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Arch Microbiol. 2004 Nov;182(5):373-87. Epub 2004 Aug 25.

Chemolithoautotrophy in the marine, magnetotactic bacterial strains MV-1 and MV-2.

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Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Magnetite-producing magnetotactic bacteria collected from the oxic-anoxic transition zone of chemically stratified marine environments characterized by O2/H2S inverse double gradients, contained internal S-rich inclusions resembling elemental S globules, suggesting they oxidize reduced S compounds that could support autotrophy. Two strains of marine magnetotactic bacteria, MV-1 and MV-2, isolated from such sites grew in O2-gradient media with H2S or thiosulfate (S2O3(2-)) as electron sources and O2 as electron acceptor or anaerobically with S2O3(2-) and N2O as electron acceptor, with bicarbonate (HCO3-)/CO2 as sole C source. Cells grown with H2S contained S-rich inclusions. Cells oxidized S2O3(2-) to sulfate (SO4(2-)). Both strains grew microaerobically with formate. Neither grew microaerobically with tetrathionate (S4O6(2-)), methanol, or Fe2+ as FeS, or siderite (FeCO3). Growth with S2O3(2-) and radiolabeled 14C-HCO3- showed that cell C was derived from HCO3-/CO2. Cell-free extracts showed ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) activity. Southern blot analyses indicated the presence of a form II RubisCO (cbbM) but no form I (cbbL) in both strains. cbbM and cbbQ, a putative post-translational activator of RubisCO, were identified in MV-1. MV-1 and MV-2 are thus chemolithoautotrophs that use the Calvin-Benson-Bassham pathway. cbbM was also identified in Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum. Thus, magnetotactic bacteria at the oxic-anoxic transition zone of chemically stratified aquatic environments are important in C cycling and primary productivity.

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