Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (v.171, #2)

Ligase-Independent Cloning of Amylase Gene from a Local Bacillus subtilis Isolate and Biochemical Characterization of the Purified Enzyme by Merve Tuzlakoglu Ozturk; Nagihan Akbulut; Saliha Issever Ozturk; Fusun Gumusel (263-278).
Five hundred ninety-seven bacterial isolates from Turkish hot spring water sources were screened for their ability to produce extracellular α-amylase. Among them, a high enzyme-producing Bacillus subtilis isolate, A28, was selected, and its α-amylase gene was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli by a ligase-independent method. α-Amylase from the recombinant strain was purified to homogeneity by Q-Sepharose anion exchange and Sephacryl S-100 gel filtration chromatographies. The final yield of the enzyme was about 22.5 % of the initial activity, with a 16.4-fold increase in specific activity compared with the culture lysate. The optimum temperature and pH of the enzyme were 70 °C and 6.0, respectively. The enzyme was highly active at acidic-neutral pH range of 4.5–7.0. The amy28 α-amylase retained 100 % of its activity after incubation at 50 °C for 90 min. Co+2, Cu2+, Fe2+, Fe3+, Ni+2, and Zn+2 caused significant inhibition in enzyme activity, which was not affected by Na+, Mg2+, Li+, and Ba2+. The activity was inhibited about 70 % upon treatment of the enzyme with 10 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. However, Ca2+ ions known as high temperature stabilizer for other amylases did not stimulate the activity of the enzyme. Due to pH stability and thermostability of the recombinant amylase, this enzyme may be suitable in starch processing, brewing, and food industries.
Keywords: α-Amylase; Bacillus ; Ligation-independent cloning; Purification; Biochemical characterization

Biohydrogen Production Based on the Evaluation of Kinetic Parameters of a Mixed Microbial Culture Using Glucose and Fruit–Vegetable Waste as Feedstocks by E. I. Garcia-Peña; M. Canul-Chan; I. Chairez; E. Salgado-Manjarez; J. Aranda-Barradas (279-293).
Hydrogen (H2) production from the organic fraction of solid waste such as fruit and vegetable waste (FVW) is a novel and feasible energy technology. Continuous application of this process would allow for the simultaneous treatment of organic residues and energy production. In this study, batch experiments were conducted using glucose as substrate, and data of H2 production obtained were successfully adjusted by a logistic model. The kinetic parameters (μ max = 0.101 h−1, K s = 2.56 g/L) of an H2-producing microbial culture determined by the Monod and Haldane–Andrews growth models were used to establish the continuous culture conditions. This strategy led to a productive steady state in continuous culture. Once the steady state was reached in the continuous reactor, a maximum H2 production of 700 mL was attained. The feasibility of producing H2 from the FVW obtained from a local market in Mexico City was also evaluated using batch conditions. The effect of the initial FVW concentration on the H2 production and waste organic material degradation was determined. The highest H2 production rate (1.7 mmol/day), the highest cumulative H2 volume (310 mL), and 25 % chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal were obtained with an initial substrate (FVW) concentration of 37 g COD/L. The lowest H2 production rates were obtained with relatively low initial substrate concentrations of 5 and 11 g COD/L. The H2 production rates with FVW were also characterized by the logistic model. Similar cumulative H2 production was obtained when glucose and FVW were used as substrates.
Keywords: Continuous culture; Hydrogen production; Kinetic study; Mixed culture

Production of Ethanol from Sweet Sorghum Juice Using VHG Technology: A Simulation Case Study by Preuk Thangprompan; Anusith Thanapimmetha; Maythee Saisriyoot; Lakkana Laopaiboon; Penjit Srinophakun (294-314).
The aims of this study were to develop the kinetic model and determine kinetic parameters describing ethanol production from sweet sorghum juice using very high gravity technology in the batch fermentation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae NP01. The obtained experimental data were tested with four different types of model, based on the experimental data, accounting for the substrate limitation, substrate inhibition, product inhibition, and the combination of those three effects, respectively. The optimization technique to find kinetic parameters was non-linear regression using Marquardt method performed through numerical procedure. The chosen model with its kinetic parameters obtained in the batch mode was validated and tested against the other independent experimental data in the small batch-scale and large-scale fermenter, in order to investigate the applicability and scale-up effect of the model, respectively. Then, the obtained model with its parameters was applied in the simulations of the continuous and fed-batch operations to examine the concentration profiles of fermentation components with the variations in operating parameters such as the dilution rate, feed-flow rate, start-up time, and feed concentration. The results indicated that the kinetic model (the substrate limitation with substrate and product inhibition effects) was suitable to describe ethanol fermentation. In the continuous mode, using the dilution rate of 0.01 h−1, the maximum ethanol concentration obtained was, approximately, 90 g/l whereas the simulated results from the fed-batch operation revealed that the maximum ethanol concentration at quasi-steady state condition was, approximately, 96 g/l. The start-up time of 21 h was the fastest time to reach the steady-state and quasi-steady state for both the continuous and fed-batch modes, respectively.
Keywords: Simulation; Kinetic model; Ethanol; Very high gravity technology; Sweet sorghum juice

Effects of Ascorbic Acid on PVS2 Cryopreservation of Dendrobium Bobby Messina’s PLBs Supported with SEM Analysis by Jessica Jeyanthi James Antony; Chan Lai Keng; Maziah Mahmood; Sreeramanan Subramaniam (315-329).
Regrowth of the cryopreserved protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) of Dendrobium Bobby Messina was assessed based on the plant vitrification solution 2 (PVS2) optimisation conditions. The optimized protocol obtained based on TTC spectrophotometrical analysis and growth recovery were 3–4 mm of PLBs size precultured in 0.2 M sucrose for 1 day, treated with a mixture of 2 M glycerol and 0.4 M sucrose supplemented with half-strength liquid MS media at 25 °C for 20 min and subsequently dehydrated with PVS2 at 0 °C for 20 min prior to storage in liquid nitrogen. Following rapid warming in a water bath at 40 °C for 90 s, PLBs were treated with unloading solution containing half-strength liquid MS media supplemented with 1.2 M sucrose. Subsequently, the PLBs were cultured on half-strength semi-solid MS media supplemented with 2 % (w/v) sucrose without any growth regulators and resulted in 40 % growth recovery. In addition, ascorbic acid treatment was used to evaluate the regeneration process of cryopreserved PLBs. However, growth recovery rates of non-cryopreserved and cryopreserved PLBs were 30 and 10 % when 0.6 mM ascorbic acid was added. Scanning electron microscopy analysis indicates that there are not much damages observed on both cryopreserved and non-cryopreserved PLBs in comparison to PLBs stock culture.
Keywords: Cryopreservation; Dendrobium Bobby Messina; Regeneration rates; Ascorbic acid; SEM

The effects of heavy metal ions (Co2+, Ag+, Cd2+) on cell viability and secondary metabolite production, particularly anthocyanins and phenolic acids in Vitis vinifera cell suspension cultures, were investigated. Of these, Co at all three used concentrations (5.0, 25, and 50 μM), Ag, and Cd at low concentration (5.0 μM) were most effective to stimulate the phenolic acid production, increasing the 3-O-glucosyl-resveratrol up to 1.6-fold of the control level (250.5 versus 152.4 μmol/g), 4 h after the treatments. Meanwhile, the elicitors at effective concentrations did not suppress cell growth, while the cell viability maintained. In contrast, Ag and Cd at high concentrations (25 and 50 μM) remarkably reduced the cell viability, decreasing the cell viability up to about 15 % of the control level, 24 h after the treatments. The heavy metal ions did not affect the anthocyanin production. These observations show how, in a single system, different groups of secondary products can show distinct differences in their responses to potential elicitors. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity, peroxidase activity, medium pH value, and conductivity were only slightly elevated by the heavy metal ions. The results suggest that some of the secondary metabolites production was stimulated by the used elicitors, but there was not a stress response of the cells.
Keywords: Cell culture; Vitis vinifera ; Heavy metal; Secondary metabolite; Anthocyanin; Resveratrol; Cell viability

Barley straw was used to demonstrate an integrated process for production of fuel ethanol and astaxanthin as a value-added co-product. Barley straw was pretreated by soaking in aqueous ammonia using the previously determined optimum conditions, which included 77.6 °C treatment temperature, 12.1 h treatment time, 15 wt% ammonia concentration, and 1:8 solid-to-liquid ratio. In the newly developed process, the pretreated barley straw was first hydrolyzed with ACCELLERASE® XY (a commercial hemicellulase product) to generate a xylose-rich solution, which contained 3.8 g/l glucose, 22.9 g/l xylose, and 2.4 g/l arabinose, with 96 % of the original glucan being left intact. The xylose-rich solution was used for production of astaxanthin by the yeast Phaffia rhodozyma without further treatment. The resulting cellulose-enriched solid residue was used for ethanol production in a fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation using ACCELLERASE® 1500 (a commercial cellulase product) and the industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. At the end of the fermentation, 70 g/l ethanol was obtained, which was equivalent to 63 % theoretical yield based on the glucan content of the solid substrate.
Keywords: Biomass bioconversion; Biorefinery; Integrated process; Fuel ethanol; Value-added product; Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation

In this work, fibronectin purification from human plasma with the gelatin-immobilised poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) cryogel has been evaluated. The PHEMA cryogel was prepared by cryo-polymerisation which proceeds in an aqueous solution of monomer frozen inside a plastic syringe. The PHEMA cryogel contained interconnected macrochannels of 10–200 μm in diameter. Gelatin molecules were covalently immobilised onto the PHEMA cryogel via carbodiimide activation. The gelatin-immobilised PHEMA cryogel was used to purify fibronectin from human plasma. Fibronectin adsorption from human plasma on the PHEMA cryogel was 0.30 mg/ml, while much higher adsorption values, up to 38 mg/ml, was obtained with the gelatin-immobilised PHEMA cryogel. The fibronectin adsorption capacity of the gelatin-immobilised PHEMA cryogel did not change with an increase in the flow rate of plasma. Up to 92 % of the adsorbed fibronectin was eluted using 2 M urea containing 1 M NaCl as elution agent. The adsorption–elution cycle was repeated ten times using the same PHEMA cryogel. No remarkable decrease was detected in the adsorption capacity of the gelatin-immobilised PHEMA cryogel.
Keywords: Fibronectin purification; Human plasma; Monolithic column; Cryogel; Gelatin; PHEMA

Buffalo Colostrum β-lactoglobulin Inhibits VEGF-Induced Angiogenesis by Interacting with G protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase by Rohit A. Chougule; Shilpa P.; Bharathi P. Salimath; Aparna H. Sosalegowda (366-381).
β-lactoglobulin (β-lg), a major whey protein was purified and characterised from buffalo colostrum. The in silico analysis of the tryptic peptides based on LC-CID-MS/MS facilitated the identification of protein as β-lg. The sequences IIVTQ f[1–5] and LSFNPTQLEEQCHV f(149–162) of m/z 933+ and 8512+ were found to match N- and C-extreme of β-lg while IDALNENK f(84–91) and TPEVDDEALEKFDK f(125–138) sequences deduced for m/z 916+ and 8182+ were in compliance to buffalo milk β-lg. Considering the sequence similarity of β-lg to glycodelin, a proven angiogenic protein, similar role for β-lg from buffalo colostrum (BLG-col) was examined. Interestingly, BLG-col exhibited anti-angiogenic activity by potently inhibiting cell proliferation, micro-vessel sprouting, cell migration and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a dose-dependent manner but having varied effect on Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, MCF-7, MDA-MB 435 and MDA-MB 231 cell lines. The anti-angiogenic potential of BLG-col was found to be vascular endothelial growth factor mediated. The immunolocalisation of BLG-col on the cell surface of HUVECs evidenced using FITC-labelled β-lg antibody indicated its extra-cellular binding. Furthermore, BLG-col interacting HUVEC membrane protein (64 kDa) was detected by immunoblot and its identity was established by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis, which showed peptide sequence homology to G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4.
Keywords: Buffalo colostrum; β-lactoglobulin; Anti-angiogenic activity; GRK 4

The alkaliphilic Bacillus halodurans strain PPKS-2 was shown to produce extracellular extreme alkaliphilic, halotolerent, detergent, and thermostable mannanase activity. The cultural conditions for the maximum enzyme production were optimized with respect to pH, temperature, NaCl, and inexpensive agro wastes as substrates. Mannanase production was enhanced more than 4-fold in the presence of 1 % defatted copra meal and 0.5 % peptone or feather hydrolysate at pH 11 and 40 °C. Mannanase was purified to 10.3-fold with 34.6 % yield by ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography methods. Its molecular mass was estimated to be 22 kDa by SDS-PAGE. The mannanase had maximal activity at pH 11 and 70 °C. This enzyme was active over a broad range of NaCl (0–16 %) and thermostable retaining 100 % of the original activity at 70 °C for 3 h. Immobilization of whole cells proved to be effective for continuous production of mannanase. Since the strain PPKS-2 grows on cheaper agro wastes such as defatted copra meal, corn husk, jowar bagasse, and wheat bran, these can be exploited for mannanase production on an industrial scale.
Keywords: Bacillus halodurans PPKS-2; β-mannanase; Copra meal; Detergent stable; Extremely alkaliphilic; Immobilization

Curcumin Inhibits the Sortase A Activity of the Streptococcus mutans UA159 by Ping Hu; Ping Huang; Wei Min Chen (396-402).
Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) forms part of the commensal microflora and is deemed to be the major pathogen responsible for the generation of dental caries. The enzyme, sortase A enzyme, modulates the surface properties and cariogenicity of S. mutans. Curcumin has been reported to be an inhibitor of Staphylococcus aureus sortase A. In this study, inhibition of a purified S. mutans UA159 sortase A by curcumin was evaluated. Curcumin exerted strong inhibitory activity with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 10.2 ± 0.7 μM which was lower than the minimum inhibitory concentration of 175 μM and the minimum bactericidal concentration of 350 μM. These results indicated that curcumin is a S. mutans UA159 sortase A inhibitor and therefore represents as a promising anticaries agent.
Keywords: Streptococcus mutans ; Sortase A; Curcumin; Inhibitor; MIC; IC50

NADP+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase from Yarrowia lipolytica CLIB122 (YlIDP) was overexpressed and purified. The molecular mass of YlIDP was estimated to be about 81.3 kDa, suggesting its homodimeric structure in solution. YlIDP was divalent cation dependent and Mg2+ was found to be the most favorable cofactor. The purified recombinant YlIDP displayed maximal activity at 55 °C and its optimal pH for catalysis was found to be around 8.5. Heat inactivation studies revealed that the recombinant YlIDP was stable below 45 °C, but its activity dropped quickly above this temperature. YlIDP was absolutely dependent on NADP+ and no NAD-dependent activity could be detected. The K m values displayed for NADP+ and isocitrate were 59 and 31 μM (Mg2+), 120 μM and 58 μM (Mn2+), respectively. Mutant enzymes were constructed to tentatively alter the coenzyme specificity of YlIDP. The K m values for NADP+ of R322D mutant was 2,410 μM, being about 41-fold higher than that of wild type enzyme. NAD+-dependent activity was detected for R322D mutant and the K m and k cat values for NAD+ were 47,000 μM and 0.38 s−1, respectively. Although the R322D mutant showed low activity with NAD+, it revealed the feasibility of engineering an eukaryotic IDP to a NAD+-dependent one.
Keywords: Isocitrate dehydrogenase; Yarrowia lipolytica ; Kinetics; Coenzyme specificity; Site-directed mutagenesis

Identification of Druggable Targets for Acinetobacter baumannii Via Subtractive Genomics and Plausible Inhibitors for MurA and MurB by Navkiran Kaur; Mansimran Khokhar; Vaibhav Jain; P. V. Bharatam; Rajat Sandhir; Rupinder Tewari (417-436).
Emergence of the multidrug-resistant pathogens has rendered the current therapies ineffective thereby, resulting in the need for new drugs and drug targets. The accumulating protein sequence data has initiated a drift from classical drug discovery protocols to structure-based drug designing. In the present study, in silico subtractive genomics approach was implemented to find a set of potential drug targets present in an opportunist bacterial pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii). Out of the 43 targets identified, further studies for protein model building and lead-inhibitor identification were carried out on two cell-essential targets, MurA and MurB enzymes (of A. baumannii designated as MurAAb and MurBAb) involved in the peptidoglycan biosynthesis pathway of bacteria. The homology model built for each of them was further refined and validated using various available programs like PROCHECK, Errat, ProSA energy plots, etc. Compounds showing activity against MurA and MurB enzymes of other organisms were collected from the literature and were docked into the active site of MurAAb and MurBAb enzymes. Three inhibitors namely, T6361, carbidopa, and aesculin, showed maximum Glide score, hydrogen bonding interactions with the key amino acid residues of both the enzymes and acceptable ADME properties. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulation studies on MurAAb–T6361 and MurBAb–T6361 complexes suggested that the ligand has a high binding affinity with both the enzymes and the hydrogen bonding with the key residues were stable in the dynamic condition also. Therefore, these ligands have been propsed as dual inhibitors and promising lead compounds for the drug design against MurAAb and MurBAb enzymes.
Keywords: Subtractive genomics; Acinetobacter baumannii ; Peptidoglycan; MurA; MurB; Homology modeling; Molecular docking; Molecular dynamics

Screening of Tea (Camellia sinensis) for Trait-Associated Molecular Markers by Nicholas I. K. Mphangwe; Juan Vorster; J. Martin Steyn; Hastings E. Nyirenda; Nicolette J. Taylor; Zeno Apostolides (437-449).
This study was done to identify random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers that may associate with seven important traits in tea. Sixty RAPD primers were first screened using 18 cultivars under each of the 7 traits, followed by confirmatory screening of 20 promising primers with 32 tea cultivars. Six RAPD primers generated a total of nine specific bands that associated with six desired traits: black tea quality and tolerance to drought, high temperature, low temperature, Phomopsis theae, and high yield. These markers would allow early identification of plant material with the desired traits that can be advanced to the next stage of selection and enhance targeted choice of breeding stocks with the desirable traits. The nine RAPD markers identified in this study could improve precision and efficiency in tea breeding and selection and are an important contribution towards the establishment of marker-assisted selection in tea breeding programmes.
Keywords: Tea; RAPD; Trait; Marker; Selection

Assessment of Factors Influencing the Agrobacterium-mediated in planta Seed Transformation of Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) by Kondeti Subramanyam; Manoharan Rajesh; Balusamy Jaganath; Amirthalingam Vasuki; Jeevaraj Theboral; Dhandapani Elayaraja; Sivabalan Karthik; Markandan Manickavasagam; Andy Ganapathi (450-468).
An efficient and reproducible in planta transformation method was developed for brinjal using seed as an explant. The brinjal seeds were infected with Agrobacterium tumefaciens EHA 105 harbouring pCAMBIA 1301-bar plasmid, and the transformants were selected against BASTA®. Several parameters influencing the in planta seed transformation such as pre-culture duration, acetosyringone concentration, surfactants, duration of sonication, vacuum pressure and vacuum duration have been evaluated. The putatively transformed (T 0) brinjal plants were screened by GUS histochemical analysis. Among the different combinations and concentrations tested, when the 18-h pre-cultured brinjal seeds were sonicated for 20 min and vacuum infiltered for 3 min at 500 mm of Hg in Agrobacterium suspension containing 100 μM acetosyringone, 0.2 % Silwett L-77 favoured the Agrobacterium infection and showed maximum transformation efficiency. Among the five brinjal varieties evaluated, Arka Samhitha showed maximum transformation efficiency at 45.66 %. The transgene was successfully transmitted to progeny plants (T 1) which was evidenced by GUS histochemical analysis, polymerase chain reaction and Southern hybridisation. The in planta protocol developed in the present study would be beneficial to transfer the economically and nutritionally important genes into different varieties of brinjal, and the transgenic brinjal plants can be produced in less time (approximately 27 days).
Keywords: Acetosyringone; In planta transformation; Sonication; Surfactants; Vacuum infiltration

Antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles is gaining importance due its broad spectrum of targets in cell compared to conventional antimicrobial agents. In this context, silver nanoparticles were synthesized by gamma irradiation-induced reduction method of acrylamide and itaconic acid with irradiation dose up to 70 kGy. Silver nanoparticles were examined by Fourier-transform infrared, scanning electron microscopic images (SEM), and ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometer. The particle size was determined by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and dynamic light scattering. The antibacterial effect was studied by disk diffusion method against some bacterial pathogenic strains. Silver nanoparticles showed promising activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and slightly active against Escherichia coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumonia. The bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles was tested against P. aeruginosa. The killing rate of P. aeruginosa was found to be 90 % of viability at (100 μl/ml) of silver nanoparticles. Exposure of P. aeruginosa cells to silver nanoparticles caused fast loss of 260 nm absorbing materials and release of potassium ions. The TEM and SEM observation showed that silver nanoparticles may destroy the structure of bacterial cell membrane in order to enter the bacterial cell resulting in the leakage of the cytoplasmic component and the eventual death.
Keywords: Silver nanoparticles; γ-Irradiation; Particle size; Bacterial cells; Antibacterial activity; P. aeruginosa

Differential Regulation of Defense-Related Gene Expression in Response to Red Rot Pathogen Colletotrichum falcatum Infection in Sugarcane by P. T. Prathima; M. Raveendran; K. K. Kumar; P. R. Rahul; V. Ganesh Kumar; R. Viswanathan; A. Ramesh Sundar; P. Malathi; D. Sudhakar; P. Balasubramaniam (488-503).
Red rot is a serious disease of sugarcane caused by the fungus Colletotrichum falcatum imposing a considerable economic loss annually in all sugarcane-producing countries. In this study, we analyzed the early resistance response of sugarcane to red rot fungus by comparing the differences between control and inoculated stalk tissues. Differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (DD-RT-PCR) was employed to identify altered expression of genes in disease-resistant cv Co 93009, in response to pathogen infection. DD-RT-PCR identified 300 differentially expressed transcripts of which 112 were selected for further analysis. Cloning and sequence analysis of the isolated cDNA fragments resulted in functional categorization of these clones into five categories, of which the defense/stress/signaling group was the largest, with clones homologous to genes known to be actively involved in various pathogenesis-related functions in plant species. This group showed overexpression of several transcripts related to ethylene-mediated and jasmonic acid pathway of plant defense mechanisms. Of the 112 expressed sequence tags, validation of expression was carried out for five important genes whose role in plant defense mechanisms is well established. This is the first report of Colletotrichum-mediated gene regulation in sugarcane which has provided a set of candidate genes for detailed molecular dissection of signaling and defense responses in tropical sugarcane during the onset of red rot resistance.
Keywords: Differential display; C. falcatum–sugarcane interaction; Red rot; Host–pathogen interaction

Corynebacterium glutamicum is the workhorse for the production of amino acids, including l-isoleucine (Ile). During Ile biosynthesis, NADPH is required as a crucial cofactor. In this study, four NADPH-supplying strategies based on NAD kinase, NADH kinase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and NAD kinase coupling with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were compared, and their influences on Ile biosynthesis were examined. PpnK is a NAD kinase of C. glutamicum ssp. lactofermentum JHI3-156 that predominantly phosphorylates NAD+ to produce NADP+. Pos5 is a NADH kinase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that predominantly phosphorylates NADH to produce NADPH. Zwf is a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase of JHI3-156. The ppnK, POS5, zwf, and zwf-ppnK genes were overexpressed in the Ile-producing strain JHI3-156. The expression of all four genes increased intracellular NADPH concentration and Ile production. The increase of NADPH concentration and Ile production in a POS5-expressing strain (229 and 75.6 %, respectively) was higher than that in a ppnK-expression strain. The expression of zwf also increased NADPH supply and Ile biosynthesis, but the constitutive expression of zwf was not as effective as the inducible expression of zwf. Coexpression of zwf and ppnK genes greatly enhanced NADPH supply and thus improved Ile production by up to 85.9 %, indicating that this strategy was the most effective one. These results are helpful for improving Ile biosynthesis and other biosynthetic processes.
Keywords: Corynebacterium glutamicum ssp. lactofermentum ; Pos5; PpnK; Zwf; l-isoleucine

l-Glutaminase (E.C. extracellularly produced by Bacillus cereus MTCC 1305 was purified to apparent homogeneity with a fine band. The molecular weight of native enzyme and its subunit were found to be approximately 140 and 35 kDa, respectively, which indicates its homotetrameric nature. The substrate specificity test of this enzyme showed its specificity for l-glutamine. The purified enzyme showed maximum activity at optimum pH 7.5 and temperature 35 °C. The enzyme retained stability up to 50 and 20 % even after treatment at 50 and 55 °C, respectively, for 30 min. Monovalent cations (Na+, K+) and phosphate ion activated the enzyme activity, while divalent cations (Mg2+, Mn2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, Ca2+, Co2+, Hg2+, Cd2+, Cu2+) inhibited its activity. Reducing agents (cysteine, glutathione, dithiothreitol, l-ascorbic acid, and β-mercaptoethanol) stimulated its activity, whereas thiol-binding agents (iodoacetamide, p-chloromercuribenzoic acid) resulted in the inhibition of this enzyme. Kinetic parameters, K m, V max, K cat, of purified enzyme were found to be 6.25 mM, 100 μmol/min/mg protein and 2.22 × 102 M−1s−1, respectively. The gradual inhibition in growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (Hep-G2) cell lines was found with IC50 value of 82.27 μg/ml in the presence of different doses of l-glutaminase (10–100 μg/ml).
Keywords: l-glutaminase; Bacillus cereus MTCC 1305; Characterization; Antitumor

Curing the Plasmid pMC1 from the Poly (γ-glutamic Acid) Producing Bacillus amyloliquefaciens LL3 Strain Using Plasmid Incompatibility by Jun Feng; Yanyan Gu; Jingqiang Wang; Cunjiang Song; Chao Yang; Hui Xie; Wei Zhang; Shufang Wang (532-542).
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens LL3 is a glutamate-independent poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) producing strain which consists of a circular chromosome (3,995,227 bp) and an endogenous plasmid pMC1 (6,758 bp). The study of the function of native plasmid and the genome-size reduction of the B. amyloliquefaciens LL3 strain requires elimination of the endogenous plasmid. Traditional plasmid-curing procedures using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) or acridine orange combined with heat treatment have been shown to be ineffective in this strain. Plasmid incompatibility is an effective method for curing which has been studied before. In our research, the hypothetical Rep protein gene and the origin of replication of the endogenous plasmid were cloned into the temperature-sensitive vector yielding the incompatible plasmid pKSV7-rep-ori. This plasmid was transformed into LL3 by electroporation. The analysis of the strain bearing incompatible plasmids after incubation at 30 °C for 30 generations showed the production of plasmid cured strains. High frequency of elimination was achieved with more than 93 % of detected strains showing to be plasmid-cured. This is the first report describing plasmid cured in a γ-PGA producing strain using this method. The plasmid-cured strains showed an increase of γ-PGA production by 6 % and led to a yield of 4.159 g/l, compared to 3.918 g/l in control and cell growth increased during the early stages of the exponential phase. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) characterization revealed that the γ-PGA produced by plasmid-cured strains and the wild strains were identical in terms of molecular weight. What is more, the further study of plasmid function showed that curing of the endogenous plasmid did not affect its sporulation efficiency.
Keywords: Plasmid curing; Plasmid incompatibility; Poly-γ-glutamic acid; Sporogenesis

Protocols for regeneration and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the apomictic species Eulaliopsis binata were developed. Initially, seeds of four genotypes of E. binata were incubated on a callus induction Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with three concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). It was found that 36.2 % of explants developed highly friable callus on medium containing 3.0 mg l−1 2,4-D. Based on frequency of callus induction, the genotype Neixiang was selected for regeneration and transformation. Callus incubated on MS basal medium supplemented with 0.2 mg l−1 α-naphthalene acetic acid and 6.0 mg l−1 6-furfuryl-aminopurine developed shoots. Subsequently, Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105—harboring a plasmid pCAMBIA1381 carrying a hygromycin phosphotransferase (hpt) resistance gene and a synthetic green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene, both driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter—was used for transformation system. Putative transgenic callus was obtained following two cycles of hygromycin selection. Expression of the transgene(s) in putative transgenic callus was analyzed using the GFP detection. Molecular identification of putative transformed shoots was performed by polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analysis to confirm presence and integration of the hpt gene.
Keywords: Apomixis; Embryonic callus; Genotypes; GFP; Hygromycin resistance; Plant growth regulator