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J Bacteriol. 1999 May;181(10):3310-6.

NahY, a catabolic plasmid-encoded receptor required for chemotaxis of Pseudomonas putida to the aromatic hydrocarbon naphthalene.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Pseudomonas putida G7 exhibits chemotaxis to naphthalene, but the molecular basis for this was not known. A new gene, nahY, was found to be cotranscribed with meta cleavage pathway genes on the NAH7 catabolic plasmid for naphthalene degradation. The nahY gene encodes a 538-amino-acid protein with a membrane topology and a C-terminal region that resemble those of chemotaxis transducer proteins. A P. putida G7 nahY mutant grew on naphthalene but was not chemotactic to this aromatic hydrocarbon. The protein NahY thus appears to function as a chemoreceptor for naphthalene or a related compound. The presence of nahY on a catabolic plasmid implies that chemotaxis may facilitate biodegradation.

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