Denitrifying Pseudomonas aeruginosa: some parameters of growth and active transport.
Optimal cell yield of Pseudomonas aeruginosa grown under denitrifying conditions was obtained with 100 mM nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor, irrespective of the medium used. Nitrite as the terminal electron acceptor supported poor denitrifying growth when concentrations of less than 15 mM, but not higher, were used, apparently owing to toxicity exerted by nitrite. Nitrite accumulated in the medium during early exponential phase when nitrate was the terminal electron acceptor and then decreased to extinction before midexponential phase. The maximal rate of glucose and gluconate transport was supported by 1 mM nitrate or nitrite as the terminal electron acceptor under anaerobic conditions. The transport rate was greater with nitrate than with nitrite as the terminal electron acceptor, but the greatest transport rate was observed under aerobic conditions with oxygen as the terminal electron acceptor. When P. aeruginosa was inoculated into a denitrifying environment, nitrate reductase was detected after 3 h of incubation, nitrite reductase was detected after another 4 h of incubation, and maximal nitrate and nitrite reductase activities peaked together during midexponential phase. The latter coincided with maximal glucose transport activity. (+info
Molecular characterization of the nitrite-reducing system of Staphylococcus carnosus.
Characterization of a nitrite reductase-negative Staphylococcus carnosus Tn917 mutant led to the identification of the nir operon, which encodes NirBD, the dissimilatory NADH-dependent nitrite reductase; SirA, the putative oxidase and chelatase, and SirB, the uroporphyrinogen III methylase, both of which are necessary for biosynthesis of the siroheme prosthetic group; and NirR, which revealed no convincing similarity to proteins with known functions. We suggest that NirR is essential for nir promoter activity. In the absence of NirR, a weak promoter upstream of sirA seems to drive transcription of sirA, nirB, nirD, and sirB in the stationary-growth phase. In primer extension experiments one predominant and several weaker transcription start sites were identified in the nir promoter region. Northern blot analyses indicated that anaerobiosis and nitrite are induction factors of the nir operon: cells grown aerobically with nitrite revealed small amounts of full-length transcript whereas cells grown anaerobically with or without nitrite showed large amounts of full-length transcript. Although a transcript is detectable, no nitrite reduction occurs in cells grown aerobically with nitrite, indicating an additional oxygen-controlled step at the level of translation, enzyme folding, assembly, or insertion of prosthetic groups. The nitrite-reducing activity expressed during anaerobiosis is switched off reversibly when the oxygen tension increases, most likely due to competition for electrons with the aerobic respiratory chain. Another gene, nirC, is located upstream of the nir operon. nirC encodes a putative integral membrane-spanning protein of unknown function. A nirC mutant showed no distinct phenotype. (+info
Unusual ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase of anoxic Archaea.
The predominant pool of organic matter on earth is derived from the biological reduction and assimilation of carbon dioxide gas, catalyzed primarily by the enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). By virtue of its capacity to use molecular oxygen as an alternative and competing gaseous substrate, the catalytic efficiency of RubisCO and the enzyme's ability to assimilate CO2 may be severely limited, with consequent environmental and agricultural effects. Recent genomic sequencing projects, however, have identified putative RubisCO genes from anoxic Archaea. In the present study, these potential RubisCO sequences, from Methanococcus jannaschii and Archaeoglobus fulgidus, were analyzed in order to ascertain whether such sequences might encode functional proteins. We also report the isolation and properties of recombinant RubisCO using sequences obtained from the obligately anaerobic hyperthermophilic methanogen M. jannaschii. This is the first description of an archaeal RubisCO sequence; this study also represents the initial characterization of a RubisCO molecule that has evolved in the absence of molecular oxygen. The enzyme was shown to be a homodimer whose deduced sequence, along with other recently obtained archaeal RubisCO sequences, differs substantially from those of known RubisCO molecules. The recombinant M. jannaschii enzyme has a somewhat low, but reasonable kcat, however, unlike previously isolated RubisCO molecules, this enzyme is very oxygen sensitive yet it is stable to hyperthermal temperatures and catalyzes the formation of the expected carboxylation product. Despite inhibition by oxygen, this unusual RubisCO still catalyzes a weak yet demonstrable oxygenase activity, with perhaps the lowest capacity for CO2/O2 discrimination ever encountered for any RubisCO. (+info
Metal-catalyzed oxidation of phenylalanine-sensitive 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase from Escherichia coli: inactivation and destabilization by oxidation of active-site cysteines.
The in vitro instability of the phenylalanine-sensitive 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase [DAHPS(Phe)] from Escherichia coli has been found to be due to a metal-catalyzed oxidation mechanism. DAHPS(Phe) is one of three differentially feedback-regulated isoforms of the enzyme which catalyzes the first step of aromatic biosynthesis, the formation of DAHP from phosphoenolpyruvate and D-erythrose-4-phosphate. The activity of the apoenzyme decayed exponentially, with a half-life of about 1 day at room temperature, and the heterotetramer slowly dissociated to the monomeric state. The enzyme was stabilized by the presence of phosphoenolpyruvate or EDTA, indicating that in the absence of substrate, a trace metal(s) was the inactivating agent. Cu2+ and Fe2+, but none of the other divalent metals that activate the enzyme, greatly accelerated the rate of inactivation and subunit dissociation. Both anaerobiosis and the addition of catalase significantly reduced Cu2+-catalyzed inactivation. In the spontaneously inactivated enzyme, there was a net loss of two of the seven thiols per subunit; this value increased with increasing concentrations of added Cu2+. Dithiothreitol completely restored the enzymatic activity and the two lost thiols in the spontaneously inactivated enzyme but was only partially effective in reactivation of the Cu2+-inactivated enzyme. Mutant enzymes with conservative replacements at either of the two active-site cysteines, Cys61 or Cys328, were insensitive to the metal attack. Peptide mapping of the Cu2+-inactivated enzyme revealed a disulfide linkage between these two cysteine residues. All results indicate that DAHPS(Phe) is a metal-catalyzed oxidation system wherein bound substrate protects active-site residues from oxidative attack catalyzed by bound redox metal cofactor. A mechanism of inactivation of DAHPS is proposed that features a metal redox cycle that requires the sequential oxidation of its two active-site cysteines. (+info
Anaerobic oxidation of o-xylene, m-xylene, and homologous alkylbenzenes by new types of sulfate-reducing bacteria.
Various alkylbenzenes were depleted during growth of an anaerobic, sulfate-reducing enrichment culture with crude oil as the only source of organic substrates. From this culture, two new types of mesophilic, rod-shaped sulfate-reducing bacteria, strains oXyS1 and mXyS1, were isolated with o-xylene and m-xylene, respectively, as organic substrates. Sequence analyses of 16S rRNA genes revealed that the isolates affiliated with known completely oxidizing sulfate-reducing bacteria of the delta subclass of the class Proteobacteria. Strain oXyS1 showed the highest similarities to Desulfobacterium cetonicum and Desulfosarcina variabilis (similarity values, 98.4 and 98.7%, respectively). Strain mXyS1 was less closely related to known species, the closest relative being Desulfococcus multivorans (similarity value, 86.9%). Complete mineralization of o-xylene and m-xylene was demonstrated in quantitative growth experiments. Strain oXyS1 was able to utilize toluene, o-ethyltoluene, benzoate, and o-methylbenzoate in addition to o-xylene. Strain mXyS1 oxidized toluene, m-ethyltoluene, m-isoproyltoluene, benzoate, and m-methylbenzoate in addition to m-xylene. Strain oXyS1 did not utilize m-alkyltoluenes, whereas strain mXyS1 did not utilize o-alkyltoluenes. Like the enrichment culture, both isolates grew anaerobically on crude oil with concomitant reduction of sulfate to sulfide. (+info
Immobilization patterns and dynamics of acetate-utilizing methanogens immobilized in sterile granular sludge in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors.
Sterile granular sludge was inoculated with either Methanosarcina mazeii S-6, Methanosaeta concilii GP-6, or both species in acetate-fed upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors to investigate the immobilization patterns and dynamics of aceticlastic methanogens in granular sludge. After several months of reactor operation, the methanogens were immobilized, either separately or together. The fastest immobilization was observed in the reactor containing M. mazeii S-6. The highest effluent concentration of acetate was observed in the reactor with only M. mazeii S-6 immobilized, while the lowest effluent concentration of acetate was observed in the reactor where both types of methanogens were immobilized together. No changes were observed in the kinetic parameters (Ks and mumax) of immobilized M. concilii GP-6 or M. mazeii S-6 compared with suspended cultures, indicating that immobilization does not affect the growth kinetics of these methanogens. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using polyclonal antibodies against either M. concilii GP-6 or M. mazeii S-6 showed significant variations in the two methanogenic populations in the different reactors. Polyclonal antibodies were further used to study the spatial distribution of the two methanogens. M. concilii GP-6 was immobilized only on existing support material without any specific pattern. M. mazeii S-6, however, showed a different immobilization pattern: large clumps were formed when the concentration of acetate was high, but where the acetate concentration was low this strain was immobilized on support material as single cells or small clumps. The data clearly show that the two aceticlastic methanogens immobilize differently in UASB systems, depending on the conditions found throughout the UASB reactor. (+info
Anaerobic degradation of phthalate isomers by methanogenic consortia.
Three methanogenic enrichment cultures, grown on ortho-phthalate, iso-phthalate, or terephthalate were obtained from digested sewage sludge or methanogenic granular sludge. Cultures grown on one of the phthalate isomers were not capable of degrading the other phthalate isomers. All three cultures had the ability to degrade benzoate. Maximum specific growth rates (microseconds max) and biomass yields (YXtotS) of the mixed cultures were determined by using both the phthalate isomers and benzoate as substrates. Comparable values for these parameters were found for all three cultures. Values for microseconds max and YXtotS were higher for growth on benzoate compared to the phthalate isomers. Based on measured and estimated values for the microbial yield of the methanogens in the mixed culture, specific yields for the phthalate and benzoate fermenting organisms were calculated. A kinetic model, involving three microbial species, was developed to predict intermediate acetate and hydrogen accumulation and the final production of methane. Values for the ratio of the concentrations of methanogenic organisms, versus the phthalate isomer and benzoate fermenting organisms, and apparent half-saturation constants (KS) for the methanogens were calculated. By using this combination of measured and estimated parameter values, a reasonable description of intermediate accumulation and methane formation was obtained, with the initial concentration of phthalate fermenting organisms being the only variable. The energetic efficiency for growth of the fermenting organisms on the phthalate isomers was calculated to be significantly smaller than for growth on benzoate. (+info
The role of benzoate in anaerobic degradation of terephthalate.
The effects of acetate, benzoate, and periods without substrate on the anaerobic degradation of terephthalate (1, 4-benzene-dicarboxylate) by a syntrophic methanogenic culture were studied. The culture had been enriched on terephthalate and was capable of benzoate degradation without a lag phase. When incubated with a mixture of benzoate and terephthalate, subsequent degradation with preference for benzoate was observed. Both benzoate and acetate inhibited the anaerobic degradation of terephthalate. The observed inhibition is partially irreversible, resulting in a decrease (or even a complete loss) of the terephthalate-degrading activity after complete degradation of benzoate or acetate. Irreversible inhibition was characteristic for terephthalate degradation only because the inhibition of benzoate degradation by acetate could well be described by reversible noncompetitive product inhibition. Terephthalate degradation was furthermore irreversibly inhibited by periods without substrate of only a few hours. The inhibition of terephthalate degradation due to periods without substrate could be overcome through incubation of the culture with a mixture of benzoate and terephthalate. In this case no influence of a period without substrate was observed. Based on these observations it is postulated that decarboxylation of terephthalate, resulting in the formation of benzoate, is strictly dependent on the concomitant fermentation of benzoate. In the presence of higher concentrations of benzoate, however, benzoate is the favored substrate over terephthalate, and the culture loses its ability to degrade terephthalate. In order to overcome the inhibition of terephthalate degradation by benzoate and acetate, a two-stage reactor system is suggested for the treatment of wastewater generated during terephthalic acid production. (+info