Bioprospecting Red Sea Coastal Ecosystems for Culturable Microorganisms and Their Antimicrobial Potential.
ABSTRACT: Microorganisms that inhabit unchartered unique soil such as in the highly saline and hot Red Sea lagoons on the Saudi Arabian coastline, represent untapped sources of potentially new bioactive compounds. In this study, a culture-dependent approach was applied to three types of sediments: mangrove mud (MN), microbial mat (MM), and barren soil (BS), collected from Rabigh harbor lagoon (RHL) and Al-Kharrar lagoon (AKL). The isolated bacteria were evaluated for their potential to produce bioactive compounds. The phylogenetic characterization of 251 bacterial isolates based on the 16S rRNA gene sequencing, supported their assignment to five different phyla: Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetes. Fifteen putative novel species were identified based on a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to other strain sequences in the NCBI database, being ?98%. We demonstrate that 49 of the 251 isolates exhibit the potential to produce antimicrobial compounds. Additionally, at least one type of biosynthetic gene sequence, responsible for the synthesis of secondary metabolites, was recovered from 25 of the 49 isolates. Moreover, 10 of the isolates had a growth inhibition effect towards Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium and Pseudomonas syringae. We report the previously unknown antimicrobial activity of B. borstelensis, P. dendritiformis and M. salipaludis against all three indicator pathogens. Our study demonstrates the evidence of diverse cultured microbes associated with the Red Sea harbor/lagoon environments and their potential to produce antimicrobial compounds.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Biosynthetic gene clusters produce a wide range of metabolites with activities that are of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Specific interest is shown towards those metabolites that exhibit antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant bacteria that have become a global health threat. Genera of the phylum Firmicutes are frequently identified as sources of such metabolites, but the biosynthetic potential of its Virgibacillus genus is not known. Here, we used comparative genomic analysis to determine whether Virgibacillus strains isolated from the Red Sea mangrove mud in Rabigh Harbor Lagoon, Saudi Arabia, may be an attractive source of such novel antimicrobial agents. RESULTS:A comparative genomics analysis based on Virgibacillus dokdonensis Bac330, Virgibacillus sp. Bac332 and Virgibacillus halodenitrificans Bac324 (isolated from the Red Sea) and six other previously reported Virgibacillus strains was performed. Orthology analysis was used to determine the core genomes as well as the accessory genome of the nine Virgibacillus strains. The analysis shows that the Red Sea strain Virgibacillus sp. Bac332 has the highest number of unique genes and genomic islands compared to other genomes included in this study. Focusing on biosynthetic gene clusters, we show how marine isolates, including those from the Red Sea, are more enriched with nonribosomal peptides compared to the other Virgibacillus species. We also found that most nonribosomal peptide synthases identified in the Virgibacillus strains are part of genomic regions that are potentially horizontally transferred. CONCLUSIONS:The Red Sea Virgibacillus strains have a large number of biosynthetic genes in clusters that are not assigned to known products, indicating significant potential for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds. Also, having more modular synthetase units suggests that these strains are good candidates for experimental characterization of previously identified bioactive compounds as well. Future efforts will be directed towards establishing the properties of the potentially novel compounds encoded by the Red Sea specific trans-AT PKS/NRPS cluster and the type III PKS/NRPS cluster.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The increasing spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global public health concern, necessitating discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Here, members of the genus Bacillus are investigated as a potentially attractive source of novel antibiotics due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. We specifically focus on a computational analysis of the distinctive biosynthetic potential of Bacillus paralicheniformis strains isolated from the Red Sea, an ecosystem exposed to adverse, highly saline and hot conditions. RESULTS:We report the complete circular and annotated genomes of two Red Sea strains, B. paralicheniformis Bac48 isolated from mangrove mud and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 isolated from microbial mat collected from Rabigh Harbor Lagoon in Saudi Arabia. Comparing the genomes of B. paralicheniformis Bac48 and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 with nine publicly available complete genomes of B. licheniformis and three genomes of B. paralicheniformis, revealed that all of the B. paralicheniformis strains in this study are more enriched in nonribosomal peptides (NRPs). We further report the first computationally identified trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase (PKS/ NRPS) cluster in strains of this species. CONCLUSIONS:B. paralicheniformis species have more genes associated with biosynthesis of antimicrobial bioactive compounds than other previously characterized species of B. licheniformis, which suggests that these species are better potential sources for novel antibiotics. Moreover, the genome of the Red Sea strain B. paralicheniformis Bac48 is more enriched in modular PKS genes compared to B. licheniformis strains and other B. paralicheniformis strains. This may be linked to adaptations that strains surviving in the Red Sea underwent to survive in the relatively hot and saline ecosystems.
Project description:Nosocomial infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative pathogens are of grave concern today. Polymyxins are considered as the last resorts of therapy to treat these multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. But their associated nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity calls for the development of safer polymyxin therapy until novel and less toxic antibiotics are discovered. No other polymyxin molecule except polymyxin B and E (colistin) is explored thoroughly in literature to demonstrate its clinical relevance. In the present study, we have isolated two antimicrobial compounds named P1 and P2 from the soil isolate Paenibacillus dendritiformis strain PV3-16, which we later identified as polymyxin A2 and A1 respectively. We tested their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) against MDR clinical isolates, performed membrane permeabilization assays and determined their interaction with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Finally, we studied their toxicity against human Leukemic monocyte cell line (THP-1) and embryonic kidney cell line (HEK 293). Both compounds displayed equal efficacy when compared with standard polymyxins. P1 was 2-4 fold more active in most of the clinical strains tested. Moreover, P1 showed higher affinity toward LPS. In cytotoxicity studies, P1 had IC50 value (>1000 ?g/ml) similar to colistin against HEK cells but immune cells, i.e., THP-1 cell lines were more sensitive to polymyxins. P1 showed less toxicity in THP-1 cell line than all other polymyxins checked. To sum up, P1 (polymyxin A2) possessed better efficacy than polymyxin B and E and had least toxicity to immune cells. Since polymyxin A was not investigated thoroughly, we performed the comprehensive in vitro assessment of this molecule. Moreover, this is the first report of isolation and characterization of polymyxin A from P. dendritiformis. This compound should be further investigated for its in vivo efficacy and toxicity to develop it as a drug candidate.
Project description:Recent advancements in the use of microbial cells for scalable production of industrial enzymes encourage exploring new environments for efficient microbial cell factories (MCFs). Here, through a comparison study, ten newly sequenced Bacillus species, isolated from the Rabigh Harbor Lagoon on the Red Sea shoreline, were evaluated for their potential use as MCFs. Phylogenetic analysis of 40 representative genomes with phylogenetic relevance, including the ten Red Sea species, showed that the Red Sea species come from several colonization events and are not the result of a single colonization followed by speciation. Moreover, clustering reactions in reconstruct metabolic networks of these Bacillus species revealed that three metabolic clades do not fit the phylogenetic tree, a sign of convergent evolution of the metabolism of these species in response to special environmental adaptation. We further showed Red Sea strains Bacillus paralicheniformis (Bac48) and B. halosaccharovorans (Bac94) had twice as much secreted proteins than the model strain B. subtilis 168. Also, Bac94 was enriched with genes associated with the Tat and Sec protein secretion system and Bac48 has a hybrid PKS/NRPS cluster that is part of a horizontally transferred genomic region. These properties collectively hint towards the potential use of Red Sea Bacillus as efficient protein secreting microbial hosts, and that this characteristic of these strains may be a consequence of the unique ecological features of the isolation environment.
Project description:Fecal bacteria are considered to be a potential reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes in the aquatic environment and could horizontally transfer these genes to autochthonous bacteria when carried on transferable and/or mobile genetic elements. Such circulation of resistance genes constitutes a latent public health hazard. The aim of this study was to characterize the variable region of the class 1 integron and relate its genetic content to resistance patterns observed in antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from the surface waters of Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil. Genetic diversity of the isolates and presence of the qacE?1 gene, which confers resistance to quaternary ammonium compounds, were also investigated. A total of 27 isolates were analyzed. The variable region harbored dfrA17, dfrA1 and dfrA12 genes, which confer resistance to trimethoprim, and aadA1, aadA5 and aadA22 genes that encode resistance to streptomycin/spectinomycin. Most of the isolates were considered resistant to quaternary ammonium compounds and all of them carried the qacE?1 gene at the 3' conserved segment of the integron. ERIC-PCR analyses of E. coli isolates that presented the integrons showed great genetic diversity, indicating diverse sources of contamination in this environment. These results suggest that fecal bacteria with class 1 integrons in aquatic environments are potentially important reservoirs of antibiotic-resistance genes and may transfer these elements to other bacteria that are capable of infecting humans.
Project description:Natural habitats vary in available nutrients and room for bacteria to grow, but successful colonization can lead to overcrowding and stress. Here we show that competing sibling colonies of Paenibacillus dendritiformis bacteria survive overcrowding by switching between two distinct vegetative phenotypes, motile rods and immotile cocci. Growing colonies of the rod-shaped bacteria produce a toxic protein, Slf, which kills cells of encroaching sibling colonies. However, sublethal concentrations of Slf induce some of the rods to switch to Slf-resistant cocci, which have distinct metabolic and resistance profiles, including resistance to cell wall antibiotics. Unlike dormant spores of P. dendritiformis, the cocci replicate. If cocci encounter conditions that favor rods, they secrete a signaling molecule that induces a switch to rods. Thus, in contrast to persister cells, P. dendritiformis bacteria adapt to changing environmental conditions by inducible and reversible phenotypic switching.In favorable environments, species may face space and nutrient limits due to overcrowding. Bacteria provide an excellent model for analyzing principles underlying overcrowding and regulation of density in nature, since their population dynamics can be easily and accurately assessed under controlled conditions. We describe a newly discovered mechanism for survival of a bacterial population during overcrowding. When competing with sibling colonies, Paenibacillus dendritiformis produces a lethal protein (Slf) that kills cells at the interface of encroaching colonies. Slf also induces a small proportion of the cells to switch from motile, rod-shaped cells to nonmotile, Slf-resistant, vegetative cocci. When crowding is reduced and nutrients are no longer limiting, the bacteria produce a signal that induces cocci to switch back to motile rods, allowing the population to spread. Genes encoding components of this phenotypic switching pathway are widespread among bacterial species, suggesting that this survival mechanism is not unique to P. dendritiformis.
Project description:The widespread occurrence of pathogenic bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics has resulted in significant challenges in human and veterinary medicine. There is an urgent need for new antimicrobial agents that can be used to control these life threating pathogens. We report the identification of antimicrobial activities, against a broad range of bacterial pathogens, from a collection of marine-derived spore-forming bacteria. Although marine environments have been previously investigated as sources of novel antibiotics, studies on such environments are still limited and there remain opportunities for further discoveries and this study has used resources derived from an under-exploited region, the Vietnam Sea. Antimicrobial activity was assessed against a panel of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including several multi-drug resistant pathogens. From a total of 489 isolates, 16.4% had antimicrobial activity. Of 23 shortlisted isolates with the greatest antimicrobial activity, 22 were Bacillus spp. isolates and one was a Paenibacillus polymyxa isolate. Most of the antimicrobial compounds were sensitive to proteases, indicating that they were proteins rather than secondary metabolites. The study demonstrated that marine bacteria derived from the Vietnam Sea represent a rich resource, producing antimicrobial compounds with activity against a broad range of clinically relevant bacterial pathogens, including important antibiotic resistant pathogens. Several isolates were identified that have particularly broad range activities and produce antimicrobial compounds that may have value for future drug development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Actinobacteria are often known to be great producers of antibiotics. The rapid increase in the global burden of antibiotic-resistance with the concurrent decline in the discovery of new antimicrobial molecules necessitates the search for novel and effective antimicrobial metabolites from unexplored ecological niches. The present study investigated the antimicrobial producing actinobacterial strains isolated from the soils of two microbiologically unexplored forest ecosystems, viz. Nameri National Park (NNP) and Panidehing Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS), located in the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity hotspot region. RESULTS:A total of 172 putative isolates of actinobacteria were isolated, of which 24 isolates showed strong antimicrobial bioactivity. Evaluation of the ethyl acetate extracts of culture supernatants against test microbial strains revealed that isolates PWS22, PWS41, PWS12, PWS52, PWS11, NNPR15, NNPR38, and NNPR69 were the potent producers of antimicrobial metabolites. The antimicrobial isolates dominantly belonged to Streptomyces, followed by Nocardia and Streptosporangium. Some of these isolates could be putative novel taxa. Analysis of the antimicrobial biosynthetic genes (type II polyketide synthase and nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes) showed that the antimicrobial metabolites were associated with pigment production and belonged to known families of bioactive secondary metabolites. Characterization of the antimicrobial metabolites of Streptomyces sp. PWS52, which showed lowest taxonomic identity among the studied potent antimicrobial metabolite producers, and their interaction with the test strains using GC-MS, UHPLC-MS, and scanning electron microscopy revealed that the potential bioactivity of PWS52 was due to the production of active antifungal and antibacterial metabolites like 2,5-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl) phenol, benzeneacetic acid and nalidixic acid. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that the unexplored soil habitats of NNP and PWS forest ecosystems of Northeast India harbor previously undescribed actinobacteria with the capability to produce diverse antimicrobial metabolites that may be explored to overcome the rapidly rising global concern about antibiotic-resistance.
Project description:Cyanobacteria exhibit great biotechnological potential due to their capacity to produce compounds with various applicability. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) possess low molecular weight and high vapor pressure. Many volatiles produced by microorganisms have biotechnological potential, including antimicrobial activity. This study aimed to investigate the VOCs synthesized by cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain GFB01, and the influence of nitrate and phosphate on its antibacterial potential. The strain was isolated from the surface of the freshwater lagoon Lagoa dos Índios, Amapá state, in Northern Brazil. After cultivation, the VOCs were extracted by a simultaneous distillation-extraction process, using a Likens-Nickerson apparatus (2 h), and then identified by GC-MS. The extracts did not display inhibitory activity against the Gram-positive bacteria tested by the disk-diffusion agar method. However, the anti-Salmonella property in both extracts (methanol and aqueous) was detected. The main VOCs identified were heptadecane (81.32%) and octadecyl acetate (11.71%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of VOCs emitted by a cyanobacterium from the Amazon that reports the occurrence of 6-pentadecanol and octadecyl acetate in cyanobacteria.
Project description:Actinobacteria occur in many environments and have the capacity to produce secondary metabolites with antibiotic potential. Identification and taxonomy of actinobacteria that produce antimicrobial substances is essential for the screening of new compounds, and sequencing of the 16S region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA), which is conserved and present in all bacteria, is an important method of identification. Melanized fungi are free-living organisms, which can also be pathogens of clinical importance. This work aimed to evaluate growth inhibition of melanized fungi by actinobacteria and to identify the latter to the species level. In this study, antimicrobial activity of 13 actinobacterial isolates from the genus Streptomyces was evaluated against seven melanized fungi of the genera Exophiala, Cladosporium, and Rhinocladiella. In all tests, all actinobacterial isolates showed inhibitory activity against all isolates of melanized fungi, and only one actinobacterial isolate had less efficient inhibitory activity. The 16S rDNA region of five previously unidentified actinobacterial isolates from Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil, was sequenced; four of the isolates were identified as Streptomyces globisporus subsp. globisporus, and one isolate was identified as Streptomyces aureus. This work highlights the potential of actinobacteria with antifungal activity and their role in the pursuit of novel antimicrobial substances.