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J Bacteriol. 2001 Jun;183(11):3282-92.

Characterization and mutational analysis of three allelic lsc genes encoding levansucrase in Pseudomonas syringae.

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AG Okophysiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für Terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, 35043 Marburg, Germany.


In the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea PG4180 and other bacterial species, synthesis of the exopolysaccharide levan is catalyzed by the extracellular enzyme levansucrase. The results of Southern blotting and PCR analysis indicated the presence of three levansucrase-encoding genes in strain PG4180: lscA, lscB, and lscC. In this study, lscB and lscC were cloned from a genomic library of strain PG4180. Sequence analysis of the two lsc genes showed that they were virtually identical to each other and highly similar to the previously characterized lscA gene. lscA and lscC had a chromosomal location, whereas lscB resided on an indigenous plasmid of PG4180. Mutants with impaired expression of individual lsc genes and double mutants were generated by marker exchange mutagenesis. Determination of levansucrase activities in these mutants revealed that the lscB gene product was secreted but not that of lscA or lscC. Our results indicated that lscB and lscC but not lscA contributed to periplasmic levan synthesis of PG4180. The lscB lscC double mutant was completely defective in levan formation and could be complemented by either lscB or lscC. Our data suggested a compartment-specific localization of two lsc gene products, with LscB being the secreted, extracellular enzyme and LscC being the predominantly periplasmic levansucrase. Results of Western blot analyses indicated that lscA was not expressed and that lscA was not associated with levansucrase activities in any particular protein fraction. LscA could be detected in PG4180 only when transcribed from the vector-borne P(lac) promoter. PCR screening in various P. syringae strains with primers derived from the three characterized lsc genes demonstrated the presence of multiple Lsc isoenzymes in other P. syringae pathovars.

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