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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Sep;76(17):5934-46. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00902-10. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Diversity of glycosyl hydrolases from cellulose-depleting communities enriched from casts of two earthworm species.

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1
CSIC, Institute of Catalysis, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

The guts and casts of earthworms contain microbial assemblages that process large amounts of organic polymeric substrates from plant litter and soil; however, the enzymatic potential of these microbial communities remains largely unexplored. In the present work, we retrieved carbohydrate-modifying enzymes through the activity screening of metagenomic fosmid libraries from cellulose-depleting microbial communities established with the fresh casts of two earthworm species, Aporrectodea caliginosa and Lumbricus terrestris, as inocula. Eight glycosyl hydrolases (GHs) from the A. caliginosa-derived community were multidomain endo-beta-glucanases, beta-glucosidases, beta-cellobiohydrolases, beta-galactosidase, and beta-xylosidases of known GH families. In contrast, two GHs derived from the L. terrestris microbiome had no similarity to any known GHs and represented two novel families of beta-galactosidases/alpha-arabinopyranosidases. Members of these families were annotated in public databases as conserved hypothetical proteins, with one being structurally related to isomerases/dehydratases. This study provides insight into their biochemistry, domain structures, and active-site architecture. The two communities were similar in bacterial composition but significantly different with regard to their eukaryotic inhabitants. Further sequence analysis of fosmids and plasmids bearing the GH-encoding genes, along with oligonucleotide usage pattern analysis, suggested that those apparently originated from Gammaproteobacteria (pseudomonads and Cellvibrio-like organisms), Betaproteobacteria (Comamonadaceae), and Alphaproteobacteria (Rhizobiales).

PMID:
20622123
PMCID:
PMC2935051
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.00902-10
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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