Mutants of Rhizobium meliloti defective in succinate metabolism.
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We characterized mutants of Rhizobium meliloti SU47 that were unable to grow on succinate as the carbon source. The mutants fell into five groups based on complementation of the succinate mutations by individual recombinant plasmids isolated from a R. meliloti clone bank. Enzyme analysis showed that mutants in the following groups lacked the indicated common enzyme activities: group II, enolase (Eno); group III, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pck); group IV, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Gap), and 3-phosphoglycerate kinase (Pgk). Mutants in groups I and V lacked C4-dicarboxylate transport (Dct-) activity. Wild-type cells grown on succinate as the carbon source had high Pck activity, whereas no Pck activity was detected in cells that were grown on glucose as the carbon source. It was found that in free-living cells, Pck is required for the synthesis of phosphoenolpyruvate during gluconeogenesis. In addition, the enzymes of the lower half of the Embden-Meyerhoff-Parnas pathway were absolutely required for gluconeogenesis. Eno, Gap, Pck, and one of the Dct loci (ntrA) mapped to different regions of the chromosome; the other Dct locus was tightly linked to a previously mapped thi locus, which was located on the megaplasmid pRmeSU47b.
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