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Summary

The GacS/GacA signal transduction system is a central regulator in Pseudomonas spp., including the biological control strain P. fluorescens Pf-5, in which GacS/GacA controls the production of secondary metabolites and exoenzymes that suppress plant pathogens. A whole genome oligonucleotide microarray was developed for Pf-5 and used to assess the global transcriptomic consequences of a gacA mutation in P. fluorescens Pf-5. In cultures at the transition from exponential to stationary growth phase, GacA significantly influenced transcript levels of 635 genes, representing more than 10% of the 6147 annotated genes in the Pf-5 genome. Transcripts of genes involved in the production of hydrogen cyanide, the antibiotic pyoluteorin and the extracellular protease AprA were at a low level in the gacA mutant, whereas those functioning in siderophore production and other aspects of iron homeostasis were significantly higher in the gacA mutant than in wild-type Pf-5. Notable effects of gacA inactivation were also observed in the transcription of genes encoding components of a type VI secretion system and cytochrome c oxidase subunits. Two novel gene clusters expressed under the control of gacA were identified from transcriptome analysis, and we propose global-regulator-based genome mining as an approach to decipher the secondary metabolome of Pseudomonas spp.