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Environ Microbiol. 2017 Jul;19(7):2645-2660. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13746. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Fixation of CO2 using the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway in the photoheterotrophic marine bacterium Dinoroseobacter shibae.

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Institute for Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Rebenring 56, Braunschweig, D-38106, Germany.
Department of Microbial Communication, Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstrasse 7, Braunschweig, D-38124, Germany.


The ability of aerobic anoxygenic photoheterotrophs (AAPs) to gain additional energy from sunlight represents a competitive advantage, especially in conditions where light has easy access or under environmental conditions may change quickly, such as those in the world´s oceans. However, the knowledge about the metabolic consequences of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis is very limited. Combining transcriptome and metabolome analyses, isotopic labelling techniques, measurements of growth, oxygen uptake rates, flow cytometry, and a number of other biochemical analytical techniques we obtained a comprehensive overview on the complex adaption of the marine bacterium Dinoroseobacter shibae DFL12T during transition from heterotrophy to photoheterotrophy (growth on succinate). Growth in light was characterized by reduced respiration, a decreased metabolic flux through the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and the assimilation of CO2 via an enhanced flux through the ethylmalonyl-CoA (EMC) pathway, which was shown to be connected to the serine metabolism. Adaptation to photoheterotrophy is mainly characterized by metabolic reactions caused by a surplus of reducing potential and might depend on genes located in one operon, encoding branching point enzymes of the EMC pathway, serine metabolism and the TCA cycle.

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