Alkanols and chlorophenols cause different physiological adaptive responses on the level of cell surface properties and membrane vesicle formation in Pseudomonas putida DOT-T1E
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- Baumgarten, T., Vazquez, J., Bastisch, C. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2012) 93: 837. doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3442-9
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In order to cope with the toxicity imposed by the exposure to environmental hydrocarbons, many bacteria have developed specific adaptive responses such as modifications in the cell envelope. Here we compared the influence of n-alkanols and chlorophenols on the surface properties of the solvent-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas putida DOT-T1E. In the presence of toxic concentrations of n-alkanols, this strain significantly increased its cell surface charge and hydrophobicity with changes depending on the chain length of the added n-alkanols. The adaptive response occurred within 10 min after the addition of the solvent and was demonstrated to be of physiological nature. Contrary to that, chlorophenols of similar hydrophobicity and potential toxicity as the corresponding alkanols caused only minor effects in the surface properties. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of differences in the cellular adaptive response of bacteria to compound classes of quasi equal hydrophobicity and toxicity. The observed adaptation of the physico-chemical surface properties of strain DOT-T1E to the presence of alkanols was reversible and correlated with changes in the composition of the lipopolysaccharide content of the cells. The reaction is explained by previously described reactions allowing the release of membrane vesicles that was demonstrated for cells affected by 1-octanol and heat shock, whereas no membrane vesicles were released after the addition of chlorophenols.