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J Bacteriol. 1994 March; 176(5): 1297–1302.
PMCID: PMC205192

The delta (argF-lacZ)205(U169) deletion greatly enhances resistance to hydrogen peroxide in stationary-phase Escherichia coli.


In this study, we demonstrate that a strain bearing the delta (argF-lacZ)205(U169) deletion exhibits a high level of resistance to hydrogen peroxide compared with its undeleted parent. Our initial investigation of the mechanism behind the observed differences in peroxide resistance when parent and mutant strains are compared indicates that the parent strain carries a region near argF that is responsible for the H2O2-sensitive phenotype, which we have named katC. The H2O2 resistance phenotype of the delta katC [delta (argF-lacZ)205(U169)] mutant strain can be duplicated by Tn9 insertion in a specific locus (katC5::Tn9) which maps near argF. The increased H2O2 resistance of the delta katC and katC5::Tn9 mutant strains can be seen only when cells are grown to stationary phase; exponential-phase cells are unaffected by the presence or absence of katC. This H2O2 resistance mechanism requires functional katE and katF genes, which suggests that the mechanism of H2O2 resistance may involve the activity of the stationary-phase-specific catalase HPII. Cloning, DNA sequencing, and analysis of the katC5::Tn9 insertion allele in comparison with its parent allele implicate two insertion elements, IS1B and IS30B, and suggest that their presence sensitizes parent cells to H2O2.

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