Letters in Applied Microbiology

Cover image for Vol. 60 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 - 24
  1. Original Articles

    1. Impact of the contamination level and the background flora on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat diced poultry

      A.-L. Lardeux, L. Guillier, E. Brasseur, C. Doux, J. Gautier and N. Gnanou-Besse

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12395

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The study of the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in a diced poultry meat, a matrix whose pH and water activity characteristics are favourable to L. monocytogenes growth, showed that it was inhibited by natural background microflora. This highlights the importance of knowing the product's composition, and in particular the natural background microflora, which can impact the use-by date.

    2. Development of a real-time PCR assay for the quantification of Ma-LMM01-type Microcystis cyanophages in a natural pond

      S. Kimura-Sakai, Y. Sako and T. Yoshida

      Article first published online: 18 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12387

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Phages are one of the factors that may control the ecology of their host blooms. Therefore, it is essential to estimate phage abundance to understand phage impact on host populations. A real-time PCR assay was improved to detect a larger range of Microcystis cyanophages in natural surroundings where no phages were detected using a previous method by re-designing a new primer set based on sequences from three Ma-LMM01-type phage genetic groups. The new method allows us to determine the distribution, dynamics and infection cycle of the phage to help understand the interaction between the phages and the hosts.

    3. Design of species-specific PCR method for the detection of pathogen Embellisia astragali in standing milk vetch seeds

      J.L. Liu, Y.Z. Li and Z.B. Nan

      Article first published online: 15 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12381

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: PCR-based detection is fast, convenient, precise and sensitive compared to the traditional methods of pathogen detection. This study develops the first PCR method for the detection of Embellisia astragali in standing milk vetch seeds. The species-specific primer set designed from the plasma membrane ATPase gene of E. astragali can detect the pathogen. This assay could be applied in the standing milk vetch seed industry.

    4. Xylanases of Bacillus spp. isolated from ruminant dung as potential accessory enzymes for agro-waste saccharification

      V.S. Thite and A.S. Nerurkar

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12397

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The uncontrolled use of fossil fuels and concerns about its future availability, have invoked interest over unconventional alternative energy sources like solar, hydropower, geothermal, nuclear and biomass. Plants, being largest renewable biomass on earth, have received consideration as a source of biofuels. Ruminant dung isolates M35, R31 and J208 belonging to Bacillus sp. produces majorly endo-xylanase when induced with wheat bran. Such plant cell wall degrading endo-xylanases with broad pH optima and mesophilic nature can act as accessory enzymes with cellulases to enhance the saccharification of plant biomass in biofuel industries.

    5. Evaluating the possibility of using acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation wastewater for bacterial cellulose production by Gluconacetobacter xylinus

      C. Huang, X.-Y. Yang, L. Xiong, H.-J. Guo, J. Luo, B. Wang, H.-R. Zhang, X.-Q. Lin and X.-D. Chen

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12396

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The possibility of using acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation wastewater for bacterial cellulose (BC) production by Gluconacetobacter xylinus was evaluated in this study. This is the first time that ABE fermentation wastewater was used as substrate for BC fermentation. The results provide detail information of metabolism of G. xylinus in ABE fermentation wastewater and the influence of wastewater environment on the structure of BC samples. Overall, this bioconversion could reduce the cost of BC production greatly.

    6. Characterization of bacteria degrading 3-hydroxy palmitic acid methyl ester (3OH-PAME), a quorum sensing molecule of Ralstonia solanacearum

      G.A. Achari and R. Ramesh

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12389

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first report on endophytic bacteria of class Gammaproteobacteria and phylum Actinobacteria having 3OH-PAME degrading activity. This study demonstrates the potential use of endophytic bacteria as quorum quenching biocontrol agents for management of bacterial wilt in eggplant.

    7. Erythritol production by Moniliella megachiliensis using nonrefined glycerol waste as carbon source

      Y. Kobayashi, H. Iwata, D. Mizushima, J. Ogihara and T. Kasumi

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12391

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: A shortage of C4 hydrocarbon depending much on naptha-oil has become urgent problem due to rapid reduction of naphtha plants together with global energy revolution. Erythritol, obtained by fermentation, is a rare C4 polyol that can be converted to C4 hydrocarbons. Erythritol is considerably expensive than hydrocarbons, a reduction in cost is critical issue. To meet this, we proposed to utilize low-cost glycerol waste from bio-diesel fuel as a carbon source. Moniliella megachiliensis successfully converted glycerol waste to erythritol. This proposal is promising to obtain C4 hydrocarbon substitute, and concomitantly to dispose a large amount of glycerol waste discharged.

    8. Highly cold-active pectinases under wine-like conditions from non-Saccharomyces yeasts for enzymatic production during winemaking

      M.G. Merín and V.I. Morata de Ambrosini

      Article first published online: 12 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12390

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Nowadays, there is increasing interest in low-temperature winemaking. Nevertheless, commercial oenological pectinases, produced by fungi, are rarely active at low temperatures. Cold-active pectinases that are stable under vinification conditions are needed. This study indicated that cold-active and acid-tolerant pectinases from non-Saccharomcyes yeasts were able to remain active at glucose, ethanol and SO2 concentrations usually found in winemaking. Furthermore, not only are these yeasts a source of cold-active pectinases, but the yeasts themselves are also potential adjunct cultures for oenology to produce these enzymes during cold-winemaking.

    9. Comparison of eleven commercially available rapid tests for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis

      A.A. Zasada, K. Formińska, K. Zacharczuk, D. Jacob and R. Grunow

      Article first published online: 8 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12392

      Significance and Impact of the Study: Rapid detection of highly pathogenic bacteria causing anthrax, plague and tularemia is crucial for the limitation of negative effects of a potential release (natural, accidental or deliberate). In the study, commercially available rapid tests for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis were investigated in terms of sensitivity, specificity and ease-to-perform. The study showed problems which could be faced during testing and results interpretation. Conclusions from this study should be helpful not only in selection of the most appropriate test for particular group of First Responders but also in undertaking decisions in situation of a contamination suspicion which have high social and economical impacts.

    10. Altersolanol A: a selective cytotoxic anthraquinone from a Phomopsis sp.

      P.D. Mishra, S.A. Verekar, S.K. Deshmukh, K.S. Joshi, H.H. Fiebig and G. Kelter

      Article first published online: 8 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12384

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study confirms the cytotoxic potential of Altersolanol A isolated from the endophyte Phomopsis sp. (PM0409092) of the plant Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. The compound exhibits in vitro cytotoxicity against 34 human cancer cell lines with mean IC50 (IC70) value of 0·005 μg ml−1 (0·024 μg ml−1). This is an in-depth report of Altersolanol A against a panel of 34 human cancer cell lines and extends observations from previous studies indicating that Altersolanol A can be used for the development of chemotherapeutics. Altersolanol A, a kinase inhibitor, induces cell death by apoptosis through the cleavage of Caspase-3 and -9 and by decreased anti-apoptotic protein expression.

    11. Bicarbonate enhances the in vitro antibiotic activity of kanamycin in Escherichia coli

      M. Gutiérrez-Huante, H. Martínez, V.H. Bustamante, J.L. Puente and J. Sánchez

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12388

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Bicarbonate at a low concentration enhanced the in vitro antibiotic activity of kanamycin and gentamicin. Even though the action mechanism of bicarbonate is hitherto unknown, it seems worthwhile to explore further its capacity to improve the efficacy of aminoglycosides. Clearly, the well-known harmful side-effects of aminoglycosides are a concern. However, it has recently been shown in a fish model that bicarbonate may protect ciliary cells against the damage caused by aminoglycosides. So, it seems possible that bicarbonate could help reduce aminoglycoside dosage at the same time that it might help lessen the damage to auditory ciliary cells in humans.

    12. Lactobacillus pentosus var. plantarum C29 ameliorates age-dependent memory impairment in Fischer 344 rats

      J.-J. Jeong, J.-Y. Woo, K.-A. Kim, M.J. Han and D.-H. Kim

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12393

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus pentosus var. plantarum C29 had the memory-enhancing effect in aged Fischer 344 rats by restoring doublecortin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and suppressing p16 expression and NF-κB activation in the brain. Therefore, C29 may be useful in ameliorating age-related degenerative dementia.

    13. Multiplex PCR for detection of virulence markers of Vibrio vulnificus

      N. Bier, S. Diescher and E. Strauch

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12394

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: A multiplex PCR for simultaneous detection and characterization of potentially virulent strains of Vibrio vulnificus was developed and validated. Monitoring programs will benefit from this cost and time effective method when screening large strain collections. Application of the multiplex PCR simplifies determination of risks emanating from V. vulnificus in recreational waters or mussel primary production.

    14. Swarm motility of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is inhibited by compounds from fruit peel extracts

      G. Mahadwar, K.R. Chauhan, G.V. Bhagavathy, C. Murphy, A.D. Smith and A.A. Bhagwat

      Article first published online: 2 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12364

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Controlling the spread of food-borne pathogens in moist environments is an important microbial food safety issue. Isolation of compounds from agricultural waste (such as fruit peels) that would control spread of human pathogens was explored using Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a model organism. Pomegranate peels offer great potential as a bioactive repellent for pathogenic micro-organisms.

    15. Successful detection of pathogenic Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli in shellfish, environmental waters and sediment using the ISO/TS-13136 method

      C. Balière, A. Rincé, D. Thevenot and M. Gourmelon

      Article first published online: 29 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12386

      Significance and Impact of the Study: (STEC) infections have been reported following ingestion of contaminated food or water or after bathing in contaminated waters. However, to date, few studies concerning their detection in coastal environment and shellfish have been reported. The aim of this work was to assess the presence of STEC in three shellfish-harvesting areas by the ISO/TS-13136 method, which has recently been used for STEC detection in food.

    16. Induction of salt tolerance and up-regulation of aquaporin genes in tropical corn by rhizobacterium Pantoea agglomerans

      S.K. Gond, M.S. Torres, M.S. Bergen, Z. Helsel and J.F. White Jr

      Article first published online: 29 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12385

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: The enhancement of salt tolerance capacity in tropical corn, an important food crop, has the capacity to increase its cultivation area and yield in saline soils. The application of rhizobacteria to improve salt tolerance of tropical corn is ecofriendly and cost effective. We show that P. agglomerans isolated from teosinte (an ancestor of corn) induces salt tolerance in tropical corn and up-regulation of aquaporin genes. This study shows that microbes that increase salt tolerance may be used to enhance crop growth in saline soils.

    17. Survival of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in broth as influenced by pH, water activity and temperature

      S. Balamurugan, R. Ahmed and A. Gao

      Article first published online: 26 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12375

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Results of this study estimate the interaction between pH, aw and temperature on the survival of the top six non-O157 STECs relative to Escherichia coli O157:H7 and provide important growth and no-growth condition which will offer risk assessors a means of estimating the likelihood of these pathogens, if present, would grow in response to the interaction between the three variables assessed.

    18. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis of Francisella tularensis from Quebec, Canada

      K.S. Antonation, S. Bekal, G. Côté, A. Dallaire and C.R. Corbett

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12371

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study reveals the diversity of Francisella tularensis in eastern Canada using multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis. It was initiated to further the understanding of the species within North America as previous studies elucidating the diversity and phylogeography of the species have consisted mostly of specimens from the United States. Type A tularaemia, the most life-threatening subtype of the species and a Category A biothreat agent, is restricted to North America, and this study serves to broaden the knowledge of the epidemiology and diversity of the organism.

    19. Evaluation of a membrane filtration method for the rapid enumeration of confirmed Clostridium perfringens from water

      J. Watkins, D.P. Sartory and on behalf of the UK Standing Committee of Analysts

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12383

      Significance and Impact of the Study: The testing of drinking water for Clostridium perfringens is a regulatory parameter in Europe and the UK. Current UK and ISO methods employ membrane filtration (MF) and TSCA medium followed by subculture and confirmation of isolates by testing for acid phosphatase. This takes 48 h. We present here the results of a multilaboratory evaluation of a MF method that features a simplified isolation medium (TCA) and a membrane transfer procedure for the acid phosphatase test resulting in confirmed results being available in 18–24 h. This development significantly reduces the time to confirmed results for Cl. perfringens from water samples.

    20. Normalization of environmental metagenomic DNA enhances the discovery of under-represented microbial community members

      J.-B. Ramond, T.P. Makhalanyane, M.I. Tuffin and D.A. Cowan

      Article first published online: 15 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12380

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study is the first testing ‘normalization’ on environmental metagenomic DNA (mDNA). The aim of this procedure was to improve the identification of rare phylotypes in environmental communities. Using hypoliths as model systems, we present evidence that this post-mDNA extraction molecular procedure substantially enhances the detection of less common phylotypes and could even lead to the discovery of novel microbial genotypes within a given environment.

    21. New erythromycin derivatives enhance β-lactam antibiotics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

      Z. Li, M. He, X. Dong, H. Lin, H. Ge, S. Shen, J. Li, R.D. Ye and D. Chen

      Article first published online: 14 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12378

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study is the first report on the synergy of anti-MRSA between new erythromycin derivatives and β-lactam antibiotics in vitro. The results show that although the erythromycin derivatives have poor anti-MRSA effects alone, they possess high synergism with oxacillin against MRSA ATCC43300 and clinically isolated MRSA. These novel compounds can significantly reduce the dosage of β-lactam antibiotics against MRSA, while this synergistic effect is different from the combination of β-lactams and β-lactamase inhibitors. The research may provide a new choice for the treatment of infection caused by MRSA and be useful to the research and development of new combination of medicines.

    22. Are cyclic lipopeptides produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens S13-3 responsible for the plant defence response in strawberry against Colletotrichum gloeosporioides?

      S. Yamamoto, S. Shiraishi and S. Suzuki

      Article first published online: 12 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12382

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: This study tries to determine whether biocontrol of phytopathogens by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens in strawberry can be connected to induced plant resistance. The results suggested that the antagonistic strain B. amyloliquefaciens S13-3 confers resistance to strawberry through the production of lipopeptide antibiotics.

    23. Soluble plantain nonstarch polysaccharides, although increasing caecal load, reduce systemic invasion of Salmonella Gallinarum in the chicken

      B.N. Parsons, B.J. Campbell and P. Wigley

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12377

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      Significance and Impact of the Study: Nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) derived from the plantain (Musa paradisiaca) inhibits interaction with epithelial cells by Salmonella enterica Gallinarum, a causative agent of the disease fowl typhoid. Incorporation of plantain NSP into the poultry feed reduced Salm. Gallinarum levels in the spleen and liver of chicks following experimental infection, although their numbers in the caeca increased. These data demonstrate that alternatives to antimicrobials such as NSP may be useful in the control of invasive salmonellosis in poultry.

    24. Genetic variation in Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from the aquacultural environments

      Y.H. Tey, K.J. Jong, S.Y. Fen and H.C. Wong

      Article first published online: 3 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/lam.12372

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      Significance and Impact of the Study:Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a prevalent seafood-borne enteropathogen with the appearance of pandemic O3:K6 strains in 1996. This study characterized the environmental nontoxigenic and toxigenic isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and the presence of marker genes of genomic islands. Results showed that the T3SS2α-associated genes are not present in all environmental tdh+ isolates, and the presence of movable elements may contribute to genetic variation in the environmental V. parahaemolyticus isolates.

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