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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 Jul;55(7):1677-83.

Analysis of pectate lyases produced by soft rot bacteria associated with spoilage of vegetables.

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  • 1Eastern Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118.


Isoelectric focusing (IEF) profiles of pectate lyases (PLs) produced by five different groups of soft rot bacteria were analyzed by using the combined techniques of thin-layer polyacrylamide gel IEF and agarose-pectate overlay activity staining. Four strains of soft rot Erwinia spp. produced three or more PL isozymes. All of eight Pseudomonas viridiflava strains examined produced one single PL with a pI of 9.7. All 10 of Pseudomonas fluorescens strains produced two PLs; the major one had a pI of 10.0 and the minor one had a pI of 6.7. A single PL with a pI of greater than or equal to 10.0 was detected in one strain each of Xanthomonas campestris and Cytophaga johnsonae. PLs of six representative strains were purified from culture supernatants by ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion-exchange chromatography. All purified PL samples macerated potato slices, but to different degrees. The Mrs of alkaline PLs produced by P. viridiflava, P. fluorescens, X. campestris, and C. johnsonae were estimated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to be 42,000, 41,000, 41,500, and 35,000, respectively. IEF profiles of PLs were distinct among the bacterial species. Profiles of non-Erwinia spoilage bacteria were considerably simpler than those of Erwinia spp. The PL with an alkaline pI appeared to be the principal or the sole enzymatic factor involved in tissue maceration caused by most strains of soft rot bacteria.

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