NahY, a catabolic plasmid-encoded receptor required for chemotaxis of Pseudomonas putida to the aromatic hydrocarbon naphthalene

J Bacteriol. 1999 May;181(10):3310-6. doi: 10.1128/JB.181.10.3310-3316.1999.


Pseudomonas putida G7 exhibits chemotaxis to naphthalene, but the molecular basis for this was not known. A new gene, nahY, was found to be cotranscribed with meta cleavage pathway genes on the NAH7 catabolic plasmid for naphthalene degradation. The nahY gene encodes a 538-amino-acid protein with a membrane topology and a C-terminal region that resemble those of chemotaxis transducer proteins. A P. putida G7 nahY mutant grew on naphthalene but was not chemotactic to this aromatic hydrocarbon. The protein NahY thus appears to function as a chemoreceptor for naphthalene or a related compound. The presence of nahY on a catabolic plasmid implies that chemotaxis may facilitate biodegradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Methylation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Naphthalenes* / metabolism
  • Operon
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas putida / genetics
  • Pseudomonas putida / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas putida / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Naphthalenes
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • naphthalene

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF100302