Navigation Links
Salt needed: Tolerance lessons from a dead sea fungus
Date:5/9/2014

Despite its name, the Dead Sea does support life, and not just in the sense of helping visitors float in its waters. Algae, bacteria, and fungi make up the limited number of species that can tolerate the extremely salty environment at the lowest point on Earth.

Some organisms thrive in salty environments by lying dormant when salt concentrations are very high. Other organisms need salt to grow. To learn which survival strategy the filamentous fungus Eurotium rubrum uses, a team of researchers led by Eviatar Nevo from the University of Haifa in Israel, Igor Grigoriev of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), and Gerhard Rambold, University of Bayreuth, Germany and their colleagues studied its genome. They described their findings in the May 9, 2014 issue of Nature Communications.

"Understanding the long-term adaptation of cells and organisms to high salinity is of great importance in a world with increasing desertification and salinity," the team wrote. "The observed functional and structural adaptations provide new insight into the mechanisms that help organisms to survive under such extreme environmental conditions, but also point to new targets like the biotechnological improvement of salt tolerance in crops." In principle this discovery could revolutionize saline agriculture worldwide by laying the groundwork of understanding necessary to appropriately using salt resistance genes and gene networks in crops to enable them to grow in desert and saline environments.

The DOE JGI team first sequenced, assembled and annotated the 26.2-million base genome of E. rubrum. The team found that the genome contained just over 10,000 predicted genes. They also found that the E. rubrum proteins had higher aspartic and glutamic acid amino acid levels than expected. When the team compared E. rubrum's gene families against those in two other halophilic species (Wallemia ichthyophaga and Hortaea werneckii), they found that high acidic residues were common in all three species, a general trait all salt-tolerant microbes share.

To learn more about the fungus' tolerance for salt, Tami Kis Papo at the University of Haifa grew samples in liquid and solid media at salinities from zero up to 90 percent of Dead Sea water. The researchers found that it had viable spores when grown in 70 percent diluted Dead Sea water, conditions equivalent to an algal bloom in the Dead Sea 20 years ago. A study conducted by Alfons R. Weig at the University of Bayreuth of E. rubrum's transcriptome, that small fraction of the genome that encodes the RNA molecules in order to carry out instructions to build and maintain cells, showed that in high salinity conditions, the fungal cells need to keep cell membrane transport under tight control. "This clearly indicates that the fungus tries to cope 'actively' with its extreme environment and does not simply fall into dormancy," the team noted, "as might be expected by the greatly reduced growth rates."

In addition to contributing to a better understanding of salt tolerance mechanisms for agriculture, this work may also have applicability to the DOE's interests in developing new strategies to improve biofuels production. For instance, the DOE JGI and its partners are sourcing microbial and fungal enzymes for more effective biomass pretreatment with ionic liquids, environmentally benign organic salts often used as green chemistry substitutes for volatile organic solvents.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-927-2541
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Higher pain tolerance in athletes may hold clues for pain management
2. Salt cress genome yields new clues to salt tolerance
3. Delving into the molecular mechanism behind deep-sea bacterias pressure tolerance
4. UCLA research makes possible rapid assessment of plant drought tolerance
5. Tolerance to malaria by means of iron control
6. Microbes team up to boost plants stress tolerance
7. People with impaired glucose tolerance can show cognitive dysfunction
8. Dark chocolate lovers show higher tolerance for bitterness in chocolate ice cream
9. Study investigates extraordinary trout with tolerance to heavily polluted water
10. Early exposure to insecticides gives amphibians higher tolerance later
11. Overexpression of cytoglobin gene increases neuronal hypoxic tolerance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... , Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards as "Most ... off an unprecedented year of recognition and growth for ... over 15 years. iMedNet ™ ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... 2016 Sensory Inc ., a ... for consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a ... industry, today announced a global partnership that will ... authenticate users of mobile banking and mobile payments ... software which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... DUBLIN , June 27, 2016 Research ... in North America 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... North America to grow at a CAGR ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Dec. 9, 2016 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... China,s leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory ... today announced the results of its 2016 Annual General Meeting, ... S.A.R., China . At ... the re-appointment of KPMG Huazhen LLP as the independent auditors ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...  The Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh ... only pure life sciences investment firm, today ... succession plan developed by the Nominating and Governance Committee ... (Jim) F. Jordan is selected to serve as ... Manzetti , who is elected to the position of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ("OncoSec") ... DNA-based intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, today announced financial results ... "We are delivering on our commitment to ... ImmunoPulse┬« IL-12. We are pleased with the early ... trial, and we are focused on advancing our ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced that ... of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in identifying ... are most at-risk for disease recurrence and might ... from three studies advancing the understanding of the ... tumor biology and inform decisions related to patient ...
Breaking Biology Technology: