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Effect of the deletion of qmoABC and the promoter distal gene encoding a hypothetical protein on sulfate-reduction in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough

  • Author(s): Zane, Grant M.
  • et al.
Abstract

The pathway of electrons required for the reduction of sulfate in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is not yet fully characterized. In order to determine the role of a transmembrane protein complex suggested to be involved in this process, a deletion of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough was created by marker exchange mutagenesis that eliminated four genes putatively encoding the QmoABC complex and a hypothetical protein (DVU0851). The Qmo complex (quinone-interacting membrane-bound oxidoreductase) is proposed to be responsible for transporting electrons to the dissimilatory adenosine-5?phosphosulfate (APS) reductase in SRB. In support of the predicted role of this complex, the deletion mutant was unable to grow using sulfate as its sole electron acceptor with a range of electron donors. To explore a possible role for the hypothetical protein in sulfate reduction, a second mutant was constructed that had lost only the gene that codes for DVU0851. The second constructed mutant grew with sulfate as the sole electron acceptor; however, there was a lag that was not present with the wild-type or complemented strain. Neither deletion strain was significantly impaired for growth with sulfite or thiosulfate as terminal electron acceptor. Complementation of the D(qmoABC-DVU0851) mutant with all four genes or only the qmoABC genes restored its ability to grow by sulfate respiration. These results confirmed the prediction that the Qmo complex is in the electron pathway for sulfate-reduction and revealed that no other transmembrane complex could compensate when Qmo was lacking.

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