Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Singh R, White D, Blum P. 2017. Identification of the ATPase subunit of the primary maltose transporter in the hyperthermophilic anaerobe Thermotoga maritima. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e00930-17.


Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology. Used by permission.


Thermotoga maritima is a hyperthermophilic anaerobic bacterium that produces molecular hydrogen (H2) by fermentation. It catabolizes a broad range of carbohydrates through the action of diverse ABC transporters. However, in T. maritima and related species, highly similar genes with ambiguous annotation obscure a precise understanding of genome function. In T. maritima, three putative malK genes, all annotated as ATPase subunits, exhibited high identity to each other. To distinguish between these genes, malK disruption mutants were constructed by gene replacement, and the resulting mutant cell lines were characterized. Only a disruption of malK3 produced a defect in maltose catabolism. To verify that the mutant phenotype arose specifically from malK3 inactivation, the malK3 mutation was repaired by recombination, and maltose catabolism was restored. This study demonstrates the importance of a maltose ABC-type transporter and its relationship to sugar metabolism in T. maritima.

IMPORTANCE: The application and further development of a genetic system was used here to investigate gene paralogs in the hyperthermophile Thermotoga maritima. The occurrence of three ABC transporter ATPase subunits all annotated as malK was evaluated using a combination of genetic and bioinformatic approaches. The results clarify the role of only one malK gene in maltose catabolism in a nonmodel organism noted for fermentative hydrogen production.

Includes supplemental material.

Included in

Biology Commons