The copper-responsive regulator CsoR is indirectly involved in Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens denitrification

Pedro J. Pacheco, Juan J. Cabrera, Andrea Jimenez-Levia, Maria J. Torres, Andrew J. Gates, Eulogio J. Bedmar, David J. Richardson, Socorro Mesa, Germán Tortosa, Maria J. Delgado (EEZ - CSIC)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


The soybean endosymbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens harbours the complete denitrification pathway that is catalysed by a periplasmic nitrate reductase (Nap), a copper (Cu)-containing nitrite reductase (NirK), a c-type nitric oxide reductase (cNor), and a nitrous oxide reductase (Nos), encoded by the napEDABC, nirK, norCBQD, and nosRZDFYLX genes, respectively. Induction of denitrification genes requires low oxygen and nitric oxide, both signals integrated into a complex regulatory network comprised by two interconnected cascades, FixLJ-FixK2-NnrR and RegSR-NifA. Copper is a cofactor of NirK and Nos, but it has also a role in denitrification gene expression and protein synthesis. In fact, Cu limitation triggers a substantial down-regulation of nirK, norCBQD, and nosRZDFYLX gene expression under denitrifying conditions. Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens genome possesses a gene predicted to encode a Cu-responsive repressor of the CsoR family, which is located adjacent to copA, a gene encoding a putative Cu+-ATPase transporter. To investigate the role of CsoR in the control of denitrification gene expression in response to Cu, a csoR deletion mutant was constructed in this work. Mutation of csoR did not affect the capacity of B. diazoefficiens to grow under denitrifying conditions. However, by using qRT-PCR analyses, we showed that nirK and norCBQD expression was much lower in the csoR mutant compared to wild-type levels under Cu-limiting denitrifying conditions. On the contrary, copA expression was significantly increased in the csoR mutant. The results obtained suggest that CsoR acts as a repressor of copA. Under Cu limitation, CsoR has also an indirect role in the expression of nirK and norCBQD genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnad084
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Early online date12 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Cu-responsive regulator
  • gene expression
  • nitric oxide reductase
  • nitrite reductase

Cite this