Nutritionally Flexible Microbes

Prof. Ludmilla Aristilde, Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering, and her research group have collaborated on a recent publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Recent findings by the Aristilde Research Group revealed the metabolic strategy that is responsible for the nutritional flexibility of Pseudomonas species. Pseudomonas species are environmental bacteria, which can survive everywhere such as waterways, soils, sediments, some are causative agents in human diseases and plant diseases and others are widely used in agriculture as crop-beneficial agents to combat pathogens. The Aristilde lab investigates the cellular biochemistry of Pseudomonas species using metabolomics approach, an omics technique that makes use of high-resolution mass spectrometry to profile the array of small compounds involved in cellular metabolism. The study uncovers that the optimal strategy for efficient carbon metabolism by Pseudomonas putida involves division of labor. Carbon atoms from different carbon substrates were routed to different metabolic pathways to optimize cellular energy and biomass growth.

Deciphering carbon cycling and recycling by nutritionally flexible microbes is important to understand different pathways of carbon turnover by soil microbes to greenhouse gases as well as providing new routes in biotechnological advances for degrading contaminants such as petroleum and plastics, and, making bioplastics, producing of other valuable products.

 Tracing incorporation of substrate carbons into biomass biosynthesis. Labeling profile of biomass precursors during growth on [U-13C6]-glucose alone or with unlabeled benzoate. The structure of the biomass precursor is shown on the left of the bar graphs; the colored circles in the structure indicate the pathway origin of the designated carbon: red circles (PP pathway), pink circles: TCA cycle, dark blue (upper EMP pathway), light blue (downstream ED pathway), and gray circles (involvement of one-carbon units). Tracing incorporation of substrate carbons into biomass biosynthesis. Labeling profile of biomass precursors during growth on [U-13C6]-glucose alone or with unlabeled benzoate. The structure of the biomass precursor is shown on the left of the bar graphs; the colored circles in the structure indicate the pathway origin of the designated carbon: red circles (PP pathway), pink circles: TCA cycle, dark blue (upper EMP pathway), light blue (downstream ED pathway), and gray circles (involvement of one-carbon units).

To read the full article, titled “Multi-omics analysis unravels a segregated metabolic flux network that tunes co-utilization of sugar and aromatic carbons in Pseudomonas putida”, click here.