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PeerJ. 2017 Jun 26;5:e3471. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3471. eCollection 2017.

LuxS-dependent AI-2 production is not involved in global regulation of natural product biosynthesis in Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus.

Author information

1
Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Merck Stiftungsprofessur für Molekulare Biotechnologie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
2
Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

The Gram-negative bacteria Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus are known to produce a variety of different natural products (NP). These compounds play different roles since the bacteria live in symbiosis with nematodes and are pathogenic to insect larvae in the soil. Thus, a fine tuned regulatory system controlling NP biosynthesis is indispensable. Global regulators such as Hfq, Lrp, LeuO and HexA have been shown to influence NP production of Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus. Additionally, photopyrones as quorum sensing (QS) signals were demonstrated to be involved in the regulation of NP production in Photorhabdus. In this study, we investigated the role of another possible QS signal, autoinducer-2 (AI-2), in regulation of NP production. The AI-2 synthase (LuxS) is widely distributed within the bacterial kingdom and has a dual role as a part of the activated methyl cycle pathway, as well as being responsible for AI-2 precursor production. We deleted luxS in three different entomopathogenic bacteria and compared NP levels in the mutant strains to the wild type (WT) but observed no difference to the WT strains. Furthermore, the absence of the small regulatory RNA micA, which is encoded directly upstream of luxS, did not influence NP levels. Phenotypic differences between the P. luminescens luxS deletion mutant and an earlier described luxS deficient strain of P. luminescens suggested that two phenotypically different strains have evolved in different laboratories.

KEYWORDS:

Autoinducer-2; LuxS; Natural products; Photorhabdus; Quorum sensing; Regulation; Secondary metabolism; Xenorhabdus

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