Involvement of two latex-clearing proteins during rubber degradation and insights into the subsequent degradation pathway revealed by the genome sequence of Gordonia polyisoprenivorans strain VH2

Sebastian Hiessl, Jörg Schuldes*, Andrea Thürmer, Tobias Halbsguth, Daniel Bröker, Angel Angelov, Wolfgang Liebl, Rolf Daniel, Alexander Steinbüchel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The increasing production of synthetic and natural poly(cis-1,4-isoprene) rubber leads to huge challenges in waste management. Only a few bacteria are known to degrade rubber, and little is known about the mechanism of microbial rubber degradation. The genome of Gordonia polyisoprenivorans strain VH2, which is one of the most effective rubber-degrading bacteria, was sequenced and annotated to elucidate the degradation pathway and other features of this actinomycete. The genome consists of a circular chromosome of 5,669,805 bp and a circular plasmid of 174,494 bp with average GC contents of 67.0% and 65.7%, respectively. It contains 5,110 putative protein-coding sequences, including many candidate genes responsible for rubber degradation and other biotechnically relevant pathways. Furthermore, we detected two homologues of a latex-clearing protein, which is supposed to be a key enzyme in rubber degradation. The deletion of these two genes for the first time revealed clear evidence that latex-clearing protein is essential for the microbial utilization of rubber. Based on the genome sequence, we predict a pathway for the microbial degradation of rubber which is supported by previous and current data on transposon mutagenesis, deletion mutants, applied comparative genomics, and literature search.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2874-2887
    Number of pages14
    JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
    Volume78
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Food Science
    • Ecology
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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