Physiology of dimethylsulfoniopropionate metabolism in a model marine Roseobacter, Silicibacter pomeroyi
Henriksen, James Ralph
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Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is a ubiquitous marine compound whose degradation is important in carbon and sulfur cycles and influences global climate due to its degradation product dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Silicibacter pomeroyi, a member of the a marine Roseobacter clade, is a model system for the study of DMSP degradation. S. pomeroyi can cleave DMSP to DMS and carry out demethylation to methanethiol (MeSH), as well as degrade both these compounds. Differential display proteomics was used to find proteins whose abundance increased when chemostat cultures of S. pomeroyi were grown with DMSP as the sole carbon source. Bioinformatic analysis of these genes and their gene clusters suggested roles in DMSP metabolism. A genetic system was developed for S. pomeroyi that enabled gene knockout to confirm the function of these genes.