Genetic redundancy in the naphthalene-degradation pathway of Cycloclasticus pugetii strain PS-1 enables response to varying substrate concentrations

Anjela L. Vogel, Katharine J. Thompson, Daniel Straub, Florin Musat, Tony Gutierrez, Sara Kleindienst

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Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in marine environments range from low-diffusive inputs to high loads. The influence of PAH concentration on the expression of functional genes (e.g., those encoding ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases; RHDs), has been overlooked in PAH biodegradation studies. However, understanding marker-gene expression under different PAH loads can help monitor and predict bioremediation efficiency. Here, we followed the expression (via RNA sequencing) of Cycloclasticus pugetii strain PS-1 in cell suspension experiments under different naphthalene (100 and 30 mg L-1) concentrations. We identified genes encoding previously uncharacterized RHD subunits, termed rhdPS1α and rhdPS1β, that were highly transcribed in response to naphthalene-degradation activity. Additionally, we identified six RHD subunit-encoding genes that responded to naphthalene exposure. In contrast, four RHD subunit genes were PAH-independently expressed and three other RHD subunit genes responded to naphthalene starvation. Cycloclasticus spp. could, therefore, use genetic redundancy in key PAH-degradation genes to react to varying PAH loads. This genetic redundancy may restrict the monitoring of environmental hydrocarbon-degradation activity using single-gene expression. For Cycloclasticus pugetii strain PS-1, however, the newly identified rhdPS1α and rhdPS1β genes might be potential target genes to monitor its environmental naphthalene-degradation activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiae060
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume100
Issue number6
Early online date13 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Marine biodegradation
  • effect of PAH concentration
  • ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases
  • substrate-independent expression of PAH-degradation genes

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