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J Bacteriol. 1979 Jun;138(3):846-52.

Biosynthesis of phenazine pigments in mutant and wild-type cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


Pigmentation mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, selected by observed visual differences in coloration from the wild-type strain, were examined for altered patterns of phenazine synthesis. Three classes of mutants that were incapable of pyocyanine production were identified. Pigmentation patterns that were found to characterize the various mutant classes implicated precursor-product relationships, and a biochemical scheme covering the terminal reactions of pyocyanine biosynthesis is proposed. Among compounds tested as inhibitors of pigmentation, two effectively inhibited pyocyanine production production while allowing cell growth. p-Aminobenzoate inhibited total pigmentation; i.e., no other phenazine accumulated. m-Aminobenzoate inhibited a presumptive methylation step in pyocyanine biosynthesis, abolishing the formation of pyocyanine and aeruginosin pigments but increasing the yields of phenazine 1-carboxylic acid and oxychlororaphin. D-[2,3,4,5(n)-14C]shikimate was most efficiently incorporated into phenazines in the middle to late exponential phase of growth. Label was incorporated predominantly into pyocyanine in the absence of inhibitors and into phenazine 1-carboxylic acid when the organism was grown in the presence of m-aminobenzoate.

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