The htx and ptx operons of Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88 are new members of the pho regulon.
ABSTRACT: The htx and ptx operons of Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88 allow for the use of the inorganic reduced phosphorus (P) compounds hypophosphite (P valence, +1) and phosphite (P valence, +3) as sole P sources. To support the proposed in vivo role for the htx and ptx operons, namely the use of phosphite and hypophosphite as alternative P sources, we used reporter gene fusions to examine their expression levels with respect to various P conditions. Expression of the htx and ptx operons was induced up to 17- and 22-fold, respectively, in cultures grown under phosphate starvation conditions relative to expression in medium with excess phosphate (Pi). However, the presence of the reduced P substrate hypophosphite, phosphite, or methylphosphonate, in addition to excess Pi, did not result in an increase in the expression of either operon. To provide further support for a role of the htx and ptx operons in Pi acquisition, we identified P. stutzeri phoBR homologs and constructed deletion mutants. Induction of the htx and ptx reporter gene fusions in response to growth on limiting Pi was abolished in DeltaphoB, DeltaphoR, and DeltaphoBR mutants, demonstrating that htx and ptx expression is phoBR dependent. The putative LysR-type regulator encoded by ptxE has no apparent role in the expression of the htx and ptx operons, as no effect was observed on the level of induction of either operon in a DeltaptxE mutant.
Project description:The first molecular and genetic characterization of a biochemical pathway for oxidation of the reduced phosphorus (P) compounds phosphite and hypophosphite is reported. The pathway was identified in Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88, which was chosen for detailed studies from a group of organisms isolated based on their ability to oxidize hypophosphite (+1 valence) and phosphite (+3 valence) to phosphate (+5 valence). The genes required for oxidation of both compounds by P. stutzeri WM88 were cloned on a single ca. 30-kbp DNA fragment by screening for expression in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Two lines of evidence suggest that hypophosphite is oxidized to phosphate via a phosphite intermediate. First, plasmid subclones that conferred oxidation of phosphite, but not hypophosphite, upon heterologous hosts were readily obtained. All plasmid subclones that failed to confer phosphite oxidation also failed to confer hypophosphite oxidation. No subclones that conferred only hypophosphite expression were obtained. Second, various deletion derivatives of the cloned genes were made in vitro and recombined onto the chromosome of P. stutzeri WM88. Two phenotypes were displayed by individual mutants. Mutants with the region encoding phosphite oxidation deleted (based upon the subcloning results) lost the ability to oxidize either phosphite or hypophosphite. Mutants with the region encoding hypophosphite oxidation deleted lost only the ability to oxidize hypophosphite. The phenotypes displayed by these mutants also demonstrate that the cloned genes are responsible for the P oxidation phenotypes displayed by the original P. stutzeri WM88 isolate. The DNA sequences of the minimal regions implicated in oxidation of each compound were determined. The region required for oxidation of phosphite to phosphate putatively encodes a binding-protein-dependent phosphite transporter, an NAD+-dependent phosphite dehydrogenase, and a transcriptional activator of the lysR family. The region required for oxidation of hypophosphite to phosphite putatively encodes a binding-protein-dependent hypophosphite transporter and an alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent hypophosphite dioxygenase. The finding of genes dedicated to oxidation of reduced P compounds provides further evidence that a redox cycle for P may be important in the metabolism of this essential, and often growth-limiting, nutrient.
Project description:DNA sequencing and analysis of two distinct C-P lyase operons in Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88 were completed. The htxABCDEFGHIJKLMN operon encodes a hypophosphite-2-oxoglutarate dioxygenase (HtxA), whereas the predicted amino acid sequences of HtxB to HtxN are each homologous to the components of the Escherichia coli phn operon, which encodes C-P lyase, although homologs of E. coli phnF and phnO are absent. The genes in the htx operon are cotranscribed based on gene organization, and the presence of the intergenic sequences is verified by reverse transcription-PCR with total RNA. Deletion of the htx locus does not affect the ability of P. stutzeri to grow on phosphonates, indicating the presence of an additional C-P lyase pathway in this organism. To identify the genes comprising this pathway, a Deltahtx strain was mutagenized and one mutant lacking the ability to grow on methylphosphonate as the sole P source was isolated. A ca.-10.6-kbp region surrounding the transposon insertion site of this mutant was sequenced, revealing 13 open reading frames, designated phnCDEFGHIJKLMNP, which were homologous to the E. coli phn genes. Deletion of both the htx and phn operons of P. stutzeri abolishes all growth on methylphosphonate and aminoethylphosphonate. Both operons individually support growth on methylphosphonate; however, the phn operon supports growth on aminoethylphosphonate and phosphite, as well. The substrate ranges of both C-P lyases are limited, as growth on other phosphonate compounds, including glyphosate and phenylphosphonate, was not observed.
Project description:Enrichment was performed to isolate organisms that could utilize reduced phosphorus compounds as their sole phosphorus sources. One isolate that grew well with either hypophosphite or phosphite was identified by 16S rRNA gene analysis as a strain of Alcaligenes faecalis. The genes required for oxidation of hypophosphite and phosphite by this organism were identified by using transposon mutagenesis and include homologs of the ptxD and htxA genes of Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88, which encode an NAD-dependent phosphite dehydrogenase (PtxD) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent hypophosphite dioxygenase (HtxA). This organism also has the htxB, htxC, and htxD genes that comprise an ABC-type transporter, presumably for hypophosphite and phosphite transport. The role of these genes in reduced phosphorus metabolism was confirmed by analyzing the growth of mutants in which these genes were deleted. Sequencing data showed that htxA, htxB, htxC, and htxD are virtually identical to their homologs in P. stutzeri at the DNA level, indicating that horizontal gene transfer occurred. However, A. faecalis ptxD is very different from its P. stutzeri homolog and represents a new ptxD lineage. Therefore, this gene has ancient evolutionary roots in bacteria. These data suggest that there is strong evolutionary selection for the ability of microorganisms to oxidize hypophosphite and phosphite.
Project description:There is a growing demand to develop biocontainment strategies that prevent unintended proliferation of genetically modified organisms in the open environment. We found that the hypophosphite (H3PO2, HPt) transporter HtxBCDE from Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88 was also capable of transporting phosphite (H3PO3, Pt) but not phosphate (H3PO4, Pi), suggesting the potential for engineering a Pt/HPt-dependent bacterial strain as a biocontainment strategy. We disrupted all Pi and organic Pi transporters in an Escherichia coli strain expressing HtxABCDE and a Pt dehydrogenase, leaving Pt/HPt uptake and oxidation as the only means to obtain Pi. Challenge on non-permissive growth medium revealed that no escape mutants appeared for at least 21 days with a detection limit of 1.94 × 10-13 per colony forming unit. This represents, to the best of our knowledge, the lowest escape frequency among reported strategies. Since Pt/HPt are ecologically rare and not available in amounts sufficient for the growth of the Pt/HPt-dependent bacteria, this strategy offers a reliable and practical method for biocontainment.
Project description:Phosphorus acquisition is critical for life. In low phosphate conditions, some species of bacteria have evolved mechanisms to import reduced phosphorus compounds, such as phosphite and hypophosphite, as alternative phosphorus sources. Uptake is facilitated by high-affinity periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) that bind cargo in the periplasm and shuttle it to an ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-transporter in the bacterial inner membrane. PtxB and HtxB are the PBPs responsible for binding phosphite and hypophosphite, respectively. They recognize the P-H bond of phosphite/hypophosphite via a conserved P-H...? interaction, which confers nanomolar dissociation constants for their respective ligands. PtxB also has a low-level binding affinity for phosphate and hypophosphite, whilst HtxB can facilitate phosphite uptake in vivo. However, HtxB does not bind phosphate, thus the HtxBCDE transporter has recently been successfully exploited for biocontainment of genetically modified organisms by phosphite-dependent growth. Here we use a combination of X-ray crystallography, NMR and Microscale Thermophoresis to show that phosphite binding to HtxB depends on the protonation state of the ligand, suggesting that pH may effect the efficiency of phosphite uptake by HtxB in biotechnology applications.
Project description:Inorganic phosphate is the major bioavailable form of the essential nutrient phosphorus. However, the concentration of phosphate in most natural habitats is low enough to limit microbial growth. Under phosphate-depleted conditions some bacteria utilise phosphite and hypophosphite as alternative sources of phosphorus, but the molecular basis of reduced phosphorus acquisition from the environment is not fully understood. Here, we present crystal structures and ligand binding affinities of periplasmic binding proteins from bacterial phosphite and hypophosphite ATP-binding cassette transporters. We reveal that phosphite and hypophosphite specificity results from a combination of steric selection and the presence of a P-H…? interaction between the ligand and a conserved aromatic residue in the ligand-binding pocket. The characterisation of high affinity and specific transporters has implications for the marine phosphorus redox cycle, and might aid the use of phosphite as an alternative phosphorus source in biotechnological, industrial and agricultural applications.
Project description:Bacteria that inhabit the rhizosphere of agricultural crops can have a beneficial effect on crop growth. One such mechanism is the microbial-driven solubilization and remineralization of complex forms of phosphorus (P). It is known that bacteria secrete various phosphatases in response to low P conditions. However, our understanding of their global proteomic response to P stress is limited. Here, exoproteomic analysis of Pseudomonas putida BIRD-1 (BIRD-1), Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and Pseudomonas stutzeri DSM4166 was performed in unison with whole-cell proteomic analysis of BIRD-1 grown under phosphate (Pi) replete and Pi deplete conditions. Comparative exoproteomics revealed marked heterogeneity in the exoproteomes of each Pseudomonas strain in response to Pi depletion. In addition to well-characterized members of the PHO regulon such as alkaline phosphatases, several proteins, previously not associated with the response to Pi depletion, were also identified. These included putative nucleases, phosphotriesterases, putative phosphonate transporters and outer membrane proteins. Moreover, in BIRD-1, mutagenesis of the master regulator, phoBR, led us to confirm the addition of several novel PHO-dependent proteins. Our data expands knowledge of the Pseudomonas PHO regulon, including species that are frequently used as bioinoculants, opening up the potential for more efficient and complete use of soil complexed P.
Project description:Previously, the expression of arsenite [As(III)] oxidase genes aioBA was reported to be regulated by a three-component regulatory system, AioXSR, in a number of As(III)-oxidizing bacterial strains. However, the regulation mechanism is still unknown when aioXSR genes are absent in some As(III)-oxidizing bacterial genomes, such as in Halomonas sp. HAL1. In this study, transposon mutagenesis and gene knock-out mutation were performed, and two mutants, HAL1-phoR 931 and HAL1-?phoB, were obtained in strain HAL1. The phoR and phoB constitute a two-component system which is responsible for phosphate (Pi) acquisition and assimilation. Both of the mutants showed negative As(III)-oxidation phenotypes in low Pi condition (0.1 mM) but not under normal Pi condition (1 mM). The phoBR complementation strain HAL1-?phoB-C reversed the mutants' null phenotypes back to wild type status. Meanwhile, lacZ reporter fusions using pCM-lacZ showed that the expression of phoBR and aioBA were both induced by As(III) but were not induced in HAL1-phoR 931 and HAL1-?phoB. Using 15 consensus Pho box sequences, a putative Pho box was found in the aioBA regulation region. PhoB was able to bind to the putative Pho box in vivo (bacterial one-hybrid detection) and in vitro (electrophoretic mobility gel shift assay), and an 18-bp binding sequence containing nine conserved bases were determined. This study provided the evidence that PhoBR regulates the expression of aioBA in Halomonas sp. HAL1 under low Pi condition. The new regulation model further implies the close metabolic connection between As and Pi.
Project description:Fertilizers and herbicides are two vital components of modern agriculture. The imminent danger of phosphate reserve depletion and multiple herbicide tolerance casts doubt on agricultural sustainability in the future. Phosphite, a reduced form of phosphorus, has been proposed as an alternative fertilizer and herbicide that would address the above problems to a considerable extent. To assess the suitability of a phosphite-based fertilization and weed control system for rice, we engineered rice plants with a codon-optimized ptxD gene from Pseudomonas stutzeri. Ectopic expression of this gene led to improved root growth, physiology and overall phenotype in addition to normal yield in transgenic plants in the presence of phosphite. Phosphite functioned as a translocative, non-selective, pre- and post-emergent herbicide. Phosphite use as a dual fertilizer and herbicide may mitigate the overuse of phosphorus fertilizers and reduce eutrophication and the development of herbicide resistance, which in turn will improve the sustainability of agriculture.
Project description:Strain SCT is an iodate-reducing bacterium isolated from marine sediment in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. In this study, we determined the draft genome sequence of strain SCT and compared it to complete genome sequences of other closely related bacteria, including Pseudomonas stutzeri A phylogeny inferred from concatenation of core genes revealed that strain SCT was closely related to marine isolates of P. stutzeri Genes present in the SCT genome but absent from the other analyzed P. stutzeri genomes comprised clusters corresponding to putative prophage regions and possible operons. They included pil genes, which encode type IV pili for natural transformation; the mer operon, which encodes resistance systems for mercury; and the pst operon, which encodes a Pi-specific transport system for phosphate uptake. We found that strain SCT had more prophage-like genes than the other P. stutzeri strains and that the majority (70%) of them were SCT strain-specific. These genes, encoded on distinct prophage regions, may have been acquired after branching from a common ancestor following independent phage transfer events. Thus, the genome sequence of Pseudomonas sp. strain SCT can provide detailed insights into its metabolic potential and the evolution of genetic elements associated with its unique phenotype.