Project description:Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough strains with significantly increased tolerance to NaCl were obtained via experimental evolution. A NaCl-evolved strain, ES9-11, isolated from a population cultured for 1200 generations in medium amended with 100 mM NaCl, showed better tolerance to NaCl than a control strain, EC3-10, cultured for 1200 generations in parallel but without NaCl amendment in medium. To understand the NaCl adaptation mechanism in ES9-11, we analyzed the transcriptional, metabolite and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles of strain ES9-11 with 0, 100- or 250 mM-added NaCl in medium compared with the ancestral strain and EC3-10 as controls. In all the culture conditions, increased expressions of genes involved in amino-acid synthesis and transport, energy production, cation efflux and decreased expression of flagellar assembly genes were detected in ES9-11. Consistently, increased abundances of organic solutes and decreased cell motility were observed in ES9-11. Glutamate appears to be the most important osmoprotectant in D. vulgaris under NaCl stress, whereas, other organic solutes such as glutamine, glycine and glycine betaine might contribute to NaCl tolerance under low NaCl concentration only. Unsaturation indices of PLFA significantly increased in ES9-11. Branched unsaturated PLFAs i17:1 ω9c, a17:1 ω9c and branched saturated i15:0 might have important roles in maintaining proper membrane fluidity under NaCl stress. Taken together, these data suggest that the accumulation of osmolytes, increased membrane fluidity, decreased cell motility and possibly an increased exclusion of Na(+) contribute to increased NaCl tolerance in NaCl-evolved D. vulgaris.
Project description:The response of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough to salt adaptation (long-term NaCl exposure) was examined by performing physiological, global transcriptional, and metabolite analyses. Salt adaptation was reflected by increased expression of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and transport, electron transfer, hydrogen oxidation, and general stress responses (e.g., heat shock proteins, phage shock proteins, and oxidative stress response proteins). The expression of genes involved in carbon metabolism, cell growth, and phage structures was decreased. Transcriptome profiles of D. vulgaris responses to salt adaptation were compared with transcriptome profiles of D. vulgaris responses to salt shock (short-term NaCl exposure). Metabolite assays showed that glutamate and alanine accumulated under salt adaptation conditions, suggesting that these amino acids may be used as osmoprotectants in D. vulgaris. Addition of amino acids (glutamate, alanine, and tryptophan) or yeast extract to the growth medium relieved salt-related growth inhibition. A conceptual model that links the observed results to currently available knowledge is proposed to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of D. vulgaris adaptation to elevated NaCl levels.
Project description:The ?(54) subunit controls a unique class of promoters in bacteria. Such promoters, without exception, require enhancer binding proteins (EBPs) for transcription initiation. Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, a model bacterium for sulfate reduction studies, has a high number of EBPs, more than most sequenced bacteria. The cellular processes regulated by many of these EBPs remain unknown.To characterize the ?(54)-dependent regulome of D. vulgaris Hildenborough, we identified EBP binding motifs and regulated genes by a combination of computational and experimental techniques. These predictions were supported by our reconstruction of ?(54)-dependent promoters by comparative genomics. We reassessed and refined the results of earlier studies on regulation in D. vulgaris Hildenborough and consolidated them with our new findings. It allowed us to reconstruct the ?(54) regulome in D. vulgaris Hildenborough. This regulome includes 36 regulons that consist of 201 coding genes and 4 non-coding RNAs, and is involved in nitrogen, carbon and energy metabolism, regulation, transmembrane transport and various extracellular functions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of direct regulation of alanine dehydrogenase, pyruvate metabolism genes and type III secretion system by ?(54)-dependent regulators.The ?(54)-dependent regulome is an important component of transcriptional regulatory network in D. vulgaris Hildenborough and related free-living Deltaproteobacteria. Our study provides a representative collection of ?(54)-dependent regulons that can be used for regulation prediction in Deltaproteobacteria and other taxa.
Project description:Crp/Fnr-type global transcriptional regulators regulate various metabolic pathways in bacteria and typically function in response to environmental changes. However, little is known about the function of four annotated Crp/Fnr homologs (DVU0379, DVU2097, DVU2547, and DVU3111) in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough. A systematic study using bioinformatic, transcriptomic, genetic, and physiological approaches was conducted to characterize their roles in stress responses. Similar growth phenotypes were observed for the crp/fnr deletion mutants under multiple stress conditions. Nevertheless, the idea of distinct functions of Crp/Fnr-type regulators in stress responses was supported by phylogeny, gene transcription changes, fitness changes, and physiological differences. The four D. vulgaris Crp/Fnr homologs are localized in three subfamilies (HcpR, CooA, and cc). The crp/fnr knockout mutants were well separated by transcriptional profiling using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), and more genes significantly changed in expression in a ?DVU3111 mutant (JW9013) than in the other three paralogs. In fitness studies, strain JW9013 showed the lowest fitness under standard growth conditions (i.e., sulfate reduction) and the highest fitness under NaCl or chromate stress conditions; better fitness was observed for a ?DVU2547 mutant (JW9011) under nitrite stress conditions and a ?DVU2097 mutant (JW9009) under air stress conditions. A higher Cr(VI) reduction rate was observed for strain JW9013 in experiments with washed cells. These results suggested that the four Crp/Fnr-type global regulators play distinct roles in stress responses of D. vulgaris. DVU3111 is implicated in responses to NaCl and chromate stresses, DVU2547 in nitrite stress responses, and DVU2097 in air stress responses.
Project description:Due in large part to their ability to facilitate the diffusion of a diverse range of solutes across the outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria, the porins represent one of the most prominent and important bacterial membrane protein superfamilies. Notably, for the Gram-negative bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, a model organism for studies of sulfate-reducing bacteria, no genes for porins have been identified or proposed in its annotated genome. Results from initial biochemical studies suggested that the product of the DVU0799 gene, which is one of the most abundant proteins of the D. vulgaris Hildenborough OM and purified as a homotrimeric complex, was a strong porin candidate. To investigate this possibility, this protein was further characterized biochemically and biophysically. Structural analyses via electron microscopy of negatively stained protein identified trimeric particles with stain-filled depressions and structural modeling suggested a ?-barrel structure for the monomer, motifs common among the known porins. Functional studies were performed in which crude OM preparations or purified DVU0799 was reconstituted into proteoliposomes and the proteoliposomes were examined for permeability against a series of test solutes. The results obtained establish DVU0799 to be a pore-forming protein with permeability properties similar to those observed for classical bacterial porins, such as those of Escherichia coli Taken together, these findings identify this highly abundant OM protein to be the major porin of D. vulgaris Hildenborough. Classification of DVU0799 in this model organism expands the database of functionally characterized porins and may also extend the range over which sequence analysis strategies can be used to identify porins in other bacterial genomes.IMPORTANCE Porins are membrane proteins that form transmembrane pores for the passive transport of small molecules across the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria. The present study identified and characterized the major porin of the model sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, observing its preference for anionic sugars over neutral ones. Its predicted architecture appears to be novel for a classical porin, as its core ?-barrel structure is of a type typically found in solute-specific channels. Broader use of the methods employed here, such as assays for channel permeability and electron microscopy of purified samples, is expected to help expand the database of confirmed porin sequences and improve the range over which sequence analysis-based strategies can be used to identify porins in other Gram-negative bacteria. Functional characterization of these critical gatekeeping proteins from divergent Desulfovibrio species should offer an improved understanding of the physiological features that determine their habitat range and supporting activities.
Project description:Recent interest in the ability of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough to reduce, and therefore contain, toxic and radioactive metal waste, has made all factors that affect its physiology of great interest. Increased salinity constitutes an important and frequent fluctuation faced by D. vulgaris in its natural habitat. Using data from microarray experiments, as well as other laboratory analyses, we used a systems approach to explore the effects of excess NaCl on D. vulgaris. This study demonstrates that import of osmoprotectants such as glycine betaine and ectoine constitute the primary mechanism used by D. vulgaris to counter hyper-ionic stress. Several efflux systems also were highly up-regulated, as was the ATP synthesis pathway. Increase in both RNA and DNA helicases suggested that salt stress had affected the stability of nucleic acid base pairing. An immediate response to salt stress included up-regulation of chemotaxis genes though flagellar biosynthesis was down-regulated. Other down-regulated systems included lactate uptake permeases and ABC transport systems. The extensive NaCl stress analysis was compared with microarray data from KCl stress and unlike many other bacteria, D. vulgaris responded similarly to the two stresses. Keywords: Comparison of cells treated with either NaCl (250 mM) or KCl (250 mM) to untreated cells at times of 0, 30, 60, 120, and 240 min. Overall design: There are two sub series that used 250 mM NaCl as the stressor (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE4504 and (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE4510), and one sub series that used 250 mM KCl as the stressor (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE4515).