FEMS microbiology letters

Chlorate reductase is cotranscribed with cytochrome c and other downstream genes in the gene cluster for chlorate respiration of Ideonella dechloratans.

PMID 25673284


The chlorate-respiring bacterium Ideonella dechloratans is a facultative anaerobe that can use both oxygen and chlorate as terminal electron acceptors. The genes for the enzymes chlorate reductase (clrABDC) and chlorite dismutase, necessary for chlorate metabolism and probably acquired by lateral gene transfer, are located in a gene cluster that also includes other genes potentially important for chlorate metabolism. Among those are a gene for cytochrome c (cyc) whose gene product may serve as an electron carrier during chlorate reduction, a cofactor biosynthesis gene (mobB) and a predicted transcriptional regulator (arsR). Only chlorate reductase and chlorite dismutase have been shown to be expressed in vivo. Here, we report the in vivo production of a single polycistronic transcript covering eight open reading frames including clrABDC, cyc, mobB and arsR. Transcription levels of the cyc and clrA genes were compared to each other by the use of qRT-PCR in RNA preparations from cells grown under aerobic or chlorate reducing anaerobic conditions. The two genes showed the same mRNA levels under both growth regimes, indicating that no transcription termination occurs between them. Higher transcription levels were observed at growth without external oxygen supply. Implications for electron pathway integration following lateral gene transfer are discussed.