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Summary

Transcriptome analysis of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 showed that 702 genes were differentially regulated in a gacS::Tn5 mutant, with 300 and 402 genes up- and downregulated respectively. Similar to the Gac regulon of other Pseudomonas species, genes involved in motility, biofilm formation, siderophore biosynthesis and oxidative stress were differentially regulated in the gacS mutant of SBW25. Our analysis also revealed, for the first time, that transcription of 19 rhizosphere-induced genes and of genes involved in type II secretion, (exo)polysaccharide and pectate lyase biosynthesis, twitching motility and an orphan non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) were significantly affected in the gacS mutant. Furthermore, the gacS mutant inhibited growth of oomycete, fungal and bacterial pathogens significantly more than wild type SBW25. Since RP-HPLC analysis did not reveal any potential candidate metabolites, we focused on the Gac-regulated orphan NRPS gene cluster that was predicted to encode an eight-amino-acid ornicorrugatin-like peptide. Site-directed mutagenesis indicated that the encoded peptide is not involved in the enhanced antimicrobial activity of the gacS mutant but may function as a siderophore. Collectively, this genome-wide analysis revealed that a mutation in the GacS/A two-component regulatory system causes major transcriptional changes in SBW25 and significantly enhances its antimicrobial activities by yet unknown mechanisms.