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      Bacterial analogs of plant piperidine alkaloids mediate microbial interactions in a rhizosphere model system

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          Abstract

          Plants expend significant resources to select and maintain rhizosphere communities that benefit their growth and protect them from pathogens. A better understanding of assembly and function of rhizosphere microbial communities will provide new avenues for improving crop production. Secretion of antibiotics is one means by which bacteria interact with neighboring microbes and sometimes change community composition. In our analysis of a taxonomically diverse consortium from the soybean rhizosphere, we found that Pseudomonas koreensis selectively inhibits growth of Flavobacterium johnsoniae and other members of the Bacteroidetes grown in soybean root exudate. A genetic screen in P. koreensis identified a previously uncharacterized biosynthetic gene cluster responsible for the inhibitory activity. The metabolites were isolated based on biological activity and were characterized using tandem-mass spectrometry, multidimensional NMR, and Mosher ester analysis, leading to the discovery of a new family of bacterial piperidine alkaloids, koreenceine A-D. Three of these metabolites are analogs of the plant alkaloid γ-coniceine. Comparative analysis of the koreenceine cluster with the γ-coniceine pathway revealed distinct polyketide synthase (PKS) routes to the defining piperidine scaffold, suggesting convergent evolution. Koreenceine-type pathways are widely distributed among Pseudomonas species, and koreenceine C was detected in another Pseudomonas sp. from a distantly related cluster. This work suggests that Pseudomonas and plants convergently evolved the ability to produce similar alkaloid metabolites that can mediate inter-bacterial competition in the rhizosphere.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          bioRxiv
          December 19 2018
          Article
          10.1101/499731
          © 2018
          Product

          Microbiology & Virology

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