Hydrogen metabolism plays a central role in sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfovibrio genus and is based on hydrogenases that catalyze the reversible conversion of protons into dihydrogen. These metabolically versatile microorganisms possess a complex hydrogenase system composed of several enzymes of both [FeFe]- and [NiFe]-type that can vary considerably from one Desulfovibrio species to another. This review covers the molecular and physiological aspects of hydrogenases and H2 metabolism in Desulfovibrio but focuses particularly on our model bacterium Desulfovibrio fructosovorans. The search of hydrogenase genes in more than 30 sequenced genomes provides an overview of the distribution of these enzymes in Desulfovibrio. Our discussion will consider the significance of the involvement of electron-bifurcation in H2 metabolism.
- Bacterial Proteins/chemistry
- Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
- Genetic Variation
- Models, Biological