Polaromonas naphthalenivorans CJ2, found to be responsible for the degradation of naphthalene in situ at a coal tar waste-contaminated site (C.-O. Jeon et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:13591-13596, 2003), is able to grow on mineral salts agar media with naphthalene as the sole carbon source. Beginning from a 484-bp nagAc-like region, we used a genome walking strategy to sequence genes encoding the entire naphthalene degradation pathway and additional flanking regions. We found that the naphthalene catabolic genes in P. naphthalenivorans CJ2 were divided into one large and one small gene cluster, separated by an unknown distance. The large gene cluster (nagRAaGHAbAcAdBFCQEDJI′ ORF1tnpA) is bounded by a LysR-type regulator (nagR). The small cluster (nagR2ORF21″KL) is bounded by a MarR-type regulator (nagR2). The catabolic genes of P. naphthalenivorans CJ2 were homologous to many of those of Ralstonia U2, which uses the gentisate pathway to convert naphthalene to central metabolites. However, three open reading frames (nagY, nagM, and nagN), present in Ralstonia U2, were absent Also, P. naphthalenivorans carries two copies of gentisate dioxygenase (nagI) with 77.4% DNA sequence identity to one another and 82% amino acid identity to their homologue in Ralstonia sp. strain U2. Investigation of the operons using reverse transcription PCR showed that each cluster was controlled independently by its respective promoter. Insertional inactivation and lacZ reporter assays showed that nagR2 is a negative regulator and that expression of the small cluster is not induced by naphthalene, salicylate, or gentisate. Association of two putative Azoarcus-related transposases with the large cluster and one Azoarcus-related putative salicylate 5-hydroxylase gene (ORF2) in the small cluster suggests that mobile genetic elements were likely involved in creating the novel arrangement of catabolic and regulatory genes in P. naphthalenivorans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology