Journal Article

The role of a bifunctional catalase-peroxidase KatA in protection of <i>Agrobacterium tumefaciens</i> from menadione toxicity

Benjaphorn Prapagdee, Paiboon Vattanaviboon and Skorn Mongkolsuk

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

Volume 232, issue 2, pages 217-223
Published in print March 2004 |
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-6968 | DOI:

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Agrobacterium tumefaciens is an aerobic plant pathogenic bacterium that is exposed to reactive oxygen species produced either as by-products of aerobic metabolism or by the defense systems of host plants. The physiological function of the bifunctional catalase-peroxidase (KatA) in the protection of A. tumefaciens from reactive oxygen species other than H2O2 was evaluated in the katA mutant (PB102). Unexpectedly, PB102 was highly sensitive to the superoxide generator menadione. The expression of katA from a plasmid vector complemented the menadione-hypersensitive phenotype. A. tumefaciens possesses an additional catalase gene, a monofunctional catalase encoded by catE. Neither inactivation nor high-level expression of the catE gene altered the menadione resistance level. Moreover, heterologous expression of the catalase-peroxidase-encoding gene katG from Burkholderia pseudomallei, but not the monofunctional catalase gene katE from Xanthomonas campestris could restore normal levels of menadione resistance to PB102. A recent observation suggests that the menadione resistance phenotype involves increased activities of organic peroxide-metabolizing enzymes. Heterologous expression of X. campestris alkyl hydroperoxide reductase from a plasmid vector failed to complement the menadione-sensitive phenotype of PB102. The level of menadione resistance shows a direct correlation with the level of peroxidase activity of KatA. This is a novel role for KatA and suggests that resistance to menadione toxicity is mediated by a new, and as yet unknown, mechanism in A. tumefaciens.

Keywords: Agrobacterium tumefaciens; Catalase-peroxidase; H2O2; Menadione

Journal Article.  3963 words.  Illustrated.

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