Bronwyn G Butcher

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States

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Publications (13)46.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria contain small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that are typically responsible for altering transcription, translation or mRNA stability. ncRNAs are important because they often regulate virulence factors and susceptibility to various stresses. Here, the regulation of a recently described ncRNA of Pseudomonas syringae DC3000, spot 42 (now referred to as spf), was investigated. A putative RpoE binding site was identified upstream of spf in strain DC3000. RpoE is shown to regulate the expression of spf. Also, deletion of spf results in increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide compared with the wild-type strain, suggesting that spf plays a role in susceptibility to oxidative stress. Furthermore, expression of alg8 is shown to be influenced by spf, suggesting that this ncRNA plays a role in alginate biosynthesis. Structural and comparative genomic analyses show this ncRNA is well conserved among the pseudomonads. The findings provide new information on the regulation and role of this ncRNA in P. syringae.
    Microbiology 05/2014; 160(Pt.5):941-953. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are important components of many regulatory pathways in bacteria and play key roles in regulating factors important for virulence. Carbon catabolite repression control is modulated by small RNAs (crcZ or crcZ and crcY) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida. In this study, we demonstrate that expression of crcZ and crcX (formerly designated psr1 and psr2, respectively) is dependent upon RpoN together with the two-component system CbrAB, and is influenced by the carbon source present in the medium in the model plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. The distribution of the members of the Crc ncRNA family was also determined by screening available genomic sequences of the Pseudomonads. Interestingly, variable numbers of the Crc family members exist in Pseudomonas genomes. The ncRNAs are comprised of three main subfamilies, named CrcZ, CrcX and CrcY. Most importantly the CrcX subfamily appears to be unique to all P. syringae strains sequenced to date.
    RNA biology 01/2013; 10(2). · 5.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria contain small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that are responsible for altering transcription, translation, or mRNA stability. ncRNAs are important because they regulate virulence factors and susceptibility to various stresses. Here, the regulation of a recently described ncRNA of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, P16 was investigated. We determined that RpoS regulates the expression of P16. We found that deletion of P16 results in increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide compared to the wild-type strain, suggesting that P16 plays a role in the bacteria's susceptibility to oxidative stress. Additionally the P16 mutant displayed enhanced resistance to heat stress. Our findings provide new information on the regulation and role of this ncRNA in P. syringae.
    Microbiology 12/2012; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 encodes fifteen sigma factors. The majority are members of the extracytoplasmic function class of sigma factors, including five that belong to iron starvation sub-group. In this study we identified the genes controlled by three iron starvation sigma factors. Their regulons are composed of a small number of genes likely to be involved with iron uptake.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 11/2012; · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The diversity of regulatory systems encoded by bacteria provides an indication of the variety of stresses and interactions that these organisms encounter in nature. We have been investigating how the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 responds to iron limitation and have focused on the iron starvation (IS) sigma factors to identify regulon members and to explore the mechanistic details of genetic control for this class of regulators. In the study described in this report, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation paired with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) to screen the genome for locations associated with binding of the P. syringae IS sigma factor PSPTO_1203. We used multiple methods to demonstrate differential regulation of two genes identified in the ChIP-Seq screen and characterize the promoter elements that facilitate PSPTO_1203-dependent regulation. The genes regulated by PSPTO_1203 encode a TonB-dependent transducer (PSPTO_1206) and a cytoplasmic membrane protein (PSPTO_2145), which is located in the P. syringae pyoverdine cluster. Additionally, we identified siderophores that induce the activity of PSPTO_1203 and used this information to investigate the functional components of the signal transduction cascade.
    Journal of bacteriology 08/2011; 193(20):5775-83. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (DC3000) is found in a wide variety of environments and must monitor and respond to various environmental signals such as the availability of iron, an essential element for bacterial growth. An important regulator of iron homeostasis is Fur (ferric uptake regulator), and here we present the first study of the Fur regulon in DC3000. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq), 312 chromosomal regions were highly enriched by coimmunoprecipitation with a C-terminally tagged Fur protein. Integration of these data with previous microarray and global transcriptome analyses allowed us to expand the putative DC3000 Fur regulon to include genes both repressed and activated in the presence of bioavailable iron. Using nonradioactive DNase I footprinting, we confirmed Fur binding in 41 regions, including upstream of 11 iron-repressed genes and the iron-activated genes encoding two bacterioferritins (PSPTO_0653 and PSPTO_4160), a ParA protein (PSPTO_0855), and a two-component system (TCS) (PSPTO_3382 to PSPTO_3380).
    Journal of bacteriology 07/2011; 193(18):4598-611. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RNA-Seq has provided valuable insights into global gene expression in a wide variety of organisms. Using a modified RNA-Seq approach and Illumina's high-throughput sequencing technology, we globally identified 5'-ends of transcripts for the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato str. DC3000. A substantial fraction of 5'-ends obtained by this method were consistent with results obtained using global RNA-Seq and 5'RACE. As expected, many 5'-ends were positioned a short distance upstream of annotated genes. We also captured 5'-ends within intergenic regions, providing evidence for the expression of un-annotated genes and non-coding RNAs, and detected numerous examples of antisense transcription, suggesting additional levels of complexity in gene regulation in DC3000. Importantly, targeted searches for sequence patterns in the vicinity of 5'-ends revealed over 1200 putative promoters and other regulatory motifs, establishing a broad foundation for future investigations of regulation at the genomic and single gene levels.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e29335. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To fully understand how bacteria respond to their environment, it is essential to assess genome-wide transcriptional activity. New high-throughput sequencing technologies make it possible to query the transcriptome of an organism in an efficient unbiased manner. We applied a strand-specific method to sequence bacterial transcripts using Illumina's high-throughput sequencing technology. The resulting sequences were used to construct genome-wide transcriptional profiles. Novel bioinformatics analyses were developed and used in combination with proteomics data for the qualitative classification of transcriptional activity in defined regions. As expected, most transcriptional activity was consistent with predictions from the genome annotation. Importantly, we identified and confirmed transcriptional activity in areas of the genome inconsistent with the annotation and in unannotated regions. Further analyses revealed potential RpoN-dependent promoter sequences upstream of several noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), suggesting a role for these ncRNAs in RpoN-dependent phenotypes. We were also able to validate a number of transcriptional start sites, many of which were consistent with predicted promoter motifs. Overall, our approach provides an efficient way to survey global transcriptional activity in bacteria and enables rapid discovery of specific areas in the genome that merit further investigation.
    Journal of bacteriology 02/2010; 192(9):2359-72. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A Tn7 donor plasmid, pTn7SX, was constructed for use with the model gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. This new mini-Tn7, mTn7SX, contains a spectinomycin resistance cassette and an outward-facing, xylose-inducible promoter, thereby allowing for the regulated expression of genes downstream of the transposon. We demonstrate that mTn7SX inserts are obtained at a high frequency and occur randomly throughout the B. subtilis genome. The utility of this system was demonstrated by the selection of mutants with increased resistance to the antibiotic fosfomycin or duramycin.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 07/2008; 74(11):3419-25. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    Bronwyn G Butcher, Yi-Pin Lin, John D Helmann
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    ABSTRACT: The Bacillus subtilis LiaRS two-component system (TCS) responds to perturbations of the cell envelope induced by lipid II-interacting antibiotics, such as vancomycin, ramoplanin, nisin, and bacitracin. Here, we characterize Tn7-generated mutations that induce the liaRS TCS. In addition to insertions in liaF, a known negative regulator of the LiaRS TCS, we identified two disruptions in the last two genes of the yydFGHIJ operon. This operon is predicted to encode a 49-amino-acid peptide (YydF), a modification enzyme (YydG), a membrane-embedded protease (YydH), and an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter (YydIJ). Genome sequence comparisons suggest that the yydFGHIJ operon may have been acquired by horizontal transfer. Inactivation of the YydIJ transporter resulted in increased expression from the LiaR-dependent P(liaI) promoter only in the presence of the yydFGH genes. Cells harboring the complete yydFGHIJ operon induced LiaR activity in cocultured cells lacking either this transporter or the complete operon. These results suggest that this operon is involved in the synthesis and export of a modified peptide (YydF*) that elicits cell envelope stress sensed by the LiaRS TCS.
    Journal of bacteriology 01/2008; 189(23):8616-25. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    Bronwyn G. Butcher, Thorsten Mascher, John D. Helmann
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria continually modulate gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions. Although many transcription regulatory pathways respond to internal signal molecules or intermediary metabolites, other systems have evolved to sense signals from the environment. For example, extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma (σ) factors are typically regulated by a transmembrane anti-σ factor that is, in turn, regulated by changes in the environment. Here, we focus on the best-studied ECF σ factors from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. These are regulated by signals such as the presence of misfolded secretory proteins, iron chelate complexes, or antibiotics active on the membrane or cell wall. In the presence of an inducing stimulus, the σ factor is released and directs RNA polymerase to transcribe appropriate target genes. Recent results for both E.coil σE and B. subtilis σW indicate that the cognate anti-σ factors are themselves inactivated by sequential proteolysis involving an initial cleavage event external to the membrane (site-1 cleavage), regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) (site-2 cleavage), and, finally, degradation of the residual anti-σ domain within the cytosol. Bacteria often con-tain multiple ECF s paralogs that respond to distinct sets of signals. Comparative genomic approaches and consideration of genome context indicate that many ECF σ factors belong to conserved functional groups, although many of these groups have yet to be investigated experimentally. Unraveling the functions of the multiple ECF σ factors present in many genomes provides an enormous challenge for future research.
    12/2007: pages 233-261;
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    ABSTRACT: Maintaining envelope integrity is crucial for the survival of any bacterial cell, especially those living in a complex and ever-changing habitat such as the soil ecosystem. The LiaRS two-component system is part of the regulatory network orchestrating the cell-envelope stress response in Bacillus subtilis. It responds to perturbations of the cell envelope, especially the presence of antibiotics that interfere with the lipid II cycle, such as bacitracin or vancomycin. LiaRS-dependent regulation is strictly repressed by the membrane protein LiaF in the absence of inducing conditions. Here, it is shown that the LiaR-dependent liaI promoter is induced at the onset of stationary phase without addition of exogenous stresses. Its activity is embedded in the complex regulatory cascade governing adaptation at the onset of stationary phase. The liaI promoter is directly repressed by the transition state regulator AbrB and responds indirectly to the activity of Spo0A, the master regulator of sporulation. The activity of the liaI promoter is therefore tightly regulated by at least five regulators to ensure an appropriate level of liaIH expression.
    Microbiology 09/2007; 153(Pt 8):2530-40. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    Bronwyn G Butcher, John D Helmann
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus subtilis produces many antibiotics of varying structures and specificity. Here we identify a prominent role for sigma(W), an extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor, in providing intrinsic resistance to antimicrobial compounds produced by other Bacilli. By using a panel of B. subtilis mutants disrupted for each of the 30 known sigma(W)-dependent operons we identified resistance genes for at least three different antimicrobial compounds. The ydbST and fosB genes contribute to resistance to antimicrobial compound(s) produced by B. amyloliquefaciens FZB42, the yqeZyqfAB operon provides resistance to the SPbeta prophage-encoded bacteriocin sublancin, and the yknWXYZ operon and yfhL provide resistance to the antimicrobial peptide SdpC. YfhL encodes a paralogue of SdpI, a membrane protein that provides immunity to SdpC. In competition experiments, we identify sigma(W) as a key factor in allowing B. subtilis to resist antibiotic killing and encroachment by competing strains. Together with the previous observation that sigma(W) provides inducible resistance against the Streptomyces antibiotic fosfomycin, these studies support the notion that sigma(W) controls an antibiosis regulon important in the microbial ecology of soil bacteria.
    Molecular Microbiology 06/2006; 60(3):765-82. · 5.03 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

267 Citations
46.55 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2013
    • Cornell University
      • • Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      • • Department of Microbiology
      Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 2011
    • United States Department of Agriculture
      • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States