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J Bacteriol. Aug 1993; 175(16): 5066–5077.
PMCID: PMC204973

Complementation analysis and regulation of CO2 fixation gene expression in a ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase deletion strain of Rhodospirillum rubrum.


A ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RubisCO) deletion strain of Rhodospirillum rubrum that was incapable of photolithoautotrophic growth was constructed. Photoheterotrophic growth, however, was possible for the R. rubrum RubisCO deletion strain when oxidized carbon compounds such as malate were supplied. The R. rubrum RubisCO-deficient strain was not complemented to photolithoautotrophic growth by various R. rubrum DNA fragments that contain the gene encoding RubisCO, cbbM. When the R. rubrum cbbM deletion strain harbored plasmids containing R. rubrum DNA inserts with at least 2.0 kb preceding the translational start site of the cbbM gene, RubisCO activity and RubisCO antigen were detected. Lack of RubisCO expression was therefore not the cause for the failure to complement the cbbM mutant strain. Interestingly, DNA fragments encoding either of two complete Calvin-Benson-Bassham CO2- fixation (cbb) gene operons from Rhodobacter sphaeroides were able to complement the R. rubrum RubisCO deletion strain to photolithoautotrophic growth. The same R. rubrum DNA fragments that failed to complement the R. rubrum cbbM deletion strain successfully complemented the RubisCO deletion strain of R. sphaeroides, pointing to distinct differences in the regulation of metabolism and the genetics of photolithoautotrophic growth in these two organisms. A number of cbb genes were identified by nucleotide sequence analysis of the region upstream of cbbM. Included among these was an open reading frame encoding a cbbR gene showing a high degree of sequence similarity to known lysR-type CO2 fixation transcriptional activator genes. The placement and orientation of the cbbR transcriptional regulator gene in R. rubrum are unique.

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