Growth on urea can trigger death and peroxidation of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002

Toshio Sakamoto, Victoria B. Delgaizo, Donald A. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laboratory conditions have been identified that cause the rapid death of cultures of cyanobacteria producing urease. Once the death phase had initiated in the stationary growth phase, cells were rapidly bleached of all pigmentation. Null mutations in the ureC gene, encoding the alpha subunit of urease, were constructed, and these mutants were no longer sensitive to growth in the presence of urea. High levels of peroxides, including lipid peroxides, were detected in the bleaching cells. Exogenously added polyunsaturated fatty acids triggered a similar death response. Vitamin E suppressed the formation of peroxides and delayed the onset of cell bleaching. The results suggest that these cyanobacterial cells undergo a metabolic imbalance that ultimately leads to oxidative stress and lipid peroxide formation. These observations may provide insights into the mechanism of sudden cyanobacterial bloom disappearance in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2361-2366
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume64
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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