Characterization of three novel genetic loci encoding bacteriocins associated with Xanthomonas perforans
Bacterial spot is a destructive disease of tomato in Florida that prior to the early 1990s was caused by Xanthomonas euvesicatoria. X. perforans was first identified in Florida in 1991 and by 2006 was the only xanthomonad associated with bacterial spot disease in tomato. The ability of an X. perforans strain to outcompete X. euvesicatoria both in vitro and in vivo was at least in part associated with the production of three bacteriocins designated Bcn-A, Bcn-B, and Bcn-C. The objective of this
... tudy was to characterize the genetic determinants of these bacteriocins. Bcn-A activity was confined to one locus consisting of five ORFs of which three (ORFA, ORF2 and ORF4) were required for bacteriocin activity. The fifth ORF is predicted to encode an immunity protein to Bcn-A based on in vitro and in vivo assays. The first ORF encodes Bcn-A, a 1,398 amino acid protein, which bioinformatic analysis predicts to be a member of the RHS family of toxins. Based on results of homology modeling, we hypothesize that the amino terminus of Bcn-A interacts with a protein in the outer membrane of X. euvesicatoria. The carboxy terminus of the protein may interact with an as yet unknown protein(s) and puncture the X. euvesicatoria membrane, thereby delivering the accessory proteins into the target and causing cell death. Bcn-A appears to be activated upon secretion based on cell fractionation assays. The other two loci were each shown to be single ORFs encoding Bcn-B and Bcn-C. Both gene products possess homology toward known proteases. Proteinase activity for both Bcn-B and Bcn-C was confirmed using a milk agar assay. Bcn-B is predicted to be an ArgC-like serine protease, which was confirmed by PMSF inhibition of proteolytic activity, whereas Bcn-C has greater than 50% amino acid sequence identity to two zinc metalloproteases.