A conserved nonribosomal peptide family affects motility and biofilm formation in the marine bacterium Pseudovibrio brasiliensis

vol. 1, 2019 - 117488
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Bacteria can colonize diverse environments as well as establish associations with plants, animals and fungi, playing important ecological functions and contributing to health and disease [1]. Pseudovibrio spp. are marine alpha-proteobacteria that stand out for being found only in healthy sponges. Few natural products have been isolated from Pseudovibrio, even though recent investigations indicate a diversity of biosynthetic gene clusters in these bacteria [2]. We identified a biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) in Pseudovibrio brasiliensis that is conserved among 70% of all sequenced Pseudovibrio isolates. The conservation of this BGC suggests a relevant adaptative function for Pseudovibrio spp. In order to investigate the role of the secondary metabolite expressed by this BGC, we developed a reverse genetics method to manipulate Pseudovibrio brasiliensis. The absence of this BGC negatively affects flagellar motility while improving biofilm formation. Moreover, we were able to identify a NRPS peptide expressed by this gene cluster, which structure is under investigation. Next steps will include investigating the peptide bioactivity, in order to gather knowledge on conserved mechanisms that Pseudovibrio spp. employ to coordinate motility and to colonize eukaryotic hosts.

  • 1 Instituto de Química de São Carlos / Universidade de São Paulo
  • 2 University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 3 USP - São Carlos
marine natural products
bacterial motility