Different responses in the expression of alginases, alginate polymerase and acetylation genes during alginate production by Azotobacter vinelandii under oxygen-controlled conditions


Alginate production and gene expression of genes involved in alginate biosynthesis were evaluated in continuous cultures under dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) controlled conditions. Chemostat at 8% DOT showed an increase in the specific oxygen uptake rate \((q_{{{\text{O}}_{ 2} }} )\) from 10.9 to 45.3 mmol g−1 h−1 by changes in the dilution rate (D) from 0.06 to 0.10 h−1, whereas under 1% DOT the \(q_{{{\text{O}}_{ 2} }}\) was not affected. Alginate molecular weight was not affected by DOT. However, chemostat at 1% DOT showed a downregulation up to 20-fold in genes encoding both the alginate polymerase (alg8, alg44), alginate acetylases (algV, algI) and alginate lyase AlgL. alyA1 and algE7 lyases gene expressions presented an opposite behavior by changing the DOT, suggesting that A. vinelandii can use specific depolymerases depending on the oxygen level. Overall, the DOT level have a differential effect on genes involved in alginate synthesis, thus a gene expression equilibrium determines the production of alginates of similar molecular weight under DOT controlled.

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We acknowledge the financial support from CONICYT-Chile (Project PCCI40039). The technical assistance of Luisa Vásquez in HPLC analysis is also acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Alvaro Díaz-Barrera.

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Díaz-Barrera, A., Maturana, N., Pacheco-Leyva, I. et al. Different responses in the expression of alginases, alginate polymerase and acetylation genes during alginate production by Azotobacter vinelandii under oxygen-controlled conditions. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 44, 1041–1051 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10295-017-1929-9

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  • Alginate
  • Continuous culture
  • Oxygen control
  • Gene expression