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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jun;75(12):3903-11. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00080-09. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Effect of pH and temperature on denitrification gene expression and activity in Pseudomonas mandelii.

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  • 1Potato Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Pseudomonas mandelii liquid cultures were studied to determine the effect of pH and temperature on denitrification gene expression, which was quantified by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Denitrification was measured by the accumulation of nitrous oxide (N(2)O) in the headspace in the presence of acetylene. Levels of gene expression of nirS and cnorB at pH 5 were 539-fold and 6,190-fold lower, respectively, than the levels of gene expression for cells grown at pH 6, 7, and 8 between 4 h and 8 h. Cumulative denitrification levels were 28 micromol, 63 micromol, and 22 micromol at pH 6, 7, and 8, respectively, at 8 h, whereas negligible denitrification was measured at pH 5. P. mandelii cells grown at 20 degrees C and 30 degrees C exhibited 9-fold and 94-fold increases in levels of cnorB expression between 0 h and 2 h, respectively, and an average 17-fold increase in levels of nirS gene expression. In contrast, induction of cnorB and nirS gene expression for P. mandelii cells grown at 10 degrees C did not occur in the first 4 h. Levels of cumulative denitrification at 10 h were 6.6 micromol for P. mandelii cells grown at 10 degrees C and 20 degrees C and 30 micromol for cells grown at 30 degrees C. Overall, levels of cnorB and nirS expression were relatively insensitive to pH values over the range of pH 6 to 8 but were substantially reduced at pH 5, whereas gene expression was sensitive to temperature, with induction and time to achieve maximum gene expression delayed as the temperature decreased from 30 degrees C. Low pH and temperature negatively affected denitrification activity.

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