Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2006-15


Genomic and proteomic analyses of the agarolytic system expressed by Saccharophagus degradans 2-40.




Ekborg, NA; Taylor, LE; Longmire, AG; Henrissat, B; Weiner, RM; Hutcheson, SW


Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72(5):3396-3405




Saccharophagus degradans 2-40 (formerly Microbulbifer degradans 2-40) is a marine gamma-subgroup proteobacterium capable of degrading many complex polysaccharides, such as agar. While several agarolytic systems have been characterized biochemically, the genetics of agarolytic systems have been only partially determined. By use of genomic, proteomic, and genetic approaches, the components of the S. degradans 2-40 agarolytic system were identified. Five agarases were identified in the S. degradans 2-40 genome. Aga50A and Aga50D include GH50 domains. Aga86C and Aga86E contain GH86 domains, whereas Aga16B carries a GH16 domain. Novel family 6 carbohydrate binding modules (CBM6) were identified in Aga16B and Aga86E. Aga86C has an amino-terminal acylation site, suggesting that it is surface associated. Aga16B, Aga86C, and Aga86E were detected by mass spectrometry in agarolytic fractions obtained from culture filtrates of agar-grown cells. Deletion analysis revealed that aga50A and aga86E were essential for the metabolism of agarose. Aga16B was shown to endolytically degrade agarose to release neoagarotetraose, similarly to a beta-agarase 1, whereas Aga86E was demonstrated to exolytically degrade agarose to form neoagarobiose. The agarolytic system of S. degradans 2-40 is thus predicted to be composed of a secreted endo-acting GH16-dependent depolymerase, a surface-associated GH50-dependent depolymerase, an exo-acting GH86-dependent agarase, and an alpha-neoagarobiose hydrolase to release galactose from agarose.

Related Research Project(s) Funded by Maryland Sea Grant: 

Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s): 

'Related Research Project(s)' link to details about research projects funded by Maryland Sea Grant that led to this publication. These details may include other impacts and accomplishments resulting from the research.

'Maryland Sea Grant Topic(s)' links to related pages on the Maryland Sea Grant website.