Letters in Applied Microbiology

Cover image for Vol. 59 Issue 2

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: J.-Y. Maillard

Impact Factor: 1.629

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 83/116 (Microbiology); 103/160 (Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology)

Online ISSN: 1472-765X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Applied Microbiology

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  1. 1 - 31
  1. Original Articles

    1. Development of a multiplex PCR assay for rapid and simultaneous detection of four genera of fish pathogenic bacteria

      D.F. Zhang, Q.Q. Zhang and A.H. Li

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12303

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The fish pathogenic bacteria of genus Aeromonas, Vibrio, Edwardsiella and Streptococcus frequently cause severe outbreaks of diseases in cultured fish, and the genus-specific multiplex PCR assay developed in this study can detect the bacteria of the four genera when present in the samples either alone or mixed. The mPCR assay is expected to identify the causative agents more efficiently than uniplex PCR or species-specific multiplex PCR for clinical diagnosis, resulting in the earlier implementation of control measures. This mPCR assay provides a rapid, specific and sensitive tool for the detection or identification of common fish pathogenic bacteria in aquaculture practice.

    2. Fermentation adaptability of three probiotic Lactobacillus strains to oat, germinated oat and malted oat substrates

      A. Herrera-Ponce, G. Nevárez-Morillón, E. Ortega-Rívas, S. Pérez-Vega and I. Salmerón

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12302

      Significance and Impact of the Study: In this work, the effect of oat media composition and fermentation conditions on the growth kinetics of three probiotic lactobacilli was determined. The variation in the inoculum levels did not have a significant effect on the probiotic cultures growth. Results revealed that protein supplemented simple, germinated and malted oat enhanced the cell viability of the probiotic lactobacilli; Lactobacillus casei exhibited better growth adaptability. The results also highlight that different weight in volume oat substrate concentrations has particular effects on Lact. casei growth kinetics. Our results contribute to a better understanding of oat-based media formulations as substrates for probiotic cultures.

    3. Development of a rapid cyprinid herpesvirus 2 detection method by loop-mediated isothermal amplification

      L.-G. Liang, J. Xie and D. Luo

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12296

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Herpesviral haematopoietic necrosis, caused by cyprinid herpesvirus 2 (CyHV-2), is a severe disease of goldfish and Prussian carp associated with high mortality. We developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay to detect CyHV-2 at relatively low plasmid DNA copy levels. The results show that the LAMP assay has a number of advantages (simple, sensitive, rapid and specific) over the conventional polymerase chain reaction and can be applied in the laboratory and field. Particularly, the method is highly applicable to facilitate surveillance and early diagnosis of CyHV-2.

    4. Suppression of Tomato mosaic virus disease in tomato plants by deep ultraviolet irradiation using light-emitting diodes

      S. Matsuura and S. Ishikura

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12301

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Disease caused in tomato plants by resistance-breaking Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) could be suppressed by ultraviolet (UV)-B irradiation using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). This paves the way for the future management of plant viral diseases using deep UV LEDs.

    5. Upgrading the antioxidant potential of cereals by their fungal fermentation under solid-state cultivation conditions

      T. Bhanja Dey and R.C. Kuhad

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12300

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Antioxidant-rich food products are getting popularity day by day. In this study, potential of solid-state fermentation (SSF) has been studied for the improvement of antioxidant potential of different cereals by GRAS micro-organisms. The comparative evaluation of the antioxidant potential of various fungal fermented products derived from whole grain cereals, such as wheat, brown rice, oat and maize, has been carried out. Among these, Rhizopus oryzae RCK2012-fermented wheat was observed as a potent source of natural antioxidants. A diet containing fermented cereals would be useful for the prevention of free radical-mediated diseases.

    6. Development and testing of external quality assessment samples for Salmonella detection in poultry samples

      F. Martelli, R. Gosling, I. McLaren, A. Wales and R. Davies

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12299

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      Significance and Impact of the Study:Salmonella surveillance and control regimes in the European poultry industry and elsewhere require sensitive culture detection of Salmonella in environmental samples, including poultry faeces. A ring trial was conducted, and the results highlighted that some of the participating laboratories failed to identify Salmonella. This suggests that contaminated frozen faeces cubes could be beneficial to assess proficiency, according to the results of this preliminary study. The data obtained in this study can be used as an indication for the design of realistic external quality assurance for laboratories involved in official testing of Salmonella in poultry flocks.

    7. The host model Galleria mellonella is resistant to taylorellae infection

      L. Hébert, I. Rincé, C. Sanna, C. Laugier, A. Rincé and S. Petry

      Article first published online: 8 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12297

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: To date, the pathogenicity and host colonization capacity of Taylorella equigenitalis, the causative agent of contagious equine metritis (CEM) and T. asinigenitalis, the second species within the Taylorella genus, remain largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the relevance of Galleria mellonella as an infection model for taylorellae; we showed that G. mellonella are resistant to taylorellae infection and therefore do not constitute a suitable host model for taylorellae.

    8. Application of Lactobacillus johnsonii expressing phage endolysin for control of Clostridium perfringens

      T. Gervasi, R. Lo Curto, E. Minniti, A. Narbad and M.J. Mayer

      Article first published online: 8 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12298

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The bacterium Lactobacillus johnsonii FI9785 reduces numbers of the pathogen Clostridium perfringens in vitro. Biocontrol was improved by engineering the strain to produce and export a cell wall-hydrolysing endolysin, but good survival of the producer strain is essential. The production of bacteriophage endolysins by commensal bacteria has the potential to improve competitive exclusion of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract.

    9. Isolating and evaluating lactic acid bacteria strains for effectiveness of Leymus chinensis silage fermentation

      Q. Zhang, X.J. Li, M.M. Zhao and Z. Yu

      Article first published online: 2 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12291

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      Significance and Impact of the Study Leymus chinensis is an important grass in China and Russia, being the primary grass of the short grassland ‘steppe’ regions of central Asia. However, it has been difficult to make high-quality silage of this species because of low concentration of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC). Isolating and evaluating lactic acid bacteria strains will be helpful for improving the silage quality of this extensively grown species.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Specific capture and detection of Staphylococcus aureus with high-affinity modified aptamers to cell surface components

      A. Baumstummler, D. Lehmann, N. Janjic and U.A. Ochsner

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12295

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Monitoring for microbial contamination of food, water, nonsterile products or the environment is typically based on culture, PCR or antibodies. Aptamers that bind with high specificity and affinity to well-conserved cell surface epitopes represent a promising novel type of reagents to detect bacterial cells without the need for culture or cell lysis, including for the capture and enrichment of bacteria present at low cell densities and for the direct detection via qPCR or fluorescent staining.

    11. Optimization of modified Middlebrook 7H11 agar for isolation of Mycobacterium bovis from raw milk cheese

      R. Forgrave, J.A. Donaghy, A. Fisher and M.T. Rowe

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12290

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Following increased M. bovis infection of UK cattle, the risk posed to consumers from consumption of unpasteurized milk and dairy products has changed. Furthermore, published methods for the culture and molecular detection of M. bovis in raw milk products are limited. Cheese-making protocols and M. bovis culture media reported here provide tools for further investigation of M. bovis survival during all stages of cheese manufacture and could inform future assessment of the risk to consumers from M. bovis contamination of unpasteurized dairy products.

    12. Production of natural antimicrobial compound d-phenyllactic acid using Leuconostoc mesenteroides ATCC 8293 whole cells involving highly active d-lactate dehydrogenase

      L. Li, S.-Y. Shin, K.W. Lee and N.S. Han

      Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12293

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first study on the production of d-phenyllactic acid, which is a natural antimicrobial compound, from phenylpyruvate using Leuconostoc mesenteroides cells. The strain, ATCC 8293, that was used in the study, possesses high stereoselectivity and delivers a high yield. Therefore, it might be a promising candidate for use in large-scale production facilities and in fermented foods.

    13. Antimicrobial activity of selected Iranian medicinal plants against a broad spectrum of pathogenic and drug multiresistant micro-organisms

      A. Abedini, V. Roumy, S. Mahieux, A. Gohari, M.M. Farimani, C. Rivière, J. Samaillie, S. Sahpaz, F. Bailleul, C. Neut and T. Hennebelle

      Article first published online: 25 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12294

      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study describes the antimicrobial screening of Iranian plant extracts chosen according to traditional practice against 36 microbial strains, from reference culture collections or recent clinical isolates, and enables to select 4 candidates for further chemical characterization and biological assessment: Dorema ammoniacum, Ferula assa-foetida, Ferulago contracta (seeds) and Perovskia abrotanoides (aerial parts). This may be useful in the development of potential antimicrobial agents, from easily harvested and highly sustainable plant parts. Moreover, the weak extent of cross-resistance between plant extracts and antibiotics warrants further research and may promote a strategy based on less potent but time-trained products.

    14. Fermentation conditions influence the fatty acid composition of the membranes of Lactobacillus reuteri I5007 and its survival following freeze-drying

      X.T. Liu, C.L. Hou, J. Zhang, X.F. Zeng and S.Y. Qiao

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12292

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: In this study, we found that a higher fermentation temperature or a neutral pH, rather than cold or acidic conditions, leads to increased survival of Lact. reuteri I5007 during subsequent freeze-drying. This finding has important implications for the future industrial production of this probiotic strain.

    15. Effects of acivicin on growth, mycotoxin production and virulence of phytopathogenic fungi

      K. Maeda, Y. Nakajima, T. Motoyama, Y. Kitou, T. Kosaki, T. Saito, T. Nishiuchi, K. Kanamaru, H. Osada, T. Kobayashi and M. Kimura

      Article first published online: 19 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12289

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Fusarium head blight or scab disease and rice blast, caused by Fusarium graminearum and Magnaporthe oryzae, respectively, are major diseases of cereal crops that cause a significant loss of yield and deterioration in the quality of the grain. The present study investigated the effects of acivicin, a glutamine amino acid analog, on the physiology of various phytopathogenic fungi. Application of acivicin to a fungal culture and conidial suspension reduced mycotoxin production by the wheat scab fungus and the severity of rice blast, respectively. These results suggest the possibility that acivicin may serve as a lead compound to develop agricultural chemicals for the control of some plant diseases.

    16. Molecular characterization, genetic diversity and antibacterial susceptibility of Escherichia coli encoding Shiga toxin 2f in domestic pigeons

      M. Askari Badouei, T. Zahraei Salehi, A. Koochakzadeh, A. Kalantari and S. Tabatabaei

      Article first published online: 18 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12288

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Carriage of stx2f gene tends to be underreported in pigeon Escherichia coli isolates because most routine genetic and phenotypic tests cannot efficiently target this gene or detect the toxin. Nevertheless, pigeons frequently carry E. coli strains that are stx2f-positive, and this situation is not limited to any distinct geographical area. The current results suggest that genetic background of stx2f-encoding E. coli is distinct from most Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains. However, the factors that contribute to host preferences and pathogenicity remain unclear. These findings have public health significance that should be addressed in future research.

    17. High-level expression, purification and characterization of active human C1q and tumour necrosis factor-related protein-1 in Escherichia coli

      H. Li, X. Hui, K. Li, X. Tang, X. Hu, A. Xu and D. Wu

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12280

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: CTRP1 plays important biological functions and warrants further investigation. However, large-scale production of recombinant CTRP1 has been technically challenging, which becomes a major obstacle in the structural and functional analysis of this important family of proteins. To explore the possible clinical applications and mechanisms of its action, an efficient method to produce large amounts of active recombinant human CTRP1 is necessary. This study should facilitate basic functional and pharmacological studies of this important protein family.

    18. Evaluation of a multiplex PCR to identify and serotype Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serovars 1, 5, 7, 12 and 15

      C. Turni, R. Singh, M.A. Schembri and P.J. Blackall

      Article first published online: 12 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12287

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: A multiplex PCR that can recognize serovars 1, 5, 7, 12 and 15 of A. pleuropneumoniae was developed and validated. This novel diagnostic tool will enable frontline laboratories to provide key information (the serovar) to guide targeted prevention and control programmes for porcine pleuropneumonia, a serious economic disease of pigs. The previous technology, traditional serotyping, is typically provided by specialized reference laboratories, limiting the capacity to respond to this key disease.

    19. Antibacterial effect of coffee: calcium concentration in a culture containing teeth/biofilm exposed to Coffea Canephora aqueous extract

      N. Meckelburg, K.C. Pinto, A. Farah, N.L.P. Iorio, V.S.S. Pierro, K.R.N. dos Santos, L.C. Maia and A.G. Antonio

      Article first published online: 7 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12281

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study revealed an inhibitory action of Coffea canephora against dental biofilm. This coffee species caused bacterial lysis and consequent release of calcium into the medium. Furthermore, the advantage of coffee as an antibacterial beverage is that it is consumed in a concentrated form (6–10%) as opposed to various medicinal infusions that have shown such effect in vitro and are usually consumed at 1–2%. Therefore, a light roasted C. canephora aqueous extract can be considered as a potential anticariogenic substance.

    20. Development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Bartonella henselae infection detection

      F. Ferrara, R. Di Niro, S. D'Angelo, M. Busetti, R. Marzari, T. Not and D. Sblattero

      Article first published online: 6 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12286

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: A reliable serological assay for the diagnosis of Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) – a pathological condition caused by Bartonella henselae infection – has not yet been developed. Such an assay would be extremely useful to discriminate between CSD and other pathologies with similar symptoms but different aetiologies, for example lymphoma or tuberculosis. We investigate the use of two B. henselae proteins – GroEL and 17-kDa – to develop a serological-based ELISA, showing promising results with the potential for further development as an effective tool for the differential diagnosing of B. henselae infection.

    21. Relative inactivation of faecal indicator bacteria and sewage markers in freshwater and seawater microcosms

      W. Ahmed, P. Gyawali, J.P.S. Sidhu and S. Toze

      Article first published online: 5 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12285

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: In this study, we have shown that the persistence of the Bacteroides HF183 marker in freshwater and seawater microcosms was similar to faecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and enterococci), whereas human adenoviruses (HAVs) persisted relatively longer. These findings suggest the suitability of both the markers to identify sewage pollution in environmental waters. However, HF183 marker appeared to be more useful than HAVs in identifying recent sewage pollution. As, HAVs may remain infective for lengthy periods, it should be used in conjunction with the HF183 marker to obtain information on the potential human health risks associated with sewage-polluted freshwater and seawater.

    22. 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes for direct detection of Propionibacterium freudenreichii in presence of Lactococcus lactis with multicolour fluorescence in situ hybridization

      M. Mikš-Krajnik and A. Babuchowski

      Article first published online: 2 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12278

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Results showed that three newly designed 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes specific for Propionibacterium freudenreichii in combination with a probe specific for Lactococcus lactis can be used to differentiate lactic and propionic acid bacteria in mixed communities using multicolour fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), without applying permeabilization step. This is a first study on simultaneous detection of both bacterial species with FISH, which was found as rapid, useful and culture-independent tool for direct visualization of bacteria on single cell level. It might be applied in monitoring of mixed starter cultures in dairy industry.

  2. Under the Microscope

    1. A decade with nucleic acid-based microbiological methods in safety control of foods

      T. Kuchta, R. Knutsson, A. Fiore, E. Kudirkiene, A. Höhl, D. Horvatek Tomic, V. Gotcheva, B. Pöpping, S. Scaramagli, A. To Kim, M. Wagner and D. De Medici

      Article first published online: 2 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12283

  3. Original Articles

    1. Use of Bacillus subtilis isolates from Tua-nao towards nutritional improvement of soya bean hull for monogastric feed application

      P. Wongputtisin, C. Khanongnuch, W. Kongbuntad, P. Niamsup, S. Lumyong and P.K. Sarkar

      Article first published online: 27 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12279

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Normally, soya bean hull has been recognized as only a worthless by-product from soya bean oil production process because of its low utilizable nutrients. Our study introduced an alternative way to utilize this worthless residue using biotechnological knowledge. The nutritional quality of soya bean hull was improved by microbial fermentation. Fermented soya bean hull can be used as a cheap, safe and high-nutrient feed ingredient for livestock production, especially monogastric animals, to promote their growth performances, instead of using antibiotics in some regions of the world.

    2. Identification of coagulase-negative staphylococci in daily disposable contact lens wearers

      B. Hall, D. McCanna and L. Jones

      Article first published online: 21 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12277

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first study to determine the frequency and identify the contaminating organisms found on daily disposable (DD) soft contact lenses. The contaminating organisms identified on DD contact lenses were solely coagulase-negative staphylococcus (CNS), suggesting that CNS may be the causative organism associated with infectious keratitis that occurs with DD contact lens wear.

    3. Synergistic sporicidal effect of ethanol on a combination of orthophthalaldehyde and Didecyldimethylammonium chloride

      G. Yuan, Q. Wei, J. Tie, C. Wang, L. Rao and W. Zhang

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12271

      Significance and Impact of the Study: Orthophthalaldehyde (OPA) is very effective at concentrations far lower than its recommended in-use concentration of 0·5% (w/v) and is equally effective against both the gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. However, it shows lower activity against spores. The synergistic sporicidal effect exhibited by ethanol on a combination of OPA and DDAC can be considered to enhance sporicidal activity for using in situations of sterilization, to reduce in-use concentration of OPA used alone, which may minimize its side effect. OPA may be a more satisfactory and the first-choice agent to replace glutaraldehyde (GTA) as a high-level disinfectant for medical devices.

    4. Isolation and characterization of Bacillus subtilis strain BY-3, a thermophilic and efficient cellulase-producing bacterium on untreated plant biomass

      F. Meng, L. Ma, S. Ji, W. Yang and B. Cao

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12276

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The increased consumption of fossil fuels has caused serious energy crisis and environmental problem. Thus, an alternative energy source is necessary. Bioconversion of biomass, particularly agricultural residuals, into value-added bioproducts, such as biofuels and chemical solvents, has received considerable attention. In this study, the newly isolated thermophilic Bacillus subtilis strain BY-3 produces cellulase efficiently with the use of untreated corn stover as a sole carbon source. This strain possesses the thermostable cellulase that is active with diverse crop wastes with a broad pH range and is a highly promising candidate for agricultural waste management.

    5. Biotyping of cultivable lactic acid bacteria isolated from donkey milk

      D. Carminati, F. Tidona, M. E. Fornasari, L. Rossetti, A. Meucci and G. Giraffa

      Article first published online: 7 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12275

      Significance and Impact of the Study: There is increased interest in using donkey's milk as a source of human nutrition. The large amounts of antimicrobial components and defence factors present in donkey's milk provide protection from microbial infections and distinguish donkey's milk from the milks of other mammals. However, the microbiota in donkey's milk has so far been poorly characterized, specifically with regard to the lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This study has identified cultivable, acidifying and thermoduric LAB that could be used to develop starter cultures. This is the first study to investigate the culturable LAB microbiota present in donkey's milk.

    6. The utility of the PCR melting profile technique for typing Corynebacterium diphtheriae isolates

      A. A. Zasada, K. Formińska, T. Wołkowicz, E. Badell and N. Guiso

      Article first published online: 5 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12274

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Occurrence of Corynebacterium diphtheriae infections—in the form of diphtheria in endemic countries and in the form of invasive infections in countries with high antidiphtheria vaccination coverage—indicates the need for maintenance of ability to genotype this pathogen by laboratories. Application of an appropriate typing method is essential not only in outbreak investigations for understanding and predicting epidemics but also in monitoring of the evolution and spread of epidemic clones of C. diphtheriae. The PCR melting profile method presented in the study is a good alternative for C. diphtheriae typing.

    7. Real-time PCR for quantification in soil of glycoside hydrolase family 6 cellulase genes

      C. Merlin, L. Besaury, M. Niepceron, C. Mchergui, W. Riah, F. Bureau, I. Gattin and J. Bodilis

      Article first published online: 5 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12273

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      Significance and impact of the study: Telluric micro-organisms able to use cellulose as carbon and energy sources for growth are widely distributed in the environment, but the factors controlling the rate of cellulose degradation are not well understood. The objective of our study was to develop a qPCR for rapid quantification of GH6 cellulase genes in soil. This qPCR could be applied to study the potential for cellulose degradation in different soils in order to better understand the factors controlling the stability of the soil organic matter.

    8. Comparing temperature effects on Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Enterococcus survival in surface waters

      Y.A. Pachepsky, R.A. Blaustein, G. Whelan and D.R. Shelton

      Article first published online: 5 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12272

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Microbiological quality of surface waters is of paramount importance for public health. The novelty of this work is using a large compendium of published data to develop the first comparison of temperature effects on survival of the pathogen Salmonella and water quality indicator micro-organisms Escherichia coli and Enterococcus in natural waters. The existing relatively large body of knowledge on E. coli survival appears to be useful to assess the effect of temperature on survival of Salmonella. Moreover, results of this work constitute an essential input in models to support environmental management decisions on the use of surface water sources in agriculture, aquaculture and recreation.

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