ResearchPad - electron-microscopy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Imaging dataset of fresh hydrous plants obtained by field-emission scanning electron microscopy conducted using a protective NanoSuit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7644 Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can generate high-resolution images of nanosized objects, it requires a high vacuum to do so, which precludes direct observations of living organisms and often produces unwanted structural changes. It has previously been reported that a simple surface modification gives rise to a nanoscale layer, termed the “NanoSuit”, which can keep small animals alive under the high vacuum required for field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We have previously applied this technique to plants, and successfully observed healthy petals in a fully hydrated state using SEM. The flower petals protected with the NanoSuit appeared intact, although we still lack a fundamental understanding of the images of other plants observed using FE-SEM. This report presents and evaluates a rich set of images, acquired using the NanoSuit, for a taxonomically diverse set of plant species. This dataset of images allows the surface features of various plants to be analyzed and thus provides a further complementary morphological profile. Image data can be accessed and viewed through Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4446026.v1).

]]>
<![CDATA[Recapitulation of the accessible interface of biopsy-derived canine intestinal organoids to study epithelial-luminal interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N24a1d01a-2f11-47b7-a628-8330af6f7455

Recent advances in canine intestinal organoids have expanded the option for building a better in vitro model to investigate translational science of intestinal physiology and pathology between humans and animals. However, the three-dimensional geometry and the enclosed lumen of canine intestinal organoids considerably hinder the access to the apical side of epithelium for investigating the nutrient and drug absorption, host-microbiome crosstalk, and pharmaceutical toxicity testing. Thus, the creation of a polarized epithelial interface accessible from apical or basolateral side is critical. Here, we demonstrated the generation of an intestinal epithelial monolayer using canine biopsy-derived colonic organoids (colonoids). We optimized the culture condition to form an intact monolayer of the canine colonic epithelium on a nanoporous membrane insert using the canine colonoids over 14 days. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed a physiological brush border interface covered by the microvilli with glycocalyx, as well as the presence of mucin granules, tight junctions, and desmosomes. The population of stem cells as well as differentiated lineage-dependent epithelial cells were verified by immunofluorescence staining and RNA in situ hybridization. The polarized expression of P-glycoprotein efflux pump was confirmed at the apical membrane. Also, the epithelial monolayer formed tight- and adherence-junctional barrier within 4 days, where the transepithelial electrical resistance and apparent permeability were inversely correlated. Hence, we verified the stable creation, maintenance, differentiation, and physiological function of a canine intestinal epithelial barrier, which can be useful for pharmaceutical and biomedical researches.

]]>
<![CDATA[Observation and quantification of the morphological effect of trypan blue rupturing dead or dying cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nce15bf32-82da-4cd0-8031-f3eea4581b61

Trypan blue has long been the gold standard for staining dead cell to determine cell viability. The dye is excluded from membrane-intact live cells, but can enter and concentrate in membrane-compromised dead cells, rendering the cells dark blue. Over the years, there has been an understanding that trypan blue is inaccurate for cell viability under 80% without scientific support. We previously showed that trypan blue can alter the morphology of dead cells to a diffuse shape, which can lead to over-estimation of viability. Here, we investigate the origin of the dim and diffuse objects after trypan blue staining. Utilizing image and video acquisition, we show real-time transformation of cells into diffuse objects when stained with trypan blue. The same phenomenon was not observed when staining cells with propidium iodide. We also demonstrate the co-localization of trypan blue and propidium iodide, confirming these diffuse objects as cells that contain nuclei. The videos clearly show immediate cell rupturing after trypan blue contact. The formation of these diffuse objects was monitored and counted over time as cells die outside of the incubator. We hypothesize and demonstrate that rapid water influx may have caused the cells to rupture and disappear. Since some dead cells disappear after trypan blue staining, the total can be under-counted, leading to over-estimation of cell viability. This inaccuracy could affect the outcomes of cellular therapies, which require accurate measurements of immune cells that will be infused back into patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[Analysis on hydraulic characteristics of improved sandy soil with soft rock]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N42f3b4c1-ffad-4b27-9297-98b538f1063a

Hydraulic properties of sandy soil from the Mu Us sandy land of Shaanxi Province were analyzed by using SEM technology. Soil porosity, the water characteristic curve, and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of aeolian sandy soil with added soft rock were analyzed, and fractal characteristics were established. Soil hydraulic properties revealed the effect of soft rock application on soil structure and hydraulic properties. Mass ratios of soft rock to aeolian sand were 1:5, 1:2, and 1:1. Results showed that the addition of soft rock can significantly increase the bulk density of sandy soil and reduce the total porosity and macroporosity. The mass fraction of water-stable aggregates greater than 0.25mm increases significantly, increasing the fractal dimension of soil pores; reducing the soil saturated water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity. SEM technology and pore fractal theory were used to predict the soil salinity curve and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the improved saline soil.

]]>
<![CDATA[C4-HSL aptamers for blocking qurom sensing and inhibiting biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its structure prediction and analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abffd5eed0c484d07f98

This study aimed to screen DNA aptamers against the signal molecule C4-HSL of the rhl system for the inhibition of biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa using an improved systematic evolution of ligand by exponential enrichment (SELEX) method based on a structure-switching fluorescent activating bead. The aptamers against the C4-HSL with a high affinity and specifity were successfully obtained and evaluated in real-time by this method. Results of biofilm inhibition experiments in vitro showed that the biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa was efficiently reduced to about 1/3 by the aptamers compared with that of the groups without the aptamers. Independent secondary structure simulation and computer-aided tertiary structure prediction (3dRNA) showed that the aptamers contained a highly conserved Y-shaped structural unit. Therefore, this study benefits the search for new methods for the detection and treatment of P. aeruginosa biofilm formation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Potent anti-influenza H7 human monoclonal antibody induces separation of hemagglutinin receptor-binding head domains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e4d5eed0c48496f33e

Seasonal influenza virus infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality, but the threat from the emergence of a new pandemic influenza strain might have potentially even more devastating consequences. As such, there is intense interest in isolating and characterizing potent neutralizing antibodies that target the hemagglutinin (HA) viral surface glycoprotein. Here, we use cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to decipher the mechanism of action of a potent HA head-directed monoclonal antibody (mAb) bound to an influenza H7 HA. The epitope of the antibody is not solvent accessible in the compact, prefusion conformation that typifies all HA structures to date. Instead, the antibody binds between HA head protomers to an epitope that must be partly or transiently exposed in the prefusion conformation. The “breathing” of the HA protomers is implied by the exposure of this epitope, which is consistent with metastability of class I fusion proteins. This structure likely therefore represents an early structural intermediate in the viral fusion process. Understanding the extent of transient exposure of conserved neutralizing epitopes also may lead to new opportunities to combat influenza that have not been appreciated previously.

]]>
<![CDATA[Removal of hydrogen sulfide from a biogas mimic by using impregnated activated carbon adsorbent]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75e0d5eed0c4843d03aa

Adsorption technology has led to the development of promising techniques to purify biogas, i.e., biomethane or biohydrogen. Such techniques mainly depend on the adsorbent ability and operating parameters. This research focused on adsorption technology for upgrading biogas technique by developing a novel adsorbent. The commercial coconut shell activated carbon (CAC) and two types of gases (H2S/N2 and H2S/N2/CO2) were used. CAC was modified by copper sulfate (CuSO4), zinc acetate (ZnAc2), potassium hydroxide (KOH), potassium iodide (KI), and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) on their surface to increase the selectivity of H2S removal. Commercial H2S adsorbents were soaked in 7 wt.% of impregnated solution for 30 min before drying at 120°C for 24 h. The synthesized adsorbent’s physical and chemical properties, including surface morphology, porosity, and structures, were characterized by SEM-EDX, FTIR, XRD, TGA, and BET analyses. For real applications, the modified adsorbents were used in a real-time 0.85 L single-column adsorber unit. The operating parameters for the H2S adsorption in the adsorber unit varied in L/D ratio (0.5–2.5) and feed flow rate (1.5–5.5 L/min) where, also equivalent with a gas hourly space velocity, GHSV (212.4–780.0 hour-1) used. The performances of H2S adsorption were then compared with those of the best adsorbent that can be used for further investigation. Characterization results revealed that the impregnated solution homogeneously covered the adsorbent surface, morphology, and properties (i.e., crystallinity and surface area). BET analysis further shows that the modified adsorbents surface area decreased by up to 96%. Hence, ZnAc2–CAC clarify as the best adsorption capacity ranging within 1.3–1.7 mg H2S/g, whereby the studied extended to adsorption-desorption cycle.

]]>
<![CDATA[Open notebook science can maximize impact for rare disease projects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d65dd5eed0c484031ce9

Transparency lies at the heart of the open lab notebook movement. Open notebook scientists publish laboratory experiments and findings in the public domain in real time, without restrictions or omissions. Research on rare diseases is especially amenable to the open notebook model because it can both increase scientific impact and serve as a mechanism to engage patient groups in the scientific process. Here, I outline and describe my own success with my open notebook project, LabScribbles, as well as other efforts included in the openlabnotebooks.org initiative.

]]>
<![CDATA[Structure of the DP1–DP2 PolD complex bound with DNA and its implications for the evolutionary history of DNA and RNA polymerases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f56d5eed0c48484117d

PolD is an archaeal replicative DNA polymerase (DNAP) made of a proofreading exonuclease subunit (DP1) and a larger polymerase catalytic subunit (DP2). Recently, we reported the individual crystal structures of the DP1 and DP2 catalytic cores, thereby revealing that PolD is an atypical DNAP that has all functional properties of a replicative DNAP but with the catalytic core of an RNA polymerase (RNAP). We now report the DNA-bound cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the heterodimeric DP1–DP2 PolD complex from Pyrococcus abyssi, revealing a unique DNA-binding site. Comparison of PolD and RNAPs extends their structural similarities and brings to light the minimal catalytic core shared by all cellular transcriptases. Finally, elucidating the structure of the PolD DP1–DP2 interface, which is conserved in all eukaryotic replicative DNAPs, clarifies their evolutionary relationships with PolD and sheds light on the domain acquisition and exchange mechanism that occurred during the evolution of the eukaryotic replisome.

]]>
<![CDATA[Spores of puffball fungus Lycoperdon pyriforme as a reference standard of stable monodisperse aerosol for calibration of optical instruments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b528ad5eed0c4842bcb24

Advanced air quality control requires real-time monitoring of particulate matter size and concentration, which can only be done using optical instruments. However, such techniques need regular calibration with reference samples. In this study, we suggest that puffball fungus (Lycoperdon pyriforme) spores can be utilized as a reference standard having a monodisperse size distribution. We compare the Lycoperdon pyriforme spores with the other commonly used reference samples, such as Al2O3 powder and polystyrene latex (PSL) microspheres. Here we demonstrate that the puffball spores do not coagulate and, thus, maintain the same particle size in the aerosol state for at least 15 minutes, which is enough for instrument calibration. Moreover, the puffball mushrooms can be stored for several years and no agglomeration of the spores occurs. They are also much cheaper than other calibration samples and no additional devices are needed for aerosol generation since the fungal fruiting body acts as an atomizer itself. The aforementioned features make the fungal spores a highly promising substance for calibration and validation of particle size analyzers, which outperforms the existing, artificially produced particles for aerosol sampling. Furthermore, the L. pyriforme spores are convenient for basic research and development of new optical measurement techniques, taking into account their uniform particle size and absent coagulation in the aerosol.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sporosarcina pasteurii can form nanoscale calcium carbonate crystals on cell surface]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f2d5eed0c4842bd2e3

The bacterium Sporosarcina pasteurii (SP) is known for its ability to cause the phenomenon of microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP). We explored bacterial participation in the initial stages of the MICP process at the cellular length scale under two different growth environments (a) liquid culture (b) MICP in a soft agar (0.5%) column. In the liquid culture, ex-situ imaging of the cellular environment indicated that S. pasteurii was facilitating nucleation of nanoscale crystals of calcium carbonate on bacterial cell surface and its growth via ureolysis. During the same period, the meso-scale environment (bulk medium) was found to have overgrown calcium carbonate crystals. The effect of media components (urea, CaCl2), presence of live and dead in the growth medium were explored. The agar column method allows for in-situ visualization of the phenomena, and using this platform, we found conclusive evidence of the bacterial cell surface facilitating formation of nanoscale crystals in the microenvironment. Here also the bulk environment or the meso-scale environment was found to possess overgrown calcium carbonate crystals. Extensive elemental analysis using Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), confirmed that the crystals to be calcium carbonate, and two different polymorphs (calcite and vaterite) were identified. Active participation of S. pasteurii cell surface as the site of calcium carbonate precipitation has been shown using EDS elemental mapping with Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

]]>
<![CDATA[Exploring the effects of electrospun fiber surface nanotopography on neurite outgrowth and branching in neuron cultures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8c9d5eed0c48496f18d

Three aligned, electrospun fiber scaffolds with unique surface features were created from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). Fibers without surface nanotopography (smooth fibers), fibers with surface divots (shallow pits), and fibers with surface pits (deeper pits) were fabricated, and fiber alignment, diameter, and density were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Whole dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were isolated from rats and placed onto uncoated fibers or fibers coated with laminin. On uncoated fibers, neurite outgrowth was restricted by fibers displaying divoted or pitted nanotopography when compared to neurite outgrowth on smooth fibers. However, neurites extending from whole DRG cultured on laminin-coated fibers were not restricted by divoted or pitted surface nanotopography. Thus, neurites extending on laminin-coated fibers were able to extend long neurites even in the presence of surface divots or pits. To further explore this result, individual neurons isolated from dissociated DRG were seeded onto laminin-coated smooth, pitted, or divoted fibers. Interestingly, neurons on pitted or divoted fibers exhibited a 1.5-fold increase in total neurite length, and a 2.3 or 2.7-fold increase in neurite branching compared to neurons on smooth fibers, respectively. Based on these findings, we conclude that fiber roughness in the form of pits or divots can promote extension and branching of long neurites along aligned electrospun fibers in the presence of an extracellular matrix protein coating. Thus, aligned, electrospun fibers can be crafted to not only direct the extension of axons but to induce unique branching morphologies.

]]>
<![CDATA[Metagenomic quorum quenching enzymes affect biofilm formation of Candida albicans and Staphylococcus epidermidis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d622d5eed0c4840316f5

Biofilm formation in the clinical environment is of increasing concern since a significant part of human infections is associated, and caused by biofilm establishment of (opportunistic) pathogens, for instance Candida albicans and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The rapidly increasing number of antibiotic-resistant biofilms urgently requires the development of novel and effective strategies to prevent biofilm formation ideally targeting a wide range of infectious microorganisms. Both, synthesis of extracellular polymeric substances and quorum sensing are crucial for biofilm formation, and thus potential attractive targets to combat undesirable biofilms.We evaluated the ability of numerous recently identified metagenome-derived bacterial quorum quenching (QQ) proteins to inhibit biofilm formation of C. albicans and S. epidermidis. Here, proteins QQ-5 and QQ-7 interfered with the morphogenesis of C. albicans by inhibiting the yeast-to-hyphae transition, ultimately leading to impaired biofilm formation. Moreover, QQ5 and QQ-7 inhibited biofilm formation of S. epidermidis; in case of QQ7 most likely due to induced expression of the icaR gene encoding the repressor for polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) synthesis, the main determinant for staphylococcal biofilm formation. Our results indicate that QQ-5 and QQ-7 are attractive potential anti-biofilm agents in the prevention and treatment of C. albicans and S. epidermidis mono-species biofilms, and potentially promising anti-biofilm drugs in also combating multi-species infections.

]]>
<![CDATA[Adsorption of Pb2+ by ameliorated alum plasma in water and soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6448d7d5eed0c484c2efe8

Four methods, including hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment, calcination treatment and sulfhydrylation treatment, were applied to activate alum plasma in order to obtain new Pb2+ adsorbents. The corresponding adsorption isotherm satisfies the Langmuir equation, and the maximum adsorption of the alum plasma after hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment and high-temperature calcination were 18.9, 57.3 and 10.9 mg·g−1, respectively, and in the range of 1.23–6.57 times greater than the adsorption capacity of the original alum plasma. The soil culture experiments indicated that the effective Pb content in the soils treated with hot alkali ameliorated alum plasma was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than those treated with the other three types of alum plasma. For example, if the additive content is 5.0%, after a storage period of 16 weeks, the effective Pb content becomes 19.87 mg·kg−1, which corresponds to a reduction of 60.9% in comparison with the control sample. In addition, Specific surface area (BET), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FIR) were used to characterize the microstructure of alum plasma before and after amelioration. It was evident that hot alkali treatment of alum plasma resulted in smaller particles, a significantly higher specific area and lower mineral crystallinity, which improved the adsorption performance of Pb2+. In conclusion, hot alkali treatment of alum plasma indicates relatively good Pb2+ adsorption ability, and is a promising novel adsorbents that could ameliorate soils that have been polluted by heavy metal Pb.

]]>
<![CDATA[Impacts of rock properties on Danxia landform formation based on lithological experiments at Kongtongshan National Geopark, northwest China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521887d5eed0c484798c91

As an erosional landform, the formation processes of Danxia landform are controlled by internal and external forces as well as lithologic properties. Using field data, we studied the role of lithologic properties on the formation of Danxia landform in Kongtongshan National Geopark, northwest China, through a series of experiments, including uniaxial compressive strength, identification analysis under polarizing microscope, X-ray diffraction analysis, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. The results show that the diagenesis degree, mineral composition, cement composition, degree of cementation, geochemical composition and element contents, and micro-structure influenced the structure and anti-weathering and anti-erosion abilities of the Danxia rock mass. Differential weathering of rock in different environments was an important force shaping the different types of Danxia landform. Weathering failure of the Danxia rock mass was the result of multiple combined factors; as well as lithology, other factors, such as those induced during tectonic uplift (i.e., faulting, jointing, and fracturing) and climate, cannot be neglected. Therefore, lithology played an important role in the structural development of Danxia landform, and different lithologies influenced its weathering rate and formation processes. Our findings can provide a reference for revealing the microscopic development of Danxia landform in arid and semi-arid areas.

]]>
<![CDATA[The brown algal mode of tip growth: Keeping stress under control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466523d5eed0c4845179cd

Tip growth has been studied in pollen tubes, root hairs, and fungal and oomycete hyphae and is the most widely distributed unidirectional growth process on the planet. It ensures spatial colonization, nutrient predation, fertilization, and symbiosis with growth speeds of up to 800 μm h−1. Although turgor-driven growth is intuitively conceivable, a closer examination of the physical processes at work in tip growth raises a paradox: growth occurs where biophysical forces are low, because of the increase in curvature in the tip. All tip-growing cells studied so far rely on the modulation of cell wall extensibility via the polarized excretion of cell wall–loosening compounds at the tip. Here, we used a series of quantitative measurements at the cellular level and a biophysical simulation approach to show that the brown alga Ectocarpus has an original tip-growth mechanism. In this alga, the establishment of a steep gradient in cell wall thickness can compensate for the variation in tip curvature, thereby modulating wall stress within the tip cell. Bootstrap analyses support the robustness of the process, and experiments with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) confirmed the active vesicle trafficking in the shanks of the apical cell, as inferred from the model. In response to auxin, biophysical measurements change in agreement with the model. Although we cannot strictly exclude the involvement of a gradient in mechanical properties in Ectocarpus morphogenesis, the viscoplastic model of cell wall mechanics strongly suggests that brown algae have evolved an alternative strategy of tip growth. This strategy is largely based on the control of cell wall thickness rather than fluctuations in cell wall mechanical properties.

]]>
<![CDATA[Comparisons of early vascular reactions in biodegradable and durable polymer-based drug-eluting stents in the porcine coronary artery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f823d5eed0c48438714e

Current drug-eluting stents have abluminal polymer coating; however, thrombus formation in these compared with that in uniformly coated stents remains controversial. We evaluated thrombus formation and early endothelialization after using abluminal biodegradable polymer-coated sirolimus- (BP-SES), and everolimus-eluting stents (BP-EES) versus a durable polymer-coated everolimus-eluting stent (DP-EES) in an in vivo setting. BP-SES, BP-EES, and DP-EES (n = 6 each) were implanted in coronary arteries of 12 mini-pigs that were then sacrificed after 7 and 10 days. Stents were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and a combined Verhoeff and Masson trichrome stain. Areas of fibrin deposition were digitally detected and measured with off-line morphometric software. Stents were investigated for re-endothelialization by transmission electron microscopy. At 7 days, histological analysis revealed the lowest area of fibrin deposition in BP-SES (BP-SES vs. BP-EES vs. DP-EES; 0.10 ± 0.06 mm2 vs. 0.15 ± 0.07 mm2 vs. 0.19 ± 0.06 mm2, p = 0.0004). At 10 days, the area of fibrin deposition was significantly greater in DP-EES (0.13 ± 0.04 mm2 vs. 0.14 ± 0.05 mm2 vs. 0.19 ± 0.08 mm2, p = 0.007). Endothelial cells in BP-SES demonstrated a significantly greater number of tight junctions than those in DP-EES according to by transmission electron microscopy for both days (p<0.05). Various parameters, including an inflammatory reaction and neointimal formation, were comparable among the groups at 7 and 10 days. An abluminal biodegradable polymer-coated SES showed the least fibrin deposition and greatest endothelial cell recovery at an early stage following implantation in the coronary arteries of mini-pigs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Molecular typing of Streptococcus suis strains isolated from diseased and healthy pigs between 1996-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f1d5eed0c4847cc4d8

Streptococcus suis is an economically important pathogen of pigs as well as a zoonotic cause of human disease. Serotyping is used for further characterization of isolates; some serotypes seem to be more virulent and more widely spread than others. This study characterizes a collection of German field isolates of Streptococcus suis from pigs dating from 1996 to 2016 with respect to capsular genes (cps) specific for individual serotypes and pathotype by multiplex PCR and relates results to the clinical background of these isolates. The most prominent finding was the reduction in prevalence of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 among invasive isolates during this sampling period, which might be attributed to widely implemented autogenous vaccination programs in swine against serotype 2 in Germany. In diseased pigs (systemically ill; respiratory disease) isolates of serotype-1/serotype-14, serotype-2/serotype-1/2, serotype 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 were most frequent while in carrier isolates a greater variety of cps types was found. Serotype-1/serotype-14 seemed to be preferentially located in joints, serotype 4 and serotype 3 in the central nervous system, respectively. The virulence associated extracellular protein factor was almost exclusively associated with invasive serotype-1/serotype-14 and serotype-2/serotype-1/2 isolates. In contrast, lung isolates of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 mainly harbored the gene for muramidase-released protein. Serotype 4 and serotype 9 isolates from clinically diseased pigs most frequently carried the muramidase-released protein gene and the suilysin gene. When examined by transmission electron microscopy all but one of the isolates which were non-typable by molecular and serological methods showed various amounts of capsular material indicating potentially new serotypes among these isolates. Given the variety of cps types/serotypes detected in pigs, not only veterinarians but also medical doctors should consider other serotypes than just serotype 2 when investigating potential human cases of Streptococcus suis infection.

]]>
<![CDATA[The bumblebee Bombus terrestris carries a primary inoculum of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus contributing to disease spread in tomatoes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a0ed5eed0c4847cc8a8

The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is a beneficial pollinator extensively used in tomato production. Our hypothesis was that bumblebee hives collected from a Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) infected tomato greenhouse, preserve an infectious primary inoculum. Placing a bumblebee hive collected from a ToBRFV contaminated greenhouse, in a glass-/net-house containing only uninfected healthy tomato plants, spread ToBRFV disease. Control uninfected tomato plants grown in a glass-/net-house devoid of any beehive remained uninfected. ToBRFV-contaminated hives carried infectious viral particles as demonstrated in a biological assay on laboratory test plants of virus extracted from hive components. Viral particles isolated from a contaminated hive had a typical tobamovirus morphology observed in transmission electron microscopy. Assembly of ToBRFV genome was achieved by next generation sequencing analysis of RNA adhering to the bumblebee body. Bumblebee dissection showed that ToBRFV was mostly present in the abdomen suggesting viral disease spread via buzz pollination. These results demonstrate that bumblebee hives collected from ToBRFV-contaminated greenhouses carry a primary inoculum that reflects the status of viruses in the growing area. This new mode of ToBRFV spread by pollinators opens an avenue for detection of viruses in a growing area through analysis of the pollinators, as well as emphasizes the need to reevaluate the appropriate disease management protocols.

]]>
<![CDATA[Attachment strength and on-farm die-off rate of Escherichia coli on watermelon surfaces]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f8fd5eed0c484d76beb

Pre-harvest contamination of produce has been a major food safety focus. Insight into the behavior of enteric pathogens on produce in pre-harvest conditions will aid in developing pre-harvest and post-harvest risk management strategies. In this study, the attachment strength (SR) and die-off rate of E. coli on the surface of watermelon fruits and the efficacy of aqueous chlorine treatment against strongly attached E. coli population were investigated. Watermelon seedlings were transplanted into eighteen plots. Prior to harvesting, a cocktail of generic E. coli (ATCC 23716, 25922 and 11775) was inoculated on the surface of the watermelon fruits (n = 162) and the attachment strength (SR) values and the daily die-off rates were examined up to 6 days by attachment assay. After 120 h, watermelon samples were treated with aqueous chlorine (150 ppm free chlorine for 3 min). The SR value of the E. coli cells on watermelon surfaces significantly increased (P<0.05) from 0.04 to 0.99 in the first 24 h, which was primarily due to the decrease in loosely attached population, given that the population of strongly attached cells was constant. Thereafter, there was no significant change in SR values, up to 120 h. The daily die-off rate of E. coli ranged from -0.12 to 1.3 log CFU/cm2. The chlorine treatment reduced the E. coli level by 4.2 log CFU/cm2 (initial level 5.6 log CFU/cm2) and 0.62 log CFU/cm2 (initial level 1.8 log CFU/cm2), on the watermelons that had an attachment time of 30 min and 120 h respectively. Overall, our findings revealed that the population of E. coli on watermelon surfaces declined over time in an agricultural environment. Microbial contamination during pre-harvest stages may promote the formation of strongly attached cells on the produce surfaces, which could influence the efficacy of post-harvest washing and sanitation techniques.

]]>