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Arch Microbiol. 2000 Nov;174(5):322-33.

Maintenance and control of redox poise in Rhodobacter capsulatus strains deficient in the Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway.

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The Department of Microbiology and Plant Molecular Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1292, USA.


Carbon dioxide serves as the preferred electron acceptor during photoheterotrophic growth of nonsulfur purple photosynthetic bacteria such as Rhodobacter capsulatus and Rhodobacter sphaeroides. This CO2, produced as a result of the oxidation of preferred organic carbon sources, is reduced through reactions of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham reductive pentose phosphate pathway. This pathway is thus crucial to maintain a balanced intracellular oxidation-reduction potential (or redox poise) under photoheterotrophic growth conditions. In the absence of a functional Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway, either an exogenous electron acceptor, such as dimethylsulfoxide, must be supplied or the organism must somehow develop alternative electron acceptor pathways to preserve the intracellular redox state of the cell. Spontaneous variants of Rba. capsulatus strains deficient in the Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway that have become photoheterotrophically competent (in the absence of an exogenous electron acceptor) were isolated. These strains (SBP-PHC and RCNd1, RCNd3, and RCNd4) were shown to obviate normal ammonia control and derepress synthesis of the dinitrogenase enzyme complex for the dissipation of excess reducing equivalents and generation of H2 gas via proton reduction. In contrast to previous studies with other organisms, the dinitrogenase reductase polypeptides were maintained in an active and unmodified form in strain SBP-PHC and the respective RCNd strains. Unlike the situation in Rba. sphaeroides, the Rba. capsulatus strains did not regain full ammonia control when complemented with plasmids that reconstituted a functional Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway. Moreover, dinitrogenase derepression in Rba. capsulatas was responsive to the addition of the auxiliary electron acceptor dimethylsulfoxide. These results indicated a hierarchical control over the removal of reducing equivalents during photoheterotrophic growth that differs from strains of Rba. sphaeroides and Rhodospirillum rubrum deficient in the Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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