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J Bacteriol. 2014 May;196(9):1683-93. doi: 10.1128/JB.01258-13. Epub 2014 Feb 14.

Impact of a transposon insertion in phzF2 on the specialized metabolite production and interkingdom interactions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.


In microbiology, gene disruption and subsequent experiments often center on phenotypic changes caused by one class of specialized metabolites (quorum sensors, virulence factors, or natural products), disregarding global downstream metabolic effects. With the recent development of mass spectrometry-based methods and technologies for microbial metabolomics investigations, it is now possible to visualize global production of diverse classes of microbial specialized metabolites simultaneously. Using imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) applied to the analysis of microbiology experiments, we can observe the effects of mutations, knockouts, insertions, and complementation on the interactive metabolome. In this study, a combination of IMS and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to visualize the impact on specialized metabolite production of a transposon insertion into a Pseudomonas aeruginosa phenazine biosynthetic gene, phzF2. The disruption of phenazine biosynthesis led to broad changes in specialized metabolite production, including loss of pyoverdine production. This shift in specialized metabolite production significantly alters the metabolic outcome of an interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus by influencing triacetylfusarinine production.

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