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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 Jan 1;242(1):87-94.

Characterization of bdhA, encoding the enzyme D-3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, from Sinorhizobium sp. strain NGR234.

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Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que., Canada H9X 3V9.


A genomic library of Sinorhizobium sp. strain NGR234 was introduced into Escherichia coli LS5218, a strain with a constitutively active pathway for acetoacetate degradation, and clones that confer the ability to utilize D-3-hydroxybutyrate as a sole carbon source were isolated. Subcloning experiments identified a 2.3 kb EcoRI fragment that retained complementing ability, and an ORF that appeared orthologous with known bdhA genes was located within this fragment. The deduced NGR234 BdhA amino acid sequence revealed 91% identity to the Sinorhizobium meliloti BdhA. Site-directed insertion mutagenesis was performed by introduction of a OmegaSmSp cassette at a unique EcoRV site within the bdhA coding region. A NGR234 bdhA mutant, NGRPA2, was generated by homogenotization, utilizing the sacB gene-based lethal selection procedure. This mutant was devoid of D-3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase activity, and was unable to grow on D-3-hydroxybutyrate as sole carbon source. NGRPA2 exhibited symbiotic defects on Leucaena but not on Vigna, Macroptilium or Tephrosia host plants. Furthermore, the D-3-hydroxybutyrate utilization phenotype of NGRPA2 was suppressed by presence of plasmid-encoded multiple copies of the S. meliloti acsA2 gene. The glpK-bdhA-xdhA gene organization and the bdhA-xdhA operon arrangement observed in S. meliloti are also conserved in NGR234.

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