Adaptation of Pseudomonas putida S12 to ethanol and toluene at the level of fatty acid composition of membranes.

H.J. Heipieper, J.A.M. de Bont

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Abstract

Pseudomonas putida S12 was more tolerant to ethanol when preadapted to supersaturating concentrations of toluene. Cellular reactions at the membrane level to the toxicities of both compounds were different. In growing cells of P. putida S12, sublethal concentrations of toluene resulted in an increase in the degree of saturation of the membrane fatty acids, whereas toxically equivalent concentrations of ethanol led to a decrease in this value. Contrary to this, cells also reacted to both substances with a strong increase of the trans unsaturated fatty acids and a corresponding decrease of the cis unsaturated fatty acids under conditions where growth and other cellular membrane reactions were totally inhibited. While the isomerization of cis to trans unsaturated fatty acids compensates for the fluidizing effect caused by ethanol, a decrease in the degree of saturation is antagonistic with respect to the chemo-physical properties of the membrane. Consequently, the results support the hypothesis that the decrease in the degree of saturation induced by ethanol is not an adaptation mechanism but is caused by an inhibitory effect of the compound on the biosynthesis of saturated fatty acids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4440-4444
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume60
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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