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Arch Microbiol. 1997 Jan;167(1):38-45.

Physiological characteristics and growth behavior of single and double hydrogenase mutants of Desulfovibrio fructosovorans.

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Biochimie et Ingéniérie des Protéines, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, F-13402 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


The presence of one periplasmic [NiFe] hydrogenase, one periplasmic [Fe] hydrogenase, and one cytoplasmic NADP-reducing hydrogenase has been previously established in Desulfovibrio fructosovorans. In the present work, marker-exchange mutagenesis was performed to determine the function of the tetrameric NADP-reducing hydrogenase encoded by the hndA, B, C, and D genes. The mutations performed were not lethal to the cells, although the H2-dependent NADP reduction was completely abolished. The double-mutated DM4 (DeltahynABC, DeltahndD) strain was still able to grow on hydrogen plus sulfate as the sole energy source. The growth may have occurred under these culture conditions because of the presence of the remaining [Fe] hydrogenase. The cells grew differently on various substrates depending on whether fructose, lactate, or pyruvate was used in the presence of sulfate. The (hnd mutant growth rates were 25-70% lower than those of the wild-type strain, although the molar growth yield remained unchanged. By contrast, mutants devoid of both [NiFe] hydrogenase and NADP-reducing hydrogenase had 24-38% lower growth yields and showed a corresponding drop in the growth rates. We concluded that each of the three hydrogenases may contribute to the energy supply in D. fructosovorans and that the loss of one enzyme might be compensated for by another. However, the loss of two hydrogenases affected the phosphorylation accompanying the metabolism of fructose, lactate, and pyruvate.

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