Shewanella putrefaciens produces a soluble flavocytochrome c under anaerobic growth conditions. This protein shares sequence similarity with the catalytic subunits of membrane-bound fumarate reductases from and other bacteria and the purified protein has fumarate reductase activity. It is shown here that this enzyme, flavocytochrome , is essential for fumarate respiration in since disruption of the chromosomal gene, which encodes flavocytochrome , leads to a specific loss of the ability to grow with fumarate as terminal electron acceptor. Growth with nitrate, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and other acceptors was unaffected. The gene is transcribed as a 2 kb monocistronic mRNA. An adjacent reading frame that bears limited sequence similarity to one of the membrane anchor subunits of fumarate reductase is not co-transcribed with . Expression of the gene is regulated by anaerobiosis and by the availability of alternative electron acceptors, particularly nitrate and TMAO. DNA sequences have been identified that are required for this regulation.


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