Lack of O-Polysaccharide Renders Bradyrhizobium japonicum More Resistant to Organic Acid Stress
In previous studies, we isolated an isogenic LPS mutant of Bradyrhizobium japonicum 61A101C, which was completely devoid of O-polysaccharide and had altered cell surface characteristics. Subsequently, the mutated gene was identified, cloned, and used to complement the LPS mutant strain JS314 to restore the phenotype. Since it has been reported that in Escherichia coli LPS O-polysaccharide is involved in resistance to an organic acid such as acetic acid under low pH (Barna et al., Molecular Microbiology 43: 629-640, 2002), we compared the organic acid resistance of the three B. japonicum strains; wild-type 61A101C, the LPS mutant JS314, and the complemented strain to determine whether the role of O-polysaccharide in the resistance to organic acid could be generalized. Growth of all three strains was inhibited by the presence of 3 mM acetic acid under acidic condition (pH 5.5). To our surprise, however, in the presence of 2 mM acetic acid, wild-type and the complemented strains did not grow while the $LPS^-$ mutant showed a significant growth. Therefore, unlike in E. coli, the lack of Opolysaccharide of LPS appears to render B. japonicum more resistant to organic acid.
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