Rhizoxin analogs, orfamide A and chitinase production contribute to the toxicity of Pseudomonas protegens strain Pf-5 to Drosophila melanogaster

Joyce E. Loper, Marcella D. Henkels, Lorena I. Rangel, Marika H. Olcott, Francesca L. Walker, Kise L. Bond, Teresa A. Kidarsa, Cedar N. Hesse, Baruch Sneh, Virginia O. Stockwell, Barbara J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pseudomonas protegens strain Pf-5 is a soil bacterium that was first described for its capacity to suppress plant diseases and has since been shown to be lethal to certain insects. Among these is the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a well-established model organism for studies evaluating the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response to bacterial challenge. Pf-5 produces the insect toxin FitD, but a ΔfitD mutant of Pf-5 retained full toxicity against D. melanogaster in a noninvasive feeding assay, indicating that FitD is not a major determinant of Pf-5's oral toxicity against this insect. Pf-5 also produces a broad spectrum of exoenzymes and natural products with antibiotic activity, whereas a mutant with a deletion in the global regulatory gene gacA produces none of these exoproducts and also lacks toxicity to D. melanogaster. In this study, we made use of a panel of Pf-5 mutants having single or multiple mutations in the biosynthetic gene clusters for seven natural products and two exoenzymes that are produced by the bacterium under the control of gacA. Our results demonstrate that the production of rhizoxin analogs, orfamide A, and chitinase are required for full oral toxicity of Pf-5 against D. melanogaster, with rhizoxins being the primary determinant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3509-3521
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

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