Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Nitrile-Degrading Bacteria Isolated from Compost 

    Egelkamp, Richard; Schneider, Dominik; Hertel, Robert; Daniel, Rolf
    Frontiers in Environmental Science 2017; 5: Art. 56
    Nitriles are a diverse group of organic compounds with –C≡N as functional group. Most nitriles are slightly cytotoxic but some cause severe toxic effects. More than 120 naturally occurring nitriles without considering cyanogenic glycosides are present in terrestrial and marine habitats, especially in plant components such as almonds or other fruit pits. The most common group of naturally occurring nitriles are cyanogenic glycosides, which can be found in more than 100 plant families as well as in fungi, bacteria, and animals. This group of molecules can be chemically or enzymatically hydrolyzed, leading to the release of highly toxic hydrogen cyanide and thereby act as natural defense compound (Fleming, 1999). For detoxification, two enzymatic pathways for the degradation of nitriles are known. The first one involves nitrilases (EC 3.5.5.1), a subgroup of the carbon-nitrogen hydrolase superfamily, which degrade nitriles directly to carboxylic acids and ammonia. The second one is a bi-enzymatic pathway using nitrile hydratases (NHases; EC 4.2.1.84) for the degradation of nitriles to amides and amidases (EC 3.5.1.4) for the subsequent degradation to carboxylic acids and ammonia (Gong et al., 2012). The enzymatic hydrolysis of nitriles proceeds under mild reaction conditions, whereas the chemical hydrolysis is dependent on acidic or alkaline conditions and high temperatures. The latter also results in the production of large quantities of byproducts and inorganic waste (Clouthier and Pelletier, 2012; Vergne-Vaxelaire et al., 2013). Consequently, nitrile-converting enzymes are of increasing industrial importance with respect to green chemistry. A constantly increasing number of nitrile-derived amides [e.g., acrylamides or carboxylic acids (e.g., glycolic acid)] are produced with these enzymes (Schmid et al., 2001; Panova et al., 2007). In addition, nitrilases can be used for the treatment of nitrile-polluted wastewater (Li et al., 2016) and other environmentally-friendly bioremediation processes (Gong et al., 2012). Here, we report data on the taxonomic composition of an enrichment culture with acetonitrile as nitrogen source. In addition, we present eight individual bacterial draft genome sequences of isolates obtained from this enrichment. The genome content of these isolates was analyzed with respect to genes responsible for the nitrile-degrading phenotype. Genome and average nucleotide identity analysis indicated that the isolated bacterial strains are affiliated to the species Rhodococcus erythropolis, Flavobacterium sp., Variovorax boronicumulans, Pseudomonas sp., and Pseudomonas kilonensis.
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  • Journal Article

    Identification of the Components Involved in Cyclic Di-AMP Signaling in Mycoplasma pneumoniae 

    Blötz, Cedric; Treffon, Katrin; Kaever, Volkhard; Schwede, Frank; Hammer, Elke; Stülke, Jörg
    Frontiers in microbiology 2017; 8: Art. 1328
    Bacteria often use cyclic dinucleotides as second messengers for signal transduction. While the classical molecule c-di-GMP is involved in lifestyle selection, the functions of the more recently discovered signaling nucleotide cyclic di-AMP are less defined. For many Gram-positive bacteria, c-di-AMP is essential for growth suggesting its involvement in a key cellular function. We have analyzed c-di-AMP signaling in the genome-reduced pathogenic bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Our results demonstrate that these bacteria produce c-di-AMP, and we could identify the diadenylate cyclase CdaM (MPN244). This enzyme is the founding member of a novel family of diadenylate cyclases. Of two potential c-di-AMP degrading phosphodiesterases, only PdeM (MPN549) is active in c-di-AMP degradation, whereas NrnA (MPN140) was reported to degrade short oligoribonucleotides. As observed in other bacteria, both the c-di-AMP synthesizing and the degrading enzymes are essential for M. pneumoniae suggesting control of a major homeostatic process. To obtain more insights into the nature of this process, we have identified a c-di-AMP-binding protein from M. pneumoniae, KtrC. KtrC is the cytoplasmic regulatory subunit of the low affinity potassium transporter KtrCD. It is established that binding of c-di-AMP inhibits the KtrCD activity resulting in a limitation of potassium uptake. Our results suggest that the control of potassium homeostasis is the essential function of c-di-AMP in M. pneumoniae.
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  • Journal Article

    Cross-Cultural Investigation of Male Gait Perception in Relation to Physical Strength and Speed 

    Fink, Bernhard; Wübker, Marieke; Ostner, Julia; Butovskaya, Marina L.; Mezentseva, Anna; Muñoz-Reyes, José Antonio; Sela, Yael; Shackelford, Todd K.
    Frontiers in Psychology 2017; 8 p.1-6: Art. 1427
    Previous research documents that men and women can accurately judge male physical strength from gait, but also that the sexes differ in attractiveness judgments of strong and weak male walkers. Women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness assessments of strong male walkers are higher than for weak male walkers. Here, we extend this research to assessments of strong and weak male walkers in Chile, Germany, and Russia. Men and women judged videos of virtual characters, animated with the walk movements of motion-captured men, on strength and attractiveness. In two countries (Germany and Russia), these videos were additionally presented at 70% (slower) and 130% (faster) of their original speed. Stronger walkers were judged to be stronger and more attractive than weak walkers, and this effect was independent of country (but not sex). Women tended to provide higher attractiveness judgments to strong walkers, and men tended to provide higher attractiveness judgments to weak walkers. In addition, German and Russian participants rated strong walkers most attractive at slow and fast speed. Thus, across countries men and women can assess male strength from gait, although they tended to differ in attractiveness assessments of strong and weak male walkers. Attractiveness assessments of male gait may be influenced by society-specific emphasis on male physical strength.
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  • Journal Article

    Cross-Cultural Investigation of Male Gait Perception in Relation to Physical Strength and Speed 

    Fink, Bernhard; Wübker, Marieke; Ostner, Julia; Butovskaya, Marina L.; Mezentseva, Anna; Muñoz-Reyes, José Antonio; Sela, Yael; Shackelford, Todd K.
    Frontiers in Psychology 2017; 8 p.1-6: Art. 1427
    Previous research documents that men and women can accurately judge male physical strength from gait, but also that the sexes differ in attractiveness judgements of strong and weak male walkers. Women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness assessments of strong male walkers are higher than for weak male walkers. Here, we extend this research to assessments of strong and weak male walkers in Chile, Germany, and Russia. Men and women judged videos of virtual characters, animated with the walk movements of motion-captured men, on strength and attractiveness. In two countries (Germany and Russia), these videos were additionally presented at 70% (slower) and 130% (faster) of their original speed. Stronger walkers were judged to be stronger and more attractive than weak walkers, and this effect was independent of country (but not sex). Women tended to provide higher attractiveness judgements to strong walkers, and men tended to provide higher attractiveness judgements to weak walkers. In addition, German and Russian participants rated strong walkers most attractive at slow and fast speed. Thus, across countries men and women can assess male strength from gait, although they tended to differ in attractiveness assessments of strong and weak male walkers. Attractiveness assessments of male gait may be influenced by society-specific emphasis on male physical strength.
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  • Journal Article

    Influence of Root Diameter and Soil Depth on the Xylem Anatomy of Fine- to Medium-Sized Roots of Mature Beech Trees in the Top- and Subsoil. 

    Kirfel, Kristina; Leuschner, Christoph; Hertel, Dietrich; Schuldt, Bernhard
    Frontiers in plant science 2017; 8: Art. 1194
    Despite their importance for water uptake and transport, the xylem anatomical and hydraulic properties of tree roots have only rarely been studied in the field. We measured mean vessel diameter (D), vessel density (VD), relative vessel lumen area (lumen area per xylem area) and derived potential hydraulic conductivity (Kp) in the xylem of 197 fine- to medium-diameter roots (1-10 mm) in the topsoil and subsoil (0-200 cm) of a mature European beech forest on sandy soil for examining the influence of root diameter and soil depth on xylem anatomical and derived hydraulic traits. All anatomical and functional traits showed strong dependence on root diameter and thus root age but no significant relation to soil depth. Averaged over topsoil and deep soil and variable flow path lengths in the roots, D increased linearly with root diameter from ∼50 μm in the smallest diameter class (1-2 mm) to ∼70 μm in 6-7 mm roots (corresponding to a mean root age of ∼12 years), but remained invariant in roots >7 mm. D never exceeded ∼82 μm in the 1-10 mm roots, probably in order to control the risk of frost- or drought-induced cavitation. This pattern was overlain by a high variability in xylem anatomy among similar-sized roots with Kp showing a higher variance component within than between root diameter classes. With 8% of the roots exceeding average Kp in their diameter class by 50-700%, we obtained evidence of the existence of 'high-conductivity roots' indicating functional differentiation among similar-sized roots. We conclude that the hydraulic properties of small to medium diameter roots of beech are mainly determined by root age, rendering root diameter a suitable predictor of hydraulic functioning, while soil depth - without referring to path length - had a negligible effect.
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  • Journal Article

    Does Tinnitus Depend on Time-of-Day? An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study with the “TrackYourTinnitus” Application 

    Probst, Thomas; Pryss, Rüdiger C.; Langguth, Berthold; Rauschecker, Josef P.; Schobel, Johannes; Reichert, Manfred; Spiliopoulou, Myra; Schlee, Winfried; Zimmermann, Johannes
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2017; 9: Art. 253
    Only few previous studies used ecological momentary assessments to explore the time-of-day-dependence of tinnitus. The present study used data from the mobile application “TrackYourTinnitus” to explore whether tinnitus loudness and tinnitus distress fluctuate within a 24-h interval. Multilevel models were performed to account for the nested structure of assessments (level 1: 17,209 daily life assessments) nested within days (level 2: 3,570 days with at least three completed assessments), and days nested within participants (level 3: 350 participants). Results revealed a time-of-day-dependence of tinnitus. In particular, tinnitus was perceived as louder and more distressing during the night and early morning hours (from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.) than during the upcoming day. Since previous studies suggested that stress (and stress-associated hormones) show a circadian rhythm and this might influence the time-of-day-dependence of tinnitus, we evaluated whether the described results change when statistically controlling for subjectively reported stress-levels. Correcting for subjective stress-levels, however, did not change the result that tinnitus (loudness and distress) was most severe at night and early morning. These results show that time-of-day contributes to the level of both tinnitus loudness and tinnitus distress. Possible implications of our results for the clinical management of tinnitus are that tailoring the timing of therapeutic interventions to the circadian rhythm of individual patients (chronotherapy) might be promising.
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  • Journal Article

    Leaf and root litter decomposition is discontinued at high altitude tropical montane rainforests contributing to carbon sequestration 

    Marian, Franca; Sandmann, Dorothee; Krashevska, Valentyna; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan
    Ecology and Evolution p.1-12
    We investigated how altitude affects the decomposition of leaf and root litter in the Andean tropical montane rainforest of southern Ecuador, that is, through changes in the litter quality between altitudes or other site-specific differences in microenvironmental conditions. Leaf litter from three abundant tree species and roots of different diameter from sites at 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 m were placed in litterbags and incubated for 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 months. Environmental conditions at the three altitudes and the sampling time were the main factors driving litter decomposition, while origin, and therefore quality of the litter, was of minor importance. At 2,000 and 3,000 m decomposition of litter declined for 12 months reaching a limit value of ~50% of initial and not decomposing further for about 24 months. After 36 months, decomposition commenced at low rates resulting in an average of 37.9% and 44.4% of initial remaining after 48 months. In contrast, at 1,000 m decomposition continued for 48 months until only 10.9% of the initial litter mass remained. Changes in decomposition rates were paralleled by changes in microorganisms with microbial biomass decreasing after 24 months at 2,000 and 3,000 m, while varying little at 1,000 m. The results show that, irrespective of litter origin (1,000, 2,000, 3,000 m) and type (leaves, roots), unfavorable microenvironmental conditions at high altitudes inhibit decomposition processes resulting in the sequestration of carbon in thick organic layers.
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  • Journal Article

    Five new species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from Sulawesi, Indonesia. 

    Brambach, Fabian; Byng, James W.; Culmsee, Heike
    PhytoKeys(81) p.47-78
    Following ongoing ecological research on the tree diversity of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, we describe five new species of Syzygium. These are the first descriptions of Syzygium species from the island since Blume (1850, Jambosa celebica and J. cornifolia), highlighting the significant lack of taxonomic research on the genus for the region. The five species proposed as new are Syzygium balgooyisp. nov., Syzygium contiguumsp. nov., Syzygium devogeliisp. nov., Syzygium eymaesp. nov., and Syzygium galanthumsp. nov. All species are illustrated and information on their distribution, ecology, and conservation status is given.
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  • Journal Article

    Neuroligins Nlg2 and Nlg4 Affect Social Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster 

    Corthals, Kristina; Heukamp, Alina Sophia; Kossen, Robert; Großhennig, Isabel; Hahn, Nina; Gras, Heribert; Göpfert, Martin C.; Heinrich, Ralf; Geurten, Bart R. H.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 2017; 8
    The genome of Drosophila melanogaster includes homologs to approximately one-third of the currently known human disease genes. Flies and humans share many biological processes, including the principles of information processing by excitable neurons, synaptic transmission, and the chemical signals involved in intercellular communication. Studies on the molecular and behavioral impact of genetic risk factors of human neuro- developmental disorders [autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and Tourette syndrome] increasingly use the well-studied social behavior of D. melanogaster, an organism that is amenable to a large variety of genetic manipulations. Neuroligins (Nlgs) are a family of phylogenetically conserved postsynaptic adhesion molecules present (among others) in nematodes, insects, and mammals. Impaired function of Nlgs (particularly of Nlg 3 and 4) has been associated with ASDs in humans and impaired social and communication behavior in mice. Making use of a set of behavioral and social assays, we, here, analyzed the impact of two Drosophila Nlgs, Dnlg2 and Dnlg4, which are differentially expressed at excitatory and inhibitory central nervous synapses, respectively. Both Nlgs seem to be associated with diurnal activity and social behavior. Even though deficiencies in Dnlg2 and Dnlg4 appeared to have no effects on sensory or motor systems, they differentially impacted on social interactions, suggesting that social behavior is distinctly regulated by these Nlgs.
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  • Journal Article

    The impact of personal relevance on emotion processing: Evidence from event-related potentials and pupillary responses. 

    Bayer, Mareike; Ruthmann, Katja; Schacht, Annekathrin
    Social cognitive and affective neuroscience p.1-10
    Emotional stimuli attract attention and lead to increased activity in the visual cortex. The present study investigated the impact of personal relevance on emotion processing by presenting emotional words within sentences that referred to participants' significant others or to unknown agents. In event-related potentials, personal relevance increased visual cortex activity within 100 ms after stimulus onset and the amplitudes of the Late Positive Complex (LPC). Moreover, personally relevant contexts gave rise to augmented pupillary responses and higher arousal ratings, suggesting a general boost of attention and arousal. Finally, personal relevance increased emotion-related ERP effects starting around 200 ms after word onset, effects for negative words compared to neutral words were prolonged in duration. Source localizations of these interactions revealed activations in prefrontal regions, in the visual cortex and in the fusiform gyrus. Taken together, these results demonstrate the high impact of personal relevance on reading in general and on emotion processing in particular.
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  • Journal Article

    What makes a reach movement effortful? Physical effort discounting supports common minimization principles in decision making and motor control. 

    Morel, Pierre; Ulbrich, Philipp; Gail, Alexander
    PLoS biology 2017-06; 15(6): Art. e2001323
    When deciding between alternative options, a rational agent chooses on the basis of the desirability of each outcome, including associated costs. As different options typically result in different actions, the effort associated with each action is an essential cost parameter. How do humans discount physical effort when deciding between movements? We used an action-selection task to characterize how subjective effort depends on the parameters of arm transport movements and controlled for potential confounding factors such as delay discounting and performance. First, by repeatedly asking subjects to choose between 2 arm movements of different amplitudes or durations, performed against different levels of force, we identified parameter combinations that subjects experienced as identical in effort (isoeffort curves). Movements with a long duration were judged more effortful than short-duration movements against the same force, while movement amplitudes did not influence effort. Biomechanics of the movements also affected effort, as movements towards the body midline were preferred to movements away from it. Second, by introducing movement repetitions, we further determined that the cost function for choosing between effortful movements had a quadratic relationship with force, while choices were made on the basis of the logarithm of these costs. Our results show that effort-based action selection during reaching cannot easily be explained by metabolic costs. Instead, force-loaded reaches, a widely occurring natural behavior, imposed an effort cost for decision making similar to cost functions in motor control. Our results thereby support the idea that motor control and economic choice are governed by partly overlapping optimization principles.
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  • Journal Article

    Disentangling the root- and detritus-based food chain in the micro-food web of an arable soil by plant removal. 

    Glavatska, Olena; Müller, Karolin; Butenschoen, Olaf; Schmalwasser, Andreas; Kandeler, Ellen; Scheu, Stefan; Totsche, Kai Uwe; Ruess, Liliane
    PloS one 2017; 12(7): Art. e0180264
    Soil food web structure and function is primarily determined by the major basal resources, which are living plant tissue, root exudates and dead organic matter. A field experiment was performed to disentangle the interlinkage of the root-and detritus-based soil food chains. An arable site was cropped either with maize, amended with maize shoot litter or remained bare soil, representing food webs depending on roots, aboveground litter and soil organic matter as predominant resource, respectively. The soil micro-food web, i.e. microorganisms and nematodes, was investigated in two successive years along a depth transect. The community composition of nematodes was used as model to determine the changes in the rhizosphere, detritusphere and bulk soil food web. In the first growing season the impact of treatments on the soil micro-food web was minor. In the second year plant-feeding nematodes increased under maize, whereas after harvest the Channel Index assigned promotion of the detritivore food chain, reflecting decomposition of root residues. The amendment with litter did not foster microorganisms, instead biomass of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as that of fungi declined in the rooted zone. Likely higher grazing pressure by nematodes reduced microbial standing crop as bacterial and fungal feeders increased. However, populations at higher trophic levels were not promoted, indicating limited flux of litter resources along the food chain. After two years of bare soil microbial biomass and nematode density remained stable, pointing to soil organic matter-based resources that allow bridging periods with deprivation. Nematode communities were dominated by opportunistic taxa that are competitive at moderate resource supply. In sum, removal of plants from the system had less severe effects than expected, suggesting considerable food web resilience to the disruption of both the root and detrital carbon channel, pointing to a legacy of organic matter resources in arable soils.
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  • Journal Article

    Trophic niches, diversity and community composition of invertebrate top predators (Chilopoda) as affected by conversion of tropical lowland rainforest in Sumatra (Indonesia). 

    Klarner, Bernhard; Winkelmann, Helge; Krashevska, Valentyna; Maraun, Mark; Widyastuti, Rahayu; Scheu, Stefan
    PLOS ONE 2017; 12(8): Art. e0180915
    Conversion of tropical rainforests into plantations fundamentally alters ecological niches of animal species. Generalist predators such as centipedes (Chilopoda) may be able to persist in converted ecosystems due to their ability to adapt and switch to alternative prey populations. We investigated variations in community composition and trophic niches of soil and litter living centipedes in a range of ecosystems including rainforests, jungle rubber agroforests, and rubber and oil palm monocultures in two landscapes in Sumatra, Indonesia. Including information on environmental factors in the soil and litter habitat, we explored drivers shaping ecological niches of soil living invertebrate predators in one of the world's hotspots of rainforest conversion. Conversion of rainforests into agroforests and plantations was associated with a marked change in the composition of centipede communities. However, irrespective of major differences in habitat characteristics, changes in total abundances were small and the overall diversity and biomass of centipedes was similar in each of the systems investigated, suggesting that the number of ecological niches for this group of predators remains unchanged. By using stable isotope analysis (15N and 13C), we investigated trophic niche shifts of the centipede community; lower δ13C values of centipedes in oil palm plantations as compared to other ecosystems suggests that centipedes switch from decomposer prey to other prey, presumably understory associated herbivores, due to reduced availability of litter associated prey species. The results suggest that the ability to utilize alternative prey is a key feature enabling invertebrate predators to persist in ecosystems undergoing major structural changes due to anthropogenic land use change.
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  • Journal Article

    Fast and accurate phylogeny reconstruction using filtered spaced-word matches. 

    Leimeister, Chris-André; Sohrabi-Jahromi, Salma; Morgenstern, Burkhard
    Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) 2017-04-01; 33(7) p.971-979
    Motivation: Word-based or 'alignment-free' algorithms are increasingly used for phylogeny reconstruction and genome comparison, since they are much faster than traditional approaches that are based on full sequence alignments. Existing alignment-free programs, however, are less accurate than alignment-based methods. Results: We propose Filtered Spaced Word Matches (FSWM) , a fast alignment-free approach to estimate phylogenetic distances between large genomic sequences. For a pre-defined binary pattern of match and don't-care positions, FSWM rapidly identifies spaced word-matches between input sequences, i.e. gap-free local alignments with matching nucleotides at the match positions and with mismatches allowed at the don't-care positions. We then estimate the number of nucleotide substitutions per site by considering the nucleotides aligned at the don't-care positions of the identified spaced-word matches. To reduce the noise from spurious random matches, we use a filtering procedure where we discard all spaced-word matches for which the overall similarity between the aligned segments is below a threshold. We show that our approach can accurately estimate substitution frequencies even for distantly related sequences that cannot be analyzed with existing alignment-free methods; phylogenetic trees constructed with FSWM distances are of high quality. A program run on a pair of eukaryotic genomes of a few hundred Mb each takes a few minutes. Availability and Implementation: The program source code for FSWM including a documentation, as well as the software that we used to generate artificial genome sequences are freely available at http://fswm.gobics.de/. Contact: chris.leimeister@stud.uni-goettingen.de. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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  • Journal Article

    Characterization of Bacillus Subtilis Viruses vB_BsuM-Goe2 and vB_BsuM-Goe3 

    Willms, Inka M.; Hoppert, Michael; Hertel, Robert
    Viruses 2017-06-12; 9(6)
    The Spounavirinae viruses are ubiquitous in nature and have an obligatory virulent lifestyle. They infect Firmicutes, a bacterial phylum containing an array of environmental non-pathogenic and pathogenic organisms. To expand the knowledge of this viral subfamily, new strains were isolated and investigated in this study. Here we present two new viruses, vB_BsuM-Goe2 and vB_BsuM-Goe3, isolated from raw sewage and infecting Bacillus species. Both were morphologically classified via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as members of the Spounavirinae subfamily belonging to the Myoviridae family. Genomic sequencing and analyses allowed further affiliation of vB_BsuM-Goe2 to the SPO1-like virus group and vB_BsuM-Goe3 to the Bastille-like virus group. Experimentally determined adsorption constant, latency period, burst size and host range for both viruses revealed different survival strategies. Thus vB_BsuM-Goe2 seemed to rely on fewer host species compared to vB_BsuM-Goe3, but efficiently recruits those. Stability tests pointed out that both viruses are best preserved in LB-medium or TMK-buffer at 4 or 21 °C, whereas cryopreservation strongly reduced viability.
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  • Journal Article

    The Prediction of Clinically Relevant Anxiety Symptoms in Early Adulthood: Direct and Indirect Effects of Childhood and Parental Factors 

    Meyer, Amie L.; Kroner Herwig, Birgit
    Journal of Depression and Anxiety 2017; 06(02): Art. 1000268
    Objective: Anxiety disorders are most prevalent among psychological disorders with an onset between mainly early teens and late twenties. In the frame of Barlow’s triple vulnerability model (TVM) of anxiety the current prospective study examined internalizing symptoms, perceived dysfunctional parenting style and parental worry assessed in childhood as potential risk factors of anxiety in young adults. Furthermore, the mediating effects of self-efficacy and recalled dysfunctional parenting style on anxiety were investigated at early adulthood. Method: A total of 1597 young adults aged 19 to 27 years (M=22.4; SD=2.32) of a German population-based sample were re-contacted 9 years after participating in the last survey of a series of four annual assessments (W1-W4). Information on the outcome was gathered in a follow-up examination (W5) with the 7-item General Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) measuring the severity of symptoms. According to the authors of the questionnaire. The scores were dichotomized to represent a proxy diagnosis of a general anxiety disorder. Also, the parenting style as recalled by the children and self-efficacy were assessed at this point of time. Mediation analysis was performed with Hayes’ PROCESS tool for SPSS. Results: Controlling for age and gender, clinically relevant anxiety in early adulthood was significantly predicted by internalizing symptoms, perceived dysfunctional parenting style and parental worry in childhood. These relations were significantly mediated by self-efficacy and recalled dysfunctional parenting style assessed at follows up. Conclusion: Results suggest that childhood and parental factors, i.e. early symptoms of anxiety, shyness and depressive mood in childhood as well as perceived parenting style marked by restriction, reproach, inconsistency and worrying significantly influence the manifestation of clinically relevant anxiety in young adults. This effect is mediated by the recalled perception of the parent’s behavior by the children. These findings can be utilized in psychological counseling of parents of children with internalizing symptoms in childhood or adolescence.
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  • Journal Article

    Small RNA mediated repression of subtilisin production in Bacillus licheniformis. 

    Hertel, Robert; Meyerjürgens, Sandra; Voigt, Birgit; Liesegang, Heiko; Volland, Sonja
    Scientific reports 2017-07-18; 7(1): Art. 5699
    The species Bacillus licheniformis includes important strains that are used in industrial production processes. Currently the physiological model used to adapt these processes is based on the closely related model organism B. subtilis. In this study we found that both organisms reveal significant differences in the regulation of subtilisin, their main natural protease and a product of industrial fermentation processes. We identified and characterized a novel antisense sRNA AprAs, which represents an RNA based repressor of apr, the gene encoding for the industrial relevant subtilisin protease. Reduction of the AprAs level leads to an enhanced proteolytic activity and an increase of Apr protein expression in the mutant strain. A vector based complementation of the AprAs deficient mutant confirmed this effect and demonstrated the necessity of cis transcription for full efficiency. A comparative analysis of the corresponding genome loci from B. licheniformis and B. subtilis revealed the absence of an aprAs promoter in B. subtilis and indicates that AprAs is a B. licheniformis species specific phenomenon. The discovery of AprAs is of great biotechnological interest since subtilisin Carlsberg is one of the main products of industrial fermentation by B. licheniformis.
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  • Journal Article

    Non-Pollen Palynomorphs from Mid-Holocene Peat of the Raised Bog Borsteler Moor (Lower Saxony, Germany) 

    Shumilovskikh, Lyudmila S.; Schlütz, Frank; Achterberg, Inke; Bauerochse, Andreas; Leuschner, Hanns Hubert
    Studia Quaternaria 2015; 32(1) p.5-18
    In order to reconstruct regional vegetation changes and local conditions during the fen-bog transition in the Borsteler Moor (north western Germany), a sediment core covering the period between 7.1 and 4.5 cal kyrs BP was palynologically investigated. The pollen diagram demonstrates the dominance of oak forests and a gradual replacement of trees by raised bog vegetation with the wetter conditions in the Late Atlantic. At ~ 6 cal kyrs BP, the non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) demonstrate the succession from mesotrophic conditions, clearly indicated by a number of fungal spore types, to oligotrophic conditions, indicated by Sphagnum spores, Bryophytomyces sphagni, and testate amoebae Amphitrema, Assulina and Arcella, etc. Four relatively dry phases during the transition from fen to bog are clearly indicated by the dominance of Calluna and associated fungi as well as by the in crease of microcharcoal. Several new NPP types are described and known NPP types are identified. All NPP are dis cussed in the context of their palaeoecological indicator values.
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  • Journal Article

    Contemporaneousness of Trackway Construction and Environmental Change: a Dendrochronological Study in Northwest-German Mires 

    Achterberg, Inke; Bauerochse, Andreas; Giesecke, Thomas; Metzler, Alf; Leuschner, Hans Hubert
    Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 2015; 6(1) p.19-29
    Tree rings provide not only a precise dating tool, but also contain information on environmental change. The well replicated tree ring record of northwest Germany therefore provides environmental implications with immanent, absolute and precise dating from 6703 BC to 931 AD. This offers the opportunity to investigate the environmental context of archaeological finds, if they, too, are dated by dendrochronology. We investigated 13 peat-preserved trackways from the Northwest-German lowland between 4629 BC (Neolithic) and 502 AD (Migration Period) for contemporaneousness with water table rise in the landscape. Such environmental change is well reflected in the clearly notable die-off phases of trees preserved in the mires. As an environmental proxy, the parameter “tree die-off rate a-30” is introduced: The annual number of tree die-off events is divided by the number of live trees 30 years previously. Overall, the majority of trackway constructions were found to be contemporaneous to mire water table rise and mire expansion. Possibly, a period of water table rise was a motivation for trackway construction.
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  • Journal Article

    Analysis of the lipid body proteome of the oleaginous alga Lobosphaera incisa 

    Siegler, Heike; Valerius, Oliver; Ischebeck, Till; Popko, Jennifer; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Vallon, Olivier; Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Braus, Gerhard H; Feussner, Ivo
    BMC Plant Biology 2017; 17(1): Art. 98
    Abstract Background Lobosphaera incisa (L. incisa) is an oleaginous microalga that stores triacylglycerol (TAG) rich in arachidonic acid in lipid bodies (LBs). This organelle is gaining attention in algal research, since evidence is accumulating that proteins attached to its surface fulfill important functions in TAG storage and metabolism. Results Here, the composition of the LB proteome in L incisa was investigated by comparing different cell fractions in a semiquantitative proteomics approach. After applying stringent filters to the proteomics data in order to remove contaminating proteins from the list of possible LB proteins (LBPs), heterologous expression of candidate proteins in tobacco pollen tubes, allowed us to confirm 3 true LBPs: A member of the algal Major Lipid Droplet Protein family, a small protein of unknown function and a putative lipase. In addition, a TAG lipase that belongs to the SUGAR DEPENDENT 1 family of TAG lipases known from oilseed plants was identified. Its activity was verified by functional complementation of an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant lacking the major seed TAG lipases. Conclusions Here we describe 3 LBPs as well as a TAG lipase from the oleaginous microalga L. incisa and discuss their possible involvement in LB metabolism. This study highlights the importance of filtering LB proteome datasets and verifying the subcellular localization one by one, so that contaminating proteins can be recognized as such. Our dataset can serve as a valuable resource in the identification of additional LBPs, shedding more light on the intriguing roles of LBs in microalgae.
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