[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipopeptides (LP) are structurally diverse compounds with potent surfactant and broad-spectrum antibiotic activities. In Pseudomonas and other bacterial genera, LP biosynthesis is governed by large multimodular nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS). To date, relatively little is known about the regulatory genetic network of LP biosynthesis.
This study provides evidence that the chaperone ClpA, together with the serine protease ClpP, regulates the biosynthesis of the LP massetolide in Pseudomonas fluorescens SS101. Whole-genome transcriptome analyses of clpA and clpP mutants showed their involvement in the transcription of the NRPS genes massABC and the transcriptional regulator massAR. In addition, transcription of genes associated with cell wall and membrane biogenesis, energy production and conversion, amino acid transport and metabolism, and pilus assembly were altered by mutations in clpA and clpP. Proteome analysis allowed the identification of additional cellular changes associated to clpA and clpP mutations. The expression of proteins of the citrate cycle and the heat shock proteins DnaK and DnaJ were particularly affected. Combined with previous findings, these results suggest that the ClpAP complex regulates massetolide biosynthesis via the pathway-specific, LuxR-type regulator MassAR, the heat shock proteins DnaK and DnaJ, and proteins of the TCA cycle.
Combining transcriptome and proteome analyses provided new insights into the regulation of LP biosynthesis in P. fluorescens and led to the identification of specific missing links in the regulatory pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pseudomonads produce several lipopeptide biosurfactants that have antimicrobial properties, but also facilitate surface motility and influence biofilm formation. Detailed studies addressing the significance of lipopeptides for biofilm formation and architecture are rare. Hence the current study sets out to determine the specific role of the lipopeptide viscosin for Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 biofilm formation, architecture and dispersal, and to relate viscA gene expression with viscosin production and effect. Initially, we compared biofilm formation of SBW25 and the viscosin-deficient mutant strain SBW25ΔviscA in static microtiter assays. These experiments demonstrated that viscosin had little influence on the amount of biofilm formed by SBW25 during the early stages of biofilm development. Later, however, SBW25 formed significantly less biofilm than SBW25ΔviscA. The indication that viscosin is involved in biofilm dispersal was confirmed by chemical complementation of the mutant biofilm. Further, a fluorescent bioreporter showed that viscA expression was induced in biofilms 4 hours prior to dispersal. Subsequent detailed studies of biofilms formed in flow-cells for up to 5 days revealed that SBW25 and SBW25ΔviscA developed comparable biofilms dominated by well-defined mushroom-shaped structures. Carbon-starvation was required to obtain biofilm dispersal in this system. Dispersal of SBW25 biofilms was significantly larger than of SBW25ΔviscA biofilms after 3 hours, and importantly, carbon-starvation strongly induced viscA expression, in particular for cells that were apparently leaving the biofilm. Hence the current study points towards a role for viscosin-facilitated motility in dispersal of SBW25 biofilms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging fungal and oomycete pathogens are increasingly threatening animals and plants globally. Amongst oomycetes, Saprolegnia species adversely affect wild and cultivated populations of amphibians and fish, leading to substantial reductions in biodiversity and food productivity. With the ban of several chemical control measures, new sustainable methods are needed to mitigate Saprolegnia infections in aquaculture. Here, PhyloChip-based community analyses showed that the Pseudomonadales, particularly Pseudomonas species, represent one of the largest bacterial orders associated with salmon eggs from a commercial hatchery. Among the Pseudomonas species isolated from salmon eggs, significantly more biosurfactant producers were retrieved from healthy salmon eggs than from Saprolegnia-infected eggs. Subsequent in vivo activity bioassays showed that Pseudomonas isolate H6 significantly reduced salmon egg mortality caused by Saprolegnia diclina. Live colony mass spectrometry showed that strain H6 produces a viscosin-like lipopeptide surfactant. This biosurfactant inhibited growth of Saprolegnia in vitro, but no significant protection of salmon eggs against Saprolegniosis was observed. These results indicate that live inocula of aquatic Pseudomonas strains, instead of their bioactive compound, can provide new (micro)biological and sustainable means to mitigate oomycete diseases in aquaculture.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0136241. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136241 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wide variety of enzymatic pathways that produce specialized metabolites in bacteria, fungi and plants are known to be encoded in biosynthetic gene clusters. Information about these clusters, pathways and metabolites is currently dispersed throughout the literature, making it difficult to exploit. To facilitate consistent and systematic deposition and retrieval of data on biosynthetic gene clusters, we propose the Minimum Information about a Biosynthetic Gene cluster (MIBiG) data standard.
Nature Chemical Biology 08/2015; 11(9):625-631. DOI:10.1038/nchembio.1890 · 13.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protozoan predation of bacteria can significantly affect soil microbial community composition and ecosystem functioning. Bacteria possess diverse defense strategies to resist or evade protozoan predation. For soil-dwelling Pseudomonas species, several secondary metabolites were proposed to provide protection against different protozoan genera. By combining whole-genome transcriptome analyses with (live) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS), we observed multiple changes in the molecular and chemical dialogues between Pseudomonas fluorescens and the protist Naegleria americana. Lipopeptide (LP) biosynthesis was induced in Pseudomonas upon protozoan grazing and LP accumulation transitioned from homogeneous distributions across bacterial colonies to site-specific accumulation at the bacteria-protist interface. Also putrescine biosynthesis was upregulated in P. fluorescens upon predation. We demonstrated that putrescine induces protozoan trophozoite encystment and adversely affects cyst viability. This multifaceted study provides new insights in common and strain-specific responses in bacteria-protozoa interactions, including responses that contribute to bacterial survival in highly competitive soil and rhizosphere environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The plant microbiome represents an enormous untapped resource for discovering novel genes and bioactive compounds. Previously, we isolated Pseudomonas sp. SH-C52 from the rhizosphere of sugar beet plants grown in a soil suppressive to the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani and showed that its antifungal activity is, in part, attributed to the production of the chlorinated 9-amino-acid lipopeptide thanamycin (Mendes et al., 2011). To get more insight into its biosynthetic repertoire, the genome of Pseudomonas sp. SH-C52 was sequenced and subjected to in silico, mutational and functional analyses. The sequencing revealed a genome size of 6.3 Mb and 5579 predicted ORFs. Phylogenetic analysis placed strain SH-C52 within the Pseudomonas corrugata clade. In silico analysis for secondary metabolites revealed a total of six non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene clusters, including the two previously described NRPS clusters for thanamycin and the 2-amino acid antibacterial lipopeptide brabantamide. Here we show that thanamycin also has activity against an array of other fungi and that brabantamide A exhibits anti-oomycete activity and affects phospholipases of the late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Most notably, mass spectrometry led to the discovery of a third lipopeptide, designated thanapeptin, with a 22-amino-acid peptide moiety. Seven structural variants of thanapeptin were found with varying degrees of activity against P. infestans. Of the remaining four NRPS clusters, one was predicted to encode for yet another and unknown lipopeptide with a predicted peptide moiety of 8-amino acids. Collectively, these results show an enormous metabolic potential for Pseudomonas sp. SH-C52, with at least three structurally diverse lipopeptides, each with a different antimicrobial activity spectrum.
Frontiers in Microbiology 07/2015; 6:693. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00693 · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rhizosphere microbiome is pivotal for plant health and growth, providing defence against pests and diseases, facilitating nutrient acquisition and helping plants to withstand abiotic stresses. Plants can actively recruit members of the soil microbial community for positive feedbacks, but the underlying mechanisms and plant traits that drive microbiome assembly and functions are largely unknown. Domestication of plant species has substantially contributed to human civilization, but also caused a strong decrease in the genetic diversity of modern crop cultivars that may have affected the ability of plants to establish beneficial associations with rhizosphere microbes. Here, we review how plants shape the rhizosphere microbiome and how domestication may have impacted rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions via habitat expansion and via changes in crop management practices, root exudation, root architecture, and plant litter quality. We also propose a "back to the roots" framework that comprises the exploration of the microbiome of indigenous plants and their native habitats for the identification of plant and microbial traits with the ultimate goal to reinstate beneficial associations that may have been undermined during plant domestication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rhizosphere is the infection court where soil-borne pathogens establish a parasitic relationship with the plant. To infect root tissue, pathogens have to compete with members of the rhizosphere microbiome for available nutrients and microsites. In disease-suppressive soils, pathogens are strongly restricted in growth by the activities of specific rhizosphere microorganisms. Here, we sequenced metagenomic DNA and RNA of the rhizosphere microbiome of sugar beet seedlings grown in a soil suppressive to the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. rRNA-based analyses showed that Oxalobacteraceae, Burkholderiaceae, Sphingobacteriaceae and Sphingomonadaceae were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere upon fungal invasion. Metatranscriptomics revealed that stress-related genes (ppGpp metabolism and oxidative stress) were upregulated in these bacterial families. We postulate that the invading pathogenic fungus induces, directly or via the plant, stress responses in the rhizobacterial community that lead to shifts in microbiome composition and to activation of antagonistic traits that restrict pathogen infection.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 29 May 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.82.
The ISME Journal 05/2015; DOI:10.1038/ismej.2015.82 · 9.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microorganisms are important factors in shaping our environment. One key characteristic that has been neglected for a long time is the ability of microorganisms to release chemically diverse volatile compounds. At present, it is clear that the blend of volatiles released by microorganisms can be very complex and often includes many unknown compounds for which the chemical structures remain to be elucidated. The biggest challenge now is to unravel the biological and ecological functions of these microbial volatiles. There is increasing evidence that microbial volatiles can act as infochemicals in interactions among microbes and between microbes and their eukaryotic hosts. Here, we review and discuss recent advances in understanding the natural roles of volatiles in microbe-microbe interactions. Specific emphasis will be given to the antimicrobial activities of microbial volatiles and their effects on bacterial quorum sensing, motility, gene expression and antibiotic resistance.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 29 May 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.42.
The ISME Journal 05/2015; DOI:10.1038/ismej.2015.42 · 9.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endophytic Pseudomonas poae strain RE*1-1-14 was originally isolated from internal root tissue of sugar beet plants and shown to suppress growth of the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani both in vitro and in the field. To identify genes involved in its biocontrol activity, RE*1-1-14 random mutagenesis and sequencing led to the identification of a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene cluster predicted to encode a lipopeptide (LP) with a 10-amino acid peptide moiety. The two unlinked gene clusters consisted of three NRPS genes, designated poaA (cluster 1), and poaB and poaC (cluster 2), spanning approximately 33.7 kb. In silico analysis followed by chemical analyses revealed that the encoded LP designated poaeamide, is a structurally new member of the orfamide family. Poaeamide inhibited mycelial growth of R. solani and different oomycetes including Phytophthora capsici, Ph. infestans, and Pythium ultimum. The novel LP was shown to be essential for swarming motility of strain RE*1-1-14 and had an impact on root colonization of sugar beet seedlings The poaeamide-deficient mutant colonized the rhizosphere and upper plant cortex at higher densities and with more scattered colonization patterns than the wildtype. Collectively these results indicate that P. poae RE*1-1-14 produces a structurally new LP that is relevant for its antagonistic activity against soil-borne plant pathogens and for colonization of sugar beet roots.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology is the official Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology, publishing high-quality, original research papers, short communications, commentary articles and reviews in the rapidly expanding and diverse discipline of microbial ecology.
The ISME Journal 02/2015; 9(9). DOI:10.1038/ismej.2015.7 · 9.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In disease-suppressive soils, plants are protected from infections by specific root pathogens due to the antagonistic activities of soil and rhizosphere microorganisms. For most disease-suppressive soils, however, the microorganisms and mechanisms involved in pathogen control are largely unknown. Our recent studies identified Actinobacteria as the most dynamic phylum in a soil suppressive to the fungal root pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Here we isolated and characterized 300 isolates of rhizospheric Actinobacteria from the Rhizoctonia-suppressive soil. Streptomyces species were the most abundant, representing approximately 70% of the isolates. Streptomyces are renowned for the production of an exceptionally large number of secondary metabolites, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOC profiling of 12 representative Streptomyces isolates by SPME-GC-MS allowed a more refined phylogenetic delineation of the Streptomyces isolates than the sequencing of 16S rRNA and the house-keeping genes atpD and recA only. VOCs of several Streptomyces isolates inhibited hyphal growth of R. solani and significantly enhanced plant shoot and root biomass. Coupling of Streptomyces VOC profiles with their effects on fungal growth, pointed to VOCs potentially involved in antifungal activity. Subsequent assays with five synthetic analogues of the identified VOCs showed that methyl 2-methylpentanoate, 1,3,5-trichloro-2-methoxy benzene and the VOCs mixture have antifungal activity. In conclusion, our results point to a potential role of VOC-producing Streptomyces in disease suppressive soils and show that VOC profiling of rhizospheric Streptomyces can be used as a complementary identification tool to construct strain-specific metabolic signatures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rhizosphere provides a home to numerous (micro)organisms that in turn may affect plant growth, development, and tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. How plants shape the rhizosphere microbiome has been subject of many past and present studies with the ultimate goal to identify plant genetic traits that select and support beneficial microorganisms. Novel ‘omics technologies have provided more in-depth knowledge of the diversity and functioning of the rhizosphere microbiome and significant advances are being made to uncover mechanisms, genes and metabolites involved in the multitrophic interactions in the rhizosphere. To better understand this intriguing complexity, both reductionists’ and systems ecology approaches are needed to identify the biotic and abiotic factors involved in microbiome assembly. Here, different strategies are discussed to re-shape the rhizosphere microbiome in favour of microbial consortia that promote root development and plant growth, and that prevent the proliferation of pests and diseases.
Principles of Plant-Microbe Interactions, 01/2015: pages 411-417; , ISBN: 978-3-319-08574-6
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Certain bacterial species produce antimicrobial compounds only in the presence of a competing species. However little is known on the frequency of interaction-mediated induction of antibiotic compound production in natural communities of soil bacteria. Here we developed a high-throughput method to screen for the production of antimicrobial activity by monocultures and pair-wise combinations of 146 phylogenetically different bacteria isolated from similar soil habitats. Growth responses of two human pathogenic model organisms, Escherichia coli WA321 and Staphylococcus aureus 533R4, were used to monitor antimicrobial activity. From all isolates, 33% showed antimicrobial activity only in monoculture and 42% showed activity only when tested in interactions. More bacterial isolates were active against S. aureus than against E. coli. The frequency of interaction-mediated induction of antimicrobial activity was 6% (154 interactions out of 2798) indicating that only a limited set of species combinations showed such activity. The screening revealed also interaction-mediated suppression of antimicrobial activity for 22% of all combinations tested. Whereas all patterns of antimicrobial activity (non-induced production, induced production and suppression) were seen for various bacterial classes, interaction-mediated induction of antimicrobial activity was more frequent for combinations of Flavobacteria and alpha- Proteobacteria.
The results of our study give a first indication on the frequency of interference competitive interactions in natural soil bacterial communities which may forms a basis for selection of bacterial groups that are promising for the discovery of novel, cryptic antibiotics.
Frontiers in Microbiology 10/2014; 5(567). DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00567t · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Pseudomonas species, production of secondary metabolites and exoenzymes is regulated by the GacS/GacA two-component regulatory system. In P. fluorescens SBW25, mutations in the Gac-system cause major transcriptional changes and abolished production of the lipopeptide viscosin and of an exoprotease. In contrast to many other Pseudomonas species and strains, inactivation of the Gac-system in strain SBW25 significantly enhanced its antimicrobial activities against oomycete, fungal and bacterial pathogens. Here, random plasposon mutagenesis of the gacS mutant led to the identification of seven mutants with reduced or loss of antimicrobial activity. In four mutants, the plasposon insertion was located in genes of the pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) biosynthesis pathway. Genetic complementation, ectopic expression, activity bioassays and RP-HPLC analyses revealed that a gacS mutation in SBW25 leads to enhanced expression of pqq genes, resulting in an increase in gluconic and 2-ketogluconic acid production, which in turn acidified the extracellular medium to levels that inhibit growth of other microorganisms. We also showed that PQQ-mediated acidification comes with a growth penalty for the gacS mutant in the stationary phase. In conclusion, PQQ-mediated acidification compensates for the loss of several antimicrobial traits in P. fluorescens SBW25 and may help gac mutants to withstand competitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential. Here, we sampled nests of the endangered sea turtle species Eretmochelys imbricata that were infected with the fungal pathogen Fusarium falciforme. Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the shells of the sea turtle eggs revealed approximately 16,664 operational taxonomic units, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes as the most dominant phyla. Subsequent isolation of Actinobacteria from the eggshells led to the identification of several genera (Streptomyces, Amycolaptosis, Micromomospora Plantactinospora and Solwaraspora) that inhibit hyphal growth of the pathogen F. falciforme. These bacterial genera constitute a first set of microbial indicators to evaluate the potential role of microbiota in conservation of endangered sea turtle species.
PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e95206. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0095206 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animals and plants are increasingly suffering from diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes. These emerging pathogens are now recognized as a global threat to biodiversity and food security. Among oomycetes, Saprolegnia species cause significant declines in fish and amphibian populations. Fish eggs have an immature adaptive immune system and depend on nonspecific innate defences to ward off pathogens. Here, meta-taxonomic analyses revealed that Atlantic salmon eggs are home to diverse fungal, oomycete and bacterial communities. Although virulent Saprolegnia isolates were found in all salmon egg samples, a low incidence of Saprolegniosis was strongly correlated with a high richness and abundance of specific commensal Actinobacteria, with the genus Frondihabitans (Microbacteriaceae) effectively inhibiting attachment of Saprolegniato salmon eggs. These results highlight that fundamental insights into microbial landscapes of fish eggs may provide new sustainable means to mitigate emerging diseases.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 27 March 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.44.
The ISME Journal 03/2014; 8(10). DOI:10.1038/ismej.2014.44 · 9.30 Impact Factor