Identification and isolation of genes involved in poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) biosynthesis in Azospirillum brasilense and characterization of a phbC mutant

Daniel Kadouri, Saul Burdman, Edouard Jurkevitch, Yaacov Okon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Like many other prokaryotes, rhizobacteria of the genus Azospirillum produce high levels of poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) under suboptimal growth conditions. Utilization of PHB by bacteria under stress has been proposed as a mechanism that favors their compatible establishment in competitive environments, thus showing great potential for the improvement of bacterial inoculants for plants and soils. The three genes that are considered to be essential in the PHB biosynthetic pathway, phbA (β-ketothiolase), phbB (acetoacetyl coenzyme A reductase), and phbC (PHB synthase), were identified in Azospirillum brasilense strain Sp7, cloned, and sequenced. The phbA, -B, and -C genes were found to be linked together and located on the chromosome. An A. brasilense phbC mutant was obtained by insertion of a kanamycin resistance cassette within the phbC gene. No PHB production was detected in this mutant. The capability of the wild-type strain to endure starvation conditions was higher than that of the mutant strain. However, motility, cell aggregation, root adhesion, and exopolysaccharide (EPS) and capsular polysaccharide (CPS) production were higher in the phbC mutant strain than in the wild type.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2943-2949
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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