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Extremophiles. 2003 Jun;7(3):205-11. Epub 2003 Mar 14.

Identification and characterization of the carAB genes responsible for encoding carbamoylphosphate synthetase in Halomonas eurihalina.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus Universitario de Cartuja, 18071 Granada, Spain.


Halomonas eurihalina is a moderately halophilic bacterium which produces exopolysaccharides potentially of great use in many fields of industry and ecology. Strain F2-7 of H. eurihalina synthesizes an anionic exopolysaccharide known as polymer V2-7, which not only has emulsifying activity but also becomes viscous under acidic conditions, and therefore we consider it worthwhile making a detailed study of the genetics of this strain. By insertional mutagenesis using the mini-Tn 5 Km2 transposon we isolated and characterized a mutant strain, S36 K, which requires both arginine and uracil for growth and does not excrete EPS. S36 K carries a mutation within the carB gene that encodes the synthesis of the large subunit of the carbamoylphosphate synthetase enzyme, which in turn catalyzes the synthesis of carbamoylphosphate, an important precursor of arginine and pyrimidines. We describe here the cloning and characterization of the carAB genes, which encode carbamoylphosphate synthetase in Halomonas eurihalina, and discuss this enzyme's possible role in the pathways for the synthesis of exopolysaccharides in strain F2-7.

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