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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Sep;66(9):3705-10.

Role of phaD in accumulation of medium-chain-length Poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) in Pseudomonas oleovorans.

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Institute of Biotechnology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland.


Pseudomonas oleovorans is capable of producing poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) as intracellular storage material. To analyze the possible involvement of phaD in medium-chain-length (MCL) PHA biosynthesis, we generated a phaD knockout mutant by homologous recombination. Upon disruption of the phaD gene, MCL PHA polymer accumulation was decreased. The PHA granule size was reduced, and the number of granules inside the cell was increased. Furthermore, mutant cells appeared to be smaller than wild-type cells. Investigation of MCL PHA granules revealed that the pattern of granule-associated proteins was changed and that the predominant protein PhaI was missing in the mutant. Complementation of the mutant with a phaD-harboring plasmid partially restored the wild-type characteristics of MCL PHA production and fully restored the granule and cell sizes. Furthermore, PhaI was attached to the granules of the complemented mutant. These results indicate that the phaD gene encodes a protein which plays an important role in MCL PHA biosynthesis. However, although its main effect seems to be the stabilization of MCL PHA granules, we found that the PhaD protein is not a major granule-associated protein and therefore might act by an unknown mechanism involving the PhaI protein.

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