Comparative benzene-induced fatty acid changes in a rhodococcus species and its benzene-sensitive mutant: possible role of myristic and oleic acids in tolerance

Article


Gutierrez, Tony, Learmonth, Robert P., Nichols, Peter D. and Couperwhite, Iain. 2003. "Comparative benzene-induced fatty acid changes in a rhodococcus species and its benzene-sensitive mutant: possible role of myristic and oleic acids in tolerance." Journal of Chemical Ecology. 29 (10), pp. 2369-2378. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026286700855
Article Title

Comparative benzene-induced fatty acid changes in a rhodococcus species and its benzene-sensitive mutant: possible role of myristic and oleic acids in tolerance

ERA Journal ID3270
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGutierrez, Tony (Author), Learmonth, Robert P. (Author), Nichols, Peter D. (Author) and Couperwhite, Iain (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Chemical Ecology
Journal Citation29 (10), pp. 2369-2378
Number of Pages10
Year2003
Place of PublicationNew York, NY. United States
ISSN0098-0331
1573-1561
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026286700855
Web Address (URL)http://www.springerlink.com/content/p107150744313335/
Abstract

A Gram positive bacterium of the genus Rhodococcus was isolated from a contaminated site in Sydney, Australia, for its ability to tolerate and degrade high concentrations of benzene. To identify fatty acids that may impart this Rhodococcus sp. with tolerance to toxic solvents, a benzene-sensitive strain, labeled M2b, was isolated using EMS mutagenesis. A comparative analysis of fatty acid profiles showed that strain M2b was unable to increase its saturated:unsaturated ratio of fatty acids to the level achieved by the w-t strain when both strains were challenged with benzene. This was due to M2b's increased abundance of myristic acid, and decreased abundance of oleic acid. In addition, by measuring the generalized polarization of the fluorescent membrane probe laurdan using fluorescence spectroscopy, we have shown for the first time the effects of an aromatic hydrocarbon on the membrane fluidity of a Rhodococcus sp. The fluidity of the membranes increased after only 0.5 hr of exposure to benzene, thus suggesting the partitioning of benzene within the lipid bilayer. The response of this Rhodococcus sp. to benzene may suggest a mechanism for how other microorganisms survive when toxic solvents are released within the vicinity of their environment.

Keywordsbenzene; membrane fluidity; bioremediation; fatty acids; myristic acid; oleic acid; rhodococcus; cell membrane; solvent tolerance
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020319999. Other biological sciences not elsewhere classified
310110. Receptors and membrane biology
370104. Atmospheric composition, chemistry and processes
Public Notes

Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of New South Wales
Centre for Systems Biology
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
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