Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Microbiology]]> vol. 47 num. 3 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Full genome sequencing of the bluetongue virus-1 isolate MKD20/08/Ind from goat in India]]> ABSTRACT This communication reports full genome sequencing of the bluetongue virus-1 (BTV-1) isolate MKD20/08/Ind from goat in northern India. The total BTV-1 genome size was found to be 19,190 bp. A comparison study between the Indian isolate and other global isolates revealed that it belongs to the 'Eastern' BTV topotype. The full genome sequence of BTV-1 will provide vital information on its geographical origin and it will also be proved useful for comparing the Indian isolate with global isolates from other host species. <![CDATA[Draft genome sequences of five <em>Pseudomonas syringae</em> pv. <em>actinidifoliorum</em> strains isolated in France]]> ABSTRACT Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidifoliorum causes necrotic spots on the leaves of Actinidia deliciosa and Actinidia chinensis. P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum has been detected in New Zealand, Australia, France and Spain. Four lineages were previously identified within the P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum species group. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of five strains of P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum representative of lineages 1, 2 and 4, isolated in France. The whole genomes of strains isolated in New Zealand, representative of P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum lineages 1 and 3, were previously sequenced. The availability of supplementary P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum genome sequences will be useful for developing molecular tools for pathogen detection and for performing comparative genomic analyses to study the relationship between P. syringae pv. actinidifoliorum and other kiwifruit pathogens, such as P. syringae pv. actinidiae. <![CDATA[Clinical significance, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular identification of <em>Nocardia</em> species isolated from children with cystic fibrosis]]> ABSTRACT Nocardia is an opportunistic pathogen that causes respiratory infections in immunocompromised patients. The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemiology, clinical significance and antimicrobial susceptibility of Nocardia species isolated from eight children with cystic fibrosis. The isolated species were identified as Nocardia farcinica, Nocardia transvalensis, Nocardia pneumoniae, Nocardia veterana and Nocardia wallacei. N. farcinica was isolated in three patients and all of them presented lung affectation with a chronic colonization and pneumonia. N. farcinica showed resistance against gentamicin, tobramycin, cefotaxime, but was susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and amikacin. N. transvalensis, which was isolated from two patients, showed an association with chronic colonization. N. transvalensis was resistant to tobramycin and amikacin, but susceptible to ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and cefotaxime. N. veterana, N. pneumoniae and N. wallacei were isolated from three different patients and appeared in transitory lung colonization. N. veterana and N. pneumoniae were susceptible to imipenem, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amikacin, tobramycin, and cefotaxime. N. wallacei was resistant to amikacin, tobramycin, imipenem, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and susceptible to ciprofloxacin and cefotaxime. All the isolates were identified up to species level by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The presence of Nocardia in the sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis is not always an indication of an active infection; therefore, the need for a treatment should be evaluated on an individual basis. The detection of multidrug-resistant species needs molecular identification and susceptibility testing, and should be performed for all Nocardia infections. <![CDATA[Regional analysis of potential polychlorinated biphenyl degrading bacterial strains from China]]> ABSTRACT Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the chlorinated derivatives of biphenyl, are one of the most prevalent, highly toxic and persistent groups of contaminants in the environment. The objective of this study was to investigate the biodegradation of PCBs in northeastern (Heilongjiang Province), northern (Shanxi Province) and eastern China (Shanghai municipality). From these areas, nine soil samples were screened for PCB-degrading bacteria using a functional complementarity method. The genomic 16S rDNA locus was amplified and the products were sequenced to identify the bacterial genera. Seven Pseudomonas strains were selected to compare the capacity of bacteria from different regions to degrade biphenyl by HPLC. Compared to the biphenyl content in controls of 100%, the biphenyl content went down to 3.7% for strain P9-324, 36.3% for P2-11, and 20.0% for the other five strains. These results indicate that a longer processing time led to more degradation of biphenyl. PCB-degrading bacterial strains are distributed differently in different regions of China. <![CDATA[Isolation and identification by 16S rRNA sequence analysis of plant growth-promoting azospirilla from the rhizosphere of wheat]]> ABSTRACT The main objective of the present study was to isolate phytohormone-producing, phosphate-solubilizing strains of Azospirillum from wheat to be used as inoculants for plant growth promotion. Five Azospirillum strains were isolated from the rhizosphere of field-grown wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and it was confirmed by BOX-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that the isolates were different and not re-isolates of the same strain. Sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene indicated that four isolates showed maximum similarity to Azospirillum brasilense and one isolate showed maximum similarity to Azospirillum zeae. This is the first report indicating the presence of an A. zeae like isolate in the wheat rhizosphere in Pakistan. The bacterial isolates were characterized for their plant growth-promoting traits, phosphate solubilization, and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production. None of the isolates showed phosphate solubilization activity in the commonly used Pikovskaya medium. However, all strains (except AzoK4) exhibited ability to solubilize tricalcium phosphate (TCP) in modified Pikovskaya medium in which sucrose was replaced by Na-malate, as well as in TCP-supplemented Luria-Bertani (LB) medium. Organic acids, such as acetic, citric, lactic, malic, and succinic acids, were detected in culture supernatants of the tested Azospirillum strains. All strains exhibited ability to produce IAA in the growth medium, except Azospirillum sp. AzoK1. Among the strains tested, the maximum IAA production (30.49 ± 1.04 mg L-1) and phosphate solubilization (105.50 ± 4.93 mg L-1) were shown by a pure culture of Azospirillum sp. AzoK2. In pot experiments, single-strain inocula of Azospirillum sp. AzoK1 and AzoK2 improved wheat plant growth. <![CDATA[Degradation of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons by two strains of <em>Pseudomonas</em>]]> ABSTRACT The goal of this investigation was to isolate competent polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons degraders that can utilize polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons of former industrial sites at McDoel Switchyard in Bloomington, Indiana. Using conventional enrichment method based on soil slurry, we isolated, screened and purified two bacterial species strains PB1 and PB2. Applying the ribotyping technique using the 16S rRNA gene analysis, the strains were assigned to the genus Pseudomonas (Pseudomonas plecoglossicida strain PB1 and Pseudomonas sp. PB2). Both isolates showed promising metabolic capacity on pyrene sprayed MS agar plates during the preliminary investigations. Using time course studies in the liquid cultures at calculated concentrations 123, 64, 97 and 94 ppm for naphthalene, chrysene, fluroanthene and pyrene, P. plecoglossicida strain PB1 and Pseudomonas sp. PB2 showed partial utilization of the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Naphthalene was degraded between 26% and 40%, chrysene 14% and 16%, fluroanthene 5% and 7%; pyrene 8% and 13% by P. plecoglossicida strain PB1 and Pseudomonas sp. PB2 respectively. Based on their growth profile, we developed a model R2 = 1 to predict the degradation rate of slow polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon-degraders where all the necessary parameters are constant. From this investigation, we confirm that the former industrial site soil microbial communities may be explored for the biorestoration of the industrial site. <![CDATA[Soil bacteria showing a potential of chlorpyrifos degradation and plant growth enhancement]]> ABSTRACT Background: Since 1960s, the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos has been widely used for the purpose of pest control. However, given its persistence and toxicity towards life forms, the elimination of chlorpyrifos from contaminated sites has become an urgent issue. For this process bioremediation is the method of choice. Results: Two bacterial strains, JCp4 and FCp1, exhibiting chlorpyrifos-degradation potential were isolated from pesticide contaminated agricultural fields. These isolates were able to degrade 84.4% and 78.6% of the initial concentration of chlorpyrifos (100 mg L-1) within a period of only 10 days. Based on 16S rRNA sequence analysis, these strains were identified as Achromobacter xylosoxidans (JCp4) and Ochrobactrum sp. (FCp1). These strains exhibited the ability to degrade chlorpyrifos in sterilized as well as non-sterilized soils, and were able to degrade 93-100% of the input concentration (200 mg kg-1) within 42 days. The rate of degradation in inoculated soils ranged from 4.40 to 4.76 mg-1 kg-1 d-1 with rate constants varying between 0.047 and 0.069 d-1. These strains also displayed substantial plant growth promoting traits such as phosphate solubilization, indole acetic acid production and ammonia production both in absence as well as in the presence of chlorpyrifos. However, presence of chlorpyrifos (100 and 200 mg L-1) was found to have a negative effect on indole acetic acid production and phosphate solubilization with percentage reduction values ranging between 2.65-10.6% and 4.5-17.6%, respectively. Plant growth experiment demonstrated that chlorpyrifos has a negative effect on plant growth and causes a decrease in parameters such as percentage germination, plant height and biomass. Inoculation of soil with chlorpyrifos-degrading strains was found to enhance plant growth significantly in terms of plant length and weight. Moreover, it was noted that these strains degraded chlorpyrifos at an increased rate (5.69 mg-1 kg-1 d-1) in planted soil. Conclusion The results of this study clearly demonstrate that the chlorpyrifos-degrading strains have the potential to develop into promising candidates for raising the productivity of crops in pesticide contaminated soils. <![CDATA[Evaluation and enhancement of heavy metals bioremediation in aqueous solutions by <em>Nocardiopsis</em> sp. MORSY1948, and <em>Nocardia</em> sp. MORSY2014]]> ABSTRACT An analysis of wastewater samples collected from different industrial regions of Egypt demonstrated dangerously high levels of nickel (0.27-31.50 mg L-1), chromium (1.50-7.41 mg L-1) and zinc (1.91-9.74 mg L-1) in the effluents. Alarmingly, these heavy metals are among the most toxic knownones to humans and wildlife. Sixty-nine Actinomycete isolates derived from contaminated sites were evaluated under single, binary, and ternary systems for their biosorption capacity for Ni2+, Cr6+ and Zn2+ from aqueous solutions. The results of the study identified isolates MORSY1948 and MORSY2014 as the most active biosorbents. Phenotypic and chemotypic characterization along with molecular phylogenetic evidence confirmed that the two strains are members of the Nocardiopsis and Nocardia genera, respectively. The results also proved that for both the strains, heavy metal reduction was more efficient with dead rather than live biomass. The affinity of the dead biomass of MORSY1948 strain for Ni2+, Cr6+ and Zn2+ under the optimized pH conditions of 7, 8 and 7, respectively at 40 °C temperature with 0.3% biosorbent dosage was found to be as follows: Ni2+ (87.90%) &gt; Zn2+ (84.15%) &gt; Cr6+ (63.75%). However, the dead biomass of MORSY2014 strain under conditions of pH 8 and 50 °C temperature with 0.3% biosorbent dose exhibited the highest affinity which was as follows: Cr6+ (95.22%) &gt; Ni2+ (93.53%) &gt; Zn2+ (90.37%). All heavy metals under study were found to be removed from aqueous solutions in entirety when the sorbent dosage was increased to 0.4%. <![CDATA[Effect of plant growth-promoting bacteria on the growth and fructan production of <em>Agave americana</em> L.]]> ABSTRACT The effect of plant growth-promoting bacteria inoculation on plant growth and the sugar content in Agave americana was assessed. The bacterial strains ACO-34A, ACO-40, and ACO-140, isolated from the A. americana rhizosphere, were selected for this study to evaluate their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics. The three bacterial strains were evaluated via plant inoculation assays, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd served as a control strain. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that strains ACO-34A, ACO-40 and ACO-140 were Rhizobium daejeonense, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Pseudomonas mosselii, respectively. All of the strains were able to synthesize indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), solubilize phosphate, and had nitrogenase activity. Inoculation using the plant growth-promoting bacteria strains had a significant effect (p &lt; 0.05) on plant growth and the sugar content of A. americana, showing that these native plant growth-promoting bacteria are a practical, simple, and efficient alternative to promote the growth of agave plants with proper biological characteristics for agroindustrial and biotechnological use and to increase the sugar content in this agave species. <![CDATA[Expression of <em>cry1Ab</em> gene from a novel <em>Bacillus thuringiensis</em> strain SY49-1 active on pest insects]]> ABSTRACT In this study, the cry1Ab gene of previously characterized and Lepidoptera-, Diptera-, and Coleoptera-active Bacillus thuringiensis SY49-1 strain was cloned, expressed and individually tested on Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae. pET-cry1Ab plasmids were constructed by ligating the cry1Ab into pET28a (+) expression vector. Constructed plasmids were transferred to an Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) strain rendered competent with CaCl2. Isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside was used to induce the expression of cry1Ab in E. coli BL21(DE3), and consequently, ∼130 kDa of Cry1Ab was obtained. Bioassay results indicated that recombinant Cry1Ab at a dose of 1000 µg g-1 caused 40% and 64% mortality on P. interpunctella and E. kuehniella larvae, respectively. However, the mortality rates of Bt SY49-1 strains' spore-crystal mixture at the same dose were observed to be 70% on P. interpunctella and 90% on E. kuehniella larvae. The results indicated that cry1Ab may be considered as a good candidate in transgenic crop production and as an alternative biocontrol agent in controlling stored product moths. <![CDATA[<em>Streptomyces lunalinharesii</em> 235 prevents the formation of a sulfate-reducing bacterial biofilm]]> ABSTRACT Streptomyces lunalinharesii strain 235 produces an antimicrobial substance that is active against sulfate reducing bacteria, the major bacterial group responsible for biofilm formation and biocorrosion in petroleum reservoirs. The use of this antimicrobial substance for sulfate reducing bacteria control is therefore a promising alternative to chemical biocides. In this study the antimicrobial substance did not interfere with the biofilm stability, but the sulfate reducing bacteria biofilm formation was six-fold smaller in carbon steel coupons treated with the antimicrobial substance when compared to the untreated control. A reduction in the most probable number counts of planktonic cells of sulfate reducing bacteria was observed after treatments with the sub-minimal inhibitory concentration, minimal inhibitory concentration, and supra-minimal inhibitory concentration of the antimicrobial substance. Additionally, when the treated coupons were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, the biofilm formation was found to be substantially reduced when the supra-minimal inhibitory concentration of the antimicrobial substance was used. The coupons used for the biofilm formation had a small weight loss after antimicrobial substance treatment, but corrosion damage was not observed by scanning electron microscopy. The absence of the dsrA gene fragment in the scraped cell suspension after treatment with the supra-minimal inhibitory concentration of the antimicrobial substance suggests that Desulfovibrio alaskensis was not able to adhere to the coupons. This is the first report on an antimicrobial substance produced by Streptomyces active against sulfate reducing bacteria biofilm formation. The application of antimicrobial substance as a potential biocide for sulfate reducing bacteria growth control could be of great interest to the petroleum industry. <![CDATA[Ligninolytic fungus <em>Polyporus</em> sp. S133 mediated metabolic degradation of fluorene]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to investigate the impact of nonionic surfactants on the efficacy of fluorine degradation by Polyporus sp. S133 in a liquid culture. Fluorene was observed to be degraded in its entirety by Polyporus sp. S133 subsequent to a 23-day incubation period. The fastest cell growth rate was observed in the initial 7 days in the culture that was supplemented with Tween 80. The degradation process was primarily modulated by the activity of two ligninolytic enzymes, laccase and MnP. The highest laccase activity was stimulated by the addition of Tween 80 (2443 U/L) followed by mixed surfactant (1766 U/L) and Brij 35 (1655 U/L). UV-vis spectroscopy, TLC analysis and mass spectrum analysis of samples subsequent to the degradation process in the culture medium confirmed the biotransformation of fluorene. Two metabolites, 9-fluorenol (λmax 270, tR 8.0 min and m/z 254) and protocatechuic acid (λmax 260, tR 11.3 min and m/z 370), were identified in the treated medium. <![CDATA[Antibiotic resistance genes detected in the marine sponge <em>Petromica citrina</em> from Brazilian coast]]> ABSTRACT Although antibiotic-resistant pathogens pose a significant threat to human health, the environmental reservoirs of the resistance determinants are still poorly understood. This study reports the detection of resistance genes (ermB, mecA, mupA, qnrA, qnrB and tetL) to antibiotics among certain culturable and unculturable bacteria associated with the marine sponge Petromica citrina. The antimicrobial activities elicited by P. citrina and its associated bacteria are also described. The results indicate that the marine environment could play an important role in the development of antibiotic resistance and the dissemination of resistance genes among bacteria. <![CDATA[Alleviation of salt stress by halotolerant and halophilic plant growth-promoting bacteria in wheat (<em>Triticum aestivum</em>)]]> ABSTRACT In the current study, 18 halotolerant and halophilic bacteria have been investigated for their plant growth promoting abilities in vitro and in a hydroponic culture. The bacterial strains have been investigated for ammonia, indole-3-acetic acid and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate-deaminase production, phosphate solubilisation and nitrogen fixation activities. Of the tested bacteria, eight were inoculated with Triticum aestivum in a hydroponic culture. The investigated bacterial strains were found to have different plant-growth promoting activities in vitro. Under salt stress (200 mM NaCl), the investigated bacterial strains significantly increased the root and shoot length and total fresh weight of the plants. The growth rates of the plants inoculated with bacterial strains ranged from 62.2% to 78.1%.Identifying of novel halophilic and halotolerant bacteria that promote plant growth can be used as alternatives for salt sensitive plants. Extensive research has been conducted on several halophilic and halotolerant bacterial strains to investigate their plant growth promoting activities. However, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first study to inoculate these bacterial strains with wheat. <![CDATA[Biomethane production from vinasse in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors inoculated with granular sludge]]> ABSTRACT The main objective of this study was to evaluate the anaerobic conversion of vinasse into biomethane with gradual increase in organic loading rate (OLR) in two upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors, R1 and R2, with volumes of 40.5 and 21.5 L in the mesophilic temperature range. The UASB reactors were operated for 230 days with a hydraulic detection time (HDT) of 2.8 d (R1) and 2.8-1.8 d (R2). The OLR values applied in the reactors were 0.2-7.5 g totalCOD (L d)−1 in R1 and 0.2-11.5 g totalCOD (L d)−1 in R2. The average total chemical oxygen demand (totalCOD) removal efficiencies ranged from 49% to 82% and the average conversion efficiencies of the removed totalCOD into methane were 48-58% in R1 and 39-65% in R2. The effluent recirculation was used for an OLR above 6 g totalCOD (L d)−1 in R1 and 8 gtotalCOD (L d)−1 in R2 and was able to maintain the pH of the influent in R1 and R2 in the range from 6.5 to 6.8. However, this caused a decrease for 53-39% in the conversion efficiency of the removed totalCOD into methane in R2 because of the increase in the recalcitrant COD in the influent. The largest methane yield values were 0.181 and 0.185 (L) CH4 (gtotal COD removed)−1 in R1 and R2, respectively. These values were attained after 140 days of operation with an OLR of 5.0-7.5 g totalCOD (L d)−1 and total COD removal efficiencies around 70 and 80%. <![CDATA[L-(+)-Lactic acid production by <em>Lactobacillus rhamnosus</em> B103 from dairy industry waste]]> ABSTRACT Lactic acid, which can be obtained through fermentation, is an interesting compound because it can be utilized in different fields, such as in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries as a bio-based molecule for bio-refinery. In addition, lactic acid has recently gained more interest due to the possibility of manufacturing poly(lactic acid), a green polymer that can replace petroleum-derived plastics and be applied in medicine for the regeneration of tissues and in sutures, repairs and implants. One of the great advantages of fermentation is the possibility of using agribusiness wastes to obtain optically pure lactic acid. The conventional batch process of fermentation has some disadvantages such as inhibition by the substrate or the final product. To avoid these problems, this study was focused on improving the production of lactic acid through different feeding strategies using whey, a residue of agribusiness. The downstream process is a significant bottleneck because cost-effective methods of producing high-purity lactic acid are lacking. Thus, the investigation of different methods for the purification of lactic acid was one of the aims of this work. The pH-stat strategy showed the maximum production of lactic acid of 143.7 g/L. Following purification of the lactic acid sample, recovery of reducing sugars and protein and color removal were 0.28%, 100% and 100%, respectively. <![CDATA[Process optimization for production and purification of a thermostable, organic solvent tolerant lipase from <em>Acinetobacter sp.</em> AU07]]> ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to isolate, purify and optimize the production conditions of an organic solvent tolerant and thermostable lipase from Acinetobacter sp. AU07 isolated from distillery waste. The lipase production was optimized by response surface methodology, and a maximum production of 14.5 U/mL was observed at 30 ºC and pH 7, using a 0.5% (v/v) inoculum, 2% (v/v) castor oil (inducer), and agitation 150 rpm. The optimized conditions from the shake flask experiments were validated in a 3 L lab scale bioreactor, and the lipase production increased to 48 U/mL. The enzyme was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion exchange chromatography and the overall yield was 36%. SDS-PAGE indicated a molecular weight of 45 kDa for the purified protein, and Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight analysis of the purified lipase showed sequence similarity with GDSL family of lipases. The optimum temperature and pH for activity of the enzyme was found to be 50 ºC and 8.0, respectively. The lipase was completely inhibited by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride but minimal inhibition was observed when incubated with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and dithiothreitol. The enzyme was stable in the presence of non-polar hydrophobic solvents. Detergents like SDS inhibited enzyme activity; however, there was minimal loss of enzyme activity when incubated with hydrogen peroxide, Tween 80 and Triton X-100. The kinetic constants (Km and Vmax) revealed that the hydrolytic activity of the lipase was specific to moderate chain fatty acid esters. The Vmax, Km and Vmax/Km ratio of the enzyme were 16.98 U/mg, 0.51 mM, and 33.29, respectively when 4-nitrophenyl palmitate was used as a substrate. <![CDATA[Production of mycelial biomass by the Amazonian edible mushroom <em>Pleurotus albidus</em>]]> ABSTRACT Edible mushroom species are considered as an adequate source of food in a healthy diet due to high content of protein, fiber, vitamins, and a variety of minerals. The representatives of Pleurotus genus are characterized by distinct gastronomic, nutritional, and medicinal properties among the edible mushrooms commercialized worldwide. In the present study, the growth of mycelial biomass of Pleurotus albidus cultivated in submerged fermentation was evaluated. Saccharose, fructose, and maltose were the three main carbon sources for mycelial biomass formation with corresponding yields of 7.28 g L−1, 7.07 g L−1, and 6.99 g L−1. Inorganic nitrogen sources did not stimulate growth and the optimal yield was significantly higher with yeast extract (7.98 g L−1). The factorial design used to evaluate the influence of saccharose and yeast extract concentration, agitation speed, and initial pH indicated that all variables significantly influenced the production of biomass, especially the concentration of saccharose. The greater amount of saccharose resulted in the production of significantly more biomass. The highest mycelial biomass production (9.81 g L−1) was reached in the medium formulated with 30.0 g L−1 saccharose, 2.5 g L−1 yeast extract, pH 7.0, and a speed of agitation at 180 rpm. Furthermore, P. albidus manifested different aspects of morphology and physiology under the growth conditions employed. Media composition affected mycelial biomass production indicating that the diversification of carbon sources promoted its improvement and can be used as food or supplement. <![CDATA[Simultaneous production of amylases and proteases by <em>Bacillus subtilis</em> in brewery wastes]]> ABSTRACT The simultaneous production of amylase (AA) and protease (PA) activity by Bacillus subtilis UO-01 in brewery wastes was studied by combining the response surface methodology with the kinetic study of the process. The optimum conditions (T = 36.0 °C and pH = 6.8) for high biomass production (0.92 g/L) were similar to the conditions (T = 36.8 °C and pH = 6.6) for high AA synthesis (9.26 EU/mL). However, the maximum PA level (9.77 EU/mL) was obtained at pH 7.1 and 37.8 °C. Under these conditions, a considerably high reduction (between 69.9 and 77.8%) of the initial chemical oxygen demand of the waste was achieved. In verification experiments under the optimized conditions for production of each enzyme, the AA and PA obtained after 15 h of incubation were, respectively, 9.35 and 9.87 EU/mL. By using the Luedeking and Piret model, both enzymes were classified as growth-associated metabolites. Protease production delay seemed to be related to the consumption of non-protein and protein nitrogen. These results indicate that the brewery waste could be successfully used for a high scale production of amylases and proteases at a low cost. <![CDATA[<em>Staphylococcus xylosus</em> fermentation of pork fatty waste: raw material for biodiesel production]]> ABSTRACT The need for cleaner sources of energy has stirred research into utilising alternate fuel sources with favourable emission and sustainability such as biodiesel. However, there are technical constraints that hinder the widespread use of some of the low cost raw materials such as pork fatty wastes. Currently available technology permits the use of lipolytic microorganisms to sustainably produce energy from fat sources; and several microorganisms and their metabolites are being investigated as potential energy sources. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterise the process of Staphylococcus xylosus mediated fermentation of pork fatty waste. We also wanted to explore the possibility of fermentation effecting a modification in the lipid carbon chain to reduce its melting point and thereby act directly on one of the main technical barriers to obtaining biodiesel from this abundant source of lipids. Pork fatty waste was obtained from slaughterhouses in southern Brazil during evisceration of the carcasses and the kidney casing of slaughtered animals was used as feedstock. Fermentation was performed in BHI broth with different concentrations of fatty waste and for different time periods which enabled evaluation of the effect of fermentation time on the melting point of swine fat. The lowest melting point was observed around 46 °C, indicating that these chemical and biological reactions can occur under milder conditions, and that such pre-treatment may further facilitate production of biodiesel from fatty animal waste. <![CDATA[High levels of β-xylosidase in <em>Thermomyces lanuginosus</em>: potential use for saccharification]]> ABSTRACT A new strain of Thermomyces lanuginosus was isolated from the Atlantic Forest biome, and its β-xylosidases optimization in response to agro-industrial residues was performed. Using statistical approach as a strategy for optimization, the induction of β-xylosidases activity was evaluated in residual corn straw, and improved so that the optimum condition achieved high β-xylosidases activities 1003 U/mL. According our known, this study is the first to show so high levels of β-xylosidases activities induction. In addition, the application of an experimental design with this microorganism to induce β-xylosidases has not been reported until the present work. The optimal conditions for the crude enzyme extract were pH 5.5 and 60 °C showing better thermostability at 55 °C. The saccharification ability of β-xylosidase in the presence of hemicellulose obtained from corn straw raw and xylan from beechwood substrates showed a xylo-oligosaccharide to xylose conversion yield of 80 and 50%, respectively, at 50 °C. Our data strongly indicated that the β-xylosidases activities was not subjected to the effects of potential enzyme inhibitors often produced during fermentation process. These data suggest the application of this enzyme studied for saccharification of hemicellulose, an abundant residue in the American continents, thus providing an interesting alternative for future tests for energy production. <![CDATA[The prevalence of aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme and virulence genes among enterococci with high-level aminoglycoside resistance in Inner Mongolia, China]]> ABSTRACT This study highlights the prevalence of aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme genes and virulence determinants among clinical enterococci with high-level aminoglycoside resistance in Inner Mongolia, China. Screening for high-level aminoglycoside resistance against 117 enterococcal clinical isolates was performed using the agar-screening method. Out of the 117 enterococcal isolates, 46 were selected for further detection and determination of the distribution of aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme-encoding genes and virulence determinants using polymerase chain reaction -based methods. Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis were identified as the species of greatest clinical importance. The aac(6')-Ie-aph(2")-Ia and ant(6')-Ia genes were found to be the most common aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme genes among high-level gentamicin resistance and high-level streptomycin resistance isolates, respectively. Moreover, gelE was the most common virulence gene among high-level aminoglycoside resistance isolates. Compared to Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis harbored multiple virulence determinants. The results further indicated no correlation between aminoglycoside-modifying enzyme gene profiles and the distribution of virulence genes among the enterococcal isolates with high-level gentamicin resistance or high-level streptomycin resistance evaluated in our study. <![CDATA[Anti-fungal potential of ozone against some dermatophytes]]> ABSTRACT Dermatophytes are classified in three genera, Epidermophyton, Microsporum and Trichophyton. They have the capacity to invade keratinized tissue to produce a cutaneous infection known as dermatophytoses. This investigation was performed to study the effect of gaseous ozone and ozonized oil on three specific properties of six different dermatophytes. These properties included sporulation, mycelia leakage of sugar and nutrients and the activity of their hydrolytic enzymes. Generally, ozonized oil was found to be more efficacious than gaseous ozone. Microsporum gypseum and Microsporum canis were the most susceptible, while Trichophyton interdigitale and T. mentagrophytes were relatively resistant. The study revealed a steady decline in spore production of M. gypseum and M. canis on application of ozonated oil. An increase in leakage of electrolytes and sugar was noticed after treatment with ozonized oil in the case of M. gypseum, M. canis, T. interdigitale, T. mentagrophytes and T. rubrum. The results also revealed loss in urease, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, lipase and keratinase enzyme producing capacity of the investigated fungi. <![CDATA[Contamination of environmental surfaces by methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureu</em>s (MRSA) in rooms of inpatients with MRSA-positive body sites]]> ABSTRACT Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can contaminate environmental surfaces that are frequently touched by the hands of patients with MRSA colonization/infection. There have been many studies in which the presence or absence of MRSA contamination was determined but no studies in which MRSA contamination levels were also evaluated in detail. We evaluated MRSA contamination of environmental surfaces (overbed tables, bed side rails, and curtains) in the rooms of inpatients from whom MRSA was isolated via clinical specimens. We examined the curtains within 7-14 days after they had been newly hung. The environmental surfaces were wiped using gauze (molded gauze for wiping of surface bacteria; 100% cotton, 4 cm × 8 cm) moistened with sterile physiological saline. The MRSA contamination rate and mean counts (range) were 25.0% (6/24 samples) and 30.6 (0-255) colony-forming units (cfu)/100 cm2, respectively, for the overbed tables and 31.6% (6/19 samples) and 159.5 (0-1620) cfu/100 cm2, respectively, for the bed side rails. No MRSA was detected in 24 curtain samples. The rate of MRSA contamination of environmental surfaces was high for the overbed tables and bed side rails but low for the curtains. Therefore, at least until the 14th day of use, frequent disinfection of curtains may be not necessary. <![CDATA[CTX-M extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing <em>Klebsiella</em> spp, <em>Salmonella</em> spp, <em>Shigella</em> spp and <em>Escherichia coli</em> isolates in Iranian hospitals]]> Abstract This study was conducted in Iran in order to assess the distribution of CTX-M type ESBLs producing Enterobacteriaceae. From January 2012 to December 2013, totally 198 E. coli, 139 Klebsiella spp, 54 Salmonella spp and 52 Shigella spp from seven hospitals of six provinces in Iran were screened for resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins. After identification and susceptibility testing, isolates presenting multiple-drug resistance (MDR) were evaluated for ESBL production by the disk combination method and by Etest using (cefotaxime and cefotaxime plus clavulanic acid). All isolates were also screened for bla CTX-M using conventional PCR. A total of 42.92%, 33.81%, 14.81% and 7.69% of the E. coli, Klebsiella spp, Salmonella spp and Shigella spp isolates were MDR, respectively. The presence of CTX-M enzyme among ESBL-producing isolates was 85.18%, 77.7%, 50%, and 66.7%, in E. coli, Klebsiella spp, Salmonella spp and Shigella spp respectively. The overall presence of CTX-M genes in Enterobacteriaceae was 15.4% and among the resistant isolates was 47.6%. This study indicated that resistance to β-lactams mediated by CTX-M enzymes in Iran had similar pattern as in other parts of the world. In order to control the spread of resistance, comprehensive studies and programs are needed. <![CDATA[Evaluation of bacterial diversity recovered from petroleum samples using different physical matrices]]> ABSTRACT Unraveling the microbial diversity and its complexity in petroleum reservoir environments has been a challenge throughout the years. Despite the techniques developed in order to improve methodologies involving DNA extraction from crude oil, microbial enrichments using different culture conditions can be applied as a way to increase the recovery of DNA from environments with low cellular density for further microbiological analyses. This work aimed at the evaluation of different matrices (arenite, shale and polyurethane foam) as support materials for microbial growth and biofilm formation in enrichments using a biodegraded petroleum sample as inoculum in sulfate reducing condition. Subsequent microbial diversity characterization was carried out using Scanning Electronic Microscopy (SEM), Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) and 16S rRNA gene libraries in order to compare the microbial biomass yield, DNA recovery efficiency and diversity among the enrichments. The DNA from microbial communities in petroleum enrichments was purified according to a protocol established in this work and used for 16S rRNA amplification with bacterial generic primers. The PCR products were cloned, and positive clones were screened by Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA). Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses revealed that the bacterial community was mostly represented by members of the genera Petrotoga, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Geobacillus and Rahnella. The use of different support materials in the enrichments yielded an increase in microbial biomass and biofilm formation, indicating that these materials may be employed for efficient biomass recovery from petroleum reservoir samples. Nonetheless, the most diverse microbiota were recovered from the biodegraded petroleum sample using polyurethane foam cubes as support material. <![CDATA[Caliciviruses in hospitalized children, São Luís, Maranhão, 1997-1999: detection of norovirus GII.12]]> ABSTRACT Gastroenteritis is one of the most common diseases during childhood, with norovirus (NoV) and sapovirus (SaV) being two of its main causes. This study reports for the first time the incidence of these viruses in hospitalized children with and without gastroenteritis in São Luís, Maranhão. A total of 136 fecal samples were tested by enzyme immunoassays (EIA) for the detection of NoV and by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of both NoV and SaV. Positive samples for both agents were subjected to sequencing. The overall frequency of NoV as detected by EIA and RT-PCR was 17.6% (24/136) and 32.6% (15/46), respectively in diarrheic patients and 10.0% (9/90) in non-diarrheic patients (p &lt; 0.01). Of the diarrheic patients, 17% had fever, vomiting and anorexia, and 13% developed fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Of the 24 NoV-positive samples, 50% (12/24) were sequenced and classified as genotypes GII.3 (n = 1), GII.4 (6), GII.5 (1), GII.7 (2), GII.12 (1) and GII.16 (1). SaV frequency was 9.8% (11/112), with 22.6% (7/31) in diarrheic patients and 4.9% (4/81) in nondiarrheic (p = 0.04) ones. In diarrheic cases, 27.3% had fever, vomiting and anorexia, whereas 18.2% had fever, anorexia and abdominal pain. One SaV-positive sample was sequenced and classified as GII.1. These results show a high genetic diversity of NoV and higher prevalence of NoV compared to SaV. Our data highlight the importance of NoV and SaV as enteropathogens in São Luís, Maranhão. <![CDATA[Diversity of group A rotavirus genes detected in the Triângulo Mineiro region, Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Group A rotaviruses are the main causative agent of infantile gastroenteritis. The segmented nature of the viral genome allows reassortment of genome segments, which can generate genetic variants. In this study, we characterized the diversity of the VP7, VP4 (VP8*), VP6, NSP4, and NSP5 genes of the rotaviruses that circulated from 2005 to 2011 in the Triângulo Mineiro (TM) region of Brazil. Samples with genotypes G2 (sublineages IVa-1 and IVa-3), G1 (sublineage I-A), G9 (lineage III), G12 (lineages II and III), G8 (lineage II), G3 (lineage III), P[4] (sublineages IVa and IVb), P[8] (sublineages P[8]-3.6, P[8]-3.3, and P[8]-3.1), I2 (lineage VII), E2 (lineages VI, XII, and X), and H2 (lineage III) were identified. The associations found in the samples were G1, G9, or G12 with P[8]-I1-E1-H1; G2 or G8 with P[4]-I2-E2-H2; G12 with I3-E3-H6; and G3 with P[4]-I2-E3-H3 (previously unreported combination). Reassortment events in G2P[4] strains and an apparent pattern of temporal segregation within the lineages were observed. Five TM samples contained genes that exhibited high nucleotide and amino acid identities with strains of animal origin. The present study includes a period of pre- and post-introduction of rotavirus vaccination in all Brazilian territories, thereby serving as a basis for monitoring changes in the genetic constitution of rotaviruses. The results also contribute to the understanding of the diversity and evolution of rotaviruses in a global context. <![CDATA[Aminotransferase and glutamate dehydrogenase activities in lactobacilli and streptococci]]> ABSTRACT Aminotransferases and glutamate dehydrogenase are two main types of enzymes involved in the initial steps of amino acid catabolism, which plays a key role in the cheese flavor development. In the present work, glutamate dehydrogenase and aminotransferase activities were screened in twenty one strains of lactic acid bacteria of dairy interest, either cheese-isolated or commercial starters, including fifteen mesophilic lactobacilli, four thermophilic lactobacilli, and two streptococci. The strains of Streptococcus thermophilus showed the highest glutamate dehydrogenase activity, which was significantly elevated compared with the lactobacilli. Aspartate aminotransferase prevailed in most strains tested, while the levels and specificity of other aminotransferases were highly strain- and species-dependent. The knowledge of enzymatic profiles of these starter and cheese-isolated cultures is helpful in proposing appropriate combinations of strains for improved or increased cheese flavor. <![CDATA[Performance of two alternative methods for <em>Listeria</em> detection throughout Serro Minas cheese ripening]]> ABSTRACT The ability of pathogens to survive cheese ripening is a food-security concern. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the performance of two alternative methods of analysis of Listeria during the ripening of artisanal Minas cheese. These methods were tested and compared with the conventional method: Lateral Flow System™, in cheeses produced on laboratory scale using raw milk collected from different farms and inoculated with Listeria innocua; and VIDAS®-LMO, in cheese samples collected from different manufacturers in Serro, Minas Gerais, Brazil. These samples were also characterized in terms of lactic acid bacteria, coliforms and physical-chemical analysis. In the inoculated samples, L. innocua was detected by Lateral Flow System™ method with 33% false-negative and 68% accuracy results. L. innocua was only detected in the inoculated samples by the conventional method at 60-days of cheese ripening. L. monocytogenes was not detected by the conventional and the VIDAS®-LMO methods in cheese samples collected from different manufacturers, which impairs evaluating the performance of this alternative method. We concluded that the conventional method provided a better recovery of L. innocua throughout cheese ripening, being able to detect L. innocua at 60-day, aging period which is required by the current legislation. <![CDATA[Inactivation of <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em> ATCC 7644 on fresh-cut tomato using nisin in combinations with organic salts]]> ABSTRACT The inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644 on fresh-cut tomato was investigated using nisin alone, and in combinations with organic salts. Nisin at a concentration of 5000 UI/mL was introduced alone or in combination with an organic salt (sodium citrate or sodium acetate each at 3 and 5 g/100 mL each) on fresh-cut tomato previously inoculated with 108 CFU/mL of L. monocytogenes ATCC 7644. Chlorine at 200 ppm was used as a control. The inoculated samples were incubated at different temperatures (4, 10 and 25 °C) and examined at 0, 24, 48 and 72 h. The effects of the antimicrobial treatments on quality parameters of tomato (pH, soluble solids, titratable acidity and vitamin C) were also evaluated, and colour parameters were observed at the lowest storage temperature for 10 days. Both nisin and the organic salts inhibited growth of L. monocytogenes, but the combinations of two compounds were more effective. The nisin-sodium citrate (5%) combination was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) effective, while chlorine was least effective against L. monocytogenes. The quality parameters were substantially retained, especially at 4 °C, suggesting good shelf stability at a low temperature. These results substantiate the use of the cheap and eco-friendly approach to reducing this pathogen of health concern in common fresh produce. <![CDATA[<em>Campylobacter</em> in broiler slaughter samples assessed by direct count on mCCDA and Campy-Cefex agar]]> ABSTRACT Campylobacter spp. cause foodborne illnesses in humans primarily through the consumption of contaminated chicken. The aim of this study was to evaluate the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) recommended methodology, protocol MLG 41.02, for the isolation, identification and direct plate counting of Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli samples from the broiler slaughtering process. A plating method using both mCCDA and Campy-Cefex agars is recommended to recover Campylobacter cells. It is also possible to use this method in different matrices (cloacal swabs and water samples). Cloacal swabs, samples from pre-chiller and post-chiller carcasses and samples of pre-chiller, chiller and direct supply water were collected each week for four weeks from the same flock at a slaughterhouse located in an abattoir in southern Brazil. Samples were analyzed to directly count Campylobacter spp., and the results showed a high frequency of Campylobacter spp. on Campy-Cefex agar. For the isolated species, 72% were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 38% as Campylobacter coli. It was possible to count Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli from different samples, including the water supply samples, using the two-agar method. These results suggest that slaughterhouses can use direct counting methods with both agars and different matrices as a monitoring tool to assess the presence of Campylobacter bacteria in their products. <![CDATA[Is <em>Malassezia nana</em> the main species in horses’ ear canal microbiome?]]> ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to characterize genotypically Malassezia spp. isolated from the external ear canal of healthy horses. Fifty-five horses, 39 (70.9%) males and 16 (29.1%) females, from different breeds and adults were studied. External ear canals were cleaned and a sterile cotton swab was introduced to collect cerumen. A total of 110 samples were cultured into Dixon medium and were incubated at 32 °C for up to 15 days. Macro- and micromorphology and phenotypic identification were performed. DNA was extracted, strains were submitted to polymerase chain reaction technique, and the products obtained were submitted to Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism using the restriction enzymes BstCI and HhaI. Strains were sent off to genetic sequencing of the regions 26S rDNA D1/D2 and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rDNA. Malassezia spp. were isolated from 33/55 (60%) animals and 52/110 (47%) ear canals. No growth on Sabouraud dextrose agar was observed, confirming the lipid dependence of all strains. Polymerase chain reaction-Restriction fragment length polymorphism permitted the molecular identification of Malassezia nana - 42/52 (81%) and Malassezia slooffiae - 10/52 (19%). Sequencing confirmed RFLP identification. It was surprising that M. nana represented over 80% of the strains and no Malassezia equina was isolated in this study, differing from what was expected. <![CDATA[Lectin activity in mycelial extracts of <em>Fusarium</em> species]]> ABSTRACT Lectins are non-immunogenic carbohydrate-recognizing proteins that bind to glycoproteins, glycolipids, or polysaccharides with high affinity and exhibit remarkable ability to agglutinate erythrocytes and other cells. In the present study, ten Fusarium species previously not explored for lectins were screened for the presence of lectin activity. Mycelial extracts of F. fujikuroi, F. beomiformii, F. begoniae, F. nisikadoi, F. anthophilum, F. incarnatum, and F. tabacinum manifested agglutination of rabbit erythrocytes. Neuraminidase treatment of rabbit erythrocytes increased lectin titers of F. nisikadoi and F. tabacinum extracts, whereas the protease treatment resulted in a significant decline in agglutination by most of the lectins. Results of hapten inhibition studies demonstrated unique carbohydrate specificity of Fusarium lectins toward O-acetyl sialic acids. Activity of the majority of Fusarium lectins exhibited binding affinity to D-ribose, L-fucose, D-glucose, L-arabinose, D-mannitol, D-galactosamine hydrochloride, D-galacturonic acid, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, N-acetyl-neuraminic acid, 2-deoxy-D-ribose, fetuin, asialofetuin, and bovine submaxillary mucin. Melibiose and N-glycolyl neuraminic acid did not inhibit the activity of any of the Fusarium lectins. Mycelial extracts of F. begoniae, F. nisikadoi, F. anthophilum, and F. incarnatum interacted with most of the carbohydrates tested. F. fujikuroi and F. anthophilum extracts displayed strong interaction with starch. The expression of lectin activity as a function of culture age was investigated. Most species displayed lectin activity on the 7th day of cultivation, and it varied with progressing of culture age.