Metabolic co-regulation between biosynthetic pathways for secondary metabolites is common in microbes and can play an important role in microbial interactions. Here, we describe a novel mechanism of metabolic co-regulation in which an intermediate in one pathway is converted into signals that activate a second pathway. Our study focused on the co-regulation of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG) and pyoluteorin, two antimicrobial metabolites produced by the soil bacterium Pseudomonas protegens. We show that an intermediate in DAPG biosynthesis, phloroglucinol, is transformed by a halogenase encoded in the pyoluteorin gene cluster into mono- and di-chlorinated phloroglucinols. The chlorinated phloroglucinols function as intra- and inter-cellular signals that induce the expression of pyoluteorin biosynthetic genes, pyoluteorin production, and pyoluteorin-mediated inhibition of the plant-pathogenic bacterium Erwinia amylovora. This metabolic co-regulation provides a strategy for P. protegens to optimize the deployment of secondary metabolites with distinct roles in cooperative and competitive microbial interactions.
- Jeff H Chang
- Joyce E Loper
- Benjamin Philmus
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Jon Clardy, Harvard Medical School, United States
© 2017, Yan et al.
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