Micrococcus luteus :: growth & development
Viability and biomass of Micrococcus luteus DE2008 at different salinity concentrations determined by specific fluorochromes and CLSM-image analysis.
Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
In previous studies, our group developed a method based on Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and Image Analysis (CLSM-IA) to analyze the diversity and biomass of cyanobacteria in microbial mats. However, this method cannot be applied to heterotrophic microorganisms, as these do not have autofluorescence. In this article, we present a method that combines CLSM-IA and Hoechst 33342 and SYTOX Green fluorochromes (FLU-CLSM-IA) to determine the viability and biomass of Micrococcus luteus DE2008, isolated from a saline microbial mat (Ebro Delta, Tarragona, Spain). The method has been applied to assess the effect of salinity on this microorganism. A reduction in viability and biomass (live cells) was observed as the salt concentration increases. The largest effect was at 100‰ NaCl with a cell death of 27.25% and a decrease in total and individual biomass of 39.75 and 0.009 mgC/cm(3), respectively, both with respect to optimal growth (10 ‰ NaCl). On the other hand, another important contribution of this article was that combining the FLU-CLSM-IA results with those achieved by plate counts enabled us to determine, for first time, the viability and the total biomass of the "dormant cells"(66.75% of viability and 40.59 mgC/cm(3) of total biomass at 100‰ NaCl). FLU-CLSM-IA is an efficient, fast, and reliable method for making a total count of cells at pixel level, including the dormant cells, to evaluate the viability and the biomass of a hetetrophic microorganism, M. luteus DE2008.
Most cited papers:
Insect defensin, an inducible antibacterial peptide, forms voltage-dependent channels in Micrococcus luteus.
Laboratoire de Biologie Générale, Université Louis Pasteur, URA 1490 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Bases Cellulaires et Moléculaires de la Réponse Immunitaire des Insectes, Strasbourg, France.
Insect defensins are cationic, cysteine-rich peptides (approximately 4 kDa) that appear after bacterial challenge or injury in the hemolymph of insects belonging to a large variety of orders. These peptides possess anti-Gram-positive activity and participate in the potent antibacterial defense reactions of insects. Using recombinant insect defensin and the strain Micrococcus luteus as a test organism, we have investigated the mode of action of this peptide. We show that defensin disrupts the permeability barrier of the cytoplasmic membrane of M. luteus, resulting in a loss of cytoplasmic potassium, a partial depolarization of the inner membrane, a decrease in cytoplasmic ATP, and an inhibition of respiration. Potassium loss is inhibited below the order-disorder transition of the lipid hydrocarbon chains. It is also inhibited by divalent cations and by a decrease in the membrane potential below a threshold of 110 mV. We propose that these permeability changes reflect the formation of channels in the cytoplasmic membrane by defensin oligomers. This proposal is supported by patch-clamp experiments that show that insect defensins form channels in giant liposomes.
Department of Microbiology, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Fluid from a post-operative wound, six leg ulcers and a large blister were collected and analysed by biochemical, microbiological and immunological techniques. The results were compared with those from sera. All samples were lyophilized and extracted twice with 60% aqueous acetonitrile containing 1% trifluoroacetic acid. The pooled supernatants were lyophilized, redissolved, and the fluid extracts were characterized by six techniques (the blister exudate only with three): reverse-phase HPLC, Edman degradation, mass spectrometry, Western blot analysis, inhibition zone assay on plates with Bacillus megaterium (anti-Bm activity) and zone clearing on plates with cell walls from Micrococcus luteus (a lysozyme assay). The material corresponding to HPLC peaks of the wound fluid extract was identified as: histone H2B fragments 1-11,1-15 and 1-16, intact thymosin beta-4, defensins HNP1, 2 and 3, lysozyme and the peptide antibiotic FALL-39 and its precursor(s). The HPLC-separated blister fluid was extremely rich in anti-Bm activity (mainly defensins) and lysozyme. It may also contain factors not identified before. The plate assays scored 50-fold differences in anti-Bm activities and more than 10-fold differences in lysozyme, factors which together with thymosin could be active in wound healing. It is concluded that analysis of wound fluid yields peptide and activity patterns with novel fragments of important peptides, and quantitative differences, that can be useful to understand molecular mechanisms of wound healing further.
Galina V Mukamolova, Obolbek A Turapov, Danielle I Young, Arseny S Kaprelyants, Douglas B Kell, Michael Young
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3 DD, UK.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its close relative, Mycobacterium bovis (BCG) contain five genes whose predicted products resemble Rpf from Micrococcus luteus. Rpf is a secreted growth factor, active at picomolar concentrations, which is required for the growth of vegetative cells in minimal media at very low inoculum densities, as well as the resuscitation of dormant cells. We show here that the five cognate proteins from M. tuberculosis have very similar characteristics and properties to those of Rpf. They too stimulate bacterial growth at picomolar (and in some cases, subpicomolar) concentrations. Several lines of evidence indicate that they exert their activity from an extra-cytoplasmic location, suggesting that they are also involved in intercellular signalling. The five M. tuberculosis proteins show cross-species activity against M. luteus, Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. bovis (BCG). Actively growing cells of M. bovis (BCG) do not respond to these proteins, whereas bacteria exposed to a prolonged stationary phase do. Affinity-purified antibodies inhibit bacterial growth in vitro, suggesting that sequestration of these proteins at the cell surface might provide a means to limit or even prevent bacterial multiplication in vivo. The Rpf family of bacterial growth factors may therefore provide novel opportunities for preventing and controlling mycobacterial infections.
Galina V Mukamolova, Obolbek A Turapov, Konstantin Kazarian, Miroslav Telkov, Arseny S Kaprelyants, Douglas B Kell, Michael Young
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DD, UK.
Micrococcus luteus secretes a small protein called Rpf, which has autocrine and paracrine signalling functions and is required for the resuscitation of dormant cells. Originally isolated from the supernatant of actively growing cultures, Rpf was also detected on the surface of actively growing bacteria. Most molecules may be sequestered non-productively at the cell surface, as a truncated form of the protein, encompassing only the 'Rpf domain' is fully active. The C-terminal LysM module, which probably mediates binding to the cell envelope, is not required for biological activity. Rpf was essential for growth of M. luteus. Washed cells, inoculated at low density into a minimal medium, could not grow in its absence. Moreover, the incorporation of anti-Rpf antibodies into the culture medium at the time of inoculation also prevented bacterial growth. We were unable to inactivate rpf using a disrupted form of the gene, in which most of the coding sequence was replaced with a selectable thiostrepton resistance marker. Gene disruption was possible in the presence of a second, functional, plasmid-located copy of rpf, but not in the presence of a rpf derivative whose protein product lacked the secretory signal sequence. As far as we are aware, Rpf is the first example of a truly secreted protein that is essential for bacterial growth. If the Rpf-like proteins elaborated by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacteria prove similarly essential, interference with their proper functioning may offer novel opportunities for protecting against, and treating, tuberculosis and other mycobacterial disease.
Structure-activity relationships in the peptide antibiotic nisin: antibacterial activity of fragments of nisin.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK.
The post-translationally modified peptide antibiotic nisin has been cleaved by a number of proteases and the fragments produced purified, characterised chemically, and assayed for activity in inhibiting the growth of Lactococcus lactis MG1614 and Micrococcus luteus NCDO8166. These results provide information on the importance of different parts of the nisin molecule for its growth-inhibition activity. Removal of the C-terminal five residues leads to approximately a 10-fold decrease in potency, while removal of a further nine residues, encompassing two of the lanthionine rings, leads to a 100-fold decrease. There are some differences between analogous fragments of nisin and subtilin, suggesting possible subtle differences in mode of action. Cleavage within, or removal of, lanthionine ring C essentially abolishes the activity of nisin. The fragment nisin1-12 is inactive itself, and specifically antagonises the growth-inhibitory action of nisin. These results are discussed in terms of current models for the mechanism of action of nisin.
Department of Biological Sciences, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.
Flow cytometry is a technique which permits the characterisation of individual cells in populations, in terms of distributions in their properties such as DNA content, protein content, viability, enzyme activities and so on. We review the technique, and some of its recent applications to microbiological problems. It is concluded that cellular heterogeneity, in both batch and continuous axenic cultures, is far greater than is normally assumed. This has important implications for the quantitative analysis of microbial processes.
Multilayer polyelectrolyte films functionalized by insertion of defensin: a new approach to protection of implants from bacterial colonization.
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unité 595, 11, rue Humann, 67085 Strasbourg Cedex, France. firstname.lastname@example.org
Infection of implanted materials by bacteria constitutes one of the most serious complications following prosthetic surgery. In the present study, we developed a new strategy based on the insertion of an antimicrobial peptide (defensin from Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes) into polyelectrolyte multilayer films built by the alternate deposition of polyanions and polycations. Quartz crystal microbalance and streaming potential measurements were used to follow step by step the construction of the multilayer films and embedding of the defensin within the films. Antimicrobial assays were performed with two strains: Micrococcus luteus (a gram-positive bacterium) and Escherichia coli D22 (a gram-negative bacterium). The inhibition of E. coli D22 growth at the surface of defensin-functionalized films was found to be 98% when 10 antimicrobial peptide layers were inserted in the film architecture. Noticeably, the biofunctionalization could be achieved only when positively charged poly(l-lysine) was the outermost layer of the film. On the basis of the results of bacterial adhesion experiments observed by confocal or electron microscopy, these observations could result from the close interaction of the bacteria with the positively charged ends of the films, which allows defensin to interact with the bacterial membrane structure. These results open new possibilities for the use of such easily built and functionalized architectures onto any type of implantable biomaterial. The modified surfaces are active against microbial infection and represent a novel means of local host protection.
The effect of cyclization of magainin 2 and melittin analogues on structure, function, and model membrane interactions: implication to their mode of action.
Department of Biological Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 Israel.
The amphipathic alpha-helical structure is a common motif found in membrane binding polypeptides including cell lytic peptides, antimicrobial peptides, hormones, and signal sequences. Numerous studies have been undertaken to understand the driving forces for partitioning of amphipathic alpha-helical peptides into membranes, many of them based on the antimicrobial peptide magainin 2 and the non-cell-selective cytolytic peptide melittin, as paradigms. These studies emphasized the role of linearity in their mode of action. Here we synthesized and compared the structure, biological function, and interaction with model membranes of linear and cyclic analogues of these peptides. Cyclization altered the binding of melittin and magainin analogues to phospholipid membranes. However, at similar bound peptide:lipid molar ratios, both linear and cyclic analogues preserved their high potency to permeate membranes. Furthermore, the cyclic analogues preserved approximately 75% of the helical structure of the linear peptides when bound to membranes. Biological activity studies revealed that the cyclic melittin analogue had increased antibacterial activity but decreased hemolytic activity, whereas the cyclic magainin 2 analogue had a marked decrease in both antibacterial and hemolytic activities. The results indicate that the linearity of the peptides is not essential for the disruption of the target phospholipid membrane, but rather provides the means to reach it. In addition, interfering with the coil-helix transition by cyclization, while maintaining the same sequence of hydrophobic and positively charged amino acids, allows a separated evaluation of the hydrophobic and electrostatic contributions to binding of peptides to membranes.
Coaggregation between aquatic bacteria is mediated by specific-growth-phase-dependent lectin-saccharide interactions.
University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Coaggregating strains of aquatic bacteria were identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The coaggregation abilities of four strains of Blastomonas natatoria and one strain of Micrococcus luteus varied with culture age but were always maximum in the stationary phase of growth. Each member of a coaggregating pair carried either a heat- and protease-sensitive protein (lectin) adhesin or a saccharide receptor, as coaggregation was reversed by sugars.
Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr.33, 117071 Moscow, Russia.
Viable cells of Micrococcus luteus secrete a proteineous growth factor (Rpf) which promotes the resuscitation of dormant, nongrowing cells to yield normal, colony-forming bacteria. When washed M. luteus cells were used as an inoculum, there was a pronounced influence of Rpf on the true lag phase and cell growth on lactate minimal medium. In the absence of Rpf, there was no increase in colony-forming units for up to 10 days. When the inoculum contained less than 10(5) cells ml-1, macroscopically observable M. luteus growth was not obtained in succinate minimal medium unless Rpf was added. Incubation of M. luteus in the stationary phase for 100 h resulted in a failure of the cells to grow in lactate minimal medium from inocula of small size although the viability of these cells was close to 100% as estimated using agar plates made from lactate minimal medium or rich medium. The underestimation of viable cells by the most-probable-number (MPN) method in comparison with colony-forming units was equivalent to the requirement that at least 10(5) cells grown on succinate medium, 10(3) cells from old stationary phase, or approximately 10-500 washed cells are required per millilitre of inoculum for growth to lead to visible turbidity. The addition of Rpf in the MPN dilutions led to an increase of the viable cell numbers estimated to approximately the same levels as those determined by colony-forming units. Thus, a basic principle of microbiology -"one cell-one culture"- may not be applicable in some circumstances in which the metabolic activity of "starter" cells is not sufficient to produce enough autocrine growth factor to support cell multiplication.