Journal of Bacteriology vol:185 issue:3 pages:897-908
Rhizosphere isolate Pseudomonas sp. strain BW11M1, which belongs to the Pseudomonas putida cluster, secretes a heat- and protease-sensitive bacteriocin which kills P. putida GR12-2R3. The production of this bacteriocin is enhanced by DNA-damaging treatment of producer cells. We isolated a TnMod mutant of strain BW11M1 that had lost the capacity to inhibit the growth of strain GR12-2R3. A wild-type genomic fragment encompassing the transposon insertion site was shown to confer the bacteriocin phenotype when it was introduced into Escherichia coli cells. The bacteriocin structural gene was identified by defining the minimal region required for expression in E. coli. This gene was designated llpA (lectin-like putidacin) on the basis of significant homology of its 276-amino-acid product with mannose-binding lectins from monocotyledonous plants. LlpA is composed of two monocot mannose-binding lectin (MMBL) domains. Several uncharacterized bacterial genes encoding diverse proteins containing one or two MMBL domains were identified. A phylogenetic analysis of the MMBL domains present in eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteins assigned the putidacin domains to a new bacterial clade within the MMBL-containing protein family. Heterologous expression of the llpA gene also conveyed bacteriocin production to several Pseudomonas fluorescens strains. In addition, we demonstrated that strain BW11M1 and heterologous hosts secrete LlpA into the growth medium without requiring a cleavable signal sequence. Most likely, the mode of action of this lectin-like bacteriocin is different from the modes of action of previously described Pseudomonas bacteriocins.