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J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Jun;133(6):1601-10.

The effect of catalase on recovery of heat-injured DNA-repair mutants of Escherichia coli.

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AFRC Institute of Food Research, Bristol Laboratory, Langford, UK.


The apparent sensitivity of Escherichia coli K12 to mild heat was increased by recA (def), recB and polA, but not by uvrA, uvrB or recF mutations. However, addition of catalase to the rich plating medium used to assess viability restored counts of heat-injured recA, recB and polA strains to wild-type levels. E. coli p3478 polA was sensitized by heat to a concentration of hydrogen peroxide similar to that measured in autoclaved recovery medium. The apparent heat sensitivity of DNA-repair mutants is thus due to heat-induced sensitivity to the low levels of peroxide present in rich recovery media. It is proposed that DNA damage in heated cells could occur indirectly by an oxidative mechanism. The increased peroxide sensitivity of heat-injured cells was not due to a decrease in total catalase activity but may be related specifically to inactivation of the inducible catalase/peroxidase (HPI).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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