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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 Sep;70(9):2236-47. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Nucleotide sequences and organization of the genes for carotovoricin (Ctv) from Erwinia carotovora indicate that Ctv evolved from the same ancestor as Salmonella typhi prophage.

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Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, Department of Microbial Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


Carotovoricin Er (CtvEr), which is produced by a plant soft rot disease causative agent, Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora Er, is a high-molecular-weight bacteriocin showing Myoviridae phage-tail-like morphology with contractile sheath and plural tail fibers. We determined the complete nucleotide sequences of CtvEr genes on the E. carotovora Er chromosome and report that CtvEr genes consist of lysis cassette, major and minor structural protein gene clusters. Four promoters were identified. The lysis gene cassette, which is composed of the genes for lysis enzyme and holin, was also identified and characterized. The nucleotide sequences and organization of the genes for CtvCGE, which is produced by E. carotovora strain CGE234-M403 with the morphology similar to CtvEr, were also determined and compared to that of CtvEr, and it was found that CtvCGE is almost identical to CtvEr except for tail fibers which are involved in the killing spectra of both bacteriocins. We also explain that the gene organization and the deduced amino acid sequences of both carotovoricins are very close to those of prophage, which is lysogenized in the chromosome on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi CT18. These findings strongly suggest that Ctv evolved as a phage tail-like bacteriocin from a common ancestor with Salmonella typhi prophage.

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