The htx and ptx operons of Pseudomonas stutzeri WM88 allow for the use of the inorganic reduced phosphorus (P) compounds hypophosphite (P valence, +1) and phosphite (P valence, +3) as sole P sources. To support the proposed in vivo role for the htx and ptx operons, namely the use of phosphite and hypophosphite as alternative P sources, we used reporter gene fusions to examine their expression levels with respect to various P conditions. Expression of the htx and ptx operons was induced up to 17- and 22-fold, respectively, in cultures grown under phosphate starvation conditions relative to expression in medium with excess phosphate (Pi). However, the presence of the reduced P substrate hypophosphite, phosphite, or methylphosphonate, in addition to excess Pi, did not result in an increase in the expression of either operon. To provide further support for a role of the htx and ptx operons in P i acquisition, we identified P. stutzeri phoBR homologs and constructed deletion mutants. Induction of the htx and ptx reporter gene fusions in response to growth on limiting Pi was abolished in ΔphoB, ΔphoR, and ΔphoBR mutants, demonstrating that htx and ptx expression is phoBR dependent. The putative LysR-type regulator encoded by ptxE has no apparent role in the expression of the htx and ptx operons, as no effect was observed on the level of induction of either operon in a ΔptxE mutant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology