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Alcohol dehydrogenase AdhA plays a role in ethanol tolerance in model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Vidal, Rebeca
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2017 v.101 no.8 pp. 3473-3482
NAD (coenzyme), NADP (coenzyme), Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, alcohol dehydrogenase, ethanol, models, mutants, phenotype
The protein AdhA from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (hereafter Synechocystis) has been previously reported to show alcohol dehydrogenase activity towards ethanol and both NAD and NADP. This protein is currently being used in genetically modified strains of Synechocystis capable of synthesizing ethanol showing the highest ethanol productivities. In the present work, mutant strains of Synechocystis lacking AdhA have been constructed and tested for tolerance to ethanol. The lack of AdhA in the wild-type strain reduces survival to externally added ethanol at lethal concentration of 4% (v/v). On the other hand, the lack of AdhA in an ethanologenic strain diminishes tolerance of cells to internally produced ethanol. It is also shown that light-activated heterotrophic growth (LAHG) of the wild-type strain is impaired in the mutant strain lacking AdhA (∆adhA strain). Photoautotrophic, mixotrophic, and photoheterotrophic growth are not affected in the mutant strain. Based on phenotypic characterization of ∆adhA mutants, the possible physiological function of AdhA in Synechocystis is discussed.