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Geobiology ; 17(5): 551-563, 2019 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31325234


Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are pentacyclic triterpenoid lipids that contribute to the structural integrity and physiology of some bacteria. Because some BHPs originate from specific classes of bacteria, BHPs have potential as taxonomically and environmentally diagnostic biomarkers. For example, a stereoisomer of bacteriohopanetetrol (informally BHT II) has been associated with anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria and suboxic to anoxic marine environments where anammox is active. As a result, the detection of BHT II in the sedimentary record and fluctuations in the relative abundance of BHT II may inform reconstructions of nitrogen cycling and ocean redox changes through the geological record. However, there are uncertainties concerning the sources of BHT II and whether or not BHT II is produced in abundance in non-marine environments, both of which are pertinent to interpretations of BHT II signatures in sediments. To address these questions, we investigate the BHP composition of benthic microbial mats from Lake Fryxell, Antarctica. Lake Fryxell is a perennially ice-covered lake with a sharp oxycline in a density-stabilized water column. We describe the diversity and abundance of BHPs in benthic microbial mats across a transect from oxic to anoxic conditions. Generally, BHP abundances and diversity vary with the morphologies of microbial mats, which were previously shown to reflect local environmental conditions, such as irradiance and oxygen and sulfide concentrations. BHT II was identified in mats that exist within oxic to anoxic portions of the lake. However, anammox bacteria have yet to be identified in Lake Fryxell. We examine our results in the context of BHPs as biomarkers in modern and ancient environments.

Bactérias/metabolismo , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Lipídeos/análise , Triterpenos Pentacíclicos/análise , Regiões Antárticas , Bactérias/química , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Bacterianos , Lagos/química , Polímeros/análise
Geobiology ; 17(3): 308-319, 2019 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30707499


Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) are bacterial membrane lipids that may be used as biological or environmental biomarkers. Previous studies have described the diversity, distribution, and abundance of BHPs in a variety of modern environments. However, the regulation of BHP production in polar settings is not well understood. Benthic microbial mats from ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica provide an opportunity to investigate the sources, physiological roles, and preservation of BHPs in high-latitude environments. Lake Vanda is one of the most stable lakes on Earth, with microbial communities occupying specific niches along environmental gradients. We describe the influence of mat morphology and local environmental conditions on the diversity and distribution of BHPs and their biological sources in benthic microbial mats from Lake Vanda. The abundance and diversity of C-2 methylated hopanoids (2-MeBHP) are of particular interest, given that their stable degradation products, 2-methylhopanes, are among the oldest and most prevalent taxonomically informative biomarkers preserved in sedimentary rocks. Furthermore, the interpretation of sedimentary 2-methylhopanes is of great interest to the geobiology community. We identify cyanobacteria as the sole source of 2-MeBHP in benthic microbial mats from Lake Vanda and assess the hypothesis that 2-MeBHP are regulated in response to a particular environmental variable, namely solar irradiance.

Cianobactérias/metabolismo , Lagos/química , Lipídeos de Membrana/análise , Regiões Antárticas , Cianobactérias/isolamento & purificação , Meio Ambiente , Camada de Gelo , Lagos/microbiologia
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 83(13)2017 07 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28455341


To investigate the function of 2-methylhopanoids in modern cyanobacteria, the hpnP gene coding for the radical S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) methylase protein that acts on the C-2 position of hopanoids was deleted from the filamentous cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133S. The resulting ΔhpnP mutant lacked all 2-methylhopanoids but was found to produce much higher levels of two bacteriohopanepentol isomers than the wild type. Growth rates of the ΔhpnP mutant cultures were not significantly different from those of the wild type under standard growth conditions. Akinete formation was also not impeded by the absence of 2-methylhopanoids. The relative abundances of the different hopanoid structures in akinete-dominated cultures of the wild-type and ΔhpnP mutant strains were similar to those of vegetative cell-dominated cultures. However, the ΔhpnP mutant was found to have decreased growth rates under both pH and osmotic stress, confirming a role for 2-methylhopanoids in stress tolerance. Evidence of elevated photosystem II yield and NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase activity in the ΔhpnP mutant under stress conditions, compared to the wild type, suggested that the absence of 2-methylhopanoids increases cellular metabolic rates under stress conditions.IMPORTANCE As the first group of organisms to develop oxygenic photosynthesis, Cyanobacteria are central to the evolutionary history of life on Earth and the subsequent oxygenation of the atmosphere. To investigate the origin of cyanobacteria and the emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis, geobiologists use biomarkers, the remnants of lipids produced by different organisms that are found in geologic sediments. 2-Methylhopanes have been considered indicative of cyanobacteria in some environmental settings, with the parent lipids 2-methylhopanoids being present in many contemporary cyanobacteria. We have created a Nostoc punctiforme ΔhpnP mutant strain that does not produce 2-methylhopanoids to assess the influence of 2-methylhopanoids on stress tolerance. Increased metabolic activity in the mutant under stress indicates compensatory alterations in metabolism in the absence of 2-methylhopanoids.

Nostoc/metabolismo , Triterpenos/metabolismo , Proteínas de Bactérias/genética , Proteínas de Bactérias/metabolismo , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Isomerismo , Metilação , Nostoc/química , Nostoc/genética , Nostoc/crescimento & desenvolvimento , Osmose , Triterpenos/química
Microorganisms ; 3(2): 290-309, 2015 Jun 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27682090


The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO2 with some CH4 present. The δ(13)CH4 value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively (12)C-enriched CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5) medium via methane oxidation.