Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 48 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Draft genome of <em>Nocardia farcinica</em> TRH1, a linear and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium isolated from the coast of Trindade Island, Brazil]]> Abstract Here, we report the draft genome sequence and annotation of Nocardia farcinica TRH1, a petroleum hydrocarbons degrading Actinobacteria isolated from the coastal water of Trindade Island, Brazil. <![CDATA[Draft genome analysis of <em>Dietzia</em> sp. 111N12-1, isolated from the South China Sea with bioremediation activity]]> Abstract Dietzia sp. 111N12-1, isolated from the seawater of South China Sea, shows strong petroleum hydrocarbons degradation activity. Here, we report the draft sequence of approximately 3.7-Mbp genome of this strain. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first genome sequence of Dietzia strain isolated from the sea. The genome sequence may provide fundamental molecular information on elucidating the metabolic pathway of hydrocarbons degradation in this strain. <![CDATA[Whole genome sequence of lactic acid bacterium <em>Pediococcus acidilactici</em> strain S1]]> Abstract Pediococcus acidilactici strain S1, a lactic acid-fermenting bacterium, was isolated from makgeolli-a Korean traditional fermented alcoholic beverage. Here we report the 1,980,172 bp (G + C content, 42%) genome sequence of Pediococcus acidilactici strain S1 with 1,525 protein-coding sequences (CDS), of which 47% could be assigned to recognized functional genes. The genome sequence of the strain S1 might provide insights into the genetic basis of the lactic acid bacterium with alcohol-tolerant. <![CDATA[A plate method for rapid screening of <em>Ketogulonicigenium vulgare</em> mutants for enhanced 2-keto-l-gulonic acid production]]> Abstract A new plate method was developed for rapid screening of Ketogulonicigenium vulgare mutants overproducing 2-keto-l-gulonic acid (2-KLG). The screening methodology took the advantage of the acidity caused by 2-KLG, which changes the color of bromothymol blue (pH indicator) from blue to yellow. Using the proposed method, a mutant, K. vulgare 65, was selected from 20,000 colonies produced by a strain subjected to spaceflight mutagenesis. When co-cultured with Bacillus megaterium 2980 in 20-L fermenters, K. vulgare 65 showed a high conversion rate (94.45%) of l-sorbose to 2-KLG. In contrast to the traditional screening method, this one significantly improved the frequency of obtaining positive mutants. The proposed plate screening method is cost-effective and easy to run and is thus useful for the isolation and screening of K. vulgare mutants overproducing 2-KLG. <![CDATA[Enhanced ethanol production at commercial scale from molasses using high gravity technology by mutant <em>S. cerevisiae</em>]]> Abstract Very high gravity (VHG) technology was employed on industrial scale to produce ethanol from molasses (fermented) as well as by-products formation estimation. The effect of different Brix° (32, 36 and 40) air-flow rates (0.00, 0.20, 0.40, and 0.60 vvm) was studied on ethanol production. The maximum ethanol production was recorded to be 12.2% (v/v) at 40 Brix° with 0.2 vvm air-flow rate. At optimum level aeration and 40 Brix° VHG, the residual sugar level was recorded in the range of 12.5-18.5 g/L, whereas the viable cell count remained constant up to 50 h of fermentation and dry matter production increased with fermentation time. Both water and steam consumption reduced significantly under optimum conditions of Brix° and aeration rate with compromising the ethanol production. Results revealed VHG with continuous air flow is viable technique to reduce the ethanol production cost form molasses at commercial scale. <![CDATA[New production process of the antifungal chaetoglobosin A using cornstalks]]> Abstract Chaetoglobosin A is an antibacterial compound produced by Chaetomium globosum, with potential application as a biopesticide and cancer treatment drug. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing cornstalks to produce chaetoglobosin A by C. globosum W7 in solid-batch fermentation and to determine an optimal method for purification of the products. The output of chaetoglobosin A from the cornstalks was 0.34 mg/g, and its content in the crude extract was 4.80%. Purification conditions were optimized to increase the content of chaetoglobosin A in the crude extract, including the extract solvent, temperature, and pH value. The optimum process conditions were found to be acetone as the extractant, under room temperature, and at a pH value of 13. Under these conditions, a production process of the antifungal chaetoglobosin A was established, and the content reached 19.17%. Through further verification, cornstalks could replace crops for the production of chaetoglobosin A using this new production process. Moreover, the purified products showed great inhibition against Rhizoctonia solani, with chaetoglobosin A confirmed as the main effective constituent (IC50 = 3.88 µg/mL). Collectively, these results demonstrate the feasibility of using cornstalks to synthesize chaetoglobosin A and that the production process established in this study was effective. <![CDATA[Cultivation of <em>Pichia pastoris</em> carrying the scFv anti LDL (-) antibody fragment. Effect of preculture carbon source]]> Abstract Antibodies and antibody fragments are nowadays among the most important biotechnological products, and Pichia pastoris is one of the most important vectors to produce them as well as other recombinant proteins. The conditions to effectively cultivate a P. pastoris strain previously genetically modified to produce the single-chain variable fragment anti low density lipoprotein (-) under the control of the alcohol oxidase promoter have been investigated in this study. In particular, it was evaluated if, and eventually how, the carbon source (glucose or glycerol) used in the preculture preceding cryopreservation in 20% glycerol influences both cell and antibody fragment productions either in flasks or in bioreactor. Although in flasks the volumetric productivity of the antibody fragment secreted by cells precultured, cryopreserved and reactivated in glycerol was 42.9% higher compared with cells precultured in glucose, the use of glycerol in bioreactor led to a remarkable shortening of the lag phase, thereby increasing it by no less than thrice compared to flasks. These results are quite promising in comparison with those reported in the literature for possible future industrial applications of this cultivation, taking into account that the overall process time was reduced by around 8 h. <![CDATA[Optimizing culture conditions for production of intra and extracellular inulinase and invertase from <em>Aspergillus niger</em> ATCC 20611 by response surface methodology (RSM)]]> Abstract The aim of this study was obtain a model that maximizes growth and production of inulinase and invertase by Aspergillus niger ATCC 20611, employing response surface methodology (RSM). The RSM with a five-variable and three-level central composite design (CCD) was employed to optimize the medium composition. Results showed that the experimental data could be appropriately fitted into a second-order polynomial model with a coefficient of determination (R2) more than 0.90 for all responses. This model adequately explained the data variation and represented the actual relationships between the parameters and responses. The pH and temperature value of the cultivation medium were the most significant variables and the effects of inoculum size and agitation speed were slightly lower. The intra-extracellular inulinase, invertase production and biomass content increased 10-32 fold in the optimized medium condition (pH 6.5, temperature 30 °C, 6% (v/v), inoculum size and 150 rpm agitation speed) by RSM compared with medium optimized through the one-factor-at-a-time method. The process development and intensification for simultaneous production of intra-extracellular inulinase (exo and endo inulinase) and invertase from A. niger could be used for industrial applications. <![CDATA[Development of a novel compound microbial agent for degradation of kitchen waste]]> Abstract Large quantities of kitchen waste are produced in modern society and its disposal poses serious environmental and social problems. The aim of this study was to isolate degradative strains from kitchen waste and to develop a novel and effective microbial agent. One hundred and four strains were isolated from kitchen waste and the 84 dominant strains were used to inoculate protein-, starch-, fat- and cellulose-containing media for detecting their degradability. Twelve dominant strains of various species with high degradability (eight bacteria, one actinomycetes and three fungi) were selected to develop a compound microbial agent "YH" and five strains of these species including H7 (Brevibacterium epidermidis), A3 (Paenibacillus polymyxa), E3 (Aspergillus japonicus), F9 (Aspergillus versicolor) and A5 (Penicillium digitatum), were new for kitchen waste degradation. YH was compared with three commercial microbial agents-"Tiangeng" (TG), "Yilezai" (YLZ) and Effective Microorganisms (EM), by their effects on reduction, maturity and deodorization. The results showed that YH exerted the greatest efficacy on mass loss which decreased about 65.87% after 14 days. The agent inhibited NH3 and H2S emissions significantly during composting process. The concentration of NH3 decreased from 7.1 to 3.2 ppm and that of H2S reduced from 0.7 to 0.2 ppm. Moreover, E4/E6 (Extinction value460nm/Extinction value665nm) of YH decreased from 2.51 to 1.31, which meant YH had an obvious maturity effect. These results highlighted the potential application of YH in composting kitchen waste. <![CDATA[Evaluation of short-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate accumulation in <em>Bacillus aryabhattai</em>]]> Abstract This study was focused on the polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) accumulation property of Bacillus aryabhattai isolated from environment. Twenty-four polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) producers were screened out from sixty-two environmental bacterial isolates based on Sudan Black B colony staining. Based on their PHA accumulation property, six promising isolates were further screened out. The most productive isolate PHB10 was identified as B. aryabhattai PHB10. The polymer production maxima were 3.264 g/L, 2.181 g/L, 1.47 g/L, 1.742 g/L and 1.786 g/L in glucose, fructose, maltose, starch and glycerol respectively. The bacterial culture reached its stationary and declining phases at 18 h and 21 h respectively and indicated growth-associated PHB production. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra confirmed the material as PHB. The material has thermal stability between 30 and 140 °C, melting point at 170 °C and maximum thermal degradation at 287 °C. The molecular weight and poly dispersion index of the polymer were found as 199.7 kDa and 2.67 respectively. The bacterium B. aryabhattai accumulating PHB up to 75% of cell dry mass utilizing various carbon sources is a potential candidate for large scale production of bacterial polyhydroxybutyrate. <![CDATA[High-temperature ethanol production using thermotolerant yeast newly isolated from Greater Mekong Subregion]]> Abstract The application of high-potential thermotolerant yeasts is a key factor for successful ethanol production at high temperatures. Two hundred and thirty-four yeast isolates from Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries, i.e., Thailand, The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Vietnam were obtained. Five thermotolerant yeasts, designated Saccharomyces cerevisiae KKU-VN8, KKU-VN20, and KKU-VN27, Pichia kudriavzevii KKU-TH33 and P. kudriavzevii KKU-TH43, demonstrated high temperature and ethanol tolerance levels up to 45 °C and 13% (v/v), respectively. All five strains produced higher ethanol concentrations and exhibited greater productivities and yields than the industrial strain S. cerevisiae TISTR5606 during high-temperature fermentation at 40 °C and 43 °C. S. cerevisiae KKU-VN8 demonstrated the best performance for ethanol production from glucose at 37 °C with an ethanol concentration of 72.69 g/L, a productivity of 1.59 g/L/h and a theoretical ethanol yield of 86.27%. The optimal conditions for ethanol production of S. cerevisiae KKU-VN8 from sweet sorghum juice (SSJ) at 40 °C were achieved using the Box-Behnken experimental design (BBD). The maximal ethanol concentration obtained during fermentation was 89.32 g/L, with a productivity of 2.48 g/L/h and a theoretical ethanol yield of 96.32%. Thus, the newly isolated thermotolerant S. cerevisiae KKU-VN8 exhibits a great potential for commercial-scale ethanol production in the future. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> antifungal activity of organic compounds derived from amino alcohols against onychomycosis]]> Abstract Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail caused by high densities of filamentous fungi and yeasts. Treatment for this illness is long-term, and recurrences are frequently detected. This study evaluated in vitro antifungal activities of 12 organic compounds derived from amino alcohols against standard fungal strains, such as Trichophyton rubrum CCT 5507 URM 1666, Trichophyton mentagrophytes ATCC 11481, and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antifungal compounds were synthesized from p-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4a-4f) and p-hydroxybenzoic acid (9a-9f). Minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum fungicidal concentrations were determined according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute protocols M38-A2, M27-A3, and M27-S4. The amine series 4b-4e, mainly 4c and 4e compounds, were effective against filamentous fungi and yeast (MIC from 7.8 to 312 µg/mL). On the other hand, the amide series (9a-9f) did not present inhibitory effect against fungi, except amide 9c, which demonstrated activity only against C. albicans. This allowed us to infer that the presence of amine group and intermediate carbon number (8C-11C) in its aliphatic side chain seems to be important for antifungal activity. Although these compounds present cytotoxic activity on macrophages J774, our results suggest that these aromatic compounds might constitute potential as leader molecules in the development of more effective and less toxic analogs that could have considerable implications for future therapies of onychomycosis. <![CDATA[Human leptospirosis: occurrence of serovars of <em>Leptospira</em> spp. in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, from 2008 to 2012]]> Abstract Background: Leptospirosis is an infectious and acute disease caused by Leptospira spp. that have high epidemic potential. This study verified the main Leptospira spp. serovars detected by MAT from serum of patients with suspicion of leptospirosis from 2008 to 2012 in Minas Gerais State. Methods: The laboratory received sera from 4654 patients. All serum were screened by IgM-ELISA according to the manufacturer's instructions. Each sample reactive or indeterminate were tested against twenty-four serovars of Leptospira by MAT. Results: In this study, 597 patients were classified as reactive on MAT. Only 301 patients were confirmed by laboratory test. It was not possible confirmation by laboratory diagnosis of 296 patients. Among the samples classified as reactive on MAT, 273 patients exhibited titers bigger than 800 for one or more serovars; seroconversion was detected in 28 cases. Percentage of 85.1% of the samples reactive on MAT corresponded to males, 39.4% corresponded to patients aged between 20 and 39 years old. The most common serovars found were Icterohaemorrhagiae, Andamana, Patoc, Tarassovi, Copenhageni, Hardjo and Australis. Concerning the samples that exhibited titers bigger than 800, serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae was also the most common, followed by Copenhageni, Andamana, Patoc, Tarassovi, Grippotyphosa and Canicola. In this study, 40% of the cases occurred to the metropolitan area, state capital and 34 neighboring towns. Conclusion: Our results show the possibly spreading serovars in Minas Gerais State and contribute to knowledge of human leptospirosis, aiming at improving the prevention, control of the disease, as well as the treatment of infected patients. <![CDATA[Detection of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in stool specimens submitted for <em>Clostridium difficile</em> toxin testing]]> Abstract The aim of this study was to determine the association between Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and efficacy of screening stools submitted for C. difficile toxin assay for prevalence of VRE. Between April 2012 and February 2014, 158 stool samples submitted for C. difficile toxin to the Marmara University Microbiology Laboratory, were included in the study. Stool samples were analyzed by enzyme immuno assay test; VIDAS (bioMerieux, France) for Toxin A&amp;B. Samples were inoculated on chromID VRE (bioMerieux, France) and incubated 24 h at 37 °C. Manuel tests and API20 STREP (bioMerieux, France) test were used to identify the Enterococci species. After the species identification, vancomycin and teicoplanin MIC's were performed by E test and molecular resistance genes for vanA vs vanB were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of the 158 stool samples, 88 were toxin positive. The prevalence of VRE was 17%(n:19) in toxin positives however, 11.4% in toxin negatives(n:70). All VRE isolates were identified as Enterococcus faecium. These results were evaluated according to Fischer's exact chi-square test and p value between VRE colonization and C. difficile toxin positivity was detected 0.047 (p &lt; 0.05). PPV and NPV were 79% and 47% respectively. In our study, the presence of VRE in C. difficile toxin positives is statistically significant compared with toxin negatives (p &lt; 0.05). Screening for VRE is both additional cost and work load for the laboratories. Therefore VRE screening among C. difficile toxin positive samples, will be cost effective for determination of high risk patients in the hospitals especially for developing countries. <![CDATA[Detection and analysis of different interactions between resistance mechanisms and carbapenems in clinical isolates of <em>Klebsiella pneumoniae</em>]]> Abstract Carbapenems are considered last-line agents for the treatment of serious infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, and this microorganism may exhibit resistance to β-lactam antibiotics due to different mechanisms of resistance. We evaluated 27 isolates of K. pneumoniae resistant to carbapenems recovered from inpatients at the University Hospital of Santa Maria-RS from July 2013 to August 2014. We carried out antimicrobial susceptibility, carbapenemase detection, testing for the presence of efflux pump by broth microdilution and loss of porin by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Genetic similarity was evaluated by ERIC-PCR. High levels of resistance were verified by the minimum inhibitory concentration for the antimicrobials tested. The blaKPC gene was present in 89% of the clinical isolates. Blue-Carba and combined disk with AFB tests showed 100% concordance, while the combined disk test with EDTA showed a high number of false-positives (48%) compared with the gold-standard genotypic test. Four isolates showed a phenotypic resistance profile consistent with the overexpression of the efflux pump, and all clinical isolates had lost one or both porins. The ERIC-PCR dendrogram demonstrated the presence of nine clusters. The main mechanism of resistance to carbapenems found in the assessed isolates was the presence of the blaKPC gene. <![CDATA[Prevalence, serotyping and antimicrobials resistance mechanism of <em>Salmonella enterica</em> isolated from clinical and environmental samples in Saudi Arabia]]> Abstract Salmonella is recognized as a common foodborne pathogen, causing major health problems in Saudi Arabia. Herein, we report epidemiology, antimicrobial susceptibility and the genetic basis of resistance among S. enterica strains isolated in Saudi Arabia. Isolation of Salmonella spp. from clinical and environmental samples resulted in isolation of 33 strains identified as S. enterica based on their biochemical characteristics and 16S-rDNA sequences. S. enterica serovar Enteritidis showed highest prevalence (39.4%), followed by S. Paratyphi (21.2%), S. Typhimurium (15.2%), S. Typhi and S. Arizona (12.1%), respectively. Most isolates were resistant to 1st and 2nd generation cephalosporin; and aminoglycosides. Moreover, several S. enterica isolates exhibited resistance to the first-line antibiotics used for Salmonellosis treatment including ampicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol. In addition, the results revealed the emergence of two S. enterica isolates showing resistance to third-generation cephalosporin. Analysis of resistance determinants in S. enterica strains (n = 33) revealed that the resistance to β-lactam antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline, was attributed to the presence of carb-like, dfrA1, floR, tetA gene, respectively. On the other hand, fluoroquinolone resistance was related to the presence of mutations in gyrA and parC genes. These findings improve the information about foodborne Salmonella in Saudi Arabia, alarming the emergence of multi-drug resistant S. enterica strains, and provide useful data about the resistance mechanisms. <![CDATA[Antimicrobial activity evaluation and comparison of methods of susceptibility for <em>Klebsiella pneumoniae</em> carbapenemase (KPC)-producing <em>Enterobacter</em> spp. isolates]]> Abstract The production of KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) is the major mechanism of resistance to carbapenem agents in enterobacterias. In this context, forty KPC-producing Enterobacter spp. clinical isolates were studied. It was evaluated the activity of antimicrobial agents: polymyxin B, tigecycline, ertapenem, imipenem and meropenem, and was performed a comparison of the methodologies used to determine the susceptibility: broth microdilution, Etest® (bioMérieux), Vitek 2® automated system (bioMérieux) and disc diffusion. It was calculated the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for each antimicrobial and polymyxin B showed the lowest concentrations for broth microdilution. Errors also were calculated among the techniques, tigecycline and ertapenem were the antibiotics with the largest and the lower number of discrepancies, respectively. Moreover, Vitek 2® automated system was the method most similar compared to the broth microdilution. Therefore, is important to evaluate the performance of new methods in comparison to the reference method, broth microdilution. <![CDATA[Immobilization of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria by polyvinyl alcohol and sodium alginate]]> Abstract Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were immobilized by polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and sodium alginate. The immobilization conditions and ammonia oxidation ability of the immobilized bacteria were investigated. The following immobilization conditions were observed to be optimal: PVA, 12%; sodium alginate, 1.1%; calcium chloride, 1.0%; inoculum concentration, 1.3 immobilized balls/mL of immobilized medium; pH, 10; and temperature, 30 °C. The immobilized ammonia-oxidizing bacteria exhibited strong ammonia oxidation ability even after being recycled four times. The ammonia nitrogen removal rate of the immobilized ammonia-oxidizing bacteria reached 90.30% under the optimal immobilization conditions. When compared with ammonia-oxidizing bacteria immobilized by sodium alginate alone, the bacteria immobilized by PVA and sodium alginate were superior with respect to pH resistance, the number of reuses, material cost, heat resistance, and ammonia oxidation ability. <![CDATA[Enzymatic comparison and mortality of <em>Beauveria bassiana</em> against cabbage caterpillar <em>Pieris brassicae</em> LINN]]> Abstract Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus, is the alternative biocontrol agent exploited against major economic crop pests. Pieris brassicae L. is an emerging pest of the Brassicaceae family. Therefore, in the present study, fungal isolates of Beauveria bassiana, viz. MTCC 2028, MTCC 4495, MTCC 6291, and NBAII-11, were evaluated for their virulence against third instar larvae of P. brassicae. Among all these fungal isolates, maximum mortality (86.66%) was recorded in B. bassiana MTCC 4495 at higher concentration of spores (109 conidia/ml), and the minimum mortality (30.00%) was recorded in B. bassiana MTCC 6291 at a lower concentration (107 conidia/ml) after ten days of treatment. The extracellular cuticle-degrading enzyme activities of fungal isolates were measured. Variability was observed both in the pattern of enzyme secretion and the level of enzyme activities among various fungal isolates. B. bassiana MTCC 4495 recorded the maximum mean chitinase (0.51 U/ml), protease (1.12 U/ml), and lipase activities (1.36 U/ml). The minimum mean chitinase and protease activities (0.37 and 0.91 U/ml, respectively) were recorded in B. bassiana MTCC 6291. The minimum mean lipase activity (1.04 U/ml) was recorded in B. bassiana NBAII-11. Our studies revealed B. bassiana MTCC 4495 as the most pathogenic isolate against P. brassicae, which also recorded maximum extracellular enzyme activities, suggesting the possible roles of extracellular enzymes in the pathogenicity of B. bassiana against P. brassicae. <![CDATA[Endophytic fungus <em>Purpureocillium</em> sp. A5 protect mangrove plant <em>Kandelia candel</em> under copper stress]]> Abstract Mangrove is an important ecosystem in the world. Mangrove ecosystems have a large capacity in retaining heavy metals, and now they are usually considered as sinks for heavy metals. However, the mechanism of why the soil of mangrove ecosystems can retain heavy metal is not certain. In this research, endophytic fungus Purpureocillium sp. A5 was isolated and identified from the roots of Kandelia candel. When this fungus was added, it protected the growth of K. candel under Cu stress. This can be illustrated by analyzing chlorophyll A and B, RWC and WSD to leaves of K. candel. Purpureocillium sp. A5 reduces uptake of Cu in K. candel and changes the pH characterization of soil. Furthermore, A5 increase the concentration of Cu complexes in soil, and it enhanced the concentration of carbonate-bound Cu, Mn-Fe complexes Cu and organic-bound Cu in soil. Nevertheless, a significant reduction of the Cu ion was noted among A5-treated plants. This study is significant and illustrates a promising potential use for environmental remediation of endophytes, and also may partially explain the large capacity of mangrove ecosystems in retaining heavy metals. <![CDATA[Heterologous expression of a rice metallothionein isoform (<em>OsMTI-1b</em>) in <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> enhances cadmium, hydrogen peroxide and ethanol tolerance]]> Abstract Metallothioneins are a superfamily of low-molecular-weight, cysteine (Cys)-rich proteins that are believed to play important roles in protection against metal toxicity and oxidative stress. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of heterologous expression of a rice metallothionein isoform (OsMTI-1b) on the tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Cd2+, H2O2 and ethanol stress. The gene encoding OsMTI-1b was cloned into p426GPD as a yeast expression vector. The new construct was transformed to competent cells of S. cerevisiae. After verification of heterologous expression of OsMTI-1b, the new strain and control were grown under stress conditions. In comparison to control strain, the transformed S. cerevisiae cells expressing OsMTI-1b showed more tolerance to Cd2+ and accumulated more Cd2+ ions when they were grown in the medium containing CdCl2. In addition, the heterologous expression of GST-OsMTI-1b conferred H2O2 and ethanol tolerance to S. cerevisiae cells. The results indicate that heterologous expression of plant MT isoforms can enhance the tolerance of S. cerevisiae to multiple stresses. <![CDATA[Effects of monosulfuron-ester on metabolic processes of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria <em>Anabaena flos-aquae</em> and <em>Anabaena azotica</em>]]> Abstract Presence of the relatively new sulfonylurea herbicide monosulfuron-ester at 0.03-300 nmol/L affected the growth of two non-target nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (Anabaena flos-aquae and Anabaena azotica) and substantially inhibited in vitro Acetolactate synthase activity, with IC50 of 3.3 and 101.3 nmol/L for A. flos-aquae and A. azotica, respectively. Presenting in 30-300 nmol/L, it inhibited protein synthesis of the cyanobacteria with less amino acids produced as its concentration increased. Our findings support the view that monosulfuron-ester toxicity in both nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria is due to its interference with protein metabolism via inhibition of branch-chain amino acid biosynthesis, and particularly Acetolactate synthase activity. <![CDATA[Molecular epidemiology of <em>Streptococcus agalactiae</em> isolated from mastitis in Brazilian dairy herds]]> Abstract Streptococcus agalactiae is one of the most common pathogens leading to mastitis in dairy herds worldwide; consequently, the pathogen causes major economic losses for affected farmers. In this study, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), genotypic capsular typing by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and virulence gene detection were performed to address the molecular epidemiology of 59 bovine (mastitis) S. agalactiae isolates from 36 dairy farms located in the largest milk-producing mesoregions in Brazil (Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, and Pernambuco). We screened for the virulence genes bac, bca, bibA, cfb, hylB, fbsA, fbsB, PI-1, PI-2a, and PI-2b, which are associated with adhesion, invasion, tissue damage, and/or immune evasion. Furthermore, five capsular types were identified (Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV), and a few isolates were classified as non-typeable (NT). MLST revealed the following eight sequence types (STs): ST-61, ST-67, ST-103, ST-146, ST-226, ST-314, and ST-570, which were clustered in five clonal complexes (CC64, CC67, CC103, CC17, and CC314), and one singleton, ST-91. Among the virulence genes screened in this study, PI-2b, fbsB, cfb, and hylB appear to be the most important during mastitis development in cattle. Collectively, these results establish the molecular epidemiology of S. agalactiae isolated from cows in Brazilian herds. We believe that the data presented here provide a foundation for future research aimed at developing and implementing new preventative and treatment options for mastitis caused by S. agalactiae. <![CDATA[Molecular characterization of ureaplasmas isolated from reproductive tract of goats and sheep from Brazil]]> Abstract Ovine/caprine ureaplasmas have not yet been assigned a species designation, but they have been classified into nine serotypes. Herein ureaplasmas were searched for in 120 samples of vulvo vaginal mucous from sheep and 98 samples from goats at 17 farms. In addition, semen samples were collected from 11 sheep and 23 goats. The recovered ureaplasma were from sheep and goats from animals without any reproductive disorder symptoms, but not all animals presented positive cultures. In sheep, 17 (68%) cultures of vulvovaginal mucous were positive for ureaplasma and 11 (27%) samples of semen presented positive cultures in animals with clinical signs of orchitis, balanoposthitis or low sperm motility. In goats four ureaplasma isolates were obtained from vulvovaginal mucus, but the semen samples were all negative. The isolates were submitted to Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis methodology and their 16S rRNA genes were sequenced. Fifty percent of ureaplasma recovered from sheep allowed for PFGE typing. Eleven isolates showed eight profiles genetically close to the bovine ureaplasmas. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed differences or similarities of isolates from sheep and goats, and the reference strains of bovine and human ureaplasma. Four clinical isolates from sheep were grouped separately. The studied ureaplasma isolates showed to be a diverse group of mollicutes. <![CDATA[Short interfering RNAs targeting a vampire-bat related rabies virus phosphoprotein mRNA]]> Abstract The aim of this study was to assess the in vitro and in vivo effects of short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against rabies virus phosphoprotein (P) mRNA in a post-infection treatment for rabies as an extension of a previous report (Braz J Microbiol. 2013 Nov 15;44(3):879-82). To this end, rabies virus strain RABV-4005 (related to the Desmodus rotundus vampire bat) were used to inoculate BHK-21 cells and mice, and the transfection with each of the siRNAs was made with Lipofectamine-2000™. In vitro results showed that siRNA 360 was able to inhibit the replication of strain RABV-4005 with a 1 log decrease in virus titter and 5.16-fold reduction in P mRNA, 24 h post-inoculation when compared to non-treated cells. In vivo, siRNA 360 was able to induce partial protection, but with no significant difference when compared to non-treated mice. These results indicate that, despite the need for improvement for in vivo applications, P mRNA might be a target for an RNAi-based treatment for rabies. <![CDATA[Mapping of the continuous epitopes displayed on the <em>Clostridium perfringens</em> type D epsilon-toxin]]> Abstract The epsilon toxin, produced by Clostridium perfringens, is responsible for enterotoxemia in ruminants and is a potential bioterrorism agent. In the present study, 15 regions of the toxin were recognized by antibodies present in the serum, with different immunodominance scales, and may be antigen determinants that can be used to formulate subunit vaccines. <![CDATA[Technology and safety assessment for lactic acid bacteria isolated from traditional Bulgarian fermented meat product "lukanka"]]> Abstract The present work discusses the technological and new selection criteria that should be included for selecting lactic acid bacteria for production of fermented meat. Lactic acid bacteria isolated from Bulgarian traditional fermented "lulanka" salami was studied regarding some positive technological parameters (growth at different temperature, pH, and proteolytic activity). The presence of genes related to the virulence factors, production of biogenic amines, and vancomycin resistance were presented in low frequency in the studied lactic acid bacteria. On the other hand, production of antimicrobial peptides and high spread of bacteriocin genes were broadly presented. Very strong activity against L. monocytogenes was detected in some of the studied lactic acid bacteria. In addition, the studied strains did not present any antimicrobial activity against tested closely related bacteria such as Lactobacillus spp., Lactococcus spp., Enterococcus spp. or Pediococcus spp. To our knowledge this is the first study on the safety and antimicrobial properties of lactic acid bacteria isolated from Bulgarian lukanka obtained by spontaneous fermentation. <![CDATA[Growth, viability and architecture of biofilms of <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em> formed on abiotic surfaces]]> Abstract The pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can persist in food processing plants for many years, even when appropriate hygienic measures are in place, with potential for contaminating ready-to-eat products and, its ability to form biofilms on abiotic surfaces certainly contributes for the environmental persistence. In this research, L. monocytogenes was grown in biofilms up 8 days attached to stainless steel and glass surfaces, contributing for advancing the knowledge on architecture of mature biofilms, since many literature studies carried out on this topic considered only early stages of cell adhesion. In this study, biofilm populations of two strains of L. monocytogenes (serotypes 1/2a and 4b) on stainless steel coupons and glass were examined using regular fluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and classic culture method. The biofilms formed were not very dense and microscopic observations revealed uneven biofilm structures, with presence of exopolymeric matrix surrounding single cells, small aggregates and microcolonies, in a honeycomb-like arrangement. Moreover, planktonic population of L. monocytogenes (present in broth media covering the abiotic surface) remained stable throughout the incubation time, which indicates an efficient dispersal mechanism, since the culture medium was replaced daily. In conclusion, even if these strains of L. monocytogenes were not able to form thick multilayer biofilms, it was noticeable their high persistence on abiotic surfaces, reinforcing the need to focus on measures to avoid biofilm formation, instead of trying to eradicate mature biofilms. <![CDATA[Fermentation process for production of apple-based kefir vinegar: microbiological, chemical and sensory analysis]]> Abstract The aim of this study was to develop a kefir apple-based vinegar and evaluate this fermentation process using new methodology with Biospeckle Laser. Brazilian kefir grains were inoculated in apple must for vinegar production. In this study, the microbial community present in kefir, and correspondent vinegar, was investigated using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization - Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technique. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Acetobacter pasteurianus and Acetobacter syzygii were the microbial species identified. S. cerevisiae, L. plantarum, A. pasteurianus and A. syzygii were found in smaller quantities at the beginning of the alcoholic fermentation, but were found throughout the alcoholic and acetic fermentation. Kefir grains were able to utilize apple must as substrate to produce ethanol, and acetic acid. Acetate, volatile alcohols and aldehydes in the vinegar-based kefir were also produced. The yield of acetic acid in the kefir vinegars was ∼79%. The acetic acid concentration was ∼41 g L-1, reaching the required standard for the Brazilian legislation accepts it as vinegar (4.0% acetic acid). Kefir vinegar showed good acceptance in the sensory analysis. The technology proposed here is novel by the application of immobilized-cell biomass (kefir grains) providing a mixed inocula and eliminating the use of centrifuge at the end of the fermentative process. This step will save energy demand and investment. This is the first study to produce apple vinegar using kefir grains. <![CDATA[Pectin lyase overproduction by <em>Penicillium griseoroseum</em> mutants resistant to catabolite repression]]> Abstract Expression of pectinolytic genes is regulated by catabolic repression limiting the production of pectin lyase (PL) if the natural inducer, pectin, is missing from the growth medium. Here, we report the isolation of Penicillium griseoroseum mutants resistant to 2-deoxy-d-glucose (DG) that show resistance to catabolite repression and overproduce PL. Three spontaneous and nine UV-induced mutants were obtained. Some mutants produced sectors (segments morphologically different) that were also studied. The mutants were analyzed for pectinases production on pectinase-agar plates and five mutants and two sectors showing larger clearing zones than the wild type were selected for quantitative assay. Although PL production higher than the wild type has been found, phenotype instability was observed for most of the mutants and, after transfers to nonselective medium, the DG resistance was no longer present. Only mutants M03 and M04 were stable maintaining the DG-resistance phenotype. When growing for 120 h in liquid medium containing glucose with or without pectin, both mutants showed higher PL production. In the presence of glucose as sole carbon source, the mutant M03 produced 7.8-fold more PL than the wild type. Due its phenotypic stability and PL overproduction, the mutant M03 presents potential for industrial applications.