RelA-dependent (p)ppGpp production controls exoenzyme synthesis in Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica.
ABSTRACT In this report, we investigate the link between nutrient limitation, RelA-mediated (p)ppGpp production, and virulence in the phytopathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica. A relA null mutant (JWC7) was constructed by allelic exchange, and we confirmed that, unlike the wild-type progenitor, this mutant did not produce elevated levels of (p)ppGpp upon nutrient downshift. However, (p)ppGpp production could be restored in strain JWC7 during nutrient limitation by supplying relA in trans. During growth on exoenzyme-inducing minimal medium, the relA mutant showed a diminution in secreted pectate lyase and protease activities and a severe defect in motility. The relA mutant was also impaired in its ability to cause rot in potato tubers. In the presence of serine hydroxamate (a competitive inhibitor of seryl tRNA synthase and a potent inducer of the stringent response in wild-type E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica), exoenzyme production was essentially abolished in JWC7 but could be restored in the presence of plasmid-borne relA. The inhibition of exoenzyme production in JWC7 caused by serine hydroxamate could not be overcome by addition of the quorum-sensing signal molecule, N-3-oxohexanoyl-l-homoserine lactone. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of selected RNA species confirmed that the effects of relA on secreted pectate lyase activity and motility could be attributed to a reduction in transcription of the corresponding genes. We conclude that nutrient limitation is a potent environmental cue that triggers (p)ppGpp-dependent exoenzyme production in E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica. Furthermore, our data suggest that nutrient limitation [or rather, (p)ppGpp accumulation] is a prerequisite for effective quorum-sensing-dependent activation of exoenzyme production.
Article: A small diffusible signal molecule is responsible for the global control of virulence and exoenzyme production in the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Virulence of the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora is dependent on the production and secretion of a complex arsenal of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. Production of these exoenzymes is controlled by a global regulatory mechanism. A virulent mutants in one of the regulatory loci, expI, show a pleiotropic defect in the growth phase-dependent transcriptional activation of exoenzyme gene expression. The expI gene encodes a 26 kDa polypeptide that is structurally and functionally related to the luxI gene product of Vibrio fischeri. Functional similarity of expI and luxI has been demonstrated by reciprocal genetic complementation experiments. LuxI controls bioluminescence in V.fischeri in a growth phase-dependent manner by directing the synthesis of the diffusible autoinducer, N-(3-oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone. E.c. subsp. carotovora expI+ strains or Escherichia coli harboring the cloned expI gene excrete a small diffusible signal molecule that complements the expI mutation of Erwinia as well as a luxI mutation of V.fischeri. This extracellular complementation can also be achieved by E.coli harboring the luxI gene from V.fischeri or by adding the synthetic V.fischeri autoinducer. Both the production of the plant tissue-macerating exoenzymes and the ability of the bacteria to propagate in planta are restored in expI mutants by autoinducer addition. These data suggest that the same signal molecule is employed in control of such diverse processes as virulence in a plant pathogen and bioluminescence in a marine bacterium, and may represent a general mechanism by which bacteria modulate gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions.The EMBO Journal 07/1993; 12(6):2467-76. · 9.20 Impact Factor
Article: The lux autoinducer regulates the production of exoenzyme virulence determinants in Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa secrete exoenzymes that contribute to the pathogenesis of plant and mammalian infections respectively. E.carotovora mutants defective in synthesis of the pectinase, cellulase and protease exoenzymes were isolated and classified into two groups. Group 2 mutants were found to be defective in the production of a small freely diffusible molecule, N-3-(oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine, lactone (HSL), and were avirulent. Addition of exogenous HSL to these group 2 mutants restores synthesis of the exoenzymes and virulence in planta. Of the exoenzymes of P.aeruginosa the metalloprotease, elastase, is an established virulence determinant. Mutants of P.aeruginosa that are defective in elastase production have been isolated and were again found to fall into two groups. Analogous to the group 2 mutants of E.carotovora, group 2 mutants of P. aeruginosa are defective in the synthesis of HSL and exogenous HSL restores elastase production. HSL has now been linked to the control of bioluminescence in Vibrio fischeri, carbapenem antibiotic production of E.carotovora and the above exoenzyme virulence determinants. This information significantly enhances our understanding of the extent and nature of pheromone mediated gene expression control in prokaryotes.The EMBO Journal 07/1993; 12(6):2477-82. · 9.20 Impact Factor
Article: Involvement of sigma(S) in starvation-induced transposition of Pseudomonas putida transposon Tn4652.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Transpositional activity of mobile elements can be induced by different environmental stresses. Here, we present evidence that transposition of Tn4652 is elevated in stationary-phase Pseudomonas putida and suppressed in an isogenic sigma(S)-defective strain. We demonstrate that transcription from the Tn4652 transposase promoter is controlled by the stationary-phase-specific sigma factor sigma(S). To our knowledge, this is the first example of direct stationary-phase-specific regulation of a mobile element transposase. Data presented in this report support the idea that activation of transposition under stressful conditions could be an inducible process.Journal of Bacteriology 10/2001; 183(18):5445-8. · 3.83 Impact Factor