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0 Q&A 2984 Views Jul 20, 2020
Strategies to control the levels of key enzymes of bacterial metabolism are commonly based on the manipulation of gene of interest within the target pathway. The development of new protocols towards the manipulation of biochemical processes is still a major challenge in the field of metabolic engineering. On this background, the FENIX (functional engineering of SsrA/NIa-based flux control) system allows for the post-translational regulation of protein levels, providing both independent control of the steady-state protein amounts and inducible accumulation of target proteins. This strategy enables an extra layer of control over metabolic fluxes in bacterial cell factories (see Graphical abstract below). The protocol detailed here describes the steps needed to design FENIX-tagged proteins and to adapt the system to virtually any pathway for fine-tuning of metabolic fluxes.

Graphical abstract


0 Q&A 6195 Views Feb 20, 2019
Biogenic volatile compounds (VCs) mediate various types of crucial intra- and inter-species interactions in plants, animals, and microorganisms owing to their ability to travel through air, liquid, and porous soils. To study how VCs produced by Verticillium dahliae, a soilborne fungal pathogen, affect plant growth and development, we slightly modified a method previously used to study the effect of bacterial VCs on plant growth. The method involves culturing microbial cells and plants in I plate to allow only VC-mediated interaction. The modified protocol is simple to set up and produces reproducible results, facilitating studies on this poorly explored form of plant-fungal interactions. We also optimized conditions for extracting and identifying fungal VCs using solid phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
0 Q&A 5164 Views Sep 5, 2018
There is a pressing need to develop sustainable and efficient methods to protect and stabilize iron objects. To develop a conservation-restoration method for corroded iron objects, this bio-protocol presents the steps to investigate reductive dissolution of ferric iron and biogenic production of stabilizing ferrous iron minerals in the strict anaerobe Desulfitobacterium hafniense (strains TCE1 and LBE). We investigated iron reduction using three different Fe(III) sources: Fe(III)-citrate (a soluble phase), akaganeite (solid iron phase), and corroded coupons. This protocol describes a method that combines spectrophotometric quantification of the complex Fe(II)-Ferrozine® with mineral characterization by scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. These three methods allow assessing reductive dissolution of ferric iron and biogenic mineral production as a promising alternative for the development of an innovative sustainable method for the stabilization of corroded iron.
0 Q&A 6778 Views Dec 5, 2017
We describe here a detailed protocol for the quantification of the intracellular content of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in a population of bacterial cells by flow cytometry, which is based on a consensus of several previously reported works.
0 Q&A 10483 Views Aug 5, 2017
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) harboring ade1 or ade2 mutations manifest red colony color phenotype on rich yeast medium YPD. In these mutants, intermediate metabolites of adenine biosynthesis pathway are accumulated. Accumulated intermediates, in the presence of reduced glutathione, are transported to the vacuoles, whereupon the development of the red color phenotype occurs. Here, we describe a method to score for presence of oxidative stress upon expression of amyloid-like proteins that would convert the red phenotype of ade1/ade2 mutant yeast to white. This assay could be a useful tool for screening for drugs with anti-amyloid aggregation or anti-oxidative stress potency.
0 Q&A 8696 Views May 5, 2017
To advance the understanding of microbial interactions, it is becoming increasingly important to resolve the individual metabolic contributions of microorganisms in complex communities. Organisms from biofilms can be especially difficult to separate, image and analyze, and methods to address these limitations are needed. High resolution imaging secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) generates single cell isotopic composition measurements, and can be used to quantify incorporation and exchange of an isotopically labeled substrate among individual organisms. Here, incorporation of cyanobacterial extracellular organic matter (EOM) by members of a cyanobacterial mixed species biofilm is used as a model to illustrate this method. Incorporation of stable isotope labeled (15N and 13C) EOM by two groups, cyanobacteria and associated heterotrophic microbes, are quantified. Methods for generating, preparing, and analyzing samples for quantifying uptake of stable isotope-labeled EOM in the biofilm are described.
0 Q&A 9782 Views Dec 20, 2016
This protocol describes how to investigate the integrity of the outer cell wall in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 using antibiotics. It is adapted to the agar diffusion test (Bauer et al., 1966), in which filter paper discs impregnated with specified concentrations of antibiotics were placed on agar plates inoculated with bacteria. The antibiotics we tested, interfering with the biosynthesis/function of bacterial cell walls, will diffuse into the agar and produce a zone of cyanobacterial growth inhibition around the disc(s). The size of the inhibition zone reflects the sensitivity of the strain to the action of antibiotics, e.g., a mutation in a protein functioning within the cell wall or its construction would render the mutant strain more sensitive to the respective antibiotic. The method has proven to be useful for phenotyping a mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 lacking all three genes encoding Deg proteases. Deletion of these ATP-independent serine proteases was shown to have impact on the outer cell layers of Synechocystis cells (Cheregi et al., 2015).
0 Q&A 13988 Views Dec 5, 2016
This protocol describes the quantification of pyocyanin extracted from swarming colonies of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pyocyanin is a secondary metabolite and a major virulence factor, whose production is inducible and varies highly under different growth conditions. The protocol is based on the earlier developed chloroform/HCl extraction of pyocyanin from liquid cultures (Frank and Demoss, 1959). Swarming colonies together with the agar they occupy are split into two halves. Pyocyanin is extracted from one of them. Cells are collected from the other half and used to quantify total protein yield and normalize the estimated corresponding pyocyanin quantities.
0 Q&A 6738 Views Sep 20, 2016
Iron is an essential micronutrient required for virtually all organisms. This fact is related to the ability of the transition metal to exist in two oxidation states, the reduced ferrous (Fe2+) and the oxidized ferric (Fe3+). Given the relative availability of aqueous iron (the element which constitutes ~5% of the earth’s crust) one is not surprised that iron is the most common prosthetic element in biology. Usually, fungi can uptake iron through receptor-mediated internalization of a siderophore or heme, and/or reductive iron assimilation (RIA) (Kosman, 2013). In this way, the uptake of iron in the absence or presence of the reducing agent ascorbic acid can be investigated by 59Fe uptake assays, as previously described (Eide et al., 1992). In the presence of ascorbic acid, the reductive-independent 59Fe uptake route is investigated. On the other hand, in the absence of ascorbic acid, the reductive-dependent 59Fe uptake route is stimulated. Using this strategy for the human pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides species, the results showed that iron uptake by Pb01 in the absence of ascorbic acid was low, unlike what was observed for Pb18. These results suggest that only in Pb18 the iron uptake pathway is coupled to a ferric reductase (Bailão et al., 2015). In this protocol, we describe how to perform 59Fe uptake assays in Paracoccidioides species.
2 Q&A 12664 Views Aug 20, 2016
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a coenzyme present in all kingdoms of life and exists in two forms: oxidized (NAD+) and reduced (NADH). NAD(H) is involved in a multitude of essential metabolic redox reactions, providing oxidizing or reducing equivalents. The ratio of free intracellular NAD+/NADH is fundamentally important in the maintenance of cellular redox homeostasis (Ying, 2008). Various chromogenic cycling assays have been used to determine the ratio of NAD+/NADH in both bacterial and mammalian cells for more than forty years (Bernofsky and Swan, 1973; Nisselbaum and Green, 1969).

Here, we describe in detail an assay to determine the ratio of free intracellular NAD+ to NADH in Streptococcus mutans. This cycling assay is a modified version of the protocol first described by Bernofsky and Swan (Bernofsky and Swan, 1973), using the extraction buffer described by Frezza et al. (2011), followed by the reduced MTT precipitation described by Gibbon and Larher (Gibon and Larher, 1997). As depicted in Figure 1, alcohol dehydrogenase is used to drive a series of redox reactions utilizing exogenously added ethanol and NAD+ from sample extracts as initial substrates, phenazine ethosulfate (PES) as an electron carrier, and thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide (MTT) as a terminal electron acceptor. 6 M NaCl is used to stop the reaction. The reduced MTT (formazan dye) is purple in color and can be quantified by measuring absorbance at 570 nm. This protocol is divided into three steps: A. Preparation of cell pellets of S. mutans; B. Preparation of deproteinated cell extracts containing NADtotal or NADH; C. NAD+/NADH cycling assay. This method has proven robust in measuring the NAD+/NADH ratio in S. mutans under a variety of conditions, and should be applicable to other Gram-positive bacteria.


Figure 1. Flowchart illustrating protocol Procedure parts B-C



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