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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dimethylsulfone as a growth substrate for novel methylotrophic species of Hyphomicrobium and Arthrobacter.

Dimethylsulfone is a major product of the chemical oxidation in the atmosphere of the principal biogenic sulfur gas, dimethylsulfide, but no studies have been reported on the mechanisms for its microbiological degradation. Three novel strains of bacteria have been isolated from enrichment cultures provided with dimethylsulfone as the only carbon and energy substrate. These are novel facultatively methylotrophic species of Hyphonmicrobium and Arthobacter, capable of growth on a range of one-carbon substrates. Cell-free extracts contained activities of enzymes necessary for a reductive/oxidative pathway for dimethylsulfone degradation: membrane-bound-dimethylsulfone and dimethylsulfoxide reductases, dimethylsulfide monooxygenase, and methanethiol oxidase. Enzymatic evidence is also presented for the subsequent oxidation of formaldehyde by formaldehyde and formate dehydrogenases in the Hyphomicrobium strain and by a dissimilatory ribulose monophosphate cycle in the Arthrobacter strains. The strains also grew on dimethylsulfoxide and dimethylsulfide, and dimethylsulfide-grown bacteria oxidized dimethylsulfide and dimethylsulfoxide but not dimethylsulfone. Formaldehyde assimilation was effected in the Hyphomicrobium strain by the serine pathway, but enzymes of the ribulose monophosphate cycle for formaldehyde assimilation were present in the Arthrobacter strains grown on dimethylsulfone. In contrast, one of the Arthrobacter strains was shown to switch to the serine pathway during growth on methanol. Growth yields on dimethylsulfone and formaldehyde were consistent with the occurrence of the serine pathway in Hyphomicrobium strain S1 and the ribulose monophosphate cycle in Arthrobacter strain TGA, and with the proposed reductive pathway for dimethylsulfone degradation in both.[1]


  1. Dimethylsulfone as a growth substrate for novel methylotrophic species of Hyphomicrobium and Arthrobacter. Borodina, E., Kelly, D.P., Rainey, F.A., Ward-Rainey, N.L., Wood, A.P. Arch. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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