Format of Original
Society for General Microbiology
Original Item ID
DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.000130, PubMed Central: PMC4635472
Rhizobium etli aerobically respires with several terminal oxidases. The quinol oxidase (Cyo) encoded by cyoABCD is needed for efficient adaptation to low oxygen conditions and cyo transcription is upregulated at low oxygen. This study sought to determine how transcription of the cyo operon is regulated. The 5′ sequence upstream of cyo was analysed in silico and revealed putative binding sites for ActR of the ActSR two-component regulatory system. The expression of cyo was decreased in an actSR mutant regardless of the oxygen condition. As ActSR is known to be important for growth under low pH in another rhizobial species, the effect of growth medium pH on cyo expression was tested. As the pH of the media was incrementally decreased, cyo expression gradually increased in the WT, eventually reaching ∼10-fold higher levels at low pH (4.8) compared with neutral pH (7.0) conditions. This upregulation of cyo under decreasing pH conditions was eliminated in the actSR mutant. Both the actSR and cyo mutants had severe growth defects at low pH (4.8). Lastly, the actSR and cyo mutants had severe growth defects when grown in media treated with an iron chelator. Under these conditions, cyo was upregulated in the WT, whereas cyo was not induced in the actSR mutant. Altogether, the results indicated cyo expression is largely dependent on the ActSR two-component system. This study also demonstrated additional physiological roles for Cyo in R. etli CFN42, in which it is the preferred oxidase for growth under acidic and low iron conditions.