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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1996 January; 62(1): 121–127.
PMCID: PMC167781

Cloning and characterization of styrene catabolism genes from Pseudomonas fluorescens ST.


A gene bank from Pseudomonas fluorescens ST was constructed in the broad-host-range cosmid pLAFR3 and mobilized into Pseudomonas putida PaW340. Identification of recombinant cosmids containing the styrene catabolism genes was performed by screening transconjugants for growth on styrene and epoxystyrene. Transposon mutagenesis and subcloning of one of the selected genome fragments have led to the identification of three enzymatic activities: a monooxygenase activity encoded by a 3-kb PstI-EcoRI fragment and an epoxystyrene isomerase activity and an epoxystyrene reductase activity encoded by a 2.3-kb BamHI fragment. Escherichia coli clones containing the 3-kb PstI-EcoRI fragment were able to transform styrene into epoxystyrene, and those containing the 2.3-kb BamHI fragment converted epoxystyrene into phenylacetaldehyde or, only in the presence of glucose, into 2-phenylethanol. The three genes appear to be clustered and are probably encoded by the same DNA strand. In E. coli, expression of the epoxystyrene reductase gene was under the control of its own promoter, whereas the expression of the other two genes was dependent on the presence of an external vector promoter.

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