Grape and wine analysis: Oenologists to exploit advanced test kits.
Charnock, S. C. & McCleary, B. V. (2005). Revue des Enology, 117, 1-5.
It is without doubt that testing plays a pivotal role throughout the whole of the vinification process. To produce the best possible quality wine and to minimise process problems such as “stuck” fermentation or troublesome infections, it is now recognised that if possible testing should begin prior to harvesting of the grapes and continue through to bottling. Traditional methods of wine analysis are often expensive, time consuming, require either elaborate equipment or specialist expertise and frequently lack accuracy. However, enzymatic bio-analysis enables the accurate measurement of the vast majority of analytes of interest to the wine maker, using just one piece of apparatus, the spectrophotometer (see previous issue No. 116 for a detailed technical review). Grape juice and wine are amenable to enzymatic testing as being liquids they are homogenous, easy to manipulate, and can generally be analysed without any sample preparation.
Megazyme “advanced” wine test kits general characteristics and validation.
Charnock, S. J., McCleary, B. V., Daverede, C. & Gallant, P. (2006). Reveue des Oenologues, 120, 1-5.
Many of the enzymatic test kits are official methods of prestigious organisations such as the Association of Official Analytical Chemicals (AOAC) and the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) in response to the interest from oenologists. Megazyme decided to use its long history of enzymatic bio-analysis to make a significant contribution to the wine industry, by the development of a range of advanced enzymatic test kits. This task has now been successfully completed through the strategic and comprehensive process of identifying limitations of existing enzymatic bio-analysis test kits where they occurred, and then using advanced techniques, such as molecular biology (photo 1), to rapidly overcome them. Novel test kits have also been developed for analytes of emerging interest to the oenologist, such as yeast available nitrogen (YAN; see pages 2-3 of issue 117 article), or where previously enzymes were simply either not available, or were too expensive to employ, such as for D-mannitol analysis.
Interaction of Nectarin 4 with a fungal protein triggers a microbial surveillance and defense mechanism in nectar.
Harper, A. D., Stalnaker, S. H., Wells, L., Darvill, A., Thornburg, R. & York, W. S. (2010). Phytochemistry, 71(17-18), 1963-1969.
Understanding the biochemical mechanisms by which plants respond to microbial infection is a fundamental goal of plant science. Extracellular dermal glycoproteins (EDGPs) are widely expressed in plant tissues and have been implicated in plant defense responses. Although EDGPs are known to interact with fungal proteins, the downstream effects of these interactions are poorly understood. To gain insight into these phenomena, we used tobacco floral nectar as a model system to identify a mechanism by which the EDGP known as Nectarin IV (NEC4) functions as pathogen surveillance molecule. Our data demonstrates that the interaction of NEC4 with a fungal endoglucanase (XEG) promotes the catalytic activity of Nectarin V (NEC5), which catalyzes the conversion of glucose and molecular oxygen to gluconic acid and H2O2. Significantly enhanced NEC5 activity was observed when XEG was added to nectar or nectarin solutions that contain NEC4. This response was also observed when the purified NEC4:XEG complex was added to NEC4-depleted nectarin solutions, which did not respond to XEG alone. These results indicate that formation of the NEC4:XEG complex is a key step leading to induction of NEC5 activity in floral nectar, resulting in an increase in concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are known to inhibit microbial growth directly and activate signal transduction pathways that induce innate immunity responses in the plant.
The LysR transcription factor, HexS, is required for glucose inhibition of prodigiosin production by Serratia marcescens.
Stella, N. A., Fender, J. E., Lahr, R. M., Kalivoda, E. J. & Shanks, R. M. (2012). Advances in Microbiology, 2(4).
Generation of many useful microbe-derived secondary metabolites, including the red pigment prodigiosin of the bacterium Serratia marcescens, is inhibited by glucose. In a previous report, a genetic approach was used to determine that glucose dehydrogenase activity (GDH) is required for inhibiting prodigiosin production and transcription of the prodigiosin biosynthetic operon (pigA-N). However, the transcription factor(s) that regulate this process were not characterized. Here we tested the hypothesis that HexS, a LysR-family transcription factor similar to LrhA of Escherichia coli, is required for inhibition of prodigiosin by growth in glucose. We observed that mutation of the hexS gene in S. marcescens allowed the precocious production of prodigiosin in glucose-rich medium conditions that completely inhibited prodigiosin production by the wild type. Unlike previously described mutants able to generate prodigiosin in glucose-rich medium, hexS mutants exhibited GDH activity and medium acidification similar to the wild type. Glucose inhibittion of pigA expression was shown to be dependent upon HexS, suggesting that HexS is a key transcription factor in secondary metabolite regulation in response to medium pH. These data give insight into the prodigiosin regulatory pathway and could be used to enhance the production of secondary metabolites.
Modeling of Continuous Gluconic Acid Production by Fermentation.
Fatmawati, A. & Agustriyanto, R. (2010). Science Journal. 1(1), 82-89.
The batch fermentation kinetic of gluconic acid production has been studied. The continuous fermentation process of glucose by Aspergillus niger to produce gluconic acid under the influence of inlet substrate concentration and hydraulic retention time has also been investigated. The fermentation was modeled to be carried out in a continuous stirred tank reactor. The results showed that at the studied inlet glucose concentration of 150, 200, and 250 g/l, the hydraulic retention time resulted in the increasing amount of cell and gluconic acid concentration but decreasing glucose concentration at the outlet stream of the reactor. The model results also suggested that the possible range of hydraulic retention time for the inlet substrate concentration of 150, 200, and 250 g/l were 3-13, 8-12, and 7-11 h, respectively. Therefore the recommended values of hydraulic retention time were 13, 12 and 11 h for the inlet substrate concentration of 150, 200, and 250 g/l, respectively.
Genetic diversity of phosphate-solubilizing peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) associated bacteria and mechanisms involved in this ability.
Anzuay, M. S., Frola, O., Angelini, J. G., Ludueña, L. M., Fabra, A. & Taurian, T. (2013). Symbiosis , 60(3), 143-154.
In this study, attempts were made to analyze mechanisms involved in the bacterial phosphate-solubilizing ability of peanut isolates. Bacteria were taxonomically identified by analysis of 16S rDNA sequence. Levels of soluble P released by the isolates in unbuffered or buffered with Tris–HCl or MES NBRIP-BPB medium as well as the production of D-gluconic acid were determined in their culture. Presence of two of the genes encoding the cofactor PQQ of GDH enzyme was analyzed in the genome of this bacterial collection. 16S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that isolates belong to genera Serratia, Enterobacter, Pantoea, Acinetobacter, Bacillus and Enterococcus. All bacteria showed ability to solubilize tricalcium phosphate either in unbuffered or buffered medium. Nevertheless, addition of buffer solutions reduced levels of Pi liberated by the isolates. Although almost all isolates produced detectable amounts of D-gluconic acid, no correlation with levels of P soluble released were observed. The presence of pqqE and pqqC genes was detected only in Gram negative bacteria. It was concluded from this study that the mechanism involved in phosphate solubilization is organic acids production and, presence of pqq genes in all Gram negative bacteria analyzed encourages to confirm their role in bacterial phosphate solubilizing ability as well to identify genes involved in this PGP trait in Gram positive bacteria.
Aerobic deconstruction of cellulosic biomass by an insect-associated Streptomyces.
Takasuka, T. E., Book, A. J., Lewin, G. R., Currie, C. R. & Fox, B. G. (2013). Scientific Reports, 3.
Streptomyces are best known for producing antimicrobial secondary metabolites, but they are also recognized for their contributions to biomass utilization. Despite their importance to carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, our understanding of the cellulolytic ability of Streptomyces is currently limited to a few soil-isolates. Here, we demonstrate the biomass-deconstructing capability of Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E (ActE), an aerobic bacterium associated with the invasive pine-boring woodwasp Sirex noctilio. When grown on plant biomass, ActE secretes a suite of enzymes including endo- and exo-cellulases, CBM33 polysaccharide-monooxygenases, and hemicellulases. Genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic analyses, and biochemical assays have revealed the key enzymes used to deconstruct crystalline cellulose, other pure polysaccharides, and biomass. The mixture of enzymes obtained from growth on biomass has biomass-degrading activity comparable to a cellulolytic enzyme cocktail from the fungus Trichoderma reesei, and thus provides a compelling example of high cellulolytic capacity in an aerobic bacterium.
Serratia marcescens quinoprotein glucose dehydrogenase activity mediates medium acidification and inhibition of prodigiosin production by glucose.
Fender, J. E., Bender, C. M., Stella, N. A., Lahr, R. M., Kalivoda, E. J. & Shanks, R. M. (2012). Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78(17), 6225-6235.
Serratia marcescens is a model organism for the study of secondary metabolites. The biologically active pigment prodigiosin (2-methyl-3-pentyl-6-methoxyprodiginine), like many other secondary metabolites, is inhibited by growth in glucose-rich medium. Whereas previous studies indicated that this inhibitory effect was pH dependent and did not require cyclic AMP (cAMP), there is no information on the genes involved in mediating this phenomenon. Here we used transposon mutagenesis to identify genes involved in the inhibition of prodigiosin by glucose. Multiple genetic loci involved in quinoprotein glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) activity were found to be required for glucose inhibition of prodigiosin production, including pyrroloquinoline quinone and ubiquinone biosynthetic genes. Upon assessing whether the enzymatic products of GDH activity were involved in the inhibitory effect, we observed that D-glucono-1,5-lactone and D-gluconic acid, but not D-gluconate, were able to inhibit prodigiosin production. These data support a model in which the oxidation of D-glucose by quinoprotein GDH initiates a reduction in pH that inhibits prodigiosin production through transcriptional control of the prodigiosin biosynthetic operon, providing new insight into the genetic pathways that control prodigiosin production. Strains generated in this report may be useful in large-scale production of secondary metabolites.