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Genomic Distribution and Divergence of Levansucrase-Coding Genes in Pseudomonas syringae

Author(s): Abhishek Srivastava | Nehaya Al-Karablieh | Shaunak Khandekar | Arifa Sharmin | Helge Weingart | Matthias S. Ullrich

Journal: Genes
ISSN 2073-4425

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 115;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: levansucrase | phage-associated promoter element | Pseudomonas syringae | Erwinia amylovora | pro-phage

In the plant pathogenic bacterium, Pseudomonas syringae, the exopolysaccharide levan is synthesized by extracellular levansucrase (Lsc), which is encoded by two conserved 1,296-bp genes termed lscB and lscC in P. syringae strain PG4180. A third gene, lscA, is homologous to the 1,248-bp lsc gene of the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, causing fire blight. However, lscA is not expressed in P. syringae strain PG4180. Herein, PG4180 lscA was shown to be expressed from its native promoter in the Lsc-deficient E. amylovora mutant, Ea7/74-LS6, suggesting that lscA might be closely related to the E. amylovora lsc gene. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that lscB and lscC homologs in several P. syringae strains are part of a highly conserved 1.8-kb region containing the ORF, flanked by 450-452-bp and 49-51-bp up- and downstream sequences, respectively. Interestingly, the 450-452-bp upstream sequence, along with the initial 48-bp ORF sequence encoding for the N-terminal 16 amino acid residues of Lsc, were found to be highly similar to the respective sequence of a putatively prophage-borne glycosyl hydrolase-encoding gene in several P. syringae genomes. Minimal promoter regions of lscB and lscC were mapped in PG4180 by deletion analysis and were found to be located in similar positions upstream of lsc genes in three P. syringae genomes. Thus, a putative 498-500-bp promoter element was identified, which possesses the prophage-associated com gene and DNA encoding common N-terminal sequences of all 1,296-bp Lsc and two glycosyl hydrolases. Since the gene product of the non-expressed 1,248-bp lscA is lacking this conserved N-terminal region but is otherwise highly homologous to those of lscB and lscC, it was concluded that lscA might have been the ancestral lsc gene in E. amylovora and P. syringae. Our data indicated that its highly expressed paralogs in P. syringae are probably derived from subsequent recombination events initiated by insertion of the 498-500-bp promoter element, described herein, containing a translational start site.
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