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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Nov 27;205(1):131-8.

Halogenated furanones from the red alga, Delisea pulchra, inhibit carbapenem antibiotic synthesis and exoenzyme virulence factor production in the phytopathogen Erwinia carotovora.

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School of Microbiology and Immunology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora regulates expression of virulence factors and antibiotic production via an N-3-oxohexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C6-HSL) dependent quorum sensing mechanism. The marine alga Delisea pulchra produces halogenated furanones known to antagonise 3-oxo-C6-HSL activity. We have tested the effects of a halogenated furanone on the production of carbapenem, cellulase and protease in E. carotovora. Despite differences in the regulatory mechanisms controlling carbapenem and exoenzyme production each was inhibited by the algal metabolite. We present evidence to suggest that the furanone dependent inhibition of carbapenem production is a result of the disruption of the 3-oxo-C6-HSL dependent expression of the carABCDEFGH operon.

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