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J Bacteriol. 1998 Jul;180(13):3330-8.

Analysis of genes involved in biosynthesis of coronafacic acid, the polyketide component of the phytotoxin coronatine.

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Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078-3032, USA.


Coronafacic acid (CFA) is the polyketide component of coronatine (COR), a phytotoxin produced by the plant-pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. The genes involved in CFA biosynthesis are encoded by a single transcript which encompasses 19 kb of the COR gene cluster. In the present study, the nucleotide sequence was determined for a 4-kb region located at the 3' end of the CFA biosynthetic gene cluster. Three open reading frames were identified and designated cfa8, cfa9, and tnp1; the predicted translation products of these genes showed relatedness to oxidoreductases, thioesterases, and transposases, respectively. The translational products of cfa8 and cfa9 were overproduced in Escherichia coli BL21; however, tnp1 was not translated in these experiments. Mutagenesis and complementation analysis indicated that cfa8 is required for the production of CFA and COR. Analysis of a cfa9 mutant indicated that this gene is dispensable for CFA and COR production but may increase the release of enzyme-bound products from the COR pathway; tnp1, however, had no obvious function in CFA or COR biosynthesis. A genetic strategy was used to produce CFA in a P. syringae strain which lacks the COR gene cluster; this approach will be useful in future studies designed to investigate biosynthetic products of the CFA gene cluster.

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