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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 Jun;63(6):2403-10.

Conjugative plasmids and the degradation of arylsulfonates in Comamonas testosteroni.

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  • 1Microbiology Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Comamonas testosteroni T-2 degrades p-toluenesulfonate (TSA) via p-sulfobenzoate (PSB) and protocatechuate and degrades toluenecarboxylate via terephthalate (TER) and protocatechuate. The appropriate genes are expressed in at least five regulatory units, some of which are also found in C. testosteroni PSB-4 (F. Junker, R. Kiewitz, and A. M. Cook, J. Bacteriol. 179:919-927, 1997). C. testosteroni T-2 was found to contain two plasmids, pTSA (85 kbp) and pT2T (50 kbp); a TSA- mutant (strain TER-1) contained only plasmid pT2T. C. testosteroni PSB-4, which does not degrade TSA, contained one plasmid, pPSB (85 kbp). The type strain contained no plasmids. Conjugation experiments showed that plasmid pTSA (possibly in conjunction with pT2T) was conjugative, and the single copy of the TSA operon (tsaMBCD) with its putative regulator gene (tsaR) in strain T-2 was found on plasmid pTSA, which also carried the PSB genes (psbAC) and presumably transport for both substrates. Plasmid pTSA was assigned to the IncP1 beta group and was found to carry two copies of insertion element IS1071. Plasmid pPSB (of strain PSB-4), which could be maintained in strains with plasmid pTSA or pT2T, was also conjugative and was found to carry the PSB genes as well as to contain two copies of IS1071. In attempted conjugations with the type strain, no plasmid was recovered, but the PSB+ transconjugant carried two copies of IS1071 in the chromosome. We presume the PSB genes to be located in a composite transposon. The genes encoding the putative TER operon and degradation of protocatechuate, with the meta cleavage pathway, were attributed a chromosomal location in strains T-2 and PSB-4.

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