Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 3–9 | Cite as

Gluconate catabolism in cowpea rhizobia: evidence for a ketogluconate pathway

  • Mark D. Stowers
  • Gerald H. Elkan
Original Papers


Enzymatic and radiorespirometric analysis of several strains of cowpea rhizobia revealed the presence of key enzymes of the Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway with the operation of the hexose cycle for the dissimilation of gluconate. These bacteria lack the oxidative pentose phosphate (PP) pathway when grown on gluconate. Gluconate-grown cells possessed an operational tricarboxylic acid (TAC) cycle. Enzymes of an ancillary pathway, the ketogluconate (KG) pathway for gluconate catabolism were detected. The presence of this pathway was confirmed by techniques of thin-layer chromatography and radiorespirometry.

Key words

Rhizobium-Rhizobium sp. 32H1-cowpea rhizobia Gluconate catabolism Ketogluconate pathway 



Entner Doudoroff


pentose phosphate






tricarboxylic acid






Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Datta AG, Katznelson H (1957) Oxidation of 2,5-diketogluconate by a cell-free enzyme preparation from Acetobacter melanogeum. Nature (Lond) 179:153–154Google Scholar
  2. Duncan MJ, Fraenkel DG (1979) α-Ketoglutarate dehydrogenase mutant of Rhizobium meliloti. J Bacteriol 137:415–419Google Scholar
  3. Eagon RG, Wang CH (1962) Dissimilation of glucose and gluconic acid by Pseudomonas hatrigens. J Bacteriol 83:879–886Google Scholar
  4. Eisenberg RC, Dobrogosz WJ (1967) Gluconate metabolism in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol 93:941–949Google Scholar
  5. Goddard JL, Sokatch JR (1964) 2-Ketogluconate fermentation by Streptococcus faecalis. J Bacteriol 87:884–851Google Scholar
  6. Gossele F, Swings J, De Ley J (1980) A rapid, simple and simultaneous detection of 2-keto, 5-keto- and 2,5-diketogluconic acids by thin-layer chromatography in culture media of acetic acid bacteria. Zentbl Bakt Hyg, I. Abt. Orig. C-1:178–181Google Scholar
  7. Hollis AB, Kloos WE, Elkan GH (1981) DNA:DNA hybridization studies of Rhizobium japonicum and related Rhizobiaceae. J Gen Microbiol 123:215–222Google Scholar
  8. Hollman S (1964) Transformation of the primary reaction products of glucose. In: Hollman S (ed) Nonglycolytic pathways of metabolism of glucose. Academic Press, In. New York, pp 17–21Google Scholar
  9. Jensen HL (1942) Nitrogen fixation in leguminous plants. I. General characteristics of root nodule bacteria isolated from species of Medicago and Trifolium in Australia. Proc Linn Soc NSW 66:98–108Google Scholar
  10. Jordan DC (1962) The bacteroids of the genus Rhizobium. Bacteriol Rev 26:119–141Google Scholar
  11. Katznelson H (1955) Production of pyruvate from 6-phosphogluconate by bacterial plant pathogens and legume bacteria. Nature (Lond) 175:551–552Google Scholar
  12. Katznelson H, Zagallo A (1957) Metabolism of rhizobia in relation to effectiveness. Can J Microbiol 3:879–884Google Scholar
  13. Katznelson HD, Tannebaum SW, Tatum EL (1953) Glucose, gluconate, and 2-ketogluconate oxidation by Acetobacter melanogeum. J Biol Chem 204:43–59Google Scholar
  14. Keele BB, Hamilton PB, Elkan GH (1969) Glucose catabolism in Rhizobium japonicum. J Bacteriol 97:1184–1191Google Scholar
  15. Keele BB, Hamilton PB, Elkan GH (1970) Gluconate catabolism in Rhizobium japonicum. J Bacteriol 101:698–704Google Scholar
  16. Kurz WGW, La Rue TA (1977) Citric acid cycle enzymes and nitrogenase in nodules of Pisum sativum. Can J Microbiol 23:1197–1200Google Scholar
  17. Layne E (1957) Spectrophotometric and turbidimetric methods for measuring proteins. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds) Methods in enzymology, vol 3. Academic Press, Inc, New York, pp 447–454Google Scholar
  18. Lessie TG, Vander Wyk JC (1972) Multiple forms of Pseudomonas multivorans glucose-6-phosphate and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase: Differences in size, pyridine-nucleotide specificity and susceptibility to inhibition by adenosine-5′-triphosphate. J Bacteriol 110:1107–1117Google Scholar
  19. Martinez-deDrets G, Arias A (1972) Enzymatic basis for differentiation of Rhizobium into fast- and slow-growing groups. J Bacteriol 109:467–470Google Scholar
  20. Martinez-deDrets G, Gardiol A, Arias A (1977) 6-Phospho-D-gluconate: NAD+ 2-oxidoreductase (decarboxylating) from slow-growing rhizobia. J Bacteriol 130:1139–1143Google Scholar
  21. Moore S, Link K (1940) Carbohydrate characterization. I. The oxidation of aldoses by hypoiodite in methanol. II. The identification of seven aldomonosaccharides as benzimidazole derivatives. J Biol Chem 133:293–311Google Scholar
  22. Morse SA, Stein S, Hines J (1974) Glucose metabolism in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. J Bacteriol 120:702–714Google Scholar
  23. Mulongoy K, Elkan G (1977a) Glucose catabolism in two derivatives of a Rhizobium japonicum strain differing in nitrogen-fixing efficiency. J Bacteriol 131:179–187Google Scholar
  24. Mulongoy K, Elkan G (1977b) The role of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase in Rhizobium. Can J Microbiol 23:1293–1298Google Scholar
  25. Nandadasa HG, Andreesen M, Schlegel HG (1974) The utilization of 2-ketogluconate by Hydrogenomonas eutropha H16. Arch Microbiol 99:15–24Google Scholar
  26. Norris NO, Date RA (1976) Legume bacteriology. In: Shaw NH, Bryan WM (eds) Tropical pasture research. Principles and methods, Bull 51. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Canberra, Australia, pp 134–174Google Scholar
  27. Ragland TE, Kawasaki T, Lowenstein JM (1966) Comparative aspects of some bacterial dehydrogenase and transhydrogenases. J Bacteriol 91:236–244Google Scholar
  28. Raj HD (1967) Radiorespirometric studies of Leuothrix mucor. J Bacteriol 94:615–623Google Scholar
  29. Ronson CW, Primrose SB (1979) Carbohydrate metabolism in Rhizobium trifolii: Identification and symbiotic properties of mutants. J Gen Microbiol 112:77–88Google Scholar
  30. Siddiqui KA, Banerjee AK (1975) Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase activity of Rhizobium species. Folia Microbiol 20:412–417Google Scholar
  31. Stowers MD, Elkan GH (1983) The transport and metabolism of glucose in cowpea rhizobia. Can J Microbiol 29:398–406Google Scholar
  32. Wang CH, Stern IJ, Gilmore CM (1959) The catabolism of glucose and gluconate in Pseudomonas species. Arch Biochem Biophys 81:489–492Google Scholar
  33. Whiting PH, Midgley M, Dawes EA (1976) The role of glucose limitation in the regulation of the transport of glucose, gluconate and 2-oxogluconate and of glucose metabolism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Gen Microbiol 92:304–310Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark D. Stowers
    • 1
  • Gerald H. Elkan
    • 2
  1. 1.NPIUniversity Research ParkSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations