Microbiology (Reading, England)

Genetic characterization of a complex locus necessary for the transport and catabolism of erythritol, adonitol and L-arabitol in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

PMID 22609752


The Sinorhizobium meliloti locus necessary for the utilization of erythritol as a sole carbon source, contains 17 genes, including genes that encode an ABC transporter necessary for the transport of erythritol, as well as the genes encoding EryA, EryB, EryC, TpiB and the regulators EryD and EryR (SMc01615). Construction of defined deletions and complementation experiments show that the other genes at this locus encode products that are necessary for the catabolism of adonitol (ribitol) and l-arabitol, but not d-arabitol. These analyses show that aside from one gene that is specific for the catabolism of l-arabitol (SMc01619, lalA), the rest of the catabolic genes are necessary for both polyols (SMc01617, rbtC; SMc01618, rbtB; SMc01622, rbtA). Genetic and biochemical data show that in addition to utilizing erythritol as a substrate, EryA is also capable of utilizing adonitol and l-arabitol. Similarly, transport experiments using labelled erythritol show that adonitol, l-arabitol and erythritol share a common transporter (MptABCDE). Quantitative RT-PCR experiments show that transcripts containing genes necessary for adonitol and l-arabitol utilization are induced by these sugars in an eryA-dependent manner.