Perez-Pantoja, D., Leiva-Novoa, P., Donoso, R. A., Little, C., Godoy, M., Pieper, D. H., et al. (2015). Hierarchy of Carbon Source Utilization in Soil Bacteria: Hegemonic Preference for Benzoate in Complex Aromatic Compound Mixtures Degraded by Cupriavidus pinatubonensis Strain JMP134. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 81(12), 3914–3924.
Abstract: Cupriavidus pinatubonensis JMP134, like many other environmental bacteria, uses a range of aromatic compounds as carbon sources. Previous reports have shown a preference for benzoate when this bacterium grows on binary mixtures composed of this aromatic compound and 4-hydroxybenzoate or phenol. However, this observation has not been extended to other aromatic mixtures resembling a more archetypal context. We carried out a systematic study on the substrate preference of C. pinatubonensis JMP134 growing on representative aromatic compounds channeled through different catabolic pathways described in aerobic bacteria. Growth tests of nearly the entire set of binary combinations and in mixtures composed of 5 or 6 aromatic components showed that benzoate and phenol were always the preferred and deferred growth substrates, respectively. This pattern was supported by kinetic analyses that showed shorter times to initiate consumption of benzoate in aromatic compound mixtures. Gene expression analysis by real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) showed that, in all mixtures, the repression by benzoate over other catabolic pathways was exerted mainly at the transcriptional level. Additionally, inhibition of benzoate catabolism suggests that its multiple repressive actions are not mediated by a sole mechanism, as suggested by dissimilar requirements of benzoate degradation for effective repression in different aromatic compound mixtures. The hegemonic preference for benzoate over multiple aromatic carbon sources is not explained on the basis of growth rate and/or biomass yield on each single substrate or by obvious chemical or metabolic properties of these aromatic compounds.