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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Feb;68(2):968-72.

Chemotaxis of Ralstonia eutropha JMP134(pJP4) to the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate.

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Department of Microbiology, Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Ralstonia eutropha JMP134(pJP4) and several other species of motile bacteria can degrade the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate (2,4-D), but it was not known if bacteria could sense and swim towards 2,4-D by the process of chemotaxis. Wild-type R. eutropha cells were chemotactically attracted to 2,4-D in swarm plate assays and qualitative capillary assays. The chemotactic response was induced by growth with 2,4-D and depended on the presence of the catabolic plasmid pJP4, which harbors the tfd genes for 2,4-D degradation. The tfd cluster also encodes a permease for 2,4-D named TfdK. A tfdK mutant was not chemotactic to 2,4-D, even though it grew at wild-type rates on 2,4-D.

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