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Transcriptional analysis of hydrogenase genes in rhodobacter sphaeroides O.U.001

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2004
Doğrusöz, Nihal
In photosynthetic non-sulphur bacteria, hydrogen production is catalyzed by nitrogenases and hydrogenases. Hydrogenases are metalloenzymes that are basically classified into: the Fe hydrogenases, the Ni-Fe hydrogenases and metal-free hydrogenases. Two distinct Ni-Fe hydrogenases are described as uptake hydrogenases and bidirectional hydrogenases. The uptake hydrogenases are membrane bound dimeric enzymes consisting of small (hupS) and large (hupL) subunits, and are involved in uptake and the recycling of hydrogen, providing energy for nitrogen fixation and other metabolic processes. In this study the presence of the uptake hydrogenase genes was shown in Rhodobacter sphaeroides O.U.001 strain for the first time and hupS gene sequence was determined. The sequence shows 93% of homology with the uptake hydrogenase hupS of R.sphaeroides R.V. There was no significant change in growth of the bacteria at different concentrations of metal ions (nickel, molybdenum and iron in growth media). The effect of metal ions on hydrogen production of the organism was also studied. The maximum hydrogen gas production was achieved in 8.4æM of nickel and 0.1 mM of iron containing media. The expression of uptake hydrogenase genes were examined by RT-PCR. Increasing the concentration of Ni++ up to 8.4æM increased the expression of uptake hydrogenase genes (hupS). At varied concentrations of Fe-citrate (0.01 mM-0.1 mM) expression of hupS was not detected until hydrogen production stopped. These results will be significant for the improvement strategies of Rhodobacter sphaeroides O.U.001 to increase hydrogen production efficiency. In order to examine the presence of hupL genes, different primers were designed. However, the products could not be observed by PCR.