• Microbiome Yarns: microbiome of the built environment, paranormal microbiology, and the power of single cell genomics1,2,3,4.

      Timmis, Kenneth; Jebok, Franziska; Rohde, Manfred; Molinari, Gabriella; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-05-16)
    • Regulation of Flagellum Biosynthesis in Response to Cell Envelope Stress in Serovar Typhimurium.

      Spöring, Imke; Felgner, Sebastian; Preuße, Matthias; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Rohde, Manfred; Häussler, Susanne; Weiss, Siegfried; Erhardt, Marc (2018-05-01)
      Flagellum-driven motility of serovar Typhimurium facilitates host colonization. However, the large extracellular flagellum is also a prime target for the immune system. As consequence, expression of flagella is bistable within a population of , resulting in flagellated and nonflagellated subpopulations. This allows the bacteria to maximize fitness in hostile environments. The degenerate EAL domain protein RflP (formerly YdiV) is responsible for the bistable expression of flagella by directing the flagellar master regulatory complex FlhDC with respect to proteolytic degradation. Information concerning the environmental cues controlling expression of and thus about the bistable flagellar biosynthesis remains ambiguous. Here, we demonstrated that RflP responds to cell envelope stress and alterations of outer membrane integrity. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) truncation mutants of Typhimurium exhibited increasing motility defects due to downregulation of flagellar gene expression. Transposon mutagenesis and genetic profiling revealed that σ (RpoE) and Rcs phosphorelay-dependent cell envelope stress response systems sense modifications of the lipopolysaccaride, low pH, and activity of the complement system. This subsequently results in activation of RflP expression and degradation of FlhDC via ClpXP. We speculate that the presence of diverse hostile environments inside the host might result in cell envelope damage and would thus trigger the repression of resource-costly and immunogenic flagellum biosynthesis via activation of the cell envelope stress response. Pathogenic bacteria such as Typhimurium sense and adapt to a multitude of changing and stressful environments during host infection. At the initial stage of gastrointestinal colonization, uses flagellum-mediated motility to reach preferred sites of infection. However, the flagellum also constitutes a prime target for the host's immune response. Accordingly, the pathogen needs to determine the spatiotemporal stage of infection and control flagellar biosynthesis in a robust manner. We found that uses signals from cell envelope stress-sensing systems to turn off production of flagella. We speculate that downregulation of flagellum synthesis after cell envelope damage in hostile environments aids survival of during late stages of infection and provides a means to escape recognition by the immune system.
    • Genome biology of a novel lineage of planctomycetes widespread in anoxic aquatic environments.

      Spring, Stefan; Bunk, Boyke; Spröer, Cathrin; Rohde, Manfred; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-04-26)
      Anaerobic strains affiliated with a novel order-level lineage of the Phycisphaerae class were retrieved from the suboxic zone of a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat and anoxic sediments of solar salterns. Genome sequences of five isolates were obtained and compared with metagenome-assembled genomes representing related uncultured bacteria from various anoxic aquatic environments. Gene content surveys suggest a strictly fermentative saccharolytic metabolism for members of this lineage, which could be confirmed by the phenotypic characterization of isolates. Genetic analyses indicate that the retrieved isolates do not have a canonical origin of DNA replication, but initiate chromosome replication at alternative sites possibly leading to an accelerated evolution. Further potential factors driving evolution and speciation within this clade include genome reduction by metabolic specialization and rearrangements of the genome by mobile genetic elements, which have a high prevalence in strains from hypersaline sediments and mats. Based on genetic and phenotypic data a distinct group of strictly anaerobic heterotrophic planctomycetes within the Phycisphaerae class could be assigned to a novel order that is represented by the proposed genus Sedimentisphaera gen. nov. comprising two novel species, S. salicampi gen. nov., sp. nov. and S. cyanobacteriorum gen. nov., sp. nov. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    • Microbiome Yarns: human biome reproduction, evolution and visual acuity,,.

      Timmis, Kenneth; Jebok, Franziska; Molinari, Gabriella; Rohde, Manfred; Lahti, Leo; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01)
    • Identification and Characterization of T5-Like Bacteriophages Representing Two Novel Subgroups from Food Products.

      Sváb, Domonkos; Falgenhauer, Linda; Rohde, Manfred; Szabó, Judit; Chakraborty, Trinad; Tóth, István; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018)
      During recent years, interest in the use of bacteriophages as biocontrol agents against foodborne pathogens has increased, particularly for members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, with pathogenic Escherichia coli, Shigella, and Salmonella strains among them. Here, we report the isolation and characterisation of 12 novel T5-like bacteriophages from confiscated food samples. All bacterophages effectively lysed E. coli K-12 strains and were able to infect pathogenic E. coli strains representing enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), and enteroinvasive (EIEC) pathotypes, Shigella dysenteriae, S. sonnei strains, as well as multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli and multiple strains representing different Salmonella enterica serovars. All the bacteriophages exhibited Siphoviridae morphology. Whole genome sequencing of the novel T5-like bacteriophages showed that they represent two distinct groups, with the genome-based grouping correlating to the different host spectra. As these bacteriophages are of food origin, their stability and lack of any virulence genes, as well as their broad and mutually complementary host spectrum makes these new T5-like bacteriophages valuable candidates for use as biocontrol agents against foodborne pathogenic enterobacteria.
    • Extracellular Actin Is a Receptor for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

      Raymond, Benjamin B A; Madhkoor, Ranya; Schleicher, Ina; Uphoff, Cord C; Turnbull, Lynne; Whitchurch, Cynthia B; Rohde, Manfred; Padula, Matthew P; Djordjevic, Steven P; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018)
      Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, an agriculturally important porcine pathogen, disrupts the mucociliary escalator causing ciliostasis, loss of cilial function, and epithelial cell death within the porcine lung. Losses to swine production due to growth rate retardation and reduced feed conversion efficiency are severe, and antibiotics are used heavily to control mycoplasmal pneumonia. Notably, little is known about the repertoire of host receptors that M. hyopneumoniae targets to facilitate colonization. Here we show, for the first time, that actin exists extracellularly on porcine epithelial monolayers (PK-15) using surface biotinylation and 3D-Structured Illumination Microscopy (3D-SIM), and that M. hyopneumoniae binds to the extracellular β-actin exposed on the surface of these cells. Consistent with this hypothesis we show: (i) monoclonal antibodies that target β-actin significantly block the ability of M. hyopneumoniae to adhere and colonize PK-15 cells; (ii) microtiter plate binding assays show that M. hyopneumoniae cells bind to monomeric G-actin in a dose dependent manner; (iii) more than 100 M. hyopneumoniae proteins were recovered from affinity-chromatography experiments using immobilized actin as bait; and (iv) biotinylated monomeric actin binds directly to M. hyopneumoniae proteins in ligand blotting studies. Specifically, we show that the P97 cilium adhesin possesses at least two distinct actin-binding regions, and binds monomeric actin with nanomolar affinity. Taken together, these observations suggest that actin may be an important receptor for M. hyopneumoniae within the swine lung and will aid in the future development of intervention strategies against this devastating pathogen. Furthermore, our observations have wider implications for extracellular actin as an important bacterial receptor.
    • Lipoteichoic acid deficiency permits normal growth but impairs virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

      Heß, Nathalie; Waldow, Franziska; Kohler, Thomas P; Rohde, Manfred; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Gómez-Mejia, Alejandro; Hain, Torsten; Schwudke, Dominik; Vollmer, Waldemar; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Gisch, Nicolas; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-12-12)
      Teichoic acid (TA), a crucial cell wall constituent of the pathobiont Streptococcus pneumoniae, is bound to peptidoglycan (wall teichoic acid, WTA) or to membrane glycolipids (lipoteichoic acid, LTA). Both TA polymers share a common precursor synthesis pathway, but differ in the final transfer of the TA chain to either peptidoglycan or a glycolipid. Here, we show that LTA exhibits a different linkage conformation compared to WTA, and identify TacL (previously known as RafX) as a putative lipoteichoic acid ligase required for LTA assembly. Pneumococcal mutants deficient in TacL lack LTA and show attenuated virulence in mouse models of acute pneumonia and systemic infections, although they grow normally in culture. Hence, LTA is important for S. pneumoniae to establish systemic infections, and TacL represents a potential target for antimicrobial drug development.
    • Taxonomic analyses of members of the Streptomyces cinnabarinus cluster, description of Streptomyces cinnabarigriseus sp. nov. and Streptomyces davaonensis sp. nov.

      Landwehr, Wiebke; Kämpfer, Peter; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Rückert, Christian; Kalinowski, Jörn; Blom, Jochen; Goesmann, Alexander; Mack, Matthias; Schumann, Peter; Atasayar, Ewelina; Hahnke, Richard L; Rohde, Manfred; Martin, Karin; Stadler, Marc; Wink, Joachim; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-12-11)
      Roseoflavin is the only known riboflavin (vitamin B2) analog with antibiotic properties. It is actively taken up by many micro-organisms and targets flavinmononucleotide riboswitches and flavoproteins. It is described as the product of the tentatively named 'Streptomyces davawensis' JCM 4913. Taxonomic analysis of this strain with a polyphasic approach showed that it is very closely related to Streptomyces cinnabarinus (DSM 40467). The two Streptomyces isolates were obtained from different geographical locations (the Philippines and the Kamchatka Peninsula, respectively), their genomes have been sequenced and the question was whether or not the two isolates were representatives of the same species. As we also worked with another isolate of Streptomyces cinnabarinus JS 360, the producer of the cinnabaramides, we wanted to clarify the taxonomic position of the three isolates by using a polyphasic approach. After analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence, we found in total 23 species of the genus Streptomyces that showed a similarity higher than 98.5 % to the three strains. We showed that 'S. davawensis' JCM 4913 and S. cinnabarinus DSM 40467 were very closely related but belong to two different species. Hence, we validate 'S. davawensis' as Streptomyces davaonensis sp. nov. with the type strain JCM 4913T (=DSM 101723T). In addition, the cinnabaramide producer can be clearly differentiated from S. davaonensis and this isolate is described as Streptomyces cinnabarigriseus sp. nov. with strain JS360T (=NCCB 100590T=DSM 101724T) as the type strain.
    • Microbiome yarns: microbiome basis of memory,,.

      Timmis, Kenneth; Jebok, Franziska; Molinari, Gabriella; Rohde, Manfred; Timmis, James Kenneth; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-11)
    • Engineered Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium overcomes limitations of anti-bacterial immunity in bacteria-mediated tumor therapy

      Felgner, Sebastian; Kocijancic, Dino; Frahm, Michael; Heise, Ulrike; Rohde, Manfred; Zimmermann, Kurt; Falk, Christine; Erhardt, Marc; Weiss, Siegfried; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; Department of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Mouse-Pathology Service Unit, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Central Facility for Microscopy, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Symbio Gruppe GmbH & Co KG, Herborn, Lower Saxony, Germany; Institute of Transplant Immunology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Hessia, Germany; Infection Biology of Salmonella, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany; Department of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany (2017-09-29)
    • Kindlin-2 recruits paxillin and Arp2/3 to promote membrane protrusions during initial cell spreading.

      Böttcher, Ralph T; Veelders, Maik; Rombaut, Pascaline; Faix, Jan; Theodosiou, Marina; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens; Zent, Roy; Herzog, Franz; Fässler, Reinhard; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-09-14)
      Cell spreading requires the coupling of actin-driven membrane protrusion and integrin-mediated adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The integrin-activating adaptor protein kindlin-2 plays a central role for cell adhesion and membrane protrusion by directly binding and recruiting paxillin to nascent adhesions. Here, we report that kindlin-2 has a dual role during initial cell spreading: it binds paxillin via the pleckstrin homology and F0 domains to activate Rac1, and it directly associates with the Arp2/3 complex to induce Rac1-mediated membrane protrusions. Consistently, abrogation of kindlin-2 binding to Arp2/3 impairs lamellipodia formation and cell spreading. Our findings identify kindlin-2 as a key protein that couples cell adhesion by activating integrins and the induction of membrane protrusions by activating Rac1 and supplying Rac1 with the Arp2/3 complex.
    • Treatment of biofilms in bacterial vaginosis by an amphoteric tenside pessary-clinical study and microbiota analysis.

      Gottschick, Cornelia; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Vital, Marius; Masur, Clarissa; Abels, Christoph; Pieper, Dietmar H; Rohde, Manfred; Mendling, Werner; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-09-13)
      Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal syndrome among women in their reproductive years. It is associated with an increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections and complications like preterm labor. BV is characterized by a high recurrence rate for which biofilms frequently found on vaginal epithelial cells may be a reason.
    • Mesenteric lymph node stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicles contribute to peripheral de novo induction of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells.

      Pasztoi, Maria; Pezoldt, Joern; Beckstette, Michael; Lipps, Christoph; Wirth, Dagmar; Rohde, Manfred; Paloczi, Krisztina; Buzas, Edit Iren; Huehn, Jochen; Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-18)
      Intestinal regulatory T cells (Tregs) are fundamental in peripheral tolerance toward commensals and food-borne antigens. Accordingly, gut-draining mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs) represent a site of efficient peripheral de novo Treg induction when compared to skin-draining peripheral LNs (pLNs), and we had recently shown that LN stromal cells substantially contribute to this process. Here, we aimed to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms and generated immortalized fibroblastic reticular cell lines (iFRCs) from mLNs and pLNs, allowing unlimited investigation of this rare stromal cell subset. In line with our previous findings, mLN-iFRCs showed a higher Treg-inducing capacity when compared to pLN-iFRCs. RNA-seq analysis focusing on secreted molecules revealed a more tolerogenic phenotype of mLN- as compared to pLN-iFRCs. Remarkably, mLN-iFRCs produced substantial numbers of microvesicles (MVs) that carried elevated levels of TGF-β when compared to pLN-iFRC-derived MVs, and these novel players of intercellular communication were shown to be responsible for the tolerogenic properties of mLN-iFRCs. Thus, stromal cells originating from mLNs contribute to peripheral tolerance by fostering de novo Treg induction using TGF-β-carrying MVs. This finding provides novel insights into the subcellular/molecular mechanisms of de novo Treg induction and might serve as promising tool for future therapeutic applications to treat inflammatory disorders.
    • The urinary microbiota of men and women and its changes in women during bacterial vaginosis and antibiotic treatment.

      Gottschick, Cornelia; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Vital, Marius; Masur, Clarissa; Abels, Christoph; Pieper, Dietmar H; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection researchGmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-14)
      The urinary microbiota is similarly complex as the vaginal and penile microbiota, yet its role as a reservoir for pathogens and for recurrent polymicrobial biofilm diseases like bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not clear.
    • Proposal of Henriciella barbarensis sp. nov. and Henriciella algicola sp. nov., stalked species of the genus and emendation of the genus Henriciella.

      Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; de Carvalho, Maira Peres; da Costa Neves, Thais Souto Paula; Memoria, Marina Torquato; Tartuci, Iago Toledo; Vancanneyt, Marc; Smit, John; Rohde, Manfred; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08)
      Two Gram-negative, heterotrophic, aerobic, prosthecated, marine bacteria, designated strains MCS23T and MCS27T, were isolated from seawater samples. NaCl was required for growth. The major polar lipid detected in strain MCS27T was phosphatidylglycerol, whereas those detected in MCS23T were phosphatidylglycerol, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol and 1,2-diacyl-3-α-d-glucuronopyranosyl-sn-glycerol taurineamide. The most abundant cellular fatty acids were C18 : 1ω7 and C16 : 0, hydroxyl-fatty acids were 3-OH C12 : 0 in both strains and 3-OH C11 : 0 in MCS23T. Strains MCS23T and MCS27T had DNA G+C contents of 57.0 and 55.0 mol%, respectively. The two strains shared 99.3 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity; levels of similarity with the type strains of species of the genus Henriciella were 99.4-97.8 % but DNA-DNA hybridizations were 53 % or lower. Besides their 16S rRNA gene sequences, the novel strains can be differentiated from other species of the genus Henriciella by cell morphology, lipid and fatty acid patterns and enzyme activities. The data obtained led to the identification of two novel species, for which the names Henriciella barbarensis sp. nov. (type strain MCS23T=LMG 28705T=CCUG 66934T) and Henriciella algicola sp. nov. (type strain MCS27T=LMG 29152T=CCUG 67844T) are proposed. As these two novel species are the first prosthecate species in the genus Henriciella, an emended genus description is also provided.
    • Silvanigrella aquatica gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from a freshwater lake, description of Silvanigrellaceae fam. nov. and Silvanigrellales ord. nov., reclassification of the order Bdellovibrionales in the class Oligoflexia, reclassification of the families Bacteriovoracaceae and Halobacteriovoraceae in the new order Bacteriovoracales ord. nov., and reclassification of the family Pseudobacteriovoracaceae in the order Oligoflexales.

      Hahn, Martin W; Schmidt, Johanna; Koll, Ulrike; Rohde, Manfred; Verbarg, Susanne; Pitt, Alexandra; Nakai, Ryosuke; Naganuma, Takeshi; Lang, Elke; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08)
      The unusual chemo-organoheterotrophic proteobacterial strain MWH-Nonnen-W8redT was isolated from a lake located in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Germany, by using the filtration-acclimatization method. Phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence of the strain could not provide clear hints on classification of the strain in one of the current classes of the phylum Proteobacteria. Whole-genome sequencing resulted in a genome size of 3.5 Mbp and revealed a quite low DNA G+C content of 32.6 mol%. In-depth phylogenetic analyses based on alignments of 74 protein sequences of a phylogenetically broad range of taxa suggested assignment of the strain to a new order of the class Oligoflexia. These analyses also suggested that the order Bdellovibrionales should be transferred from the class Deltaproteobacteria to the class Oligoflexia, that this order should be split into two orders, and that the family Pseudobacteriovoracaceae should be transferred from the order Bdellovibrionales to the order Oligoflexales. We propose to establish for strain MWH-Nonnen-W8redT (=DSM 23856T=CCUG 58639T) the novel species and genus Silvanigrella aquatica gen. nov., sp. nov. to be placed in the new family Silvanigrellaceae fam. nov. of the new order Silvanigrellales ord. nov.
    • Degradable magnesium implant-associated infections by bacterial biofilms induce robust localized and systemic inflammatory reactions in a mouse model.

      Rahim, Muhammad Imran; Babbar, Anshu; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Pils, Marina; Rohde, M; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-06-01)
      Biomaterial-associated Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infections constitute cascade of host immune reactions ultimately leading towards implant failure. Due to lack of relevant in vivo biofilm models, majority of the studies report host immune responses against free living or planktonic bacteria while bacteria in clinical situations live more frequently as biofilm communities than as single cells. Present study investigated host immune responses against biomaterial-associated P. aeruginosa biofilms in a clinically relevant mouse model. Previously, we reported metallic magnesium, a prospective biodegradable implant, to be permissive for bacterial biofilms in vivo even though it exhibits antibacterial properties in vitro. Therefore, magnesium was employed as biomaterial to investigate in vivo biofilm formation and associated host immune responses by using two P. aeruginosa strains and two mouse strains. P. aeruginosa formed biofilms on subcutaneously implanted magnesium discs. Non-invasive in vivo imaging indicated transient inflammatory responses at control sites whereas robust prolonged interferon-β (IFN-β) expression was observed from biofilms in a transgenic animal reporter. Further, immunohistology and electron microscopic results showed that bacterial biofilms were located in two dimensions immediately on the implant surface and at a short distance in the adjacent tissue. These biofilms were surrounded by inflammatory cells (mainly polymorphonuclear cells) as compared to controls. Interestingly, even though the number of live bacteria in various organs remained below detectable levels, splenomegaly indicated systemic inflammatory processes. Overall, these findings confirmed the resistance of biofilm infections in vivo to potentially antibacterial properties of magnesium degradation products. In vivo imaging and histology indicated the induction of both, local and systemic host inflammatory responses against P. aeruginosa biofilms. Even though the innate host immune defenses could not eliminate the local infection for up to two weeks, there was no apparent systemic bacteremia and all animals investigated survived the infection.
    • Determining the bacterial cell biology of Planctomycetes.

      Boedeker, Christian; Schüler, Margarete; Reintjes, Greta; Jeske, Olga; van Teeseling, Muriel C F; Jogler, Mareike; Rast, Patrick; Borchert, Daniela; Devos, Damien P; Kucklick, Martin; Schaffer, Miroslava; Kolter, Roberto; van Niftrik, Laura; Engelmann, Susanne; Amann, Rudolf; Rohde, Manfred; Engelhardt, Harald; Jogler, Christian; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-04-10)
      Bacteria of the phylum Planctomycetes have been previously reported to possess several features that are typical of eukaryotes, such as cytosolic compartmentalization and endocytosis-like macromolecule uptake. However, recent evidence points towards a Gram-negative cell plan for Planctomycetes, although in-depth experimental analysis has been hampered by insufficient genetic tools. Here we develop methods for expression of fluorescent proteins and for gene deletion in a model planctomycete, Planctopirus limnophila, to analyse its cell organization in detail. Super-resolution light microscopy of mutants, cryo-electron tomography, bioinformatic predictions and proteomic analyses support an altered Gram-negative cell plan for Planctomycetes, including a defined outer membrane, a periplasmic space that can be greatly enlarged and convoluted, and an energized cytoplasmic membrane. These conclusions are further supported by experiments performed with two other Planctomycetes, Gemmata obscuriglobus and Rhodopirellula baltica. We also provide experimental evidence that is inconsistent with endocytosis-like macromolecule uptake; instead, extracellular macromolecules can be taken up and accumulate in the periplasmic space through unclear mechanisms.
    • Yersinia pseudotuberculosis supports Th17 differentiation and limits de novo regulatory T cell induction by directly interfering with T cell receptor signaling.

      Pasztoi, Maria; Bonifacius, Agnes; Pezoldt, Joern; Kulkarni, Devesha; Niemz, Jana; Yang, Juhao; Teich, René; Hajek, Janina; Pisano, Fabio; Rohde, Manfred; Dersch, Petra; Huehn, Jochen; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-04-04)
      Adaptive immunity critically contributes to control acute infection with enteropathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis; however, the role of CD4(+) T cell subsets in establishing infection and allowing pathogen persistence remains elusive. Here, we assessed the modulatory capacity of Y. pseudotuberculosis on CD4(+) T cell differentiation. Using in vivo assays, we report that infection with Y. pseudotuberculosis resulted in enhanced priming of IL-17-producing T cells (Th17 cells), whereas induction of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) was severely disrupted in gut-draining mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs), in line with altered frequencies of tolerogenic and proinflammatory dendritic cell (DC) subsets within mLNs. Additionally, by using a DC-free in vitro system, we could demonstrate that Y. pseudotuberculosis can directly modulate T cell receptor (TCR) downstream signaling within naïve CD4(+) T cells and Tregs via injection of effector molecules through the type III secretion system, thereby affecting their functional properties. Importantly, modulation of naïve CD4(+) T cells by Y. pseudotuberculosis resulted in an enhanced Th17 differentiation and decreased induction of Foxp3(+) Tregs in vitro. These findings shed light to the adjustment of the Th17-Treg axis in response to acute Y. pseudotuberculosis infection and highlight the direct modulation of CD4(+) T cell subsets by altering their TCR downstream signaling.
    • Promicromonospora kermanensis sp. nov., an actinobacterium isolated from soil.

      Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Montero-Calasanz, Maria Del Carmen; Schumann, Peter; Spröer, Cathrin; Rohde, Manfred; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-02)
      A novel strain belonging to the genus Promicromonospora, designated HM 533T, was isolated from soil in Kerman Province, Iran. It produced long and branched hyphae on ISP 2 medium that developed into a large number of irregular-shaped spores. It showed optimal growth at 25-30 °C and pH 5.0-8.0 with 0-4 % (w/v) NaCl. The peptidoglycan type of strain HM 533T was A4α l-Lys-l-Ala-d-Glu. Whole-cell hydrolysates of strain HM 533T contained the sugars ribose, glucose and galactose. The main phospholipids were phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, two unknown glycolipids and an unknown phospholipid. MK-9(H4) and MK-9(H2) were the predominant menaquinones. The fatty acids pattern was mainly composed of the saturated branched-chain acids anteiso-C15 : 0 and iso-C15 : 0. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed the highest pairwise sequence identity (99.5-97.1 %) with the members of the genus Promicromonospora. Based on phenotypic and genotypic features, strain HM 533T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Promicromonospora, for which the name Promicromonospora kermanensis is proposed with strain HM 533T (=DSM 45485T=UTMC 00533T=CECT 8709T) as the type strain.