Effects of deletion of genes encoding Fe-only hydrogenase of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough on hydrogen and lactate metabolism

Brant K J Pohorelic, Johanna K Voordouw, Elisabeth Lojou, Alain Dolla, Jens Harder, Gerrit Voordouw
Journal of Bacteriology 2002, 184 (3): 679-86
The physiological properties of a hyd mutant of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, lacking periplasmic Fe-only hydrogenase, have been compared with those of the wild-type strain. Fe-only hydrogenase is the main hydrogenase of D. vulgaris Hildenborough, which also has periplasmic NiFe- and NiFeSe-hydrogenases. The hyd mutant grew less well than the wild-type strain in media with sulfate as the electron acceptor and H(2) as the sole electron donor, especially at a high sulfate concentration. Although the hyd mutation had little effect on growth with lactate as the electron donor for sulfate reduction when H(2) was also present, growth in lactate- and sulfate-containing media lacking H(2) was less efficient. The hyd mutant produced, transiently, significant amounts of H(2) under these conditions, which were eventually all used for sulfate reduction. The results do not confirm the essential role proposed elsewhere for Fe-only hydrogenase as a hydrogen-producing enzyme in lactate metabolism (W. A. M. van den Berg, W. M. A. M. van Dongen, and C. Veeger, J. Bacteriol. 173:3688-3694, 1991). This role is more likely played by a membrane-bound, cytoplasmic Ech-hydrogenase homolog, which is indicated by the D. vulgaris genome sequence. The physiological role of periplasmic Fe-only hydrogenase is hydrogen uptake, both when hydrogen is and when lactate is the electron donor for sulfate reduction.

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