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J Bacteriol. 2006 Dec;188(24):8601-6. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

RhlR expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is modulated by the Pseudomonas quinolone signal via PhoB-dependent and -independent pathways.

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  • 1Chronic Pseudomonas Infection Research Group, Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany.


The expression of virulence determinants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is coordinately regulated in response to both the social environment--commonly referred to as quorum sensing--and to environmental cues. In this study we have dissected the various independent regulation levels for pyocyanin production, which is influenced by the homoserine lactone- and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS)-mediated quorum-sensing systems as well as by iron and phosphate availability. We demonstrate that the phosphate regulon is involved in the transcriptional activation of rhlR and the augmentation of PQS and pyocyanin production under phosphate limitation. However, we also observed an enhancement of rhlR transcription under low-iron medium conditions and after the addition of PQS that was independent of the phosphate regulon. These results highlight the complexity of secondary metabolite production in P. aeruginosa via environmental cues and the quorum-sensing system.

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