Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 Electron Transport Chains

R.J.W. Brooijmans, W.M. de Vos, J. Hugenholtz

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Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 requires both heme and menaquinone to induce a respiration-like behavior under aerobic conditions. Addition of these compounds enhanced both biomass production, without progressive acidification, and the oxygen consumption rate. When both heme- and menaquinone were present, L. plantarum WCFS1 was also able to reduce nitrate. The ability to reduce nitrate was severely inhibited by the glucose levels that are typically found in L. plantarum growth media (1-2% v/v glucose). In contrast, comparable mannitol levels did not inhibit the reduction of nitrate. L. plantarum reduced nitrate with concomitant formation of nitrite and ammonia. Genes that encode a bd-type cytochrome (cydABCD) and a nitrate reductase (narGHJI) were identified in the genome of L. plantarum. The narGHJI-operon is part of a cluster of genes that include the molybdopterin cofactor biosynthesis genes and narK. Besides a menaquinone source, isogenic mutants revealed that cydA and ndh1 are required for the aerobic respiration-like response, and narG for nitrate reduction. The ndh1 mutant was still able to reduce nitrate. The existence of a non-redundant branched electron transport chain in L. plantarum WCFS1 is proposed that is capable of using oxygen or nitrate as terminal electron acceptor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3580-3585
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • coli nitrate reductase
  • aerobic respiratory-chain
  • escherichia-coli
  • lactococcus-lactis
  • terminal oxidase
  • site
  • nitrite
  • heme
  • translocation
  • metabolism

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