Project description:While lignin represents a major fraction of the carbon in plant biomass, biological strategies to convert the components of this heterogeneous polymer into products of industrial and biotechnological value are lacking. Syringic acid (3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxybenzoic acid) is a by-product of lignin degradation, appearing in lignocellulosic hydrolysates, deconstructed lignin streams, and other agricultural products. Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009 is a known degrader of phenolic compounds under photoheterotrophic conditions via the benzoyl coenzyme A (CoA) degradation (BAD) pathway. However, R. palustris CGA009 is reported to be unable to metabolize meta-methoxylated phenolics, such as syringic acid. We isolated a strain of R. palustris (strain SA008.1.07), adapted from CGA009, which can grow on syringic acid under photoheterotrophic conditions, utilizing it as a sole source of organic carbon and reducing power. An SA008.1.07 mutant with an inactive benzoyl-CoA reductase structural gene was able to grow on syringic acid, demonstrating that the metabolism of this aromatic compound is not through the BAD pathway. Comparative gene expression analyses of SA008.1.07 implicated the involvement of products of the vanARB operon (rpa3619, rpa3620, rpa3621), which has been described as catalyzing aerobic aromatic ring demethylation in other bacteria, in anaerobic syringic acid degradation. In addition, experiments with a vanARB deletion mutant demonstrated the involvement of the vanARB operon in anaerobic syringic acid degradation. These observations provide new insights into the anaerobic degradation of meta-methoxylated and other aromatics by R. palustris IMPORTANCE Lignin is the most abundant aromatic polymer on Earth and a resource that could eventually substitute for fossil fuels as a source of aromatic compounds for industrial and biotechnological applications. Engineering microorganisms for the production of aromatic-based biochemicals requires detailed knowledge of the metabolic pathways for the degradation of aromatics that are present in lignin. Our isolation and analysis of a Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain capable of syringic acid degradation reveal a previously unknown metabolic route for aromatic degradation in R. palustris This study highlights several key features of this pathway and sets the stage for a more complete understanding of the microbial metabolic repertoire required to metabolize aromatic compounds from lignin and other renewable sources.
Project description:Rhodopseudomonas palustris, a nonsulphur purple photosynthetic bacteria, has been extensively investigated for its metabolic versatility including ability to produce hydrogen gas from sunlight and biomass. The availability of the finished genome sequences of six R. palustris strains (BisA53, BisB18, BisB5, CGA009, HaA2 and TIE-1) combined with online bioinformatics software for integrated analysis presents new opportunities to determine the genomic basis of metabolic versatility and ecological lifestyles of the bacteria species. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the functional annotations available for multiple R. palustris genomes to identify annotations that can be further investigated for strain-specific or uniquely shared phenotypic characteristics. A total of 2,355 protein family Pfam domain annotations were clustered based on presence or absence in the six genomes. The clustering process identified groups of functional annotations including those that could be verified as strain-specific or uniquely shared phenotypes. For example, genes encoding water/glycerol transport were present in the genome sequences of strains CGA009 and BisB5, but absent in strains BisA53, BisB18, HaA2 and TIE-1. Protein structural homology modeling predicted that the two orthologous 240 aa R. palustris aquaporins have water-specific transport function. Based on observations in other microbes, the presence of aquaporin in R. palustris strains may improve freeze tolerance in natural conditions of rapid freezing such as nitrogen fixation at low temperatures where access to liquid water is a limiting factor for nitrogenase activation. In the case of adaptive loss of aquaporin genes, strains may be better adapted to survive in conditions of high-sugar content such as fermentation of biomass for biohydrogen production. Finally, web-based resources were developed to allow for interactive, user-defined selection of the relationship between protein family annotations and the R. palustris genomes.
Project description:To address the question of how photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris metabolize lignin derived compound p-coumarate, transcriptomics and quantitative proteomics were combined to characterize gene expression profiles at both the mRNA level and protein level in Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown with succinate, benzoate, and p-coumarate as the carbon source. Transcriptome profiles among Rhodopseudomonas palustris cells grown with succinate, benzoate, and p-coumarate as the carbon source were compared.
Project description:Arsenic (As) is a well-known toxic metalloid found naturally and released by different industries, especially in developing countries. Purple nonsulfur bacteria (PNSB) are known for wastewater treatment and plant growth promoting abilities. As-resistant PNSB were isolated from a fish pond. Based on As-resistance and plant growth promoting attributes, 2 isolates CS2 and SS5 were selected and identified as Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Rhodopseudomonas faecalis, respectively, through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Maximum As(V) resistance shown by R. faecalis SS5 and R. palustris CS2 was up to 150 and 100?mM, respectively. R. palustris CS2 showed highest As(V) reduction up to 62.9% (6.29 ± 0.24?mM), while R. faecalis SS5 showed maximum As(III) oxidation up to 96% (4.8 ± 0.32?mM), respectively. Highest auxin production was observed by R. palustris CS2 and R. faecalis SS, up to 77.18 ± 3.7 and 76.67 ± 2.8??g?mL-1, respectively. Effects of these PNSB were tested on the growth of Vigna mungo plants. A statistically significant increase in growth was observed in plants inoculated with isolates compared to uninoculated plants, both in presence and in absence of As. R. palustris CS2 treated plants showed 17% (28.1 ± 0.87?cm) increase in shoot length and 21.7% (7.07 ± 0.42?cm) increase in root length, whereas R. faecalis SS5 treated plants showed 12.8% (27.09 ± 0.81?cm) increase in shoot length and 18.8% (6.9 ± 0.34?cm) increase in root length as compared to the control plants. In presence of As, R. palustris CS2 increased shoot length up to 26.3% (21.0 ± 1.1?cm), while root length increased up to 31.3% (5.3 ± 0.4?cm), whereas R. faecalis SS5 inoculated plants showed 25% (20.7 ± 1.4?cm) increase in shoot length and 33.3% (5.4 ± 0.65?cm) increase in root length as compared to the control plants. Bacteria with such diverse abilities could be ideal for plant growth promotion in As-contaminated sites.
Project description:The purple nonsulfur phototrophic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain CGA009 uses the three-carbon dicarboxylic acid malonate as the sole carbon source under phototrophic conditions. However, this bacterium grows extremely slowly on this compound and does not have operons for the two pathways for malonate degradation that have been detected in other bacteria. Many bacteria grow on a spectrum of carbon sources, some of which are classified as poor growth substrates because they support low growth rates. This trait is rarely addressed in the literature, but slow growth is potentially useful in biotechnological applications where it is imperative for bacteria to divert cellular resources to value-added products rather than to growth. This prompted us to explore the genetic and physiological basis for the slow growth of R. palustris with malonate as a carbon source. There are two unlinked genes annotated as encoding a malonyl coenzyme A (malonyl-CoA) synthetase (MatB) and a malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MatA) in the genome of R. palustris, which we verified as having the predicted functions. Additionally, two tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic transporters (TRAP systems) encoded by rpa2047 to rpa2049 and rpa2541 to rpa2543 were needed for optimal growth on malonate. Most of these genes were expressed constitutively during growth on several carbon sources, including malonate. Our data indicate that R. palustris uses a piecemeal approach to growing on malonate. The data also raise the possibility that this bacterium will evolve to use malonate efficiently if confronted with an appropriate selection pressure.IMPORTANCE There is interest in understanding how bacteria metabolize malonate because this three-carbon dicarboxylic acid can serve as a building block in bioengineering applications to generate useful compounds that have an odd number of carbons. We found that the phototrophic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris grows extremely slowly on malonate. We identified two enzymes and two TRAP transporters involved in the uptake and metabolism of malonate, but some of these elements are apparently not very efficient. R. palustris cells growing with malonate have the potential to be excellent biocatalysts, because cells would be able to divert cellular resources to the production of value-added compounds instead of using them to support rapid growth. In addition, our results suggest that R. palustris is a candidate for directed evolution studies to improve growth on malonate and to observe the kinds of genetic adaptations that occur to make a metabolic pathway operate more efficiently.
Project description:Rhodopseudomonas palustris is an alphaproteobacterium that has served as a model organism for studies of photophosphorylation, regulation of nitrogen fixation, production of hydrogen as a biofuel, and anaerobic degradation of aromatic compounds. This bacterium is able to transition between anaerobic photoautotrophic growth, anaerobic photoheterotrophic growth, and aerobic heterotrophic growth. As a starting point to explore the genetic basis for the metabolic versatility of R. palustris, we used transposon mutagenesis and Tn-seq to identify 552 genes as essential for viability in cells growing aerobically on semirich medium. Of these, 323 have essential gene homologs in the alphaproteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus, and 187 have essential gene homologs in Escherichia coli. There were 24 R. palustris genes that were essential for viability under aerobic growth conditions that have low sequence identity but are likely to be functionally homologous to essential E. coli genes. As expected, certain functional categories of essential genes were highly conserved among the three organisms, including translation, ribosome structure and biogenesis, secretion, and lipid metabolism. R. palustris cells divide by budding in which a sessile cell gives rise to a motile swarmer cell. Conserved cell cycle genes required for this developmental process were essential in both C. crescentus and R. palustris. Our results suggest that despite vast differences in lifestyles, members of the alphaproteobacteria have a common set of essential genes that is specific to this group and distinct from that of gammaproteobacteria like E. coli.Essential genes in bacteria and other organisms are those absolutely required for viability. Rhodopseudomonas palustris has served as a model organism for studies of anaerobic aromatic compound degradation, hydrogen gas production, nitrogen fixation, and photosynthesis. We used the technique of Tn-seq to determine the essential genes of R. palustris grown under heterotrophic aerobic conditions. The transposon library generated in this study will be useful for future studies to identify R. palustris genes essential for viability under specialized growth conditions and also for survival under conditions of stress.
Project description:Rhodopseudomonas palustris strain 42OL was isolated in 1973 from a sugar refinery waste treatment pond. The strain has been prevalently used for hydrogen production processes using a wide variety of waste-derived substrates, and cultured both indoors and outdoors, either freely suspended or immobilized. R. palustris 42OL was suitable for many other applications and capable of growing in very different culturing conditions, revealing a wide metabolic versatility. The analysis of the genome sequence allowed to identify the metabolic pathways for hydrogen and poly-?-hydroxy-butyrate production, and confirmed the ability of using a wide range of organic acids as substrates.
Project description:Acrylamide, a neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen, is produced by industrial processes and during the heating of foods. In this study, the microbial diversity of acrylamide metabolism has been expanded through the isolation and characterization of a new strain of Rhodopseudomonas palustris capable of growth with acrylamide under photoheterotrophic conditions. The newly isolated strain grew rapidly with acrylamide under photoheterotrophic conditions (doubling time of 10 to 12 h) but poorly under anaerobic dark or aerobic conditions. Acrylamide was rapidly deamidated to acrylate by strain Ac1, and the subsequent degradation of acrylate was the rate-limiting reaction in cell growth. Acrylamide metabolism by succinate-grown cultures occurred only after a lag period, and the induction of acrylamide-degrading activity was prevented by the presence of protein or RNA synthesis inhibitors. 13C nuclear magnetic resonance studies of [1,2,3-13C]acrylamide metabolism by actively growing cultures confirmed the rapid conversion of acrylamide to acrylate but failed to detect any subsequent intermediates of acrylate degradation. Using concentrated cell suspensions containing natural abundance succinate as an additional carbon source, [13C]acrylate consumption occurred with the production and then degradation of [13C]propionate. Although R. palustris strain Ac1 grew well and with comparable doubling times for each of acrylamide, acrylate, and propionate, R. palustris strain CGA009 was incapable of significant acrylamide- or acrylate-dependent growth over the same time course, but grew comparably with propionate. These results provide the first demonstration of anaerobic photoheterotrophic bacterial acrylamide catabolism and provide evidence for a new pathway for acrylate catabolism involving propionate as an intermediate.
Project description:Microbial mutualistic cross-feeding interactions are ubiquitous and can drive important community functions. Engaging in cross-feeding undoubtedly affects the physiology and metabolism of individual species involved. However, the nature in which an individual species' physiology is influenced by cross-feeding and the importance of those physiological changes for the mutualism have received little attention. We previously developed a genetically tractable coculture to study bacterial mutualisms. The coculture consists of fermentative Escherichia coli and phototrophic Rhodopseudomonas palustris In this coculture, E. coli anaerobically ferments sugars into excreted organic acids as a carbon source for R. palustris In return, a genetically engineered R. palustris strain constitutively converts N2 into NH4+, providing E. coli with essential nitrogen. Using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) and proteomics, we identified transcript and protein levels that differ in each partner when grown in coculture versus monoculture. When in coculture with R. palustris, E. coli gene expression changes resembled a nitrogen starvation response under the control of the transcriptional regulator NtrC. By genetically disrupting E. coli NtrC, we determined that a nitrogen starvation response is important for a stable coexistence, especially at low R. palustris NH4+ excretion levels. Destabilization of the nitrogen starvation regulatory network resulted in variable growth trends and, in some cases, extinction. Our results highlight that alternative physiological states can be important for survival within cooperative cross-feeding relationships.IMPORTANCE Mutualistic cross-feeding between microbes within multispecies communities is widespread. Studying how mutualistic interactions influence the physiology of each species involved is important for understanding how mutualisms function and persist in both natural and applied settings. Using a bacterial mutualism consisting of Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Escherichia coli growing cooperatively through bidirectional nutrient exchange, we determined that an E. coli nitrogen starvation response is important for maintaining a stable coexistence. The lack of an E. coli nitrogen starvation response ultimately destabilized the mutualism and, in some cases, led to community collapse after serial transfers. Our findings thus inform on the potential necessity of an alternative physiological state for mutualistic coexistence with another species compared to the physiology of species grown in isolation.
Project description:The pckA gene, encoding the gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), was cloned by PCR amplification from the purple nonsulfur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris No. 7. Sequencing of a 2.5-kb chromosomal SmaI-PstI fragment containing the structural gene revealed an open reading frame encoding 537 amino acids, homologous to known pckA genes. Primer extension analysis identified a transcriptional start site 72 bp upstream of the pckA initiation codon and an upstream sequence similar to sigma70 promoters. Studies of a pckA-lacZ gene fusion indicated that when cells were grown in minimal media with various carbon sources, such as succinate, malate, pyruvate, lactate, or ethanol, under both anaerobic light and aerobic dark conditions, the pckA gene was induced in log phase, irrespective of the carbon source. A R. palustris No. 7 PEPCK-deficient strain showed growth characteristics identical to those of the wild-type strain either anaerobically in the light or aerobically in the dark when a C4-dicarboxylic acid, such as succinate or malate, was used as a carbon source. These results indicate that in R. palustris No. 7, an alternative gluconeogenic pathway may exist in addition to PEPCK.