Involvement of the cbb(3)-Type Terminal Oxidase in Growth Competition of Bacteria, Biofilm Formation, and in Switching between Denitrification and Aerobic Respiration

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Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Microorganisms
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords respiratory chain; terminal oxidases; denitrification; branched electron flow; biofilm
Description Paracoccus denitrificans has a branched electron transport chain with three terminal oxidases transferring electrons to molecular oxygen, namely aa(3)-type and cbb(3)-type cytochrome c oxidases and ba(3)-type ubiquinol oxidase. In the present study, we focused on strains expressing only one of these enzymes. The competition experiments showed that possession of cbb(3)-type oxidase confers significant fitness advantage during oxygen-limited growth and supports the biofilm lifestyle. The aa(3)-type oxidase was shown to allow rapid aerobic growth at a high oxygen supply. Activity of the denitrification pathway that had been expressed in cells grown anaerobically with nitrate was fully inhibitable by oxygen only in wild-type and cbb(3) strains, while in strains aa(3) and ba(3) dinitrogen production from nitrate and oxygen consumption occurred simultaneously. Together, the results highlight the importance of the cbb(3)-type oxidase for the denitrification phenotype and suggest a way of obtaining novel bacterial strains capable of aerobic denitrification.
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