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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;16(3-4):187-97. doi: 10.1159/000142531. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Transcription of genes coding for metabolic key functions in Nitrosomonas europaea during aerobic and anaerobic growth.

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Lehrstuhl fur Mikrobiologie, Universitat Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany.


Nitrosomonas europaea can grow under conditions of chemolithoautotrophic aerobic (oxygen as oxidant) as well as anaerobic [nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) as oxidant] nitrification or chemoorganotrophic anaerobic pyruvate-dependent denitrification. In this study, the adaptation of the transcription (mRNA synthesis/concentration) of N. europaea to aerobic and anaerobic growth conditions was evaluated and the transcription of genes coding for metabolic key functions was analyzed: nitrogen and energy metabolism (amoA, hao, rh1, nirK, norB, nsc, aceE, ldhA, ppc, gltA, odhA, coxA), carbon dioxide fixation (cbbL), gluconeogenesis (ppsA), cell growth (ftsZ), and oxidative stress (sodB). During aerobic ammonia oxidation the specific activities of ammonia oxidation, nitrite reduction, and the growth rates correlated with the transcription level of the corresponding genes amoA/hao, nirK/norB/nsc, and cbbL/ftsZ. In anaerobically ammonia-oxidizing cells of N. europaea, the cellular mRNA concentrations of amoA, hao, rh1,coxA, cbbL, ftsZ, and sodB were reduced compared with aerobically nitrifying cells, but the mRNA levels of nirK, norB, and nsc were significantly increased. During anaerobic pyruvate-dependent denitrification, the mRNA abundance of nirK, norB, nsc, aceE, gltA, and odhA was increased, while the concentrations of amoA,hao, rh1, coxAcbbL, ftsZ, and sodB were significantly reduced. Temperature, pH value, and NH(4)(+), O(2), NO, and NO(2) concentrations had comparatively small effects on the transcription of the studied genes.

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