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Gene. 2000 Dec 30;260(1-2):155-69.

Identification of four structural genes and two putative promoters necessary for utilization of naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene by Sphingomonas paucimobilis var. EPA505.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 26934, USA.


Sphingomonas paucimobilis var. EPA505 utilizes fluoranthene (FLA), naphthalene (NAP), and phenanthrene (PHE) as sole carbon sources for energy and growth. A genetic library of EPA505 was constructed using mini-Tn5 promoter reporter genes encoding for tetracycline resistance (tc(p-)) or luminescence (luxAB(p-)). Out of 2250 Tn5 mutants, ten were deficient in utilization of FLA, NAP, and/or PHE as sole carbon sources. Three classes of Tn5 mutants were defined: classI (nap(-)phe(-)fla(-)), classII (nap(-)phe(-)), and classIII (fla(-)). Four of five mutants in classI did not express dioxygenase function, whereas one classI mutant and all classII and classIII mutants retained dioxygenase activity. In Tn5 tc(p-) classI mutants 200 and 394 (dioxygenase negative) and classII mutant 132 (dioxygenase positive), promoter reporter was expressed when induced with FLA, NAP, PHE, other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and several proposed PAH-derived catabolites. The Tn5 tc(p-) derived classIII mutant 104 was induced only with PAHs and not with PAH-derived catabolites. DNA sequence analysis of cloned regions of classI mutant 200 revealed that Tn5 inserted into a gene that shared (96%) DNA sequence homology with 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2-dioxygenase that is designated pbhA. Nucleotide sequences downstream of pbhA shared (84%) homology to a Rieske-type ferredoxin subunit gene of a multicomponent dioxygenase designated pbhB. The Tn5 tc(p-) in classII mutant 132 occurred within sequences that shared (74%) homology with a trans-o-hydroxybenzylidene-pyruvate hydratase-aldolase gene (pbhC). Sequence analysis of the region proximal to this gene revealed a putative promoter that contained a binding site for a LysR transcriptional activator. In classIII mutant 104, the Tn5 tc(p-) resided within a region that shared 94% nucleotide homology to that of a pyruvate phosphate dikinase gene known to be involved in cellular uptake of glucose. The FLA-specific catabolic gene disrupted in mutant 104 was designated phbD. Functional and sequence analyses of promoter probe mutants allowed identification of four genes necessary for the utilization of PAHs that are controlled by at least two promoters that are affected by a wide range of aromatic compounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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