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J Bacteriol. 1992 Mar;174(6):1837-43.

Physical and functional characterization of the gene cluster encoding the polyketide phytotoxin coronatine in Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078-9947.


Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea PG4180 produces the polyketide phytotoxin coronatine. The coronatine synthesis genes in PG4180 were previously shown to reside on a 90-kb plasmid designated p4180A. In the present study, clones containing a 34-kb region of p4180A were saturated with Tn5, and 71 unique mutations were recombined into p4180A by marker exchange. The effect of each mutation on coronatine synthesis was determined by analyzing the organic acids produced by the mutants by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The organic acids of selected mutants were derivatized to their methyl esters and analyzed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Mutations in a 20.5-kb region of p4180A completely blocked the synthesis of coronafacic acid and coronatine. Mutations within a 4.4-kb region of p4180A prevented the formation of coronatine but allowed for production of coronafacic acid, coronafacoylvaline, coronafacoylisoleucine, and coronafacoylalloisoleucine. The phenotypes of selected mutants were further confirmed in feeding experiments in which coronafacic acid or coronamic acid was added to the culture media. The results of this study allow us to speculate on the likely sequence of steps in the later stages of coronatine biosynthesis.

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