, Congo Red, 16S rDNA, Proteobacteria, Acinetobacter, COG, KEGG