1887

Abstract

Purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB) use light for energy and organic substrates for carbon and electrons when growing photoheterotrophically. This lifestyle generates more reduced electron carriers than are required for biosynthesis, even during consumption of some of the most oxidized organic substrates like malate and fumarate. Reduced electron carriers not used in biosynthesis must still be oxidized for photoheterotrophic growth to occur. Diverse PNSB commonly rely on the CO-fixing Calvin cycle to oxidize reduced electron carriers. Some PNSB also produce H or reduce terminal electron acceptors as alternatives to the Calvin cycle. Calvin-cycle mutants defy this trend by growing phototrophically on malate or fumarate without H production or access to terminal electron acceptors. We used C-tracer experiments to examine how a Calvin-cycle mutant maintains electron balance under such conditions. We detected the reversal of some tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes, carrying reductive flux from malate or fumarate to αKG. This pathway and the reductive synthesis of αKG-derived amino acids are likely important for electron balance, as supplementing the growth medium with αKG-derived amino acids prevented Calvin-cycle-mutant growth unless a terminal electron acceptor was provided. Flux estimates also suggested that the Calvin-cycle mutant preferentially synthesized isoleucine using the reductive threonine-dependent pathway instead of the less-reductive citramalate-dependent pathway. Collectively, our results suggest that alternative biosynthetic pathways can contribute to electron balance within the constraints of a relatively constant biomass composition.

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2019-11-27
2019-12-09
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