IST1 insertional inactivation of the resB gene: Implications for phenotypic switching in Thiobacillus ferrooxidans

Maria Eugenia Cabrejos, Hui Ling Zhao, Maritza Guacucano, Susan Bueno, Gloria Levican, Emilio Garcia, Eugenia Jedlicki, David S. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Thiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC 19859 undergoes rapid phenotypic switching between a wild-type state characterized by the ability to oxidize ferrous iron (FeII) and reduced sulfur compounds and a mutant state where it has lost the capacity to oxidize FeII but retains the ability to oxidize sulfur. The mutant has also gained the capacity to swarm. It is proposed that loss of FeII oxidation is due to the reversible transposition of the insertion sequence IST1 into resB encoding a putative cytochrome c-type biogenesis protein. Downstream from resB and co-transcribed with it is resC, encoding another putative cytochrome biogenesis protein. IST1 insertional inactivation of resB could result in the loss of activity of its target c-type cytochrome(s). This putative target cytochrome(s) is proposed to be essential for FeII oxidation but not for sulfur oxidation. Curiously, resB and resC pertain to the proposed system II cytochrome biogenesis pathway whereas γ Proteobacteria, of which T. ferrooxidans is a member, normally use system I. This could represent an example of lateral gene transfer. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1999


  • Cytochrome biogenesis
  • IST1
  • Insertion sequence
  • Iron oxidation
  • Lateral gene transfer
  • Thiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • resB
  • resC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'IST1 insertional inactivation of the resB gene: Implications for phenotypic switching in Thiobacillus ferrooxidans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this