Characterization of the genes responsible for rubber degradation in Actinoplanes sp. strain OR16

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Jul 18. doi: 10.1007/s00253-020-10700-1. Online ahead of print.


A Gram-positive rubber-degrading bacterium, Actinoplanes sp. strain OR16 (strain NBRC 114529), is able to grow on agar plates containing natural and synthetic rubber as the sole sources of carbon and energy. When this strain was grown on natural rubber latex overlay agar plates, translucent halos around the cells were observed. To identify the natural rubber degradation genes and other features of its metabolism, its complete genome sequence was determined. The genome of OR16 consists of 9,293,892 bp and comprises one circular chromosome (GenBank accession number AP019371.1) with a G + C content of 70.3%. The genome contains 8238 protein-coding and 18 rRNA genes. A homology search of the genome sequence revealed that three genes (lcp1, lcp2, and lcp3) are homologous to an extracellular latex-clearing protein (Lcp) of Streptomyces sp. K30. RT-PCR analysis revealed that lcp1 and lcp2 seem to constitute an operon. Purified lcp gene products have oxygen consumption activity toward natural rubber latex, suggesting that all these genes encode rubber-degrading enzymes in OR16. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that the transcription of these genes is induced during the growth of OR16 on natural rubber. The genes located adjacent to lcp1 and lcp3, which code for a TetR/AcrR-type transcriptional regulator, can bind to the promoter regions of these lcp genes. It is suggested that the putative regulators play a role in regulating the transcription of the lcp genes. These results strongly suggested that three lcp genes are required for the utilization of natural rubber in strain OR16. Key Points • The complete genome sequence of Actinoplanes sp. strain OR16 was determined. • Three lcp genes which are involved in the natural rubber degradation in OR16 were identified. • Transcription of these lcp genes is induced during utilization of rubber in OR16. • Two regulators, which bind to the promoter regions of lcp, were determined.

Keywords: Actinoplanes; Complete genome sequence; Natural rubber degradation; TetR/AcrR-type transcriptional regulator.