Toluene-induced accumulation of trehalose by Pseudomonas sp. BCNU 106 through the expression of otsA and otsB homologues


Woo Hong Joo, Department of Biology, Changwon National University, Changwon 641-773, Korea. E-mail:


Aim:  The objective of this study was to investigate toluene-induced accumulation mechanism of trehalose in a toluene-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas sp. BCNU 106.

Methods and Results:  The accumulation of trehalose by a toluene-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas sp. BCNU 106 was examined at various cultivation time by measuring the total intracellular trehalose content, trehalase activity and mRNA levels of the trehalose-biosynthetic genes. The pattern of trehalose accumulation corresponded to the mRNA expression pattern of the trehalose-biosynthetic genes with the maximum level at 12 h or 4 h of cultivation with 10% (v/v) toluene, respectively. The trehalose-biosynthetic genes were also cloned and sequenced. Furthermore, the effects of toluene addition on the intracellular osmotic pressure and pH were investigated. It was shown that homeostasis was maintained in the bacterial cells.

Conclusions:  In a toluene-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas sp. BCNU 106, a significant amount of trehalose was accumulated through the toluene-induced expression of the trehalose-biosynthetic genes after the exposure to toluene.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  The accumulation of the high level of intracellular trehalose was preceded by the expression of otsA/B genes in toluene-tolerant bacteria, contributing to the elucidation of the tolerance mechanism.