Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;197(3):457-64. doi: 10.1086/525282.

Cyanide produced by human isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa contributes to lethality in Drosophila melanogaster.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0652, USA.


Some Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains are cyanogenic, and cyanide may contribute to the bacterium's virulence. Using human isolates of P. aeruginosa, we have shown that Drosophila melanogaster suspended above cyanogenic strains become motionless and develop bradycardia and that flies injected with cyanogenic bacterial strains die more rapidly than those injected with noncyanogenic strains. Flies exposed to cyanogenic strains had high cyanide and low adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations in body extracts, and treatment with a cyanide antidote equalized survival of flies injected with cyanogenic and noncyanogenic strains. P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain with a mutation in the hydrogen cyanide synthase gene cluster was much less toxic to flies than the parental cyanogenic strain or 2 knock-in strains. Transgenic flies overexpressing rhodanese, which detoxifies cyanide by converting it to thiocyanate, were resistant to cyanide and the increased virulence of cyanogenic strains. We conclude that D. melanogaster is a good model for studying cyanide produced by P. aeruginosa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center