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Multiple antioxidant proteins protect Chlorobaculum tepidum against oxygen and reactive oxygen species

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The genome of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum (Cba.) tepidum, a strictly anaerobic photolithoautotroph, is predicted to encode more than ten genes whose products are potentially involved in protection from reactive oxygen species and an oxidative stress response. The encoded proteins include cytochrome bd quinol oxidase, NADH oxidase, rubredoxin oxygen oxidoreductase, several thiol peroxidases, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase, superoxide dismutase, methionine sulfoxide reductase, and rubrerythrin. To test the physiological functions of some of these proteins, ten genes were insertionally inactivated. Wild-type Cba. tepidum cells were very sensitive to oxygen in the light but were remarkably resistant to oxygen in the dark. When wild-type and mutant cells were subjected to air for various times under dark or light condition, significant decreases in viability were detected in most of the mutants relative to wild type. Treatments with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH) and methyl viologen resulted in more severe effects in most of the mutants than in the wild type. The results demonstrated that these putative antioxidant proteins combine to form an effective defense against oxygen and reactive oxygen species. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction studies showed that the genes with functions in oxidative stress protection were constitutively transcribed under anoxic growth conditions.

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This research was supported by grant DE-FG-2-94ER20137 to D.A.B. from the US Department of Energy. Sequence data for the Cba. tepidum genome and for the other green sulfur bacterial genomes were obtained from the Joint Genome Institute Web site at http://www.jgi.doe.gov/. Sequencing of these genomes was accomplished with support from the US Department of Energy and grant MCB-0523100 from the National Science Foundation to D.A.B.

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Correspondence to Donald A. Bryant.

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Communicated by Jörg Overmann.

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Li, H., Jubelirer, S., Garcia Costas, A.M. et al. Multiple antioxidant proteins protect Chlorobaculum tepidum against oxygen and reactive oxygen species. Arch Microbiol 191, 853 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00203-009-0514-7

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  • Green sulfur bacteria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Chlorobaculum tepidum
  • Photosynthesis