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Cai X.,Conagen Inc. | Servinsky M.,U.S. Army | Kiel J.,U.S. Army | Sund C.,U.S. Army | Bennett G.N.,Rice University
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

The transformation of trinitrotoluene (TNT) by several mutant strains of Clostridium acetobutylicum has been examined to analyze the maximal rate of initial transformation, determine the effects of metabolic mutations of the host on transformation rate, and to assess the cell metabolic changes brought about during TNT transformation. Little difference in the maximal rate of TNT degradation in early acid phase cultures was found between the parental ATCC 824 strain and strains altered in the acid forming pathways (phosphotransacetylase, or butyrate kinase) or in a high-solvent-producing strain (mutant B). This result is in agreement with the previous findings of a similar degradation rate in a degenerate strain (M5) that had lost the ability to produce solvent. A series of antisense constructs were made that reduced the expression of hydA, encoding the Fe-hydrogenase, or hydE and hydF, genes encoding hydrogenase maturating proteins. While the antisense hydA strain had only ∼30 % of the activity of wild type, the antisense hydE strain exhibited a TNT degradation rate around 70 % that of the parent. Overexpression of hydA modestly increased the TNT degradation rate in acid phase cells, suggesting the amount of reductant flowing into hydrogenase rather than the hydrogenase level itself was a limiting factor in many situations. The redox potential, hydrogen evolution, and organic acid metabolites produced during rapid TNT transformation in early log phase cultures were measured. The redox potential of the acid-producing culture decreased from -370 to -200 mV immediately after addition of TNT and the hydrogen evolution rate decreased, lowering the hydrogen to carbon dioxide ratio from 1.4 to around 1.1 for 15 min. During the time of TNT transformation, the treated acidogenic cells produced less acetate and more butyrate. The results show that during TNT transformation, the cells shift metabolism away from hydrogen formation to reduction of TNT and the resulting effects on cell redox cofactors generate a higher proportion of butyrate. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Turner M.,South Dakota State University | Turner M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Nizampatnam N.R.,South Dakota State University | Baron M.,South Dakota State University | And 10 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2013

Symbiotic root nodules in leguminous plants result from interaction between the plant and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria. There are two major types of legume nodules, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate nodules do not have a persistent meristem, while indeterminate nodules have a persistent meristem. Auxin is thought to play a role in the development of both these types of nodules. However, inhibition of rootward auxin transport at the site of nodule initiation is crucial for the development of indeterminate nodules but not determinate nodules. Using the synthetic auxin-responsive DR5 promoter in soybean (Glycine max), we show that there is relatively low auxin activity during determinate nodule initiation and that it is restricted to the nodule periphery subsequently during development. To examine if and what role auxin plays in determinate nodule development, we generated soybean composite plants with altered sensitivity to auxin. We overexpressed microRNA393 to silence the auxin receptor gene family, and these roots were hyposensitive to auxin. These roots nodulated normally, suggesting that only minimal/reduced auxin signaling is required for determinate nodule development. We overexpressed microRNA160 to silence a set of repressor auxin response factor transcription factors, and these roots were hypersensitive to auxin. These roots were not impaired in epidermal responses to rhizobia but had significantly reduced nodule primordium formation, suggesting that auxin hypersensitivity inhibits nodule development. These roots were also hyposensitive to cytokinin and had attenuated expression of key nodulation-associated transcription factors known to be regulated by cytokinin. We propose a regulatory feedback loop involving auxin and cytokinin during nodulation. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

Wu Y.,Iowa State University | Wu Y.,Conagen Inc. | Wang Q.,Iowa State University | Wang Q.,Sichuan Agricultural University | And 3 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2013

Natural products biosynthesis often requires the action ofmultiple CYPs (cytochromes P450), whose ability to introduce oxygen, increasing solubility, is critical for imparting biological activity. In previous investigations of rice diterpenoid biosynthesis, we characterized CYPs that catalyse alternative hydroxylation of ent-sandaracopimaradiene, the precursor to the rice oryzalexin antibiotic phytoalexins. In particular, CYP76M5, CYP76M6 and CYP76M8 were all shown to carry out C-7β hydroxylation, whereas CYP701A8 catalyses C-3α hydroxylation, with oxy groups found at both positions in oryzalexins A-D, suggesting that these may act consecutively in oryzalexin biosynthesis. In the present paper, we report that, although CYP701A8 only poorly reacts with 7β-hydroxy-ent-sandaracopimaradiene, CYP76M6 and CYP76M8 readily react with 3α-hydroxy-entsandaracopimaradiene. Notably, their activity yields distinct products, resulting from hydroxylation at C-9β by CYP76M6 or C-7β by CYP76M8, on different sides of the core tricyclic ring structure. Thus CYP76M6 and CYP76M8 have distinct non-redundant roles in orzyalexin biosynthesis. Moreover, the resulting 3α,7β- and 3α,9β- diols correspond to oryzalexins D and E respectively. Accordingly, the results of the present study complete the functional identification of the biosynthetic pathway underlying the production of these bioactive phytoalexins. In addition, the altered regiochemistry catalysed by CYP76M6 following C-3α hydroxylation has some implications for its active-site configuration, offering further molecular insight. © 2013 Biochemical Society.

Conagen Inc. | Date: 2015-10-02

Disclosed are steviol glycosides referred to as rebaudioside V and rebaudioside W. Also disclosed are methods for producing rebaudioside M (Reb M), rebausoside G (Reb G), rebaudioside KA (Reb KA), rebaudioside V (Reb V) and rebaudioside (Reb W).

Conagen Inc. | Date: 2015-10-02

Disclosed are steviol glycosides referred to as rebaudioside V and rebaudioside W. Also disclosed are methods for producing rebaudioside M (Reb M), rebausoside G (Reb G), rebaudioside KA (Reb KA), rebaudioside V (Reb V) and rebaudioside (Reb W).

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