Roles of the Gac-Rsm pathway in the regulation of phenazine biosynthesis in Pseudomonas chlororaphis 30-84

Authors


Correspondence

Elizabeth A. Pierson, 202 Horticulture and Forestry Sciences Building, College Station, TX 77843-2133.

Tel: +1 979-862-1307;

Fax: +1 979-845-0627;

E-mail: eapierson@tamu.edu

Abstract

The GacS/GacA two-component regulatory system activates the production of secondary metabolites including phenazines crucial for biological control activity in Pseudomonas chlororaphis 30-84. To better understand the role of the Gac system on phenazine regulation, transcriptomic analyses were conducted by comparing the wild-type strain to a gacA mutant. RNA-seq analysis identified 771 genes under GacA control, including many novel genes. Consistent with previous findings, phenazine biosynthetic genes were significantly downregulated in a gacA mutant. The transcript abundances of phenazine regulatory genes such as phzI, phzR, iopA, iopB, rpoS, and pip also were reduced. Moreover, the transcript abundance of three noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) including rsmX, rsmY, and rsmZ was significantly decreased by gacA mutation consistent with the presence of consensus GacA-binding sites associated with their promoters. Our results also demonstrated that constitutive expression of rsmZ from a non-gac regulated promoter resulted in complete restoration of N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) and phenazine production as well as the expression of other gac-dependent secondary metabolites in gac mutants. The role of RsmA and RsmE in phenazine production also was investigated. Overexpression of rsmE, but not rsmA, resulted in decreased AHL and phenazine production in P. chlororaphis, and only a mutation in rsmE bypassed the requirement for GacA in phenazine gene expression. In contrast, constitutive expression of the phzI/phzR quorum sensing system did not rescue phenazine production in the gacA mutant, indicating the direct posttranscriptional control by Gac on the phenazine biosynthetic genes. On the basis of these results, we propose a model to illustrate the hierarchic role of phenazine regulators modulated by Gac in the control of phenazine production. The transcriptomic analysis also was used to identify additional genes regulated by GacA that may contribute to the biological control capability of strain 30-84.

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