Enzymatic diversity of filamentous fungi isolated from forest soil incremented by sugar cane solid waste

Fungi are natural degraders of organic matter which can produce enzymes for many industrial and biotechnological applications. In this context, crude enzymatic extracts of fungal isolates were evaluated regarding their hydrolytic and ligninolytic abilities. The fungal strains were isolated from soil samples from Atlantic Rain Forest Park incremented with sugar cane biomass (filter cake), which allowed the selection of efficient lignocellulolytic enzymes. A total of 190 fungi were isolated and evaluated by endocellulase screenings. Thirteen fungi were selected about their hydrolytic and ligninolytic abilities. Among them, three isolates showed xylanolytic activity. Eleven of the isolates were selected by their cellulolytic abilities. Proteolytic enzymes were also detected for three fungi, allowing the classification as metalloprotease and serine protease. The isolates SPZPF3_47 (Mucor sp.), SPZPF1_129 (Byssochlamys nivea) and SPZPF1_141 (Paecilomyces saturatus) were selected for further investigation on their lignin peroxidase abilities. KM, Vmax and kcat apparent for lignin peroxidases were also determined. The strain of Mucor sp. (SPZPF3_47) was highlighted since this fungal genus was not well described about its isolation in the adopted conditions in our study, and showing ligninolytic abilities.

A Tropical Composting Operation Unit at São Paulo Zoo as a Soure of Bacterial Proteolytic Enzymes

Composting operation systems are valuable sources of microorganisms and enzymes. This work reports the assessment of proteolytic enzymes from cultivable bacteria isolated from a composting facility of the Sao Paulo Zoo Park (SPZPF), Sao Paulo, Brazil. Three hundred bacterial isolates were obtained and identified based on 16S rRNA gene as belonging to 13 different genera. The most common genus among the isolates was Bacillus (67%); some of which show high proteolytic activity in their culture media. Biochemical assays of hydrolytic activities using FRET peptides as substrates allowed the characterization of a repertoire of serine proteases and metalloproteases with different molecular weights secreted by Bacillus strains isolated from composting. Furthermore, thermostable serine and metalloproteases were detected in the composting leachate, which might be of interest for industrial applications.

Healthcare-associated carbapenem-resistant OXA-72-producing Acinetobacter baumannii of the clonal complex CC79 colonizing migratory and captive aquatic birds in a Brazilian Zoo

Carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii is a public health issue globally, mainly due to the production of carbapenem hydrolyzing class D ß-lactamases (CHDLs). In Brazil, OXA-23 and OXA-143 CHDLs have been prevalent in A. baumannii from clinical settings, with some OXA-23 reports in the environmental samples, whereas OXA-72 has begun to be increasingly reported. This study aims to perform the genomic and microbiological characterization of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates recovered from migratory birds and captive birds inhabiting a lake within a Brazilian Zoo. Four hundred and eighty-one gram-negative bacilli were recovered from choanal and cloacal swabs obtained from 50 migratory birds and 37 captive birds present at the zoo’s lake between July and August of 2012. Among all GNB, nine OXA-72-producing A. baumannii were detected from the microbiota of four migratory and five captive aquatic birds. The OXA-72-producing A. baumannii isolates were submitted to antimicrobial susceptibility test and PFGE, exhibiting a multidrug-resistant profile and clonal relatedness with OXA-72-positive human isolates circulating for eighteen years in a hospital setting. MLST, plasmid analysis and whole-genome sequencing revealed which all carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii from bird and human hosts belonged to clonal complex 79, and harboured a small plasmid (~16.6-kb in size), named pAC1-BRL, which carried blaOXA-72 gene, macrolide resistance genes msrE and mphE, and the toxinantitoxin system AbkAB. To determine the impact of pAC1-BRL acquisition in the the capacity of a microorganism to survive in a competitive environment (in the following called fitness), the laboratory strain A. baumannii ATCC 19606 was used in the fitness experiments and suggested an increase of its relative fitness after the pAC1-BRL acquisition. In summary, the detection of OXA-72-producing A. baumannii strains belonging to CC79 in aquatic birds is a piece of epidemiological evidence demonstrating that dissemination of high-risk bacteria is extending beyond the hospital.

A new mutation in mgrb mediating polymyxin resistance in Klebsiella variicola

Polymyxin resistance is a public health concern -present in humans, animals and the environment -caused by chromosomal-encoding or plasmid-encoding mechanisms. Chromosomal alterations in MgrB are frequently detected in Klebsiella spp., but not yet reported and characterised in Klebsiella variicola ( K. variicola ). This study performed microbiological and genomic characterisation of three polymyxin- resistant K. variicola isolates (M14, M15 and M50) recovered from the microbiota of migratory birds in Brazil. The isolates were submitted to SpeI-PFGE, broth microdilution and whole genome sequencing us- ing Illumina MiSeq for analysis of genetic relatedness, sequence typing and detection of antimicrobial- resistance genes. K. variicola isolates belonged to two clones, and susceptibility tests showed resistance only for polymyxins. Sequences of chromosomal two-component systems (PmrAB, PhoPQ, RstAB, CrrAB) and MgrB were evaluated by blastN and blastP against a polymyxin-susceptible K. variicola (A58243), and mutations with biological effect were checked by the PROVEAN tool. K. variicola isolates belonged to two clones, and susceptibility tests showed resistance for polymyxins. In M14 and M15, phoQ deleterious mutations (D90N, I122S and G385S) were identified, while an mgrB variant containing a single deletion (C deletion on position 93) leading to the production of a non-functional protein was detected in M50. mgrB complementation studies showed restoration of polymyxin susceptibility (64 to ­­ ≤ 0.25 mg/L) as a wild-type mgrB was inserted into the mgrB-deficient M50. This study confirmed the role of a non-functional mgrB variant in conferring polymyxin resistance, stressing the role of this regulator in K. variicola and drawing attention to novel polymyxin resistance mechanisms emerging in wildlife.

Halotolerant bacteria in the São Paulo Zoo composting process and their hydrolases and bioproducts

Halophilic microorganisms are able to grow in the presence of salt and are also excellent source of enzymes and biotechnological products, such as exopolysaccharides (EPSs) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Salt-tolerant bacteria were screened in the rganic Composting Production Unit (OCPU) of São Paulo Zoological Park Foundation, which processes 4 ton/day of organic residues including plant matter from the Atlantic Rain Forest, animal manure and carcasses and mud from water treatment. Among the screened microorganisms, eight halotolerant bacteria grew at NaCl concentrations up to 4M. These cultures were classified based on phylogenetic characteristics and comparative partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as belonging to the genera Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Brevibacterium. The results of this study describe the ability of these halotolerant bacteria to produce some classes of hydrolases, namely, lipases, proteases, amylases and cellulases, and biopolymers. The strain characterized as of Brevibacterium avium presented cellulase and amylase activities up to 4MNaCl and also produced EPSs and PHAs. These results indicate the biotechnological potential of certain microorganisms recovered from the composting process, including halotolerant species, which have the ability to produce enzymes and biopolymers, offering new perspectives for environmental and industrial applications.

Microbial community structure and dynamics in thermophilic composting viewed through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics

Composting is a promising source of new organisms and thermostable enzymes that may be helpful in environmental management and industrial processes. Here we present results of metagenomicand metatranscriptomic-based analyses of a large composting operation in the Sao Paulo Zoo Park. This composting exhibits a sustained thermophilic profile (50°C to 75°C), which seems to preclude fungal activity. The main novelty of our study is the combination of time-series sampling with shotgun DNA, 16S rRNA gene amplicon, and metatranscriptome high-throughput sequencing, enabling an unprecedented detailed view of microbial community structure, dynamics, and function in this ecosystem. The time-series data showed that the turning procedure has a strong impact on the compost microbiota, restoring to a certain extent the population profile seen at the beginning of the process; and that lignocellulosic biomass deconstruction occurs synergistically and sequentially, with hemicellulose being degraded preferentially to cellulose and lignin. Moreover, our sequencing data allowed near-complete genome reconstruction of five bacterial species previously found in biomassdegrading environments and of a novel biodegrading bacterial species, likely a new genus in the order Bacillales. The data and analyses provided are a rich source for additional investigations of thermophilic composting microbiology.

Cellulolytic and proteolytic ability of bacteria isolated from gastrointestinal tract and composting of a hippopotamus

The bioprospection for cellulase and protease producers is a promise strategy for the discovery of potential biocatalysts for use in hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials as well as proteic residues. These enzymes can increment and turn viable the production of second generation ethanol from different and alternative sources. In this context, the goal of this study was the investigation of cellulolytic and proteolytic abilities of bacteria isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of a hippopotamus as well as from its composting process. It is important to highlight that hippopotamus gastrointestinal samples were a non-typical sources of efficient hydrolytic bacteria with potential for application in biotechnological industries, like biofuel production. Looking for this, a total of 159 bacteria were isolated, which were submitted to qualitative and quantitative enzymatic assays. Proteolytic analyzes were conducted through the evaluation of fluorescent probes. Qualitative assays for cellulolytic abilities revealed 70 positive hits. After quantitative analyzes, 44 % of these positive hits were selected, but five (5) strains showed cellulolytic activity up to 11,8 FPU/ mL. Regarding to proteolytic activities, six (6) strains showed activity above 10 %, which overpassed results described in the literature. Molecular analyzes based on the identification of 16S rDNA, revealed that all the selected bacterial isolates were affiliated to Bacillus genus. In summary, these results strongly indicate that the isolated bacteria from a hippopotamus can be a potential source of interesting biocatalysts with cellulolytic and proteolytic activities, with relevance for industrial applications.

Application of Conventional Heating and Microwave Irradiation for the Biocatalytic Reduction of Fluoroacetophenones by Thermophilic Bacteria

This paper describes the bioreduction of four fluoroacetophenones with thermophilic bacteria (Bacillus sp. FPZSP005, B. subtilis FPZSP088, B. licheniformis FPZSP055 and BC-FPZSP051). The reduction reactions were performed under microwave irradiation and the thermophilic bacteria of the Bacillus genus provided moderate conversions to fluoroalcohols with yields in the 26-42% ranges and 5-62% e.e. When the reactions were carried out under conventional heating, they showed high conversions and selectivities (up to > 99% e.e.). This is the first study in the literature on the use of microwave irradiation with thermophilic bacteria applied on biocatalysis.