Pseudomonas corrugata CFBP 5454 produces two kinds of cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs), cormycin A and corpeptins, both of which possess surfactant, antimicrobial and phytotoxic activities. In this study, we identified genes coding for a putative non‐ribosomal peptide synthetase and an ABC‐type transport system involved in corpeptin production. These genes belong to the same transcriptional unit, designated crpCDE. The genetic organization of this locus is highly similar to other Pseudomonas CLP biosynthetic clusters. Matrix‐assisted laser desorption ionization‐time of flight‐mass spectrometry (MALDI‐TOF‐MS) analysis revealed that transporter and synthetase genomic knock‐out mutants were unable to produce corpeptins, but continued to produce cormycin A. This suggests that CrpCDE is the only system involved in corpeptin production in P. corrugata CFBP 5454. In addition, phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CrpE ABC transporter clustered with the transporters of CLPs with a long peptide chain. Strains depleted in corpeptin production were significantly less virulent than the wild‐type strain when inoculated in tomato plants and induced only chlorosis when infiltrated into Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Thus, corpeptins are important effectors of P. corrugata interaction with plants. Expression analysis revealed that crpC transcription occurs at high cell density. Two LuxR transcriptional regulators, PcoR and RfiA, have a pivotal role in crpCexpression and thus in corpeptin production.
- ABC transporters
- Lux R transcriptional regulators
- Non-ribosomal peptide synthetase