The accumulation of organic solutes was investigated in the thermophilic bacteria Persephonella marina and Marinitoga piezophila, two representatives of the deepest lineages in the domain Bacteria. These organisms grow optimally at around 70 A degrees C in medium containing 3 % NaCl. A new disaccharide, accumulating in Persephonella marina, was identified as alpha(1-6)glucosyl-alpha(1-2)glucosylglycerate (GGG), by nuclear magnetic resonance. This identification was validated by comparison with the spectra of the compound obtained by chemical synthesis. Besides GGG, the solute pool of Persephonella marina comprised beta-glutamate, di-myo-inositol-1,3'-phosphate and 2-O-alpha-glucosylglycerate. In contrast, amino acids such as alpha-glutamate, proline and alanine were the dominant components of the solute pool of Marinitoga piezophila and sugar derivatives were absent. The ability of GGG to protect protein structure against heat denaturation was assessed using model proteins. A genomic search for the biosynthetic pathways of known ionic solutes in Aquificales and Thermotogales shows the inability of this analysis to predict the nature of compatible solutes and underlines the need for efficient cultivation techniques.
- Compatible solutes