Correlating carbon monoxide oxidation with cox genes in the abundant Marine Roseobacter Clade

ISME J. 2011 Apr;5(4):685-91. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2010.170. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


The Marine Roseobacter Clade (MRC) is a numerically and biogeochemically significant component of the bacterioplankton. Annotation of multiple MRC genomes has revealed that an abundance of carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (CODH) cox genes are present, subsequently implying a role for the MRC in marine CO cycling. The cox genes fall into two distinct forms based on sequence analysis of the coxL gene; forms I and II. The two forms are unevenly distributed across the MRC genomes. Most (18/29) of the MRC genomes contain only the putative form II coxL gene. Only 10 of the 29 MRC genomes analysed have both the putative form II and the definitive form I coxL. None have only the form I coxL. Genes previously shown to be required for post-translational maturation of the form I CODH enzyme are absent from the MRC genomes containing only form II. Subsequent analyses of a subset of nine MRC strains revealed that only MRC strains with both coxL forms are able to oxidise CO.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phylogeny
  • Plankton / classification
  • Plankton / genetics
  • Roseobacter / classification*
  • Roseobacter / enzymology
  • Roseobacter / genetics


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases
  • carbon monoxide dehydrogenase