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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2011 Sep;77(3):623-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01143.x. Epub 2011 Jul 4.

High expression levels of chitinase genes in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) grown in soil.

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Institute of Applied Biochemistry, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

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  • FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2012 Apr;80(1):264.


Although Streptomyces species are major chitin-degraders in soil ecosystems, the expression of the diverse chitinase genes within Streptomyces coelicolor grown in soil has not been assessed. As a first step, the induction pattern of nine chitinase genes in S. coelicolor growing in autoclaved soil was compared with those in liquid cultures. The relative expression levels of nine chitinase genes were measured using real-time reverse transcription PCR. The expression of all chitinase genes was induced by chitin in both autoclaved soil and liquid cultures, but to different levels. The expression levels of five chitinase genes in autoclaved soil were significantly higher than those in the liquid cultures. In particular, a putative chitinase gene, chitinase H, showed the highest induction in autoclaved soil. The same induction pattern was confirmed in nonautoclaved soil, indicating that soil contains some factors affecting the expression of chitinase genes. The chiH gene product, ChiH, cloned in Streptomycetes lividans was secreted and exhibited chitin degradation activity that was stable within a wide range of acidic pHs. The disruption of dasR, a transcriptional regulator for the uptake of N-acetylglucosamine, abolished the expression of chiH, demonstrating that DasR is required for the regulation of ChiH expression.

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