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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Jan;67(1):148-54.

Mutation of the ptsG gene results in increased production of succinate in fermentation of glucose by Escherichia coli.

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Environmental Research Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.


Escherichia coli NZN111 is blocked in the ability to grow fermentatively on glucose but gave rise spontaneously to a mutant that had this ability. The mutant carries out a balanced fermentation of glucose to give approximately 1 mol of succinate, 0. 5 mol of acetate, and 0.5 mol of ethanol per mol of glucose. The causative mutation was mapped to the ptsG gene, which encodes the membrane-bound, glucose-specific permease of the phosphotransferase system, protein EIICB(glc). Replacement of the chromosomal ptsG gene with an insertionally inactivated form also restored growth on glucose and resulted in the same distribution of fermentation products. The physiological characteristics of the spontaneous and null mutants were consistent with loss of function of the ptsG gene product; the mutants possessed greatly reduced glucose phosphotransferase activity and lacked normal glucose repression. Introduction of the null mutant into strains not blocked in the ability to ferment glucose also increased succinate production in those strains. This phenomenon was widespread, occurring in different lineages of E. coli, including E. coli B.

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