Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 48 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of a caprolactam degrader bacterium: <em>Pseudomonas taiwanensis</em> strain SJ9]]> Abstract Pseudomonas taiwanensis strain SJ9 is a caprolactam degrader, isolated from industrial wastewater in South Korea and considered to have the potential for caprolactam bioremediation. The genome of this strain is approximately 6.2 Mb (G + C content, 61.75%) with 6,010 protein-coding sequences (CDS), of which 46% are assigned to recognized functional genes. This draft genome of strain SJ9 will provide insights into the genetic basis of its caprolactam-degradation ability. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of phenol degrading <em>Acinetobacter</em> sp. Strain V2, isolated from oil contaminated soil]]> Abstract We report here the draft genome sequence of Acinetobacter sp. Strain V2 isolated from the oil contaminated soil collected from ENGEN, Amanzimtoti, South Africa. Degradation of phenolic compounds such as phenol, toluene, aniline etc. at 400 ppm in 24 h and oil degrading capability makes this organism an efficient multifunctional bioremediator. Genome sequencing of Acinetobacter spp. V2 was carried out on Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform (performed by the Beijing Genomics Institute [BGI], Shenzhen, China). The data obtained revealed 643 contigs with genome size of 4.0 Mb and G + C content of 38.59%. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of a GES-5-producing <em>Serratia marcescens</em> isolated in southern Brazil]]> Abstract Serratia marcescens is a Gram-negative rod intrinsically resistant to polymyxins and usually associated with wound, respiratory and urinary tract infections. The whole genome of the first GES-5-producing S. marcescens isolated from a Brazilian patient was sequenced using Ion Torrent PGM System. Besides blaGES-5, we were able to identify genes encoding for other β-lactamases, for aminoglycoside modifying enzymes and for an efflux pump to tetracyclines. <![CDATA[Genome sequencing of four strains of Phylotype I, II and IV of <em>Ralstonia solanacearum</em> that cause potato bacterial wilt in India]]> Abstract Ralstonia solanacearum is a heterogeneous species complex causing bacterial wilts in more than 450 plant species distributed in 54 families. The complexity of the genome and the wide diversity existing within the species has led to the concept of R. solanacearum species complex (RsSC). Here we report the genome sequence of the four strains (RS2, RS25, RS48 and RS75) belonging to three of the four phylotypes of R. solanacearum that cause potato bacterial wilt in India. The genome sequence data would be a valuable resource for the evolutionary, epidemiological studies and quarantine of this phytopathogen. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequence of a multidrug-resistant beta-lactamase OXA-357-producing <em>Acinetobacter pittii</em> ST865 clinical isolate from China]]> Abstract Worldwide increasing emergence of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. has rendered the limited availability of effective antimicrobial agents and has become a major public health concern. In this study, we report the draft genome sequence of A. pittii TCM156, a multidrug-resistant isolate that harbored the blaOXA-357 gene. The genome sequence was further analyzed by various bioinformatics methods. The genome size was estimated to be 3,807,313 bp with 3508 predicted coding regions and G + C content is 38.7%. These findings have raised awareness of the possible emergence of OXA-type enzyme-producing A. pittii isolate in China. <![CDATA[Efficacy and safety of a four-drug fixed-dose combination regimen versus separate drugs for treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis]]> Abstract Introduction: Tuberculosis, particularly multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. To the best of our knowledge, however, no study to date has assessed the combined use of the four available drugs for tuberculosis treatment, which is an issue of great clinical relevance. Objective: To determine whether the four-drug fixed-dose combination is safer or more effective than separate drugs for treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Results: In pooled results from five randomized controlled trials with 3502 patients across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, four-drug fixed-dose combination therapy was no better than separate drugs therapy in terms of culture conversion after 2 and 6 months of treatment. There were no significant differences between the groups in overall incidence of adverse effects. However, the meta-analytic measure (log odds ratio) revealed that separate drugs treatment had a 1.65 [exp (0.5) = 1.65] increased chance of gastrointestinal adverse effects compared to four-drug fixed-dose combination treatment. Conclusions: The reviewed studies showed that four-drug fixed-dose combination therapy provides greater patient comfort by reducing the number of pills and the incidence of gastrointestinal adverse effects, as well as simplifying pharmaceutical management at all levels. <![CDATA[Oral phaeohyphomycosis in a patient with squamocellular carcinoma of the lip: second case report]]> Abstract This communication reports the second known case of oral phaeohyphomycosis in a patient with squamocellular carcinoma of the lip. The patient, an 82-year-old black woman, a former smoker (for more than 30 years), suffering from an ulcerous vegetative lesion in the middle third of the lower lip for approximately 12 months. The result of the histopathological analysis indicated carcinoma, with well-differentiated keratinized squamous cells and the presence of septate mycelial filaments. In the direct mycological examination, thick and dematiaceous septate mycelial filaments were observed. After the resection surgery, the patient did not need to use an antifungal drug to treat the phaeohyphomycosis, and no follow-up radiotherapy was needed to treat the squamocellular carcinoma. We stress that the presence of the squamocellular lesion of the lip was a possible contributing factor to the infection. <![CDATA[Carbapenem-resistant <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>: association with virulence genes and biofilm formation]]> Abstract Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes frequently nosocomial infections, currently becoming more difficult to treat due to the various resistance mechanisms and different virulence factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors independently associated with the development of bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, the frequency of virulence genes in metallo-β-lactamases producers and to evaluate their ability to produce biofilm. We conducted a case–control study in the Uberlândia Federal University – Hospital Clinic, Brazil. Polymerase Chain Reaction was performed for metallo-β-lactamases and virulence genes. Adhesion and biofilm assays were done by quantitative tests. Among the 157 strains analyzed, 73.9% were multidrug-resistant, 43.9% were resistant to carbapenems, 16.1% were phenotypically positive for metallo-β-lactamases, and of these, 10.7% were positive for blaSPM gene and 5.3% positive for blaVIM. The multivariable analysis showed that mechanical ventilation, enteral/nasogastric tubes, primary bacteremia with unknown focus, and inappropriate therapy were independent risk factors associated with bacteremia. All tested strains were characterized as strongly biofilm producers. A higher mortality was found among patients with bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, associated independently with extrinsic risk factors, however it was not evident the association with the presence of virulence and metallo-β-lactamases genes. <![CDATA[<em>Helicobacter pylori</em> with East Asian-type <em>cag</em>PAI genes is more virulent than strains with Western-type in some <em>cag</em>PAI genes]]> Abstract The severity of Helicobacter pylori-related disease is correlated with the presence and integrity of a cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI). cagPAI genotype may have a modifying effect on the pathogenic potential of the infecting strain. After analyzing the sequences of cagPAI genes, some strains with the East Asian-type cagPAI genes were selected for further analysis to examine the association between the diversity of the cagPAI genes and the virulence of H. pylori. The results showed that gastric mucosal inflammatory cell infiltration was significantly higher in patients with East Asian-type cagPAI genes H. pylori strain compared with mosaicism cagPAI genes H. pylori strain (p &lt; 0.05). H. pylori strains with the East Asian-type cagPAI genes were closely associated with IL-8 secretion in vitro and in vivo compared with H. pylori strains with the mosaicism cagPAI genes (p &lt; 0.01). H. pylori strains with East Asian-type cagPAI genes are able to strongly translocate CagA to host cells. These results suggest that H. pylori strains with East Asian-type cagPAI genes are more virulent than the strains of cagPAI gene/genes that are Western type. <![CDATA[The virulence of <em>Streptococcus pneumoniae</em> partially depends on <em>dprA</em>]]> Abstract Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most frequent opportunistic pathogens worldwide. DNA processing protein A (DprA) is an important factor involved in bacterial uptake and DNA integration into bacterial genome, but its role in S. pneumoniae virulence remains unclear. The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of the pneumococcal dprA gene on the pathogenesis of S. pneumoniae. To construct a dprA-deficient pneumococcal strain, the dprA gene of the S. pneumoniae strain D39 was inactivated. The virulence of this dprA-deficient strain, designated ΔD39, was compared with that of the wild-type strain by evaluating their respective capabilities to adhere to human pulmonary epithelial cells (PEC-A549) and by analyzing their choline-binding protein expression levels. In addition, the expression profiles of genes associated with virulence and host survival assays were also conducted with the mutant and the wild-type strain. Our results indicate that the capability of ΔD39 to adhere to the PEC-A549 airway cells was significantly lower (p &lt; 0.01) compared with D39. Additionally, the 100-KD choline-binding protein was not detected in ΔD39. The addition of competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) lead to a significantly reduction of psaA mRNA expression in the dprA-deficient mutant and an increased level of psaA transcripts in the wild-type strain (p &lt; 0.01). The median survival time of mice intraperitoneally infected with ΔD39 was significantly higher (p &lt; 0.01) than that of mice infected with D39. The results of this study suggest that DprA has a significant effect on virulence characteristics of S. pneumoniae by influencing the expression of choline-binding protein and PsaA. <![CDATA[Comparison of culture and PCR methods in the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis]]> Abstract Our aim in this study is to compare the standard culture method with the multiplex PCR and the Speed-Oligo® Bacterial Meningitis Test (SO-BMT) – a hybridization-based molecular test method – during the CSF examination of the patients with the pre-diagnosis of acute bacterial meningitis. For the purposes of this study, patients with acute bacterial meningitis treated at the Dicle University Medical Faculty Hospital, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Clinic between December 2009 and April 2012 were retrospectively evaluated. The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis was made based on the clinical findings, laboratory test anomalies, CSF analysis results, and the radiological images. Growth was observed in the CSF cultures of 10 out of the 57 patients included in the study (17.5%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated in all of them. The CSF samples of 34 patients (59.6%) were positive according to the SO-BMT and S. pneumoniae was detected in 33 of the samples (97.05%), while Neisseria meningitidis was found in 1 sample (2.95%). In a total of 10 patients, S. pneumoniae was both isolated in the CSF culture and detected in the SO-BMT. The culture and the SO-BMT were negative in 23 of the CSF samples. There was no sample in which the CSF culture was positive although the SO-BMT was negative. While SO-BMT seems to be a more efficient method than bacterial culturing to determine the pathogens that most commonly cause bacterial meningitis in adults, further studies conducted on larger populations are needed in order to assess its efficiency and uses. <![CDATA[Molecular characterization of methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> isolated from blood in Rio de Janeiro displaying susceptibility profiles to non-β-lactam antibiotics]]> Abstract The distinction between healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) and community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) infections has become increasingly blurred. We assessed the molecular characterization and antimicrobial resistance profile for MRSA isolates from blood. Most of all (81.9%) isolates are related to known HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA epidemic lineages, such as, USA300, USA400, USA600, USA800 and USA1100. This is the first multicenter study in Rio de Janeiro. <![CDATA[Modified Carba NP test for the detection of carbapenemase production in gram-negative rods: optimized handling of multiple samples]]> Abstract The modified Carba NP test presented here may be a valuable tool for laboratories interested in investigating a large number of carbapenemase-producing bacteria in a less-costly way. The test was evaluated against 48 carbapenemase-producing and carbapenemase-non-producing gram-negative bacteria. No false–positive results were obtained, but false-negative results were observed with OXA-23- and GES-carbapenemase-producing isolates. Aeromonas sp. are not testable by Modified Carba NP. <![CDATA[Analysis of microbial diversity in Shenqu with different fermentation times by PCR-DGGE]]> Abstract Shenqu is a fermented product that is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat indigestion; however, the microbial strains in the fermentation process are still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate microbial diversity in Shenqu using different fermentation time periods. DGGE (polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) profiles indicated that a strain of Pediococcus acidilactici (band 9) is the predominant bacteria during fermentation and that the predominant fungi were uncultured Rhizopus, Aspergillus oryzae, and Rhizopus oryzae. In addition, pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Erwinia billingiae, and Pantoea vagan were detected in Shenqu. DGGE analysis showed that bacterial and fungal diversity declined over the course of fermentation. This determination of the predominant bacterial and fungal strains responsible for fermentation may contribute to further Shenqu research, such as optimization of the fermentation process. <![CDATA[Growth kinetic models of five species of <em>Lactobacilli</em> and lactose consumption in batch submerged culture]]> Abstract Kinetic behaviors of five Lactobacillus strains were investigated with Contois and Exponential models. Awareness of kinetic behavior of microorganisms is essential for their industrial process design and scale up. The consistency of experimental data was evaluated using Excel software. L. bulgaricus was introduced as the most efficient strain with the highest biomass and lactic acid yield of 0.119 and 0.602 g g-1 consumed lactose, respectively. The biomass and carbohydrate yield of L. fermentum and L. lactis were slightly less and close to L. bulgaricus. Biomass and lactic acid production yield of 0.117 and 0.358 for L. fermentum and 0.114 and 0.437 g g-1 for L.actobacillus lactis were obtained. L. casei and L. delbrueckii had the less biomass yield, nearly 11.8 and 22.7% less than L. bulgaricus, respectively. L. bulgaricus (R 2 = 0.9500 and 0.9156) and L. casei (R 2 = 0.9552 and 0.8401) showed acceptable consistency with both models. The investigation revealed that the above mentioned models are not suitable to describe the kinetic behavior of L. fermentum (R 2 = 0.9367 and 0.6991), L. delbrueckii (R 2 = 0.9493 and 0.7724) and L. lactis (R 2 = 0.8730 and 0.6451). Contois rate equation is a suitable model to describe the kinetic of Lactobacilli. Specific cell growth rate for L. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. fermentum, L. delbrueckii and L. lactis with Contois model in order 3.2, 3.9, 67.6, 10.4 and 9.8-fold of Exponential model. <![CDATA[Biotransformation of bromhexine by <em>Cunninghamella elegans, C. echinulata</em> and <em>C. blakesleeana</em>]]> Abstract Fungi is a well-known model used to study drug metabolism and its production in in vitro condition. We aim to screen the most efficient strain of Cunninghamella sp. among C. elegans, C. echinulata and C. blakesleeana for bromhexine metabolites production. We characterized the metabolites produced using various analytical tools and compared them with mammalian metabolites in Rat liver microsomes (RLM). The metabolites were collected by two-stage fermentation of bromhexine with different strains of Cunninghamella sp. followed by extraction. Analysis was done by thin layer chromatography, high performance thin layer chromatography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, high performance liquid chromatography and Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. The role of Cytochrome P3A4 (CYP3A4) enzymes in bromhexine metabolism was studied. Fungal incubates were spiked with reference standard – clarithromycin to confirm the role of CYP3A4 enzyme in bromhexine metabolism. Three metabolites appeared at 4.7, 5.5 and 6.4 min retention time in HPLC. Metabolites produced by C. elegans and RLM were concluded to be similar based on their retention time, peak area and peak response of 30.05%, 21.06%, 1.34%, and 47.66% of three metabolites and bromhexine in HPLC. The role of CYP3A4 enzyme in metabolism of bromhexine and the presence of these enzymes in Cunninghamella species was confirmed due to absence of peaks at 4.7, 5.4 and 6.7 min when RLM were incubated with a CYP3A4 enzyme inhibitor – clarithromycin. <![CDATA[Bioethanol strains of <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> characterised by microsatellite and stress resistance]]> Abstract Strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae may display characteristics that are typical of rough-type colonies, made up of cells clustered in pseudohyphal structures and comprised of daughter buds that do not separate from the mother cell post-mitosis. These strains are known to occur frequently in fermentation tanks with significant lower ethanol yield when compared to fermentations carried out by smooth strains of S. cerevisiae that are composed of dispersed cells. In an attempt to delineate genetic and phenotypic differences underlying the two phenotypes, this study analysed 10 microsatellite loci of 22 S. cerevisiae strains as well as stress resistance towards high concentrations of ethanol and glucose, low pH and cell sedimentation rates. The results obtained from the phenotypic tests by Principal-Component Analysis revealed that unlike the smooth colonies, the rough colonies of S. cerevisiae exhibit an enhanced resistance to stressful conditions resulting from the presence of excessive glucose and ethanol and high sedimentation rate. The microsatellite analysis was not successful to distinguish between the colony phenotypes as phenotypic assays. The relevant industrial strain PE-2 was observed in close genetic proximity to rough-colony although it does not display this colony morphology. A unique genetic pattern specific to a particular phenotype remains elusive. <![CDATA[Production of flavor compounds from olive mill waste by <em>Rhizopus oryzae</em> and <em>Candida tropicalis</em>]]> Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the production of flavor compounds from olive mill waste by microbial fermentation of Rhizopus oryzae and Candida tropicalis. Olive mill waste fermentations were performed in shake and bioreactor cultures. Production of flavor compounds from olive mill waste was followed by Gas Chromatography–Mass spectrometry, Gas chromatography- olfactometry and Spectrum Sensory Analysis ®. As a result, 1.73-log and 3.23-log cfu/mL increases were observed in the microbial populations of R. oryzae and C. tropicalis during shake cultures, respectively. C. tropicalis can produce a higher concentration of d-limonene from olive mill waste than R. oryzae in shake cultures. The concentration of d-limonene was determined as 185.56 and 249.54 µg/kg in the fermented olive mill waste by R. oryzae and C. tropicalis in shake cultures respectively. In contrast, R. oryzae can produce a higher concentration of d-limonene (87.73 µg/kg) d-limonene than C. tropicalis (11.95 µg/kg) in bioreactor cultures. Based on sensory analysis, unripe olive, wet towel, sweet aromatic, fermented aromas were determined at high intensity in olive mill waste fermented with R. oryzae meanwhile olive mill waste fermented with C. tropicalis had only a high intensity of unripe olive and oily aroma. <![CDATA[Production of recombinant human epidermal growth factor in <em>Pichia pastoris</em>]]> Abstract This study was carried out to express human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) in Pichia pastoris GS115. For this aim, the hEGF gene was cloned into the pPIC9K expression vector, and then integrated into P. pastoris by electroporation. ELISA-based assay showed that the amount of hEGF secreted into the medium can be affected by the fermentation conditions especially by culture medium, pH and temperature. The best medium for the optimal hEGF production was BMMY buffered at a pH range of 6.0 and 7.0. The highest amount of hEGF with an average yield of 2.27 µg/mL was obtained through an induction of the culture with 0.5% (v/v) methanol for 60 h. The artificial neural network (ANN) analysis revealed that changes in both pH and temperature significantly affected the hEGF production with the pH change had slightly higher impact on hEGF production than variations in the temperature. <![CDATA[Tricalcium phosphate solubilization and nitrogen fixation by newly isolated <em>Aneurinibacillus aneurinilyticus</em> CKMV1 from rhizosphere of <em>Valeriana jatamansi</em> and its growth promotional effect]]> Abstract Aneurinibacillus aneurinilyticus strain CKMV1 was isolated from rhizosphere of Valeriana jatamansi and possessed multiple plant growth promoting traits like production of phosphate solubilization (260 mg/L), nitrogen fixation (202.91 nmol ethylene mL-1 h-1), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) (8.1 µg/mL), siderophores (61.60%), HCN (hydrogen cyanide) production and antifungal activity. We investigated the ability of isolate CKMV1 to solubilize insoluble P via mechanism of organic acid production. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) study showed that isolate CKMV1 produced mainly gluconic (1.34%) and oxalic acids. However, genetic evidences for nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilization by organic acid production have been reported first time for A. aneurinilyticus strain CKMV1. A unique combination of glucose dehydrogenase (gdh) gene and pyrroloquinoline quinone synthase (pqq) gene, a cofactor of gdh involved in phosphate solubilization has been elucidated. Nitrogenase (nif H) gene for nitrogen fixation was reported from A. aneurinilyticus. It was notable that isolate CKMV1 exhibited highest antifungal against Sclerotium rolfsii (93.58%) followed by Fusarium oxysporum (64.3%), Dematophora necatrix (52.71%), Rhizoctonia solani (91.58%), Alternaria sp. (71.08%) and Phytophthora sp. (71.37%). Remarkable increase was observed in seed germination (27.07%), shoot length (42.33%), root length (52.6%), shoot dry weight (62.01%) and root dry weight (45.7%) along with NPK (0.74, 0.36, 1.82%) content of tomato under net house condition. Isolate CKMV1 possessed traits related to plant growth promotion, therefore, could be a potential candidate for the development of biofertiliser or biocontrol agent and this is the first study to include the Aneurinibacillus as PGPR. <![CDATA[Phenol degradation and genotypic analysis of dioxygenase genes in bacteria isolated from sediments]]> Abstract The aerobic degradation of aromatic compounds by bacteria is performed by dioxygenases. To show some characteristic patterns of the dioxygenase genotype and its degradation specificities, twenty-nine gram-negative bacterial cultures were obtained from sediment contaminated with phenolic compounds in Wuhan, China. The isolates were phylogenetically diverse and belonged to 10 genera. All 29 gram-negative bacteria were able to utilize phenol, m-dihydroxybenzene and 2-hydroxybenzoic acid as the sole carbon sources, and members of the three primary genera Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter and Alcaligenes were able to grow in the presence of multiple monoaromatic compounds. PCR and DNA sequence analysis were used to detect dioxygenase genes coding for catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase. The results showed that there are 4 genotypes; most strains are either PNP (catechol 1,2-dioxygenase gene is positive, catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene is negative, protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase gene is positive) or PNN (catechol 1,2-dioxygenase gene is positive, catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene is negative, protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase gene is negative). The strains with two dioxygenase genes can usually grow on many more aromatic compounds than strains with one dioxygenase gene. Degradation experiments using a mixed culture representing four bacterial genotypes resulted in the rapid degradation of phenol. Determinations of substrate utilization and phenol degradation revealed their affiliations through dioxygenase genotype data. <![CDATA[Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds: (acenaphthene and fluorene) in water using indigenous bacterial species isolated from the Diep and Plankenburg rivers, Western Cape, South Africa]]> Abstract This study was conducted to investigate the occurrence of PAH degrading microorganisms in two river systems in the Western Cape, South Africa and their ability to degrade two PAH compounds: acenaphthene and fluorene. A total of 19 bacterial isolates were obtained from the Diep and Plankenburg rivers among which four were identified as acenaphthene and fluorene degrading isolates. In simulated batch scale experiments, the optimum temperature for efficient degradation of both compounds was determined in a shaking incubator after 14 days, testing at 25 °C, 30 °C, 35 °C, 37 °C, 38 °C, 40 °C and 45 °C followed by experiments in a Stirred Tank Bioreactor using optimum temperature profiles from the batch experiment results. All experiments were run without the addition of supplements, bulking agents, biosurfactants or any other form of biostimulants. Results showed that Raoultella ornithinolytica, Serratia marcescens, Bacillus megaterium and Aeromonas hydrophila efficiently degraded both compounds at 37 °C, 37 °C, 30 °C and 35 °C respectively. The degradation of fluorene was more efficient and rapid compared to that of acenaphthene and degradation at Stirred Tank Bioreactor scale was more efficient for all treatments. Raoultella ornithinolytica, Serratia marcescens, Bacillus megaterium and Aeromonas hydrophila degraded a mean total of 98.60%, 95.70%, 90.20% and 99.90% acenaphthene, respectively and 99.90%, 97.90%, 98.40% and 99.50% fluorene, respectively. The PAH degrading microorganisms isolated during this study significantly reduced the concentrations of acenaphthene and fluorene and may be used on a larger, commercial scale to bioremediate PAH contaminated river systems. <![CDATA[Oxidative stress and antioxidant response in a thermotolerant yeast]]> Abstract Stress tolerance is a key attribute that must be considered when using yeast cells for industrial applications. High temperature is one factor that can cause stress in yeast. High environmental temperature in particular may exert a natural selection pressure to evolve yeasts into thermotolerant strains. In the present study, three yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, MC4, and Kluyveromyces marxianus, OFF1 and SLP1) isolated from hot environments were exposed to increased temperatures and were then compared with a laboratory yeast strain. Their resistance to high temperature, oxidative stress, and antioxidant response were evaluated, along with the fatty acid composition of their cell membranes. The SLP1 strain showed a higher specific growth rate, biomass yield, and biomass volumetric productivity while also showing lower duplication time, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and lipid peroxidation. In addition, the SLP1 strain demonstrated more catalase activity after temperature was increased, and this strain also showed membranes enriched in saturated fatty acids. It is concluded that the SLP1 yeast strain is a thermotolerant yeast with less oxidative stress and a greater antioxidant response. Therefore, this strain could be used for fermentation at high temperatures. <![CDATA[Dark septate endophyte decreases stress on rice plants]]> Abstract Abiotic stress is one of the major limiting factors for plant development and productivity, which makes it important to identify microorganisms capable of increasing plant tolerance to stress. Dark septate endophytes can be symbionts of plants. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of dark septate endophytes isolates to reduce the effects of water stress in the rice varieties Nipponbare and Piauí. The experiments were performed under gnotobiotic conditions, and the water stress was induced with PEG. Four dark septate endophytes were isolated from the roots of wild rice (Oryza glumaepatula) collected from the Brazilian Amazon. Plant height as well as shoot and root fresh and dry matter were measured. Leaf protein concentrations and antioxidant enzyme activity were also estimated. The dark septate endophytes were grown in vitro in Petri dishes containing culture medium; they exhibited different levels of tolerance to salinity and water stress. The two rice varieties tested responded differently to inoculation with dark septate endophytes. Endophytes promoted rice plant growth both in the presence and in the absence of a water deficit. Decreased oxidative stress in plants in response to inoculation was observed in nearly all inoculated treatments, as indicated by the decrease in antioxidant enzyme activity. Dark septate endophytes fungi were shown to increase the tolerance of rice plants to stress caused by water deficiency. <![CDATA[Changes in the microbial community during bioremediation of gasoline-contaminated soil]]> Abstract We aimed to verify the changes in the microbial community during bioremediation of gasoline-contaminated soil. Microbial inoculants were produced from successive additions of gasoline to municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) previously fertilized with nitrogen-phosphorous. To obtain Inoculant A, fertilized MSWC was amended with gasoline every 3 days during 18 days. Inoculant B received the same application, but at every 6 days. Inoculant C included MSWC fertilized with N–P, but no gasoline. The inoculants were applied to gasoline-contaminated soil at 10, 30, or 50 g/kg. Mineralization of gasoline hydrocarbons in soil was evaluated by respirometric analysis. The viability of the inoculants was evaluated after 103 days of storage under refrigeration or room temperature. The relative proportions of microbial groups in the inoculants and soil were evaluated by FAME. The dose of 50 g/kg of inoculants A and B led to the largest CO2 emission from soil. CO2 emissions in treatments with inoculant C were inversely proportional to the dose of inoculant. Heterotrophic bacterial counts were greater in soil treated with inoculants A and B. The application of inoculants decreased the proportion of actinobacteria and increased of Gram-negative bacteria. Decline in the density of heterotrophic bacteria in inoculants occurred after storage. This reduction was bigger in inoculants stored at room temperature. The application of stored inoculants in gasoline-contaminated soil resulted in a CO2 emission twice bigger than that observed in uninoculated soil. We concluded that MSWC is an effective material for the production of microbial inoculants for the bioremediation of gasoline-contaminated soil. <![CDATA[Predictive modeling of <em>Pseudomonas fluorescens</em> growth under different temperature and pH values]]> Abstract Meat is one of the most perishable foods owing to its nutrient availability, high water activity, and pH around 5.6. These properties are highly conducive for microbial growth. Fresh meat, when exposed to oxygen, is subjected to the action of aerobic psychrotrophic, proteolytic, and lipolytic spoilage microorganisms, such as Pseudomonas spp. The spoilage results in the appearance of slime and off-flavor in food. In order to predict the growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens in fresh meat at different pH values, stored under refrigeration, and temperature abuse, microbial mathematical modeling was applied. The primary Baranyi and Roberts and the modified Gompertz models were fitted to the experimental data to obtain the growth parameters. The Ratkowsky extended model was used to determine the effect of pH and temperature on the growth parameter µmax. The program DMFit 3.0 was used for model adjustment and fitting. The experimental data showed good fit for both the models tested, and the primary and secondary models based on the Baranyi and Roberts models showed better validation. Thus, these models can be applied to predict the growth of P. fluorescens under the conditions tested. <![CDATA[Production of docosahexaenoic acid by <em>Aurantiochytrium</em> sp. ATCC PRA-276]]> Abstract The high costs and environmental concerns associated with using marine resources as sources of oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids have prompted searches for alternative sources of such oils. Some microorganisms, among them members of the genus Aurantiochytrium, can synthesize large amounts of these biocompounds. However, various parameters that affect the polyunsaturated fatty acids production of these organisms, such as the carbon and nitrogen sources supplied during their cultivation, require further elucidation. The objective of this investigation was to study the effect of different concentrations of carbon and total nitrogen on the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, by Aurantiochytrium sp. ATCC PRA-276. We performed batch system experiments using an initial glucose concentration of 30 g/L and three different concentrations of total nitrogen, including 3.0, 0.44, and 0.22 g/L, and fed-batch system experiments in which 0.14 g/L of glucose and 0.0014 g/L of total nitrogen were supplied hourly. To assess the effects of these different treatments, we determined the biomass, glucose, total nitrogen and polyunsaturated fatty acids concentration. The maximum cell concentration (23.9 g/L) was obtained after 96 h of cultivation in the batch system using initial concentrations of 0.22 g/L total nitrogen and 30 g/L glucose. Under these conditions, we observed the highest level of polyunsaturated fatty acids production (3.6 g/L), with docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid ω6 concentrations reaching 2.54 and 0.80 g/L, respectively. <![CDATA[Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Brazilian cattle presenting with neurological syndrome]]> Abstract Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF) was investigated in the central nervous system of cattle with neurological syndrome. Two-hundred-ninety samples were analyzed by histology, and molecular methods to detect ovine herpesvirus type 2 (OvHV-2) were optimized and validated. The qualitative polymerase chain reaction (qualitative PCR) analytical sensitivity was 101 DNA copies/µL and found 4.8% (14/290) positive for OvHV-2. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analytical sensitivity was 100 DNA copy/µL and 5.9% (17/290) positivity, with 47.1% (8/17) of the positive samples presenting histological evidence of non-purulent meningo-encephalitis. The qualitative PCR products (422 bp of the ORF75 region) were sequenced and submitted to phylogenetic analysis. Identity matrices showed 100% similarity in OvHV-2 samples obtained in this study and those recovered from GenBank, corroborating other studies. <![CDATA[High frequency of hepatitis E virus infection in swine from South Brazil and close similarity to human HEV isolates]]> Abstract Hepatitis E virus is responsible for acute and chronic liver infections worldwide. Swine hepatitis E virus has been isolated in Brazil, and a probable zoonotic transmission has been described, although data are still scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of hepatitis E virus infection in pigs from a small-scale farm in the rural area of Paraná State, South Brazil. Fecal samples were collected from 170 pigs and screened for hepatitis E virus RNA using a duplex real-time RT-PCR targeting a highly conserved 70 nt long sequence within overlapping parts of ORF2 and ORF3 as well as a 113 nt sequence of ORF2. Positive samples with high viral loads were subjected to direct sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. hepatitis E virus RNA was detected in 34 (20.0%) of the 170 pigs following positive results in at least one set of screening real-time RT-PCR primers and probes. The swine hepatitis E virus strains clustered with the genotype hepatitis E virus-3b reference sequences in the phylogenetic analysis and showed close similarity to human hepatitis E virus isolates previously reported in Brazil. <![CDATA[Genome-wide gene expression patterns in dikaryon of the basidiomycete fungus <em>Pleurotus ostreatus</em>]]> Abstract Dikarya is a subkingdom of fungi that includes Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The gene expression patterns of dikaryon are poorly understood. In this study, we bred a dikaryon DK13 × 3 by mating monokaryons MK13 and MK3, which were from the basidiospores of Pleurotus ostreatus TD300. Using RNA-Seq, we obtained the transcriptomes of the three strains. We found that the total transcript numbers in the transcriptomes of the three strains were all more than ten thousand, and the expression profile in DK13 × 3 was more similar to MK13 than MK3. However, the genes involved in macromolecule utilization, cellular material synthesis, stress-resistance and signal transduction were much more up-regulated in the dikaryon than its constituent monokaryons. All possible modes of differential gene expression, when compared to constituent monokaryons, including the presence/absence variation, and additivity/nonadditivity gene expression in the dikaryon may contribute to heterosis. By sequencing the urease gene poure sequences and mRNA sequences, we identified the monoallelic expression of the poure gene in the dikaryon, and its transcript was from the parental monokaryon MK13. Furthermore, we discovered RNA editing in the poure gene mRNA of the three strains. These results suggest that the gene expression patterns in dikaryons should be similar to that of diploids during vegetative growth.