Advertisement

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 81, Issue 1–4, pp 27–32 | Cite as

Bacterial endospores and their significance in stress resistance

  • Wayne L. Nicholson
  • Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos
  • Roberto Rebeil
  • Tony A. Slieman
  • Paul J. Riesenman
  • Jocelyn F. Law
  • Yaming Xue
Article

Abstract

In terms of resistance to extreme environmental stresses, the bacterial spore represents a pinnacle of evolution. Spores are highly resistant to a wide variety of physical stresses such as: wet and dry heat, UV and gamma radiation, oxidizing agents, chemicals, and extremes of both vacuum and ultrahigh hydrostatic pressure. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying spore resistance properties have been elucidated in the laboratory, and involve both: (i) protection of vital spore macromolecules during dormancy, and (ii) repair of damaged macromolecules during germination. Our group has recently become interested in testing if the laboratory model of spore UV resistance is relevant to spore persistence in the environment. We have constructed a number of Bacillus subtilis strains which are defective in various DNA repair systems and spore structural components. Using spores of these strains, we have been exploring: (i) the types of damage induced in DNA by the UV-B and UV-A components of sunlight; (ii) the relative contribution of the major spore DNA repair systems to spore solar radiation resistance; and (iii) the role of spore structural components such as the spore coats and dipicolinic acid (DPA) in attenuation of the lethal and mutagenic effects of solar UV. The current data are reviewed with the ultimate goal of obtaining a complete model describing spore persistence and longevity in the terrestrial solar UV radiation environment.

Bacillus subtilis DNA repair environmental resistance spore ultraviolet (UV) radiation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Donnellan JE Jr & Setlow RB (1965) Thymine photoproducts but not thymine dimers are found in ultraviolet irradiated bacterial spores. Science 149: 308-310.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Driks A (1999) Bacillus subtilis spore coat. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 63: 1-20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Fajardo-Cavazos P & Nicholson (1995) Molecular dissection of mutations in the Bacillus subtilis spore photoproduct lyase gene which affect repair of spore DNA damage caused by UV radiation. J. Bacteriol. 177: 4402-4409.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Fajardo-Cavazos P, Salazar C & Nicholson WL (1993) Molecular cloning and characterization of the Bacillus subtilis spore photoproduct lyase (spl) gene, which is involved in repair of UV-induced DNA damage during spore germination. J. Bacteriol. 175: 1735-1744.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Friedberg EC, Walker GC & Siede W (1995) DNA repair and mutagenesis. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  6. Hullo M-F, Moszer I, Danchin A & Martin-Verstraete I (2001) CotA of Bacillus subtilis is a copper-dependent laccase. J. Bacteriol. 183: 5426-5430.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lindberg C & Horneck G (1991) Action spectra for survival and spore photoproduct formation of Bacillus subtilis irradiated with short wavelength (200-300 nm) UV at atmospheric pressure and in vacuo. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B Biol.11:69-80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lindsay JA & Murrell WG (1983) A comparison of UV-induced DNA photoproducts from isolated and non-isolated bacterial forespores. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 113: 618-625.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Munakata N & Rupert CS (1975) Effects of DNA-polymerase-defective and recombination-deficient mutations on the ultraviolet sensitivity of Bacillus subtilis spores. Mutat. Res. 27: 157-169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nicholson WL, Chooback L & Fajardo-Cavazos (1997) Analysis of spore photoproduct lyase operon (splAB) function using targeted deletion-insertion mutations spanning the Bacillus subtilis operons ptsHI and splAB. Mol. Gen. Genet. 255: 587-594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Nicholson WL & Fajardo-Cavazos P (1997) DNA repair and the ultraviolet radiation resistance of bacterial spores: from the laboratory to the environment. Recent Res. Devel. Microbiol. 1: 125-140.Google Scholar
  12. Nicholson WL, Munakata N, Horneck G, Melosh HJ & Setlow P (2000) Resistance of Bacillus endospores to extreme terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. Microbiol. Molec. Biol. Rev. 64: 548-572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nicholson WL & Setlow (1990) Sporulation, germination, and outgrowth. In: Harwood CR & Cutting SM (Eds) Molecular Biological Methods for Bacillus (pp 391-450). John Wiley and Sons, Sussex, UK.Google Scholar
  14. Paidhungat M, Setlow B, Driks A & Setlow P (2000) Characterization of spores of Bacillus subtilis which lack dipicolinic acid. J. Bacteriol. 182: 5505-5512.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Riesenman PJ & Nicholson WL (2000) Role of the spore coat layers in Bacillus subtilis resistance to hydrogen peroxide, artificial UVC, UV-B, and solar radiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66: 620-626.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schaeffer P, Millet J & Aubert JP (1965) Catabolic repression of bacterial sporulation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 54:704-711.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Setlow P (1995) Mechanisms for the prevention of damage to DNA in spores of Bacillus species. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 49:29-54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Setlow P (2001) Resistance of spores of Bacillus species to ultraviolet light. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 38: 97-104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Slieman TA & Nicholson WL (2000) Artificial and solar UV radiation induces strand breaks and cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in Bacillus subtilis spore DNA. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66: 199-205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Slieman TA & Nicholson WL (2001) Role of dipicolinic acid in survival of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to artificial and solar UV radiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67: 1274-1279.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Somerville HJ, Delafield FP & Rittenberg SC (1970) Ureamercaptoethanol-soluble protein from spores of Bacillus thuringiensis and other species. J. Bacteriol. 101: 551-560.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Spizizen J (1958) Transformation of biochemically deficient strains of Bacillus subtilis by deoxyribonucleate. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 44: 548-572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tanooka H (1968) Ultraviolet resistance of DNA in spore spheroplast of Bacillus subtilis as measured by the transforming activity. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 166: 581-583.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Tanooka H & Sakakibara Y (1968) Radioresistant nature of the transforming activity in bacterial spores. Appl. Microbiol. 26: 592-597.Google Scholar
  25. Tyrrell RM (1978) Solar dosimetry with repair deficient bacterial spores: action spectra, photoproduct measurements and a comparison with other biological systems. Photochem. Photobiol. 27: 571-579.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Tyrrell RM (1992) Inducible responses to UV-A exposure. In: Urbach F (Ed) Biological Responses to Ultraviolet-A Radiation (pp 59-64). Valdenmar Publishing, Overland Park, Kansas.Google Scholar
  27. Xue Y (1996) Resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores lacking either nucleotide excision repair or spore photoproduct lyase to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from artificial or natural sources. Thesis (Master of Science), University of North Texas Health Science Center.Google Scholar
  28. Xue Y & Nicholson WL (1996) The two major spore DNA repair pathways, nucleotide excision repair and spore photoproduct lyase, are sufficient for the resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to artificial UV-C and UV-B but not to solar radiation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62: 2221-2227.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne L. Nicholson
    • 1
  • Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos
    • 1
  • Roberto Rebeil
    • 1
  • Tony A. Slieman
    • 1
  • Paul J. Riesenman
    • 1
  • Jocelyn F. Law
    • 1
  • Yaming Xue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Science and MicrobiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations