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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Dec;72(12):7933-40. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

Involvement of pyruvate oxidase activity and acetate production in the survival of Lactobacillus plantarum during the stationary phase of aerobic growth.

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Unité de Génétique, Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 5, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


In addition to the previously characterized pyruvate oxidase PoxB, the Lactobacillus plantarum genome encodes four predicted pyruvate oxidases (PoxC, PoxD, PoxE, and PoxF). Each pyruvate oxidase gene was individually inactivated, and only the knockout of poxF resulted in a decrease in pyruvate oxidase activity under the tested conditions. We show here that L. plantarum has two major pyruvate oxidases: PoxB and PoxF. Both are involved in lactate-to-acetate conversion in the early stationary phase of aerobic growth and are regulated by carbon catabolite repression. A strain devoid of pyruvate oxidase activity was constructed by knocking out the poxB and poxF genes. In this mutant, acetate production was strongly affected, with lactate remaining the major end product of either glucose or maltose fermentation. Notably, survival during the stationary phase appeared to be dramatically improved in the poxB poxF double mutant.

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