1887

Abstract

The A3(2) sporulation gene is the paradigm of a family of genes (, ike) that are confined to actinobacteria. The chromosome of contains 11 genes, among which five are conserved in many actinobacteria: itself; , a sporulation gene; , which is required for multi-drug resistance; and and , whose roles had previously been little studied. We succeeded in disrupting and the six non-conserved genes, but could not disrupt . Although mutations in the six non-conserved genes (including some multiple mutants) produced no readily detectable phenotype, mutations in had novel and complex effects. The aerial mycelium of mutants was coloured red, because of the ectopic presence of pigmented antibiotics (actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin) normally confined to lower parts of wild-type colonies, and consisted almost entirely of non-sporulating, thin, straight filaments, often bundled together in a fibrillar matrix. Rare spore chains were also formed, which exhibited wild-type properties but were genetically still mutants. A mutant achieved higher biomass than the wild-type. Microarray analysis indicated major transcriptional changes in a mutant: using a relatively stringent cut-off, 183 genes were overexpressed, including genes for assimilative primary metabolism and actinorhodin biosynthesis, and 103 were underexpressed, including genes associated with stages of aerial hyphal growth. We suggest that WblA is important in both the slow-down of biomass accumulation and the change from aerial hyphal initial cells to the subapical stem and apical compartments that precede sporulation; and that the mutant aerial mycelium consists of recapitulated defective aerial hyphal initial cells.

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2011-05-01
2019-10-20
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Oligonucleotides used in PCR reactions [ PDF] (87 kb) Heatmaps of expression levels of selected genes influenced by mutation [ PDF] (68 kb)

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