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Appl Environ Microbiol. Mar 1995; 61(3): 849–854.
PMCID: PMC1388368

Characterization of a Genomic Region Required for Production of the Antibiotic Pyoluteorin by the Biological Control Agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5

Abstract

A 21-kb region required for the biosynthesis of the polyketide antibiotic pyoluteorin by the biological control agent Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 was identified and cloned. Seven previously isolated mutants deficient in pyoluteorin production (Plt(sup-)) had Tn5 insertions spanning the 21-kb region. Sequences flanking Tn5 inserts were cloned from genomic DNA of three Plt(sup-) mutants and used as probes to identify wild-type alleles of the plt loci from a genomic library of Pf-5. Five cosmids containing overlapping regions of genomic DNA hybridized to one or more of the probes. One cosmid, pJEL1938, contained the entire 21-kb region and, when introduced into a Plt(sup-) mutant, partially restored pyoluteorin production. To study the expression of the genes required for pyoluteorin biosynthesis, the transposon Tn3-nice, which contains a promoterless ice nucleation gene (inaZ) and a type I neomycin phosphotransferase gene, was introduced into the genomic plt region of Pf-5. Carbon sources that influenced pyoluteorin production by Pf-5 had parallel effects on ice nucleation activity of Pf-5 containing a genomic plt::Tn3-nice fusion, indicating that inaZ was transcribed from a promoter of the plt region. Cells of Pf-5 containing a genomic plt::Tn3-nice fusion expressed ice nucleation activity on cotton and cucumber seeds planted in field soil. The expression of plt genes by Pf-5 in the cucumber spermosphere was delayed in comparison with expression in the cotton spermosphere. This study demonstrates that genes required for pyoluteorin production were expressed in situ by the biological control bacterium.

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Selected References

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