Targeted metabolomics reveals proline as a major osmolyte in the chemolithoautotroph Sulfurimonas denitrificans. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chemoautotrophic bacteria belonging to the genus Sulfurimonas in the class Campylobacteria are widespread in many marine environments characterized by redox interfaces, yet little is known about their physiological adaptations to different environmental conditions. Here, we used liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in a targeted metabolomics approach to study the adaptations of Sulfurimonas denitrificans to varying salt concentrations that are found in its natural habitat of tidal mudflats. Proline was identified as one of the most abundant internal metabolites and its concentration showed a strong positive correlation with ionic strength, suggesting that it acts as an important osmolyte in S.¬†denitrificans. 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate was also positively correlated with ionic strength, indicating it might play a previously unrecognized role in osmoregulation. Furthermore, the detection of metabolites from the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle at high internal concentrations reinforces the importance of this pathway for carbon fixation in Campylobacteria and as a hub for biosynthesis. As the first report of metabolomic data for an campylobacterial chemolithoautotroph, this study provides data that will be useful to understand the adaptations of Campylobacteria to their natural habitat at redox interfaces.

publication date

  • August 2018