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Extremophiles. 2004 Oct;8(5):401-10. Epub 2004 Jul 7.

Psychrophilic Pseudomonas syringae requires trans-monounsaturated fatty acid for growth at higher temperature.

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Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, 500 007, Hyderabad, India.


A psychrophilic bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae (Lz4W) from Antarctica, was used as a model system to establish a correlation, if any, between thermal adaptation, trans-fatty acid content and membrane fluidity. In addition, attempts were made to clone and sequence the cti gene of P. syringae (Lz4W) so as to establish its characteristics with respect to the cti of other Pseudomonas spp. and also to in vitro mutagenize the cti gene so as to generate a cti null mutant. The bacterium showed increased proportion of saturated and trans-monounsaturated fatty acids when grown at 28 degrees C compared to cells grown at 5 degrees C, and the membrane fluidity decreased with growth temperature. In the mutant, the trans-fatty acid was not synthesized, and the membrane fluidity also decreased with growth temperature, but the decrease was not to the extent that was observed in the wild-type cells. Thus, it would appear that synthesis of trans-fatty acid and modulation of membrane fluidity to levels comparable to the wild-type cells is essential for growth at higher temperatures since the mutant exhibits growth arrest at 28 degrees C. In fact, the cti null mutant-complemented strain of P. syringae (Lz4W-C30b) that was capable of synthesizing the trans-fatty acid was indeed capable of growth at 28 degrees C, thus confirming the above contention. The cti gene of P. syringae (Lz4W) that was cloned and sequenced exhibited high sequence identity with the cti of other Pseudomonas spp. and exhibited all the conserved features.

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