Letters in Applied Microbiology

Cover image for Vol. 59 Issue 3

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

Edited By: J.-Y. Maillard

Impact Factor: 1.749

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 85/119 (Microbiology); 98/165 (Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology)

Online ISSN: 1472-765X

Associated Title(s): Journal of Applied Microbiology

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  1. 1 - 27
  1. Original Articles

    1. Identification and partial characterization of lactic acid bacteria isolated from traditional dairy products produced by herders in the western Tianshan Mountains of China

      F.L. Zuo, X.J. Feng, L.L. Chen and S.W. Chen

      Article first published online: 23 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12313

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Our results reveal a certain variety of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in traditional dairy products from Xinjiang. Some of the LAB strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus NL24 and Lactobacillus paracasei SW2, possess excellent functional properties and have the potential for application in indigenous fermented dairy products. Performance of the newly isolated strains in cheese or yogurt manufacturing was further evaluated. Application of the high-performing strains to enrich the flavour of fermented dairy products is highly desirable and holds great commercial potential.

    2. Chlorpyrifos-induced changes in the antioxidants and fatty acid compositions of Chroococcus turgidus NTMS12

      M.S. Kumar, R. Praveenkumar, B.-H. Jeon and N. Thajuddin

      Article first published online: 21 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12311

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Chlorpyrifos induces oxidative stress in Chroococcus turgidus NTMS12. A strong inference was made on increased activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and proline content and lowering the level of unsaturated fatty acids under the pesticide-exposed condition. These significant changes are the defence mechanisms against the oxidative stress. Thus, this organism holds great promise in resisting toxic pesticide.

    3. Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of H2S-positive and H2S-negative strains of Shewanella baltica isolated from spoiled whiting (Merlangius merlangus)

      A. Dehaut, G. Midelet-Bourdin, A. Brisabois and G. Duflos

      Article first published online: 21 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12312

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Shewanella is a complex genus composed of numerous and heterogeneous species. One of them Shewanella baltica has previously been described as one of the most important H2S-producing bacterial species in iced stored fish and may act as spoilage organism through the reduction of trimethylamine N-Oxide (TMAO). Four strains of S. baltica were isolated from spoiled whiting (Merlangius merlangus), and description of three H2S-positive strains and one H2S-negative strain of S. baltica is highlighted in this short paper. Consequently, H2S production might not be the most appropriate screening parameter to assess the development of spoilage organisms.

    4. Phosphate promotes uranium (VI) adsorption in Staphylococcus aureus LZ-01

      L. Zou, Z. Chen, X. Zhang, P. Liu and X. Li

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12310

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Staphylococcus aureus LZ-01 can resist 2 mmol l−1 U(VI). It could adsorb more than 90% of the 2 mmol l−1 U(VI) in 6 h. Uranium is precipitated with phosphorus on the surface of the cells. Phosphate promotes uranium adsorption in strain LZ-01, and its U(VI) adsorption capacity is related to its cell availability. These results indicate that the strain LZ-01 might be a potential candidate for remediation of nuclear waste when phosphate is added.

    5. The persistence of Salmonella following desiccation under feed processing environmental conditions: a subject of relevance

      O. Habimana, L.L. Nesse, T. Møretrø, K. Berg, E. Heir, L.K. Vestby and S. Langsrud

      Article first published online: 14 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12308

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: While Salmonella has been shown to persist for years in feed processing environments, it is still unknown how temperature and humidity affect the persistence of Salmonella cells over time in terms of their metabolic states and cultivability. Here, we show that long-term exposure to feed processing environmental conditions induces Salmonella into a nonculturable state even though about 1% of the population remains metabolically active. This has significant implications when monitoring Salmonella from the environment which could yield false-negative results using conventional pre-enrichment detection methods.

    6. Integron-bearing Gram-negative bacteria in lake waters

      R. Koczura, A. Semkowska and J. Mokracka

      Article first published online: 14 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12307

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Integrons play a major role in the spread of antibiotic resistance among bacteria. They are frequently found in clinical bacterial strains, but are also detected in environmental isolates in sites affected by anthropogenic pressure. Little is known, however, about the presence and characteristics of integrons in bacteria living in water environments in areas of nature preservation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study focused on detection and characterization of integrons in bacteria living in water ecosystems in a national park.

    7. Biodegradation of sulfosulphuron in agricultural soil by Trichoderma sp.

      U. Yadav and P.P. Choudhury

      Article first published online: 12 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12306

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The degradation of sulfosulphuron by any individual fungus is being reported for the first time. Trichoderma sp. isolated from wheat-rhizospheric soil could survive in minimal broth rich in sulfosulphuron. Previous reports have described the complete degradation of any sulfonyl urea herbicides by micro-organisms only after the pH-dependent chemical hydrolysis of the sulfonyl urea bridge of the herbicide. This study demonstrates the novel result that the Trichoderma sp. utilized the sulfosulphuron as a sole carbon source and degraded it by cleaving sulfonyl urea bridge and sulfonylamide linkage. Thus, the application of Trichoderma sp., which is nonphytopathogenic, has the potential to decontaminate agricultural soil from sulfosulphuron load.

    8. Characterization of bacterial knot disease caused by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi on pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) trees: a new host of the pathogen

      I.A. Bozkurt, S. Soylu, M. Mirik, C. Ulubas Serce and Ö. Baysal

      Article first published online: 30 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12309

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Pomegranate trees were affected by the disease with outgrowths (galls or knot) disease. Currently, there is no published study on disease agent(s) causing the galls or knots on pomegranate trees in worldwide. Bacterial colonies were isolated from young knots. The causal agent of the knot Pseudomonas savastanoi pv.savastanoi (Psv) was identified based on symptoms, biochemical, molecular methods, pathogenicity tests and sequence analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Psv on pomegranate as a natural host, which extends the growing list of plant species affected by this bacterium in the world and Turkey.

    9. Isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. from ready-to-eat fish products

      D. Sergelidis, A. Abrahim, T. Papadopoulos, N. Soultos, E. Martziou, V. Koulourida, A. Govaris, A. Pexara, A. Zdragas and A. Papa

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12304

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study provides the first data on the occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci in salted and smoked fish products in Greece. These results are important and useful for Staphylococcus spp. risk assessment and management programmes for ready-to-eat fish products.

    10. Effect of proteases against biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis

      P.-H. Elchinger, C. Delattre, S. Faure, O. Roy, S. Badel, T. Bernardi, C. Taillefumier and P. Michaud

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12305

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Three proteases were tested against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms in standard conditions. The Flavourzyme containing a mix of Aspergillus orizae endo- and exoproteases demonstrated significant efficacy against Staph. epidermidis biofilm formation. These results could prove valuable in the effort to develop simple anti-biofilm methods.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

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      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.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    23. 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.

    24. 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.

    25. 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.

    26. 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.

    27. 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.

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