Project description:Variovorax sp. strain WDL1, which mineralizes the phenylurea herbicide linuron, expresses a novel linuron-hydrolyzing enzyme, HylA, that converts linuron to 3,4-dichloroaniline (DCA). The enzyme is distinct from the linuron hydrolase LibA enzyme recently identified in other linuron-mineralizing Variovorax strains and from phenylurea-hydrolyzing enzymes (PuhA, PuhB) found in Gram-positive bacteria. The dimeric enzyme belongs to a separate family of hydrolases and differs in Km, temperature optimum, and phenylurea herbicide substrate range. Within the metal-dependent amidohydrolase superfamily, HylA and PuhA/PuhB belong to two distinct protein families, while LibA is a member of the unrelated amidase signature family. The hylA gene was identified in a draft genome sequence of strain WDL1. The involvement of hylA in linuron degradation by strain WDL1 is inferred from its absence in spontaneous WDL1 mutants defective in linuron hydrolysis and its presence in linuron-degrading Variovorax strains that lack libA. In strain WDL1, the hylA gene is combined with catabolic gene modules encoding the downstream pathways for DCA degradation, which are very similar to those present in Variovorax sp. SRS16, which contains libA. Our results show that the expansion of a DCA catabolic pathway toward linuron degradation in Variovorax can involve different but isofunctional linuron hydrolysis genes encoding proteins that belong to evolutionary unrelated hydrolase families. This may be explained by divergent evolution and the independent acquisition of the corresponding genetic modules.
Project description:Plant-produced isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) represents a significant portion of global volatile organic compound production, equaled only by methane. A metabolic pathway for the degradation of isoprene was first described for the Gram-positive bacterium Rhodococcus sp. AD45, and an alternative model organism has yet to be characterised. Here, we report the characterisation of a novel Gram-negative isoprene-degrading bacterium, Variovorax sp. WS11. Isoprene metabolism in this bacterium involves a plasmid-encoded iso metabolic gene cluster which differs from that found in Rhodococcus sp. AD45 in terms of organisation and regulation. Expression of iso metabolic genes is significantly upregulated by both isoprene and epoxyisoprene. The enzyme responsible for the initial oxidation of isoprene, isoprene monooxygenase, oxidises a wide range of alkene substrates in a manner which is strongly influenced by the presence of alkyl side-chains and differs from other well-characterised soluble diiron monooxygenases according to its response to alkyne inhibitors. This study presents Variovorax sp. WS11 as both a comparative and contrasting model organism for the study of isoprene metabolism in bacteria, aiding our understanding of the conservation of this biochemical pathway across diverse ecological niches.
Project description:Prospection of cellulose-degrading bacteria in natural environments allows the identification of novel cellulases and hemicellulases that could be useful in second-generation bioethanol production. In this work, cellulolytic bacteria were isolated from decaying native forest soils by enrichment on cellulose as sole carbon source. There was a predominance of Gram positive isolates that belonged to the phyla Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Many primary isolates with cellulolytic activity were not pure cultures. From these consortia, isolation of pure constituents was attempted in order to test the hypothesis whether microbial consortia are needed for full degradation of complex substrates. Two isolates, CB1-2-A-5 and VG-4-A-2, were obtained as the pure constituents of CB1-2 and VG-4 consortia, respectively. Based on 16S RNA sequence, they could be classified as Variovorax paradoxus and Paenibacillus alvei. Noteworthy, only VG-4 consortium showed measurable xylan degrading capacity and signs of filter paper degradation. However, no xylan or filter paper degrading capacities were observed for the pure cultures isolated from it, suggesting that other members of this consortium were necessary for these hydrolyzing activities. Our results indicated that Paenibacillus sp. and Variovorax sp. as well as VG-4 consortium, might be a useful source of hydrolytic enzymes. Moreover, although Variovorax sp. had been previously identified in metagenomic studies of cellulolytic communities, this is the first report on the isolation and characterization of this microorganism as a cellulolytic genus.
Project description:The soil bacterial isolate Variovorax sp. strain SRS16 mineralizes the phenylurea herbicide linuron. The proposed pathway initiates with hydrolysis of linuron to 3,4-dichloroaniline (DCA) and N,O-dimethylhydroxylamine, followed by conversion of DCA to Krebs cycle intermediates. Differential proteomic analysis showed a linuron-dependent upregulation of several enzymes that fit into this pathway, including an amidase (LibA), a multicomponent chloroaniline dioxygenase, and enzymes associated with a modified chlorocatechol ortho-cleavage pathway. Purified LibA is a monomeric linuron hydrolase of ∼55 kDa with a K(m) and a V(max) for linuron of 5.8 μM and 0.16 nmol min⁻¹, respectively. This novel member of the amidase signature family is unrelated to phenylurea-hydrolyzing enzymes from Gram-positive bacteria and lacks activity toward other tested phenylurea herbicides. Orthologues of libA are present in all other tested linuron-degrading Variovorax strains with the exception of Variovorax strains WDL1 and PBS-H4, suggesting divergent evolution of the linuron catabolic pathway in different Variovorax strains. The organization of the linuron degradation genes identified in the draft SRS16 genome sequence indicates that gene patchwork assembly is at the origin of the pathway. Transcription analysis suggests that a catabolic intermediate, rather than linuron itself, acts as effector in activation of the pathway. Our study provides the first report on the genetic organization of a bacterial pathway for complete mineralization of a phenylurea herbicide and the first report on a linuron hydrolase in Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:Two Gram-negative bacteria with a high G+C content were isolated from soil in undergraduate microbiology classes by enriching for low nutrient growth and neonicotinoid pesticide tolerance. DNA from these isolates was purified and sequenced using a hybrid approach. Here we report the genome sequences of Pseudomonas alkylphenolica strain Neo and Variovorax sp. strain CSUSB.
Project description:Nitramines are key constituents of most of the explosives currently in use and consequently contaminate soil and groundwater at many military facilities around the world. Toxicity from nitramine contamination poses a health risk to plants and animals. Thus, understanding how nitramines are biodegraded is critical to environmental remediation. The biodegradation of synthetic nitramine compounds such as hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) has been studied for decades, but little is known about the catabolism of naturally produced nitramine compounds. In this study, we report the isolation of a soil bacterium, Variovorax sp. strain JS1663, that degrades N-nitroglycine (NNG), a naturally produced nitramine, and the key enzyme involved in its catabolism. Variovorax sp. JS1663 is a Gram-negative, non-spore-forming motile bacterium isolated from activated sludge based on its ability to use NNG as a sole growth substrate under aerobic conditions. A single gene (nnlA) encodes an iron-dependent enzyme that releases nitrite from NNG through a proposed β-elimination reaction. Bioinformatics analysis of the amino acid sequence of NNG lyase identified a PAS (Per-Arnt-Sim) domain. PAS domains can be associated with heme cofactors and function as signal sensors in signaling proteins. This is the first instance of a PAS domain present in a denitration enzyme. The NNG biodegradation pathway should provide the basis for the identification of other enzymes that cleave the N-N bond and facilitate the development of enzymes to cleave similar bonds in RDX, nitroguanidine, and other nitramine explosives.IMPORTANCE The production of antibiotics and other allelopathic chemicals is a major aspect of chemical ecology. The biodegradation of such chemicals can play an important ecological role in mitigating or eliminating the effects of such compounds. N-Nitroglycine (NNG) is produced by the Gram-positive filamentous soil bacterium Streptomyces noursei This study reports the isolation of a Gram-negative soil bacterium, Variovorax sp. strain JS1663, that is able to use NNG as a sole growth substrate. The proposed degradation pathway occurs via a β-elimination reaction that releases nitrite from NNG. The novel NNG lyase requires iron(II) for activity. The identification of a novel enzyme and catabolic pathway provides evidence of a substantial and underappreciated flux of the antibiotic in natural ecosystems. Understanding the NNG biodegradation pathway will help identify other enzymes that cleave the N-N bond and facilitate the development of enzymes to cleave similar bonds in synthetic nitramine explosives.
Project description:The cascade of reactive nitrogen species generated from nitric oxide causes modification of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids in a wide range of organisms. 3-Nitrotyrosine is one of the most common products of the action of reactive nitrogen species on proteins. Although a great deal is known about the formation of 3-nitrotyrosine, the subsequent metabolism of this compound is a mystery. Variovorax paradoxus JS171 and Burkholderia sp. strain JS165 were isolated from soil slurries when 3-nitrotyrosine was provided as the sole carbon, nitrogen, and energy source. During growth on 3-nitrotyrosine stoichiometric amounts of nitrite were released along with approximately one-half of the theoretically available ammonia. The catabolic pathway involving oxidative denitration is distinct from the pathway for tyrosine metabolism. The facile isolation and the specific, regulated pathway for 3-nitrotyrosine degradation in natural ecosystems suggest that there is a significant flux of 3-nitrotyrosine in such environments.
Project description:The bacterial community composition of a linuron-degrading enrichment culture and the role of the individual strains in linuron degradation have been determined by a combination of methods, such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the total 16S rRNA gene pool, isolation and identification of strains, and biodegradation assays. Three strains, Variovorax sp. strain WDL1, Delftia acidovorans WDL34, and Pseudomonas sp. strain WDL5, were isolated directly from the linuron-degrading culture. In addition, subculture of this enrichment culture on potential intermediates in the degradation pathway of linuron (i.e., N,O-dimethylhydroxylamine and 3-chloroaniline) resulted in the isolation of, respectively, Hyphomicrobium sulfonivorans WDL6 and Comamonas testosteroni WDL7. Of these five strains, only Variovorax sp. strain WDL1 was able to use linuron as the sole source of C, N, and energy. WDL1 first converted linuron to 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA), which transiently accumulated in the medium but was subsequently degraded. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a strain that degrades linuron further than the aromatic intermediates. Interestingly, the rate of linuron degradation by strain WDL1 was lower than that for the consortium, but was clearly increased when WDL1 was coinoculated with each of the other four strains. D. acidovorans WDL34 and C. testosteroni WDL7 were found to be responsible for degradation of the intermediate 3,4-DCA, and H. sulfonivorans WDL6 was the only strain able to degrade N,O-dimethylhydroxylamine. The role of Pseudomonas sp. strain WDL5 needs to be further elucidated. The degradation of linuron can thus be performed by a single isolate, Variovorax sp. strain WDL1, but is stimulated by a synergistic interaction with the other strains isolated from the same linuron-degrading culture.
Project description:By selective enrichment, we isolated a bacterium that can use ?-phenylalanine as a sole nitrogen source. It was identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing as a strain of Variovorax paradoxus. Enzyme assays revealed an aminotransferase activity. Partial genome sequencing and screening of a cosmid DNA library resulted in the identification of a 1,302-bp aminotransferase gene, which encodes a 46,416-Da protein. The gene was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant enzyme was purified and showed a specific activity of 17.5 U mg(-1) for (S)-?-phenylalanine at 30°C and 33 U mg(-1) at the optimum temperature of 55°C. The ?-specific aminotransferase exhibits a broad substrate range, accepting ortho-, meta-, and para-substituted ?-phenylalanine derivatives as amino donors and 2-oxoglutarate and pyruvate as amino acceptors. The enzyme is highly enantioselective toward (S)-?-phenylalanine (enantioselectivity [E], >100) and derivatives thereof with different substituents on the phenyl ring, allowing the kinetic resolution of various racemic ?-amino acids to yield (R)-?-amino acids with >95% enantiomeric excess (ee). The crystal structures of the holoenzyme and of the enzyme in complex with the inhibitor 2-aminooxyacetate revealed structural similarity to the ?-phenylalanine aminotransferase from Mesorhizobium sp. strain LUK. The crystal structure was used to rationalize the stereo- and regioselectivity of V. paradoxus aminotransferase and to define a sequence motif with which new aromatic ?-amino acid-converting aminotransferases may be identified.
Project description:Biodegradation of the phenylurea herbicide linuron appears a specialization within a specific clade of the Variovorax genus. The linuron catabolic ability is likely acquired by horizontal gene transfer but the mechanisms involved are not known. The full-genome sequences of six linuron-degrading Variovorax strains isolated from geographically distant locations were analyzed to acquire insight into the mechanisms of genetic adaptation toward linuron metabolism. Whole-genome sequence analysis confirmed the phylogenetic position of the linuron degraders in a separate clade within Variovorax and indicated that they unlikely originate from a common ancestral linuron degrader. The linuron degraders differentiated from Variovorax strains that do not degrade linuron by the presence of multiple plasmids of 20-839?kb, including plasmids of unknown plasmid groups. The linuron catabolic gene clusters showed 1) high conservation and synteny and 2) strain-dependent distribution among the different plasmids. Most of them were bordered by IS1071 elements forming composite transposon structures, often in a multimeric array configuration, appointing IS1071 as a key element in the recruitment of linuron catabolic genes in Variovorax. Most of the strains carried at least one (catabolic) broad host range plasmid that might have been a second instrument for catabolic gene acquisition. We conclude that clade 1 Variovorax strains, despite their different geographical origin, made use of a limited genetic repertoire regarding both catabolic functions and vehicles to acquire linuron biodegradation.