73 research outputs found

    A deep gold mine metagenome as a source of novel esterases.

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    New sources of enzymes for biotechnological applications are continually being sought for. While diverse microbial ecosysyems have been demonstrated in the deep subsurfaces, deep mines provide easy access to these specialist communities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess a deep mine biofilm as a source of novel esterase enzymes. Biofilm was collected from the Beatrix Mine in South Africa, at a depth of 808 m. Assessment of the diversity revealed a group of previously uncultured bacteria and archaea. A metagenome library was screened for esterolytic activity, producing two esterolytic clones: a phospholipase patatin protein and an isochorismatase family protein. The isochorismatase family protein contained the catalytic Asp and Cys but not the Arg, which is considered as important for catalysis. The patatin showed 55% similarity to its closest relative; the patatin family protein from Plesiocystis pacifica. The expressed patatin displayed a preference for the C6 ester and was maximally active at pH 8 and 30°C. This study reported that screening of a relatively small metagenome library from the deep mine biofilm provided two esterolytic clones, which differed from their known counterparts. This indicates that the deep mine ecosystems contain an untapped resource of novel and potentially useful enzymes which may have applications in chemical syntheses

    Unravelling the metabolic reconfiguration of the post-challenge primed state in Sorghum bicolor responding to Colletotrichum sublineolum infection

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    Priming is a natural phenomenon that pre-conditions plants for enhanced defence against a wide range of pathogens. It represents a complementary strategy, or sustainable alternative that can provide protection against disease. However, a comprehensive functional and mechanistic understanding of the various layers of priming events is still limited. A non-targeted metabolomics approach was used to investigate metabolic changes in plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR)-primed Sorghum bicolor seedlings infected with the anthracnose-causing fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum sublineolum, with a focus on the post-challenge primed state phase. At the 4-leaf growth stage, the plants were treated with a strain of Paenibacillus alvei at 108 cfu mL1. Following a 24 h PGPR application, the plants were inoculated with a C. sublineolum spore suspension (106 spores mL1), and the infection monitored over time: 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 days post-inoculation. Non-infected plants served as negative controls. Intracellular metabolites from both inoculated and non-inoculated plants were extracted with 80% methanol-water. The extracts were chromatographically and spectrometrically analysed on an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system coupled to high-definition mass spectrometry. The acquired multidimensional data were processed to create data matrices for chemometric modelling. The computed models indicated time-related metabolic perturbations that reflect primed responses to the fungal infection. Evaluation of orthogonal projection to latent structure-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) loading shared and unique structures (SUS)-plots uncovered the di erential stronger defence responses against the fungal infection observed in primed plants. These involved enhanced levels of amino acids (tyrosine, tryptophan), phytohormones (jasmonic acid and salicylic acid conjugates, and zeatin), and defence-related components of the lipidome. Furthermore, other defence responses in both naïve and primed plants were characterised by a complex mobilisation of phenolic compounds and de novo biosynthesis of the flavones, apigenin and luteolin and the 3-deoxyanthocyanidin phytoalexins, apigeninidin and luteolinidin, as well as some related conjugates.Supplementary Material: Figure S1: Evaluation of disease symptoms in Colletotrichum sublineolum infected sorghum plants; Figure S2: Representative BPI MS chromatograms of ESI(+) data (3 d.p.i.); Figure S3: Unsupervised chemometric modelling of ESI(-) data; Figure S4: OPLS-DA modelling and variable/feature selection. Table S1: Annotated (MSI-level 2) metabolites reported in Table 1, with fragmentation information.The South African National Research Foundation (NRF)http://www.mdpi.com/journal/metabolitesam2020Plant Production and Soil Scienc

    Metabolomic Analysis of Defense-Related Reprogramming in Sorghum bicolor in Response to Colletotrichum sublineolum Infection Reveals a Functional Metabolic Web of Phenylpropanoid and Flavonoid Pathways

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    The metabolome of a biological system provides a functional readout of the cellular state, thus serving as direct signatures of biochemical events that define the dynamic equilibrium of metabolism and the correlated phenotype. Hence, to elucidate biochemical processes involved in sorghum responses to fungal infection, a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based untargeted metabolomic study was designed. Metabolic alterations of three sorghum cultivars responding to Colletotrichum sublineolum, were investigated. At the 4-leaf growth stage, the plants were inoculated with fungal spore suspensions and the infection monitored over time: 0, 3, 5, 7, and 9 days post inoculation. Non-infected plants were used as negative controls. The metabolite composition of aqueous-methanol extracts were analyzed on an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography system coupled to high-definition mass spectrometry. The acquired multidimensional data were processed to create data matrices for multivariate statistical analysis and chemometric modeling. The computed chemometric models indicated time- and cultivar-related metabolic changes that reflect sorghum responses to the fungal infection. Metabolic pathway and correlation-based network analyses revealed that this multi-component defense response is characterized by a functional metabolic web, containing defense-related molecular cues to counterattack the pathogen invasion. Components of this network are metabolites from a range of interconnected metabolic pathways with the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways being the central hub of the web. One of the key features of this altered metabolism was the accumulation of an array of phenolic compounds, particularly de novo biosynthesis of the antifungal 3-deoxyanthocynidin phytoalexins, apigeninidin, luteolinidin, and related conjugates. The metabolic results were complemented by qRT-PCR gene expression analyses that showed upregulation of defense-related marker genes. Unraveling key characteristics of the biochemical mechanism underlying sorghum—C. sublineolum interactions, provided valuable insights with potential applications in breeding crop plants with enhanced disease resistance. Furthermore, the study contributes to ongoing efforts toward a comprehensive understanding of the regulation and reprogramming of plant metabolism under biotic stress

    Metabolomic evaluation of PGPR defence priming in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars infected with Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (stripe rust)

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    Plant-microbe interactions are a phenomenal display of symbiotic/parasitic relationships between living organisms. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are some of the most widely investigated plant-beneficial microbes due to their capabilities in stimulating plant growth and development and conferring protection to plants against biotic and abiotic stresses. As such, PGPR-mediated plant priming/induced systemic resistance (ISR) has become a hot topic among researchers, particularly with prospects of applications in sustainable agriculture. The current study applies untargeted ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-high-definition mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HDMS) to investigate PGPR-based metabolic reconfigurations in the metabolome of primed wheat plants against Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tricti (Pst). A seed bio-priming approach was adopted, where seeds were coated with two PGPR strains namely Bacillus subtilis and Paenibacillus alvei (T22) and grown under controlled conditions in a glasshouse. The plants were infected with Pst one-week post-germination, followed by weekly harvesting of leaf material. Subsequent metabolite extraction was carried out for analysis on a UHPLC-HDMS system for data acquisition. The data was chemometrically processed to reveal the underlying trends and data structures as well as potential signatory biomarkers for priming against Pst. Results showed notable metabolic reprogramming in primary and secondary metabolism, where the amino acid and organic acid content of primed-control, primed-challenged and non-primed-challenged plants were differentially reprogrammed. Similar trends were observed from the secondary metabolism, in which primed plants (particularly primed-challenged) showed an up-regulation of phenolic compounds (flavonoids, hydroxycinnamic acids-HCAs- and HCA amides) compared to the non-primed plants. The metabolomics-based semi-quantitative and qualitative assessment of the plant metabolomes revealed a time-dependent metabolic reprogramming in primed-challenged and primed-unchallenged plants, indicating the metabolic adaptations of the plants to stripe rust infection over time

    A Review of the Proteomic Profiling of African Viperidae and Elapidae Snake Venoms and Their Antivenom Neutralisation

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    Snakebite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that results from the injection of snake venom of a venomous snake into animals and humans. In Africa (mainly in sub-Saharan Africa), over 100,000 envenomings and over 10,000 deaths per annum from snakebite have been reported. Difficulties in snakebite prevention and antivenom treatment are believed to result from a lack of epidemiological data and underestimated figures on snakebite envenoming-related morbidity and mortality. There are species- and genus-specific variations associated with snake venoms in Africa and across the globe. These variations contribute massively to diverse differences in venom toxicity and pathogenicity that can undermine the efficacy of adopted antivenom therapies used in the treatment of snakebite envenoming. There is a need to profile all snake venom proteins of medically important venomous snakes endemic to Africa. This is anticipated to help in the development of safer and more effective antivenoms for the treatment of snakebite envenoming within the continent. In this review, the proteomes of 34 snake venoms from the most medically important snakes in Africa, namely the Viperidae and Elipdae, were extracted from the literature. The toxin families were grouped into dominant, secondary, minor, and others based on the abundance of the protein families in the venom proteomes. The Viperidae venom proteome was dominated by snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs–41%), snake venom serine proteases (SVSPs–16%), and phospholipase A2 (PLA2–17%) protein families, while three-finger toxins (3FTxs–66%) and PLA2s (16%) dominated those of the Elapidae. We further review the neutralisation of these snake venoms by selected antivenoms widely used within the African continent. The profiling of African snake venom proteomes will aid in the development of effective antivenom against snakebite envenoming and, additionally, could possibly reveal therapeutic applications of snake venom proteins

    Prospects of Gene Knockouts in the Functional Study of MAMP-Triggered Immunity: A Review

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    Plants depend on both preformed and inducible defence responses to defend themselves against biotic stresses stemming from pathogen attacks. In this regard, plants perceive pathogenic threats from the environment through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognise microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), and so induce plant defence responses against invading pathogens. Close to thirty PRR proteins have been identified in plants, however, the molecular mechanisms underlying MAMP perception by these receptors/receptor complexes are not fully understood. As such, knockout (KO) of genes that code for PRRs and co-receptors/defence-associated proteins is a valuable tool to study plant immunity. The loss of gene activity often causes changes in the phenotype of the model plant, allowing in vivo studies of gene function and associated biological mechanisms. Here, we review the functions of selected PRRs, brassinosteroid insensitive 1 (BRI1) associated receptor kinase 1 (BAK1) and other associated defence proteins that have been identified in plants, and also outline KO lines generated by T-DNA insertional mutagenesis as well as the effect on MAMP perception—and triggered immunity (MTI). In addition, we further review the role of membrane raft domains in flg22-induced MTI in Arabidopsis, due to the vital role in the activation of several proteins that are part of the membrane raft domain theory in this regard

    Identification of MAMP-Responsive Plasma Membrane-Associated Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana Following Challenge with Different LPS Chemotypes from Xanthomonas campestris

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    Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are recognized as microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) responsible for eliciting defense-related responses and while the effects have been well-documented in mammals, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the mechanism of perception in plant systems and recognized structural moieties within the macromolecular lipoglycan structure. Thus, identification of the LPS plasma membrane (PM) receptor(s)/receptor complex in Arabidopsis thaliana through proteomics will contribute to a deeper understanding of induced defense responses. As such, structurally characterized LPS chemotypes from Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) wild-type 8004 (prototypical smooth-type LPS) and mutant 8530 (truncated core with no O–chain) strains were utilized to pre-treat A. thaliana plants. The associated proteomic response/changes within the PM were compared over a 24 h period using mass spectrometry-based methodologies following three variants of LPS-immobilized affinity chromatography. This resulted in the identification of proteins from several functional categories, but importantly, those involved in perception and defense. The distinct structural features between wild-type and mutant LPS are likely responsible for the differential changes to the proteome profiles, and many of the significant proteins were identified in response to the wild-type Xcc LPS where it is suggested that the core oligosaccharide and O-chain participate in recognition by receptor-like kinases (RLKs) in a multiprotein complex and, notably, varied from that of the mutant chemotype

    Identification of Candidate Ergosterol-Responsive Proteins Associated with the Plasma Membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana

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    The impact of fungal diseases on crop production negatively reflects on sustainable food production and overall economic health. Ergosterol is the major sterol component in fungal membranes and regarded as a general elicitor or microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) molecule. Although plant responses to ergosterol have been reported, the perception mechanism is still unknown. Here, Arabidopsis thaliana protein fractions were used to identify those differentially regulated following ergosterol treatment; additionally, they were subjected to affinity-based chromatography enrichment strategies to capture and categorize ergosterol-interacting candidate proteins using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Mature plants were treated with 250 nM ergosterol over a 24 h period, and plasma membrane-associated fractions were isolated. In addition, ergosterol was immobilized on two different affinity-based systems to capture interacting proteins/complexes. This resulted in the identification of defense-related proteins such as chitin elicitor receptor kinase (CERK), non-race specific disease resistance/harpin-induced (NDR1/HIN1)-like protein, Ras-related proteins, aquaporins, remorin protein, leucine-rich repeat (LRR)- receptor like kinases (RLKs), G-type lectin S-receptor-like serine/threonine-protein kinase (GsSRK), and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein. Furthermore, the results elucidated unknown signaling responses to this MAMP, including endocytosis, and other similarities to those previously reported for bacterial flagellin, lipopolysaccharides, and fungal chitin
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