Surface Properties and Cellular Energetics of Bacteria in Response to the Presence of Hydrocarbons
Many toxic hydrocarbons that are present as environmental pollutants are potential substrates for bacteria; other, very hydrophobic hydrocarbons exhibit extremely low water solubility and are poorly bioavailable. The development of specific adaptive mechanisms to the toxicity as well as the low bioavailability of these substrates allows many bacteria to cope with such challenges. Strategies of bacteria to increase the accessibility of these compounds are modifications of their cell surfaces or the release of biosurfactants. Both “strategies” aim at an increased accessibility of the compounds, either by the reduction of surface tension or by allowing a direct hydrophobic-hydrophobic interaction between cell surface and the substrates. The toxicity of hydrocarbons is mainly caused by their permeabilizing effect on the cytoplasmic membranes leading also to a loss of ATP and a decrease in the proton gradient. Bacteria are able to modify their cellular energetics in order to adapt to the presence of toxic hydrocarbons by activating their electron transport phosphorylation systems allowing homeostasis of ATP level and energy charge in the presence of the toxic conditions, however, at the price of a reduced growth yield.
- Atkinson DE, Walton GM (1967) Adenosine triphosphate conservation in metabolic regulation. Rat liver citrate cleavage enzyme. J Biol Chem 342:3239–3241Google Scholar
- Baumgarten T, Heipieper HJ (2016) Outer membrane vesicle secretion: from envelope stress to biofilm formation. In: de Bruijn FJ (ed) Stress and environmental control of gene expression in bacteria. Wiley-Blackwell, New York, pp 1322–1327Google Scholar
- Baumgarten T et al (2012b) Alkanols and chlorophenols cause different physiological adaptive responses on the level of cell surface properties and membrane vesicle formation in Pseudomonas putida DOT-T1E. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 93:837–845. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3442-9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kulp A, Kuehn MJ (2010) Biological functions and biogenesis of secreted bacterial outer membrane vesicles. In: Gotteseman S, Harwood CS (eds) Annual review of microbiology. Annual Reviews, Palo Alto, pp 163–184Google Scholar