Role of a Microcin-C-like biosynthetic gene cluster in allelopathic interactions in marine Synechococcus

TitleRole of a Microcin-C-like biosynthetic gene cluster in allelopathic interactions in marine Synechococcus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPaz-Yepes J., Brahamsha B, Palenik B
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume110
Pagination12030-12035
Date Published2013/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0027-8424
Accession NumberWOS:000322086100080
Keywordsadaptation; allelopathy; antibiotics; cyanobacteria; diversity; escherichia-coli; genomics; horizontal gene transfer; north-atlantic; plasmid genes; Secondary metabolites; transfer-rna synthetase
Abstract

Competition between phytoplankton species for nutrients and light has been studied for many years, but allelopathic interactions between them have been more difficult to characterize. We used liquid and plate assays to determine whether these interactions occur between marine unicellular cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus. We have found a clear growth impairment of Synechococcus sp. CC9311 and Synechococcus sp. WH8102 when they are cultured in the presence of Synechococcus sp. CC9605. The genome of CC9605 contains a region showing homology to genes of the Escherichia coli Microcin C (McC) biosynthetic pathway. McC is a ribosome-synthesized peptide that inhibits translation in susceptible strains. We show that the CC9605 McC gene cluster is expressed and that three genes (mccD, mccA, and mccB) are further induced by coculture with CC9311. CC9605 was resistant to McC purified from E. coli, whereas strains CC9311 and WH8102 were sensitive. Cloning the CC9605 McC biosynthetic gene cluster into sensitive CC9311 led this strain to become resistant to both purified E. coli McC and Synechococcus sp. CC9605. A CC9605 mutant lacking mccA1, mccA2, and the N-terminal domain of mccB did not inhibit CC9311 growth, whereas the inhibition of WH8102 was reduced. Our results suggest that an McC-like molecule is involved in the allelopathic interactions with CC9605.

DOI10.1073/pnas.1306260110
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