Ultrafast pyrosequencing of Corynebacterium kroppenstedtii DSM44385 revealed insights into the physiology of a lipophilic corynebacterium that lacks mycolic acids.
Corynebacterium kroppenstedtii is a lipophilic corynebacterial species that lacks in the cell envelope the characteristic alpha-alkyl-beta-hydroxy long-chain fatty acids, designated mycolic acids. We report here the bioinformatic analysis of genome data obtained by pyrosequencing of the type strain C. kroppenstedtii DSM44385 that was initially isolated from human sputum. A single run with the Genome Sequencer FLX system revealed 560,248 shotgun reads with 110,018,974 detected bases that were assembled into a contiguous genomic sequence with a total size of 2,446,804bp. Automatic annotation of the complete genome sequence resulted in the prediction of 2122 coding sequences, of which 29% were considered as specific for C. kroppenstedtii when compared with predicted proteins from hitherto sequenced pathogenic corynebacteria. This comparative content analysis of the genome data revealed a large repertoire of genes involved in sugar uptake and central carbohydrate metabolism and the presence of the mevalonate route for isoprenoid biosynthesis. The lack of mycolic acids and the lipophilic lifestyle of C. kroppenstedtii are apparently caused by gene loss, including a condensase gene cluster, a mycolate reductase gene, and a microbial type I fatty acid synthase gene. A complete beta-oxidation pathway involved in the degradation of fatty acids is present in the genome. Evaluation of the genomic data indicated that lipophilism is the dominant feature involved in pathogenicity of C. kroppenstedtii.