Growth Trade-Offs Accompany the Emergence of Glycolytic Metabolism in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1
Chubiz, Lon M.
Marx, Christopher J.
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CitationChubiz, Lon M., and Christopher J. Marx. 2017. “Growth Trade-Offs Accompany the Emergence of Glycolytic Metabolism in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.” Journal of Bacteriology 199 (11): e00827-16. doi:10.1128/JB.00827-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.00827-16.
AbstractABSTRACT Bacteria increase their metabolic capacity via the acquisition of genetic material or by the mutation of genes already present in the genome. Here, we explore the mechanisms and trade-offs involved when Shewanella oneidensis, a bacterium that typically consumes small organic and amino acids, rapidly evolves to expand its metabolic capacity to catabolize glucose after a short period of adaptation to a glucose-rich environment. Using whole-genome sequencing and genetic approaches, we discovered that deletions in a region including the transcriptional repressor (nagR) that regulates the expression of genes associated with catabolism of N-acetylglucosamine are the common basis for evolved glucose metabolism across populations. The loss of nagR results in the constitutive expression of genes for an N-acetylglucosamine permease (nagP) and kinase (nagK). We demonstrate that promiscuous activities of both NagP and NagK toward glucose allow for the transport and phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate, the initial events of glycolysis otherwise thought to be absent in S. oneidensis. 13C-based metabolic flux analysis uncovered that subsequent utilization was mediated by the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. This is an example whereby gene loss and preexisting enzymatic promiscuity, and not gain-of-function mutations, were the drivers of increased metabolic capacity. However, we observed a significant decrease in the growth rate on lactate after adaptation to glucose catabolism, suggesting that trade-offs may explain why glycolytic function may not be readily observed in S. oneidensis in natural environments despite it being readily accessible through just a single mutational event. IMPORTANCE: Gains in metabolic capacity are frequently associated with the acquisition of novel genetic material via natural or engineered horizontal gene transfer events. Here, we explored how a bacterium that typically consumes small organic acids and amino acids expands its metabolic capacity to include glucose via a loss of genetic material, a process frequently associated with a deterioration of metabolic function. Our findings highlight how the natural promiscuity of transporters and enzymes can be a key driver in expanding metabolic diversity and that many bacteria may possess a latent metabolic capacity accessible through one or a few mutations that remove regulatory functions. Our discovery of trade-offs between growth on lactate and on glucose suggests why this easily gained trait is not observed in nature.
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