, Volume 183, Issue 3, pp 203-208
Date: 17 Feb 2005

Sensitivity of dark mutants of various strains of luminescent bacteria to reactive oxygen species

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Abstract

Recent studies indicated that bioluminescence of the marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi may both stimulate DNA repair and contribute to detoxification of deleterious oxygen derivatives. Therefore, it was also proposed that these reactions can be considered biological roles of bacterial luminescence and might act as evolutionary drives in development of luminous systems. However, experimental evidence for the physiological role of luciferase in protection of cells against oxidative stress has been demonstrated only in one bacterial species, raising the question whether this is a specific or a more general phenomenon. Here we demonstrate that in the presence of various oxidants (hydrogen peroxide, cumene hydroperoxide, t-butyl hydroperoxide and ferrous ions) growth of dark mutants of different strains of Vibrio fischeri and Photobacterium leiognathi is impaired relative to wild-type bacteria, though to various extents. Deleterious effects of oxidants on the mutants could be reduced (with different efficiency) by addition of antioxidants, A-TEMPO or 4OH-TEMPO. These results support the hypotheses that (1) activities of bacterial luciferases may detoxify deleterious oxygen derivatives, and (2) significantly different efficiencies of this reaction are characteristic for various luciferases.