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Science. 2015 Nov 6;350(6261):670-4. doi: 10.1126/science.aac9990.

Plant pathogenic anaerobic bacteria use aromatic polyketides to access aerobic territory.

Author information

1
Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), Jena, Germany.
2
Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), Jena, Germany. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, VIC 3010, Australia.
3
Bio Pilot Plant, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), Jena, Germany.
4
Department of Infection Biology, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), Jena, Germany.
5
Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), Jena, Germany. Department of Natural Product Chemistry, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany. christian.hertweck@leibniz-hki.de.

Abstract

Around 25% of vegetable food is lost worldwide because of infectious plant diseases, including microbe-induced decay of harvested crops. In wet seasons and under humid storage conditions, potato tubers are readily infected and decomposed by anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium puniceum). We found that these anaerobic plant pathogens harbor a gene locus (type II polyketide synthase) to produce unusual polyketide metabolites (clostrubins) with dual functions. The clostrubins, which act as antibiotics against other microbial plant pathogens, enable the anaerobic bacteria to survive an oxygen-rich plant environment.

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PMID:
26542569
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac9990
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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