Bacteriology Group

Trieste, Italy

Bacteriology Group

Trieste, Italy
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Kumar S.,Haifa University | Costantino V.,University of Naples Federico II | Venturi V.,Bacteriology Group | Steindler L.,Haifa University
Marine Drugs | Year: 2017

Marine natural products with antibiotic activity have been a rich source of drug discovery; however, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains has turned attention towards the discovery of alternative innovative strategies to combat pathogens. In many pathogenic bacteria, the expression of virulence factors is under the regulation of quorum sensing (QS). QS inhibitors (QSIs) present a promising alternative or potential synergistic treatment since they disrupt the signaling pathway used for intra- and interspecies coordination of expression of virulence factors. This review covers the set of molecules showing QSI activity that were isolated from marine organisms, including plants (algae), animals (sponges, cnidarians, and bryozoans), and microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and cyanobacteria). The compounds found and the methods used for their isolation are the emphasis of this review. © 2017 by the authors.


Mahmoudi E.,Islamic Azad University at Khorasgan | Tabatabaei B.E.S.,Isfahan University of Technology | Venturi V.,Bacteriology Group
Plant Pathology Journal | Year: 2011

Several soil bacteria were found to degrade N-Acylhomoserine lactones (NAHLs), thereby interfering with the bacterial quorum sensing system. In this research, fifteen strains of NAHL degrading rhizobacteria were isolated from potato rhizosphere. Based on phenotypic characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence analyses, the strains were identified as members of genera Bacillus, Streptomyces, Arthrobacter, Pseudomonas and Mesorhizobium. All tested isolates were capable to degrade both synthetic and natural NAHL produced by Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) strain EMPCC. In quorum quenching experiments selected isolates, especially Mesorhizobium sp., were markedly reduced the pathogenicity of Pcc strain EMPCC in potato tubers and totally suppressed tissue maceration on potato tubers. These led to consider the latter as a useful biocontrol agent against Pectobacterium spp. © The Korean Society of Plant Pathology.


Coutinho B.G.,Bacteriology Group | Mitter B.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Talbi C.,CSIC | Sessitsch A.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2013

The genus Burkholderia is composed of functionally diverse species, and it can be divided into several clusters. One of these, designated the plant-beneficial-environmental (PBE) Burkholderia cluster, is formed by nonpathogenic species, which in most cases have been found to be associated with plants. It was previously established that members of the PBE group share an N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum-sensing (QS) system, designated BraI/R, that produces and responds to 3-oxo-C14-HSL (OC14-HSL). Moreover, some of them also possess a second AHL QS system, designated XenI2/R2, producing and responding to 3-hydroxy-C8-HSL (OHC8-HSL). In the present study, we performed liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) analysis to determine which AHL molecules are produced by each QS system of this group of bacteria. The results showed that XenI2/R2 is mainly responsible for the production of OHC8-HSL and that the BraI/R system is involved in the production of several different AHLs. This analysis also revealed that Burkholderia phymatum STM815 produces greater amounts of AHLs than the other species tested. Further studies showed that the BraR protein of B. phymatum is more promiscuous than other BraR proteins, responding equally well to several different AHL molecules, even at low concentrations. Transcriptome studies with Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 and B. phymatum STM815 revealed that the BraI/R regulon is species specific, with exopolysaccharide production being the only common phenotype regulated by this system in the PBE cluster. In addition, BraI/R was shown not to be important for plant nodulation by B. phymatum strains or for endophytic colonization and growth promotion of maize by B. phytofirmans PsJN. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


Suarez-Moreno Z.R.,Bacteriology Group | Suarez-Moreno Z.R.,Rutgers University | Caballero-Mellado J.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Coutinho B.G.,Bacteriology Group | And 4 more authors.
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2012

The genus Burkholderia comprises more than 60 species isolated from a wide range of niches. Although they have been shown to be diverse and ubiquitously distributed, most studies have thus far focused on the pathogenic species due to their clinical importance. However, the increasing number of recently described Burkholderia species associated with plants or with the environment has highlighted the division of the genus into two main clusters, as suggested by phylogenetical analyses. The first cluster includes human, animal, and plant pathogens, such as Burkholderia glumae, Burkholderia pseudomallei, and Burkholderia mallei, as well as the 17 defined species of the Burkholderia cepacia complex, while the other, more recently established cluster comprises more than 30 non-pathogenic species, which in most cases have been found to be associated with plants, and thus might be considered to be potentially beneficial. Several species from the latter group share characteristics that are of use when associating with plants, such as a quorum sensing system, the presence of nitrogen fixation and/or nodulation genes, and the ability to degrade aromatic compounds. This review examines the commonalities in this growing subgroup of Burkholderia species and discusses their prospective biotechnological applications. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Licciardello G.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily | Strano C.P.,University of Catania | Bertani I.,Bacteriology Group | Bella P.,University of Catania | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Pseudomonas corrugata and Pseudomonas mediterranea are two closely related phytopathogenic bacteria both causal agents of tomato pith necrosis. P. corrugata produces phytotoxic and antimicrobial cationic lipodepsipeptides (LDPs) which are thought to act as major virulence factors. Previous studies have demonstrated that P. corrugata CFBP 5454 has an N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum sensing (QS) system PcoI/PcoR and that LDP production occurs at high population densities. No molecular studies on virulence have thus far been reported for P. mediterranea. In this study, we show that P. mediterranea also produces LDPs as well as possessing an AHL-dependent QS system, designated PmeI/PmeR, which is highly homologous to the PcoI/R system of P. corrugata producing and responding to C6-AHL. Downstream of pmeI, a partial DNA sequence revealed the presence of a homolog of the rfiA gene of P. corrugata which encodes a transcriptional regulator involved in bacterial virulence. Pathogenicity tests and MALDI-TOF spectra of wild-type strains of both bacterial species and their respective QSs and rfiA derivative mutants revealed that, in the absence of LDPs, the strains induce very weak symptoms indicating that LDPs may act as major virulence factors. Mutational analysis of both QS systems suggests that their mode of action is in places different. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Hosni T.,University of Perugia | Hosni T.,Bacteriology Group | Moretti C.,University of Perugia | Devescovi G.,Bacteriology Group | And 7 more authors.
ISME Journal | Year: 2011

Pathogenic bacteria interact not only with the host organism but most probably also with the resident microbial flora. In the knot disease of the olive tree (Olea europaea), the causative agent is the bacterium Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi (Psv). Two bacterial species, namely Pantoea agglomerans and Erwinia toletana, which are not pathogenic and are olive plant epiphytes and endophytes, have been found very often to be associated with the olive knot. We identified the chemical signals that are produced by strains of the three species isolated from olive knot and found that they belong to the N-acyl-homoserine lactone family of QS signals. The luxI/R family genes responsible for the production and response to these signals in all three bacterial species have been identified and characterized. Genomic knockout mutagenesis and in planta experiments showed that virulence of Psv critically depends on QS; however, the lack of signal production can be complemented by wild-type E. toletana or P. agglomerans. It is also apparent that the disease caused by Psv is aggravated by the presence of the two other bacterial species. In this paper we discuss the potential role of QS in establishing a stable consortia leading to a poly-bacterial disease.


Coutinho B.G.,Bacteriology Group | Coutinho B.G.,Capes Foundation | Licastro D.,CBM S.c.r.l. | Mendonca-Previato L.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Year: 2015

Burkholderia kururiensis M130 is one of the few rice endophytic diazotrophic bacteria identified thus far which is able to enhance growth of rice. To date, very little is known of how strain M130 and other endophytes enter and colonize plants. Here, we identified genes of strain M130 that are differentially regulated in the presence of rice plant extract. A genetic screening of a promoter probe transposon mutant genome bank and RNAseq analysis were performed. The screening of 10,100 insertions of the genomic transposon reporter library resulted in the isolation of 61 insertions displaying differential expression in response to rice macerate. The RNAseq results validated this screen and indicated that this endophytic bacterium undergoes major changes in the presence of plant extract regulating 27.7% of its open reading frames. A large number of differentially expressed genes encode membrane transporters and secretion systems, indicating that the exchange of molecules is an important aspect of bacterial endophytic growth. Genes related to motility, chemotaxis, and adhesion were also overrepresented, further suggesting plant-bacteria interaction. This work highlights the potential close signaling taking place between plants and bacteria and helps us to begin to understand the adaptation of an endophyte in planta. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society.


Subramoni S.,Bacteriology Group | Subramoni S.,University of Calgary | Gonzalez J.F.,Bacteriology Group | Johnson A.,J. Craig Venter Institute | And 6 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Pseudomonas fluorescens are rhizobacteria known for their biocontrol properties. Several antimicrobial functions are crucial for this process, and the experiments described here investigate the modulation of their expression during the plant-bacterium interaction. The role of a LuxR family regulator in interkingdom signaling has been investigated using genome-scale transcriptome analysis, gene promoter studies in vivo and in vitro, biocontrol assays, and response to plant compounds. PsoR, a LuxR solo or orphan regulator of P. fluorescens, was identified. PsoR is solubilized and activates a lux-box-containing promoter only in the presence of macerated plants, suggesting the presence of a plant molecule(s) that most likely binds to PsoR. Gene expression profiles revealed that genes involved in the inhibition of plant pathogens were affected by PsoR, including a chitinase gene, iron metabolism genes, and biosynthetic genes of antifungal compounds. 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol production is PsoR dependent both in vitro and in vivo. psoR mutants were significantly reduced for their ability to protect wheat plants from root rot, and damping-off caused by Pythium ultimum infection. PsoR most likely senses a molecule(s) in the plant and modulates expression of genes that have a role in biocontrol. PsoR and related proteins form a subfamily of LuxR family regulators in plant-associated bacteria. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.


Strano C.P.,University of Catania | Strano C.P.,University of California at Berkeley | Bella P.,University of Catania | Licciardello G.,Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico della Sicilia | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Plant Pathology | Year: 2015

Summary: Pseudomonas corrugataCFBP 5454 produces two kinds of cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs), cormycin A and corpeptins, both of which possess surfactant, antimicrobial and phytotoxic activities. In this study, we identified genes coding for a putative non-ribosomal peptide synthetase and an ABC-type transport system involved in corpeptin production. These genes belong to the same transcriptional unit, designated crpCDE. The genetic organization of this locus is highly similar to other PseudomonasCLP biosynthetic clusters. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) analysis revealed that transporter and synthetase genomic knock-out mutants were unable to produce corpeptins, but continued to produce cormycin A. This suggests that CrpCDE is the only system involved in corpeptin production in P.corrugataCFBP 5454. In addition, phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CrpE ABC transporter clustered with the transporters of CLPs with a long peptide chain. Strains depleted in corpeptin production were significantly less virulent than the wild-type strain when inoculated in tomato plants and induced only chlorosis when infiltrated into Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Thus, corpeptins are important effectors of P.corrugata interaction with plants. Expression analysis revealed that crpC transcription occurs at high cell density. Two LuxR transcriptional regulators, PcoR and RfiA, have a pivotal role in crpC expression and thus in corpeptin production. © 2014 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.


Rocio Suarez-Moreno Z.,Bacteriology Group | Devescovi G.,Bacteriology Group | Myers M.,Protein Networks Group | Hallack L.,Institute Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

The genus Burkholderia includes over 60 species isolated from a wide range of environmental niches and can be tentatively divided into two major species clusters. The first cluster includes pathogens such as Burkholderia glumae, B. pseudomallei, and B. mallei and 17 well-studied species of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. The other recently established cluster comprises at least 29 nonpathogenic species, which in most cases have been found to be associated with plants. It was previously established that Burkholderia kururiensis, a member of the latter cluster, possesses an N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum-sensing (QS) system designated "BraI/R," which is found in all species of the plant-associated cluster. In the present study, two other BraI/R-like systems were characterized in B. xenovorans and B. unamae and were designated the BraI/RxEN and BraI/RUNA systems, respectively. Several phenotypes were analyzed, and it was determined that exopolysaccharide was positively regulated by the BraIR-like system in the species B. kururiensis, B. unamae, and B. xenovorans, highlighting commonality in targets. However, the three BraIR-like systems also revealed differences in targets since biofilm formation and plant colonization were differentially regulated. In addition, a second AHL QS system designated XenI2/R2 and an unpaired LuxR solo protein designated BxeR solo were also identified and characterized in B. xenovorans LB400T. The two AHL QS systems of B. xenovorans are not transcriptionally regulating each other, whereas BxeR solo negatively regulated xenI2. The XenI2/R2 and BxeR solo proteins are not widespread in the Burkholderia species cluster. In conclusion, the present study represents an extensive analysis of AHL QS in the Burkholderia plant-associated cluster demonstrating both commonalities and differences, probably reflecting environmental adaptations of the various species. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology, All Rights Reserved.

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