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J Bacteriol. Jul 1997; 179(14): 4464–4472.
PMCID: PMC179280

Characterization of the alginate biosynthetic gene cluster in Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae.

Abstract

Alginate, a copolymer of D-mannuronic acid and L-guluronic acid, is produced by a variety of pseudomonads, including Pseudomonas syringae. Alginate biosynthesis has been most extensively studied in P. aeruginosa, and a number of structural and regulatory genes from this species have been cloned and characterized. In the present study, an alginate-defective (Alg-) mutant of P. syringae pv. syringae FF5 was shown to contain a Tn5 insertion in algL, a gene encoding alginate lyase. A cosmid clone designated pSK2 restored alginate production to the algL mutant and was shown to contain homologs of algD, alg8, alg44, algG, algX (alg60), algL, algF, and algA. The order and arrangement of the structural gene cluster were virtually identical to those previously described for P. aeruginosa. Complementation analyses, however, indicated that the structural gene clusters in P. aeruginosa and P. syringae were not functionally interchangeable when expressed from their native promoters. A region upstream of the algD gene in P. syringae pv. syringae was shown to activate the transcription of a promoterless glucuronidase (uidA) gene and indicated that transcription initiated upstream of algD as described for P. aeruginosa. Transcription of the algD promoter from P. syringae FF5 was significantly higher at 32 degrees C than at 18 or 26 degrees C and was stimulated when copper sulfate or sodium chloride was added to the medium. Alginate gene expression was also stimulated by the addition of the nonionic solute sorbitol, indicating that osmolarity is a signal for algD expression in P. syringae FF5.

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Selected References

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