RubisCO-based CO2 fixation and C1 metabolism in the actinobacterium Pseudonocardia dioxanivoransCB1190. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pseudonocardia is an actinobacterial genus of interest due to its potential biotechnological, medical and environmental remediation applications, as well as for the ecologically relevant symbiotic relationships it forms with attine ants. Some Pseudonocardia spp. can grow autotrophically, but the genetic basis of this capability has not previously been reported. In this study, we examined autotrophy in Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190, which can grow using H2 and CO2, as well as heterotrophically. Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of CB1190 cells grown with H2/bicarbonate implicated the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle in growth-supporting CO2 fixation, as well as a [NiFe] hydrogenase-encoding gene cluster in H2 oxidation. The CBB cycle genes are evolutionarily most related to actinobacterial homologues, although synteny has not been maintained. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activity was confirmed in H2/bicarbonate-grown CB1190 cells and was detected in cells grown with the C1 compounds formate, methanol and carbon monoxide. We also demonstrated the upregulation of CBB cycle genes upon exposure of CB1190 to these C1 substrates, and identified genes putatively involved in generating CO2 from the C1 substrates by using RT-qPCR. Finally, the potential for autotrophic growth of other Pseudonocardia spp. was explored, and the ecological implications of autotrophy in attine ant- and plant root-associated Pseudonocardia discussed.

published proceedings

  • Environ Microbiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Grostern, A., & Alvarez-Cohen, L.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Grostern, Ariel||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

publication date

  • November 2013