Molecular analysis of a bacterial chitinolytic community in an upland pasture.
ABSTRACT: The effects of agricultural-improvement treatments on the chitinolytic activity and diversity of a microbial community were investigated within an upland pasture. The treatments of interest were lime and treated sewage sludge, both commonly applied to pasture land to improve fertility. Burial of chitin-containing litter bags at the field site resulted in enrichment of bacteria according to 16S rRNA fingerprinting. Chitinolytic-activity measurements showed that the highest activity occurred in those bags recovered from sludge-amended plots, which correlated well with increased counts of actinobacteria in samples from these chitin bags. Our findings suggest that sewage sludge increases the fertility of the soil in terms of chitinase activity. Ten clone libraries were constructed from family 18 subgroup A chitinases, PCR amplified from litter bags buried in soil in July 2000 or in September 2000, in a separate study. Analysis of these libraries by restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing showed that they were dominated by actinobacterium-like chitinase sequences. This suggests that actinobacteria have an important chitinolytic function in this soil ecosystem. Our findings showed that sludge application increased chitinolytic activity but decreased the diversity of chitinases present.
Project description:The third chitinase gene (chiC) of Serratia marcescens 2170, specifying chitinases C1 and C2, was identified. Chitinase C1 lacks a signal sequence and consists of a catalytic domain belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 18, a fibronectin type III-like domain (Fn3 domain) and a C-terminal chitin-binding domain (ChBD). Chitinase C2 corresponds to the catalytic domain of C1 and is probably generated by proteolytic removal of the Fn3 and ChBDs. The loss of the C-terminal portion reduced the hydrolytic activity towards powdered chitin and regenerated chitin, but not towards colloidal chitin and glycol chitin, illustrating the importance of the ChBD for the efficient hydrolysis of crystalline chitin. Phylogenetic analysis showed that bacterial family 18 chitinases can be clustered in three subfamilies which have diverged at an early stage of bacterial chitinase evolution. Ser. marcescens chitinase C1 is found in one subfamily, whereas chitinases A and B of the same bacterium belong to another subfamily. Chitinase C1 is the only Ser. marcescens chitinase that has an Fn3 domain. The presence of multiple, divergent, chitinases in a single chitinolytic bacterium is perhaps necessary for efficient synergistic degradation of chitin.
Project description:Chitin, an insoluble polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), is one of the most abundant carbohydrate polymers in marine and terrestrial environments. Chitin hydrolysis by Listeria monocytogenes depends on two chitinase-encoding genes, chiA and chiB, and the aim of this study was to investigate their regulation. Chitin induces the expression of both chitinases in late exponential growth phase, and chiA but not chiB is furthermore induced by the monomer GlcNAc. Furthermore, their expression is subjected to catabolite control. Chitinases expressed by bacterial pathogens have proven to be important not only for nutrient acquisition and environmental survival but also for infecting animals and humans. Interestingly, the central L. monocytogenes virulence gene regulator, PrfA, is required for the chitinolytic phenotype, as chitinase activity was significantly reduced in prfA mutant cells compared to its level in wild-type cells. In agreement with this, Northern blot analysis showed that the amounts of chiA and chiB transcripts upon induction by chitin were significantly lower in the prfA mutant than in the wild type. The chitinolytic activity and chiA and chiB expression were reduced in the absence of the sigB gene, indicating that ?(B) is also important for the production of chitinases. The chiA, chiB, and chiA chiB mutants were not impaired for in vitro adhesion and invasion in epithelial cell lines, but the chiA chiB double mutant showed less survival ability in a chitin-enriched medium. The regulation of chitinolytic activity in L. monocytogenes is complex, and taken together, the results indicate that the biological role of this activity may not be limited to the external environment.
Project description:Chitin, a major component of fungal cell walls and invertebrate cuticles, is an exceedingly abundant polysaccharide, ranking next to cellulose. Industrial demand for chitin and its degradation products as raw materials for fine chemical products is increasing. A bacterium with high chitin-decomposing activity, Paenibacillus sp. strain FPU-7, was isolated from soil by using a screening medium containing ?-chitin powder. Although FPU-7 secreted several extracellular chitinases and thoroughly digested the powder, the extracellular fluid alone broke them down incompletely. Based on expression cloning and phylogenetic analysis, at least seven family 18 chitinase genes were found in the FPU-7 genome. Interestingly, the product of only one gene (chiW) was identified as possessing three S-layer homology (SLH) domains and two glycosyl hydrolase family 18 catalytic domains. Since SLH domains are known to function as anchors to the Gram-positive bacterial cell surface, ChiW was suggested to be a novel multimodular surface-expressed enzyme and to play an important role in the complete degradation of chitin. Indeed, the ChiW protein was localized on the cell surface. Each of the seven chitinase genes (chiA to chiF and chiW) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli cells for biochemical characterization of their products. In particular, ChiE and ChiW showed high activity for insoluble chitin. The high chitinolytic activity of strain FPU-7 and the chitinases may be useful for environmentally friendly processing of chitin in the manufacture of food and/or medicine.
Project description:The chitinolytic system of Listeria monocytogenes thus far comprises two chitinases, ChiA and ChiB, and a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase, Lmo2467. The role of the system in the bacterium appears to be pleiotropic, as besides mediating the hydrolysis of chitin, the second most ubiquitous carbohydrate in nature, the chitinases have been deemed important for the colonization of unicellular molds, as well as mammalian hosts. To identify additional components of the chitinolytic system, we screened a transposon mutant library for mutants exhibiting impaired chitin hydrolysis. The screening yielded a mutant with a transposon insertion in a locus corresponding to lmo0327 of the EGD-e strain. lmo0327 encodes a large (1,349 amino acids [aa]) cell wall-associated protein that has been proposed to possess murein hydrolase activity. The single inactivation of lmo0327, as well as of lmo0325 that codes for a putative transcriptional regulator functionally related to lmo0327, led to an almost complete abolishment of chitinolytic activity. The effect could be traced at the transcriptional level, as both chiA and chiB transcripts were dramatically decreased in the lmo0327 mutant. In accordance with that, we could barely detect ChiA and ChiB in the culture supernatants of the mutant strain. Our results provide new information regarding the function of the lmo0325-lmo0327 locus in L. monocytogenes and link it to the expression of chitinolytic activity.IMPORTANCE Many bacteria from terrestrial and marine environments express chitinase activities enabling them to utilize chitin as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen. Interestingly, several bacterial chitinases may also be involved in host pathogenesis. For example, in the important foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, the chitinases ChiA and ChiB and the lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase Lmo2467 are implicated in chitin assimilation but also act as virulence factors during the infection of mammalian hosts. Therefore, it is important to identify their regulators and induction cues to understand how the different roles of the chitinolytic system are controlled and mediated. Here, we provide evidence for the importance of lmo0327 and lmo0325, encoding a putative internalin/autolysin and a putative transcriptional activator, respectively, in the efficient expression of chitinase activity in L. monocytogenes and thereby provide new information regarding the function of the lmo0325-lmo0327 locus.
Project description:Four Trichoderma strains (CH2, SH16, PQ34, and TN42) were isolated from soil samples collected from Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue provinces in Vietnam. The strains exhibited high chitinolytic secretion. Strain PQ34 formed the largest zone of chitinase-mediated clearance (> 4 cm in diameter) in agar containing 1% (w/v) colloidal chitin. Analysis of the internal transcribed spacer regions of these strains indicated that they were Trichoderma asperellum. The molecular weights of the chitinases were approximately 42 kDa. Chitinase genes (chi42) of T. asperellum strains TN42, CH2, SH16, and PQ34 were 98~99% homologous to the ech42 gene of T. harzianum CB-Pin-01 (accession No. DQ166036). The deduced amino acid sequences of both T. asperellum strains SH16 and TN42 shared 100% similarity.
Project description:Chitinolyticbacter meiyuanensis SYBC-H1, a bacterium capable of hydrolyzing chitin and shrimp shell to N-acetyl glucosamine (GlcNAc) as the only product, was isolated previously. Here, the hydrolysis mechanism of this novel strain toward chitin was investigated. Sequencing and analysis of the complete genome of SYBC-H1 showed that it encodes 32 putatively chitinolytic enzymes including 30 chitinases affiliated with the glycoside hydrolase (GH) families 18 (26) and 19 (4), one GH family 20 ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase), and one Auxiliary Activities (AA) family 10 lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO). However, only eight GH18 chitinases, one AA10 LPMO, and one GH20 NAGase were detected in the culture broth of the strain, according to peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF). Of these, genes encoding chitinolytic enzymes including five GH18 chitinases (Cm711, Cm3636, Cm3638, Cm3639, and Cm3769) and one GH20 NAGase (Cm3245) were successfully expressed in active form in Escherichia coli. The hydrolysis of chitinous substrates showed that Cm711, Cm3636, Cm3638, and Cm3769 were endo-chitinases and Cm3639 was exo-chitinase. Moreover, Cm3639 and Cm3769 can convert the GlcNAc dimer and colloidal chitin (CC) into GlcNAc, which showed that they also possess NAGase activity. In addition, NAGase Cm3245 possesses a very high exo-acting activity of hydrolyzing GlcNAc dimer. These results suggest that chitinases and NAGase from SYBC-H1 both play important roles in conversion of N-acetyl chitooligosaccharides to GlcNAc, resulting in the accumulation of the final product GlcNAc. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the complete genome sequence and chitinolytic enzyme genes discovery of this strain.
Project description:Background:The biodegradation of chitin is an important part of the carbon and nitrogen cycles in nature. Speeding up the biotransformation of chitin substrates can not only reduce pollution, but also produce high value-added products. However, this process is strictly regulated by the catalytic efficiency of the chitinolytic machinery. Therefore, it is necessary to study the mode of action and compound mechanisms of different chitin-degrading enzymes in depth to improve the catalytic efficiency of the chitinolytic machinery. Results:The thermophilic bacterium Streptomyces sp. F-3 showed comparatively high chitin degradation activities. To elucidate the mechanism underlying chitin hydrolysis, six chitin degradation-related enzymes were identified in the extracellular proteome of Streptomyces sp. F-3, including three chitinases (SsChi18A, SsChi18B, and SsChi18C) from the GH18 family, one GH19 chitinase (SsChi19A), one GH20 ?-N-acetylhexosaminidase (SsGH20A), and one lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (SsLPMO10A) from the AA10 family. All were upregulated by chitin. The heterologously expressed hydrolases could withstand temperatures up to 70 °C and were stable at pH values of 4 to 11. Biochemical analyses displayed that these chitin degradation-related enzymes had different functions and thus showed synergistic effects during chitin degradation. Furthermore, based on structural bioinformatics data, we speculated that the different action modes among the three GH18 chitinases may be caused by loop differences in their active site architectures. Among them, SsChi18A is probably processive and mainly acts on polysaccharides, while SsChi18B and SsChi18C are likely endo-non-processive and displayed higher activity on the degradation of chitin oligosaccharides. In addition, proteomic data and synergy experiments also indicated the importance of SsLPMO10A, which could promote the activities of the hydrolases and increase the monosaccharide content in the reaction system, respectively. Conclusions:In this article, the chitinolytic machinery of a thermophilic Streptomyces species was studied to explore the structural basis for the synergistic actions of chitinases from different GH18 subfamilies. The elucidation of the degradation mechanisms of these thermophilic chitinases will lay a theoretical foundation for the efficient industrialized transformation of natural chitin.
Project description:Due to the importance of chitinolytic enzymes for insect, nematode and fungal growth, they are receiving attention concerning their development as biopesticides or chemical defense proteins in transgenic plants and as microbial biocontrol agents. Targeting chitin associated with the extracellular matrices or cell wall by insect chitinases may be an effective approach for controlling pest insects and pathogenic fungi. The ability of chitinases to attack and digest chitin in the peritrophic matrix or exoskeleton raises the possibility to use them as insect control method. In this study, an insect chitinase cDNA from cotton leaf worm (Spodoptera littoralis) has been synthesized. Transgenic maize plant system was used to improve its tolerance against insects. Insect chitinase transcripts and proteins were expressed in transgenic maize plants. The functional integrity and expression of chitinase in progenies of the transgenic plants were confirmed by insect bioassays. The bioassays using transgenic corn plants against corn borer (Sesamia cretica) revealed that ~50% of the insects reared on transgenic corn plants died, suggesting that transgenic maize plants have enhanced resistance against S. cretica.
Project description:Arthrobacter sp. strain TAD20, a chitinolytic gram-positive organism, was isolated from the sea bottom along the Antarctic ice shell. Arthrobacter sp. strain TAD20 secretes two major chitinases, ChiA and ChiB (ArChiA and ArChiB), in response to chitin induction. A single chromosomal DNA fragment containing the genes coding for both chitinases was cloned in Escherichia coli. DNA sequencing analysis of this fragment revealed two contiguous open reading frames coding for the precursors of ArChiA (881 amino acids [aa]) and ArChiB (578 aa). ArChiA and ArChiB are modular enzymes consisting of a glycosyl-hydrolase family 18 catalytic domain as well as two and one chitin-binding domains, respectively. The catalytic domain of ArChiA exhibits 55% identity with a chitodextrinase from Vibrio furnissii. The ArChiB catalytic domain exhibits 33% identity with chitinase A of Bacillus circulans. The ArChiA chitin-binding domains are homologous to the chitin-binding domain of ArChiB. ArChiA and ArChiB were purified to homogeneity from the native Arthrobacter strain and partially characterized. Thermal unfolding of ArChiA, ArChiB, and chitinase A of Serratia marcescens was studied using differential scanning calorimetry. ArChiA and ArChiB, compared to their mesophilic counterpart, exhibited increased heat lability, similar to other cold-adapted enzymes.
Project description:Soil fertilization with dehydrated sewage sludge (DSS) accelerates the recovery process of degraded areas by improving nutrient concentration, and favors the development of trophic webs with pioneer plants such as Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn. ex Beth (Fabales: Fabaceae), phytophagous Hemiptera, predators, and protocooperanting ants. This study aimed to evaluate the development and production of A. auriculiformis litter with or without dehydrated sewage sludge application and the ecological indices of sucking insects (Hemiptera), their predators and protocooperating ants, as bioindicators, in a degraded area for 24 months. Complete randomization was applied for two treatments (with or without application of dehydrated sewage sludge) in 24 replications (one repetition = one plant). We evaluated the number of leaves/branch and branches/plant, percentage of soil cover (litter), ecological indices of phytophagous Hemiptera, their predators, and protocooperating ants. The plants of A. auriculiformis, that were applied with dehydrated sewage sludge, had superior development when compared to plants where DSS were not applied. The highest abundance and richness of phytophagous Hemiptera species and Sternorrhyncha predators occurred on A. auriculiformis plants that were applied with dehydrated sewage sludge. The increase in richness of species of protocooperanting ants that established mutualistic relationships positively influenced the phytophagous Hemiptera. The use of A. auriculiformis, with application of dehydrated sewage sludge, can increase recovery of degraded areas due to its higher soil cover (e.g., litter) and results in higher ecological indices of phytophagous Hemiptera and their predators.