1887

Abstract

All strains of the moderately thermophilic, acidophilic, sulphur-oxidizing bacterium that have been tested contain a set of chromosomal arsenic resistance genes. Highly arsenic-resistant strains isolated from commercial arsenopyrite bio-oxidation tanks contain additional transposon-located (Tn) arsenic resistance genes. The chromosomal genes were cloned and found to consist of and genes transcribed in one direction, and in the opposite direction. The genes were co-transcribed with ORF1, and with ORF5 in both and , although deletion of ORFs 1 and 5 did not appear to affect resistance to arsenate or arsenite in . ORFs 1 and 5 have not previously been reported as part of the operons, and had high amino acid identity to hypothetical proteins from (76 %) and (60 %), respectively. Reporter-gene studies showed that the arsenic operon of transposon origin (Tn) was expressed at a higher level, and was less tightly regulated in than were the genes of chromosomal origin. Plasmid pSa-mediated conjugal transfer of Tn from to strains lacking the transposon was successful, and resulted in greatly increased levels of resistance to arsenite.

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2006-12-01
2020-10-28
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