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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Dec 1;157(1):1-7.

Adaptation of Bacillus subtilis to oxygen limitation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130-3932, USA.


Bacillus subtilis grows anaerobically by at least two different pathways, respiration using nitrate as an electron acceptor and fermentation in the absence of electron acceptors. Regulatory mechanisms have evolved allowing cells to shift to these metabolic capabilities in response to changes in oxygen availability. These include transcriptional activation of fnr upon oxygen limitation, a process requiring the ResD-ResE two-component signal transduction system that also regulates aerobic respiration. FNR then activates transcription of other anaerobically induced genes including the narGHJI operon which encodes a respiratory nitrate reductase. Genes involved in fermentative growth are controlled by an unidentified FNR-independent regulatory pathway.

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