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J Microbiol Methods. 2004 Jan;56(1):3-15.

Real-time reverse transcription PCR analysis of expression of atrazine catabolism genes in two bacterial strains isolated from soil.

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INRA-CMSE, UMR 1229 INRA-Université de Bourgogne, Microbiologie et Géochimie des Sols, 17 rue Sully, BP 86510, F-21065 Dijon Cedex, France.


The level of expression of highly conserved, plasmid-borne, and widely dispersed atrazine catabolic genes (atz) was studied by RT-qPCR in two telluric atrazine-degrading microbes. RT-qPCR assays, based on the use of real-time PCR, were developed in order to quantify atzABCDEF mRNAs in Pseudomonas sp. ADP and atzABC mRNAs in Chelatobacter heintzii. atz gene expression was expressed as mRNA copy number per 10(6) 16S rRNA. In Pseudomonas sp. ADP, atz genes were basally expressed. It confirmed atrazine-degrading kinetics indicating that catabolic activity starts immediately after adding the herbicide. atz gene expression increased transitorily in response to atrazine treatment. This increase was only observed while low amount of atrazine remained in the medium. In C. heintzii, only atzA was basally expressed. atzA and atzB expression levels were similarly and significantly increased in response to atrazine treatment. atzC was not expressed even in the presence of high amounts of atrazine. This study showed that atz genes are basally expressed and up-regulated in response to atrazine treatment. atz gene expression patterns are different in Pseudomonas ADP and C. heintzii suggesting that the host may influence the expression of plasmid-borne atrazine-catabolic potential.

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