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Open Access Discovery notes

Ethanolamine utilization in Vibrio alginolyticus

Neelam Khatri, Indu Khatri, Srikrishna Subramanian* and Saumya Raychaudhuri*

Author Affiliations

CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39A, Chandigarh, India

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Biology Direct 2012, 7:45  doi:10.1186/1745-6150-7-45

Published: 12 December 2012

Abstract

Ethanolamine is used as an energy source by phylogenetically diverse bacteria including pathogens, by the concerted action of proteins from the eut-operon. Previous studies have revealed the presence of eutBC genes encoding ethanolamine-ammonia lyase, a key enzyme that breaks ethanolamine into acetaldehyde and ammonia, in about 100 bacterial genomes including members of gamma-proteobacteria. However, ethanolamine utilization has not been reported for any member of the Vibrio genus. Our comparative genomics study reveals the presence of genes that are involved in ethanolamine utilization in several Vibrio species. Using Vibrio alginolyticus as a model system we demonstrate that ethanolamine is better utilized as a nitrogen source than as a carbon source.

This article was reviewed by Dr. Lakshminarayan Iyer and Dr. Vivek Anantharaman (nominated by Dr. L Aravind).

Keywords:
Pathogenesis; Ethanolamine; Vibrio; Eut operon; Metabolosome