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Mol Microbiol. 2014 Oct;94(1):107-25. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12746. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Chlorate reduction in Shewanella algae ACDC is a recently acquired metabolism characterized by gene loss, suboptimal regulation and oxidative stress.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.


Previous work on respiratory chlorate reduction has biochemically identified the terminal reductase ClrABC and the chlorite detoxifying enzyme Cld. In Shewanella algae ACDC, genes encoding these enzymes reside on composite transposons whose core we refer to as the chlorate reduction composite transposon interior (CRI). To better understand this metabolism in ACDC, we used RNA-seq and proteomics to predict carbon and electron flow during chlorate reduction and posit that formate is an important electron carrier with lactate as the electron donor, but that NADH predominates on acetate. Chlorate-specific transcription of electron transport chain components or the CRI was not observed, but clr and cld transcription was attenuated by oxygen. The major chlorate-specific response related to oxidative stress and was indicative of reactive chlorine species production. A genetic system based on rpsL-streptomycin counter selection was developed to further dissect the metabolism, but ACDC readily lost the CRI via homologous recombination of the composite transposon's flanking insertion sequences. An engineered strain containing a single chromosomal CRI did not grow on chlorate, but overexpression of cld and its neighbouring cytochrome c restored growth. We postulate that the recently acquired CRI underwent copy-number expansion to circumvent insufficient expression of key genes in the pathway.

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