Molecular responses of Frankia sp. strain QA3 to naphthalene


The Frankia–actinorhizal plant symbiosis plays a significant role in plant colonization in soils contaminated with heavy metals and toxic aromatic hydrocarbons. The molecular response of Frankia upon exposure to soil contaminants is not well understood. To address this issue, we subjected Frankia sp. strain QA3 to naphthalene stress and showed that it could grow on naphthalene as a sole carbon source. Bioinformatic analysis of the Frankia QA3 genome identified a potential operon for aromatic compound degradation as well as several ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases. Under naphthalene stress, the expression of these genes was upregulated. Proteome analysis showed a differential protein profile for cells under naphthalene stress. Several protein spots were analyzed and used to identify proteins involved in stress response, metabolism, and energy production, including a lignostilbene dioxygenase. These results provide a model for understanding the molecular response of Frankia to common soil pollutants, which may be required for survival and proliferation of the bacterium and their hosts in polluted environments.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Canadian Journal of Microbiology


NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Scientific Contribution Number


Document Type



Copyright © 2015, NRC Research Press or its licensors