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Specificity of Octopine Uptake by Rhizobium and Pseudomonas Strains

  • Janique Bergeron
  • Robert A. MacLeod
  • Patrice Dion
Publication Date
May 01, 1990


The octopine-utilizing strain Agrobacterium tumefaciens B6S3 and three nonagrobacteria which had the capacity to utilize this opine were compared for octopine uptake. The characteristics of uptake by Rhizobium meliloti A3 and strain B6S3 were similar. In both bacteria, uptake activity was inducible by octopine and by the related opine octopinic acid, and competition assays showed that these two opine substrates were accepted by the same uptake system with an equivalent affinity. Cells of Pseudomonas putida 203 accumulated octopine against a concentration gradient, and this activity was induced specifically by octopine. While strain 203 did not utilize octopinic acid, a spontaneous mutant with a combined capacity for octopine and octopinic acid utilization was obtained. Both opines induced octopine uptake by this mutant, but octopinic acid was not a substrate for the induced system. Thus, the Pseudomonas uptake system exhibited a different specificity for octopine than the corresponding Agrobacterium system. The nonfluorescent pseudomonad GU187j, which utilized the three related opines octopine, octopinic acid, and nopaline, was constitutive for octopine uptake. Strain GU187j possessed a system which accepted these three opines, but not arginine or ornithine, with a similar affinity.

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