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  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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  • Microorganisms

  • Open Access English
    Frank Vriesekoop; Jing Chen; Jenna Oldaker; Flavien Besnard; Reece Smith; William Leversha; Cheralee Smith-Arnold; Julie Worrall; Emily Rufray; Qipeng Yuan; +3 more
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

    In this study we report the underlying reasons to why bacteria are present on banknotes and coins. Despite the use of credit cards, mobile phone apps, near-field-communication systems, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins which are replacing the use of hard currencies, cash exchanges still make up a significant means of exchange for a wide range of purchases. The literature is awash with data that highlights that both coins and banknotes are frequently identified as fomites for a wide range of microorganisms. However, most of these publications fail to provide any insight into the extent to which bacteria adhere and persist on money. We treated the various currencies used in this study as microcosms, and the bacterial loading from human hands as the corresponding microbiome. We show that the substrate from which banknotes are produced have a significant influence on both the survival and adherence of bacteria to banknotes. Smooth, polymer surfaces provide a poor means of adherence and survival, while coarser and more fibrous surfaces provide strong bacterial adherence and an environment to survive on. Coins were found to be strongly inhibitory to bacteria with a relatively rapid decline in survival on almost all coin surfaces tested. The inhibitory influence of coins was demonstrated through the use of antimicrobial disks made from coins. Despite the toxic effects of coins on many bacteria, bacteria do have the ability to adapt to the presence of coins in their environment which goes some way to explain the persistent presence of low levels of bacteria on coins in circulation.

  • Open Access
    Elena Levin; Ginat Raphael; Jing Ma; Ana-Rosa Ballester; Oleg Feygenberg; John L. Norelli; Radi Aly; Luis González-Candelas; Michael Wisniewski; Samir Droby;
    Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
    Country: Spain

    Penicillium expansum is a major postharvest pathogen that infects different fruits, mainly through injuries inflicted during harvest or subsequent handling after harvest. Several effectors were suggested to mediate pathogenicity of P. expansum in fruit tissue. Among these effectors Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), produced by various microorganisms with different lifestyles, are known for their ability to induce necrosis in dicot plants and were shown to be involved in virulence of several plant-related pathogens. This study was aimed at the identification and functional characterization of two NLP genes found in the genome of P. expansum. The genes were designated Penlp1 and Penlp2 and were found to code type1 and type3 NLP respectively. Necrosis-inducing activity of the two proteins was demonstrated by transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. While Penlp1 expression was induced during apple infection and in liquid culture, the highest level of Penlp2 expression was found in ungerminated spores. Deletion of Penlp1, but not Penlp2, resulted in reduced virulence on apples manifested by reduced rate of lesion development (disease severity). This research was funded by Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 1936/14, awarded to Samir Droby. © The Author(s). Peer reviewed