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Phylogenetic surveys of soil ecosystems have shown that the number of prokaryotic species found in a single sample exceeds that of known cultured prokaryotes. Soil metagenomics, which comprises isolation of soil DNA and the production and screening of clone libraries, can provide a cultivation-independent assessment of the largely untapped genetic reservoir(More)
Glycerol dehydrogenase (EC and dihydroxyacetone kinase (EC were purified from Citrobacter freundii. The dehydrogenase is a hexamer of a polypeptide of 43,000 Da. The enzyme exhibited a rather broad substrate specificity, but glycerol was the preferred substrate in the physiological direction. The apparent Kms of the enzyme for glycerol(More)
Metagenomics has paved the way for cultivation-independent assessment and exploitation of microbial communities present in complex ecosystems. In recent years, significant progress has been made in this research area. A major breakthrough was the improvement and development of high-throughput next-generation sequencing technologies. The application of these(More)
The genome sequences of two Escherichia coli O104:H4 strains derived from two different patients of the 2011 German E. coli outbreak were determined. The two analyzed strains were designated E. coli GOS1 and GOS2 (German outbreak strain). Both isolates comprise one chromosome of approximately 5.31 Mbp and two putative plasmids. Comparisons of the 5,217(More)
Environmental DNA libraries from three different soil samples were constructed. The average insert size was 5 to 8 kb and the percentage of plasmids with inserts was approximately 80%. The recombinant Escherichia coli strains (approximately 930,000) were screened for 4-hydroxybutyrate utilization. Thirty-six positive E. coli clones were obtained during the(More)
The cohort of the ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the phylum Thaumarchaeota is a diverse, widespread and functionally important group of microorganisms in many ecosystems. However, our understanding of their biology is still very rudimentary in part because all available genome sequences of this phylum are from members of the Nitrosopumilus cluster. Here(More)
Environmental DNA libraries prepared from three different soil samples were screened for genes conferring lipolytic activity on Escherichia coli clones. Screening on triolein agar revealed 1 positive clone out of 730,000 clones, and screening on tributyrin agar revealed 3 positive clones out of 286,000 E. coli clones. Substrate specificity analysis revealed(More)
Metagenomics has accelerated the process of discovery of novel biocatalysts by enabling scientists to tap directly into the entire diversity of enzymes held within natural microbial populations. Their characterization has revealed a great deal of valuable information about enzymatic activity in terms of factors which influence their stability and activity(More)
1,3-Propanediol dehydrogenase (EC was purified to homogeneity from Citrobacter freundii grown anaerobically on glycerol in continuous culture. The enzyme is an octamer of a polypeptide of 43,400 Da. When tested as a dehydrogenase, the enzyme was most active with substrates containing two primary alcohol groups separated by one or two carbon(More)
Modern biotechnology has a steadily increasing demand for vitamins, antibiotics and, in particular, novel biocatalysts for use in the production of flavors, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and high-value fine chemicals. Novel experimental approaches are being developed in attempts to identify such molecules. However, it is known that up to 99.8% of the(More)