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Regulation of methylotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism in Arthrobacter P1. Growth on mixtures of methylamine and acetate in batch and continuous cultures

Abstract

Incubations of Arthrobacter P1 in batch culture in media with mixtures of acetate and methylamine resulted in sequential utilization of the two carbon substrates, but not in diauxic growth. Irrespective of the way cells were pregrown, acetate was the preferred substrate and subsequent studies showed that this is due to the fact that acetate is a strong inhibitor of the methylamine transport system and amine oxidase in Arthrobacter P1. An analysis of enzyme activities in cell-free extracts showed that synthesis of amine oxidase occurred already in the first growth phase with acetate, whereas rapid synthesis of hexulose phosphate synthase was only observed once methylamine utilization started. It is therefore concluded that in Arthrobacter P1 the synthesis of the enzymes specific for methylamine oxidation is not regulated co-ordinately with those involved in formaldehyde fixation, but induced sequentially by methylamine and formaldehyde, respectively.

During growth of Arthrobacter P1 on the same mixture in carbon- and energy source-limited continuous cultures both substrates were used simultaneously and completely at dilution rates below the μmax on either of these substrates. Addition of methylamine, in concentrations as low as 0.5 mM, to the medium reservoir of an acetate-limited continuous culture (D=0.10 h-1) already resulted in synthesis of both amine oxidase and hexulose phosphate synthase. In the reverse experiment, addition of acetate to the medium reservoir of a methylamine-limited continuous culture (D=0.10 h-1), acetate was initially only used as an energy source. Synthesis of the glyoxylate cycle enzymes, however, did occur at acetate concentration in the feed above 7.5–10 mM. This indicates that at acetate concentrations below 10 mM the metabolism of the C1 substrate methylamine is able to cause a complete repression of the synthesis of the enzymes involved in carbon assimilation from the C2 substrate acetate.

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Abbreviations

HPS:

Hexulose phosphate synthase

MS:

mineral salts

RuMP:

ribulose monophosphate

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Correspondence to L. Dijkhuizen.

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Levering, P.R., Dijkhuizen, L. Regulation of methylotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism in Arthrobacter P1. Growth on mixtures of methylamine and acetate in batch and continuous cultures. Arch. Microbiol. 142, 113–120 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00447053

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Key words

  • Arthrobacter P1
  • Methylamine
  • Acetate
  • Mixed substrates
  • Regulation
  • Methylotrophy
  • RuMP cycle of formaldehyde fixation