1887

Abstract

Cereulide, produced by certain strains, is a lipophilic cyclic peptide of 1152 Da that binds K ions with high specificity and affinity. It is toxic to humans, but its role for the producer organism is not known. We report here that cereulide operates for to scavenge potassium when the environment is growth limiting for this ion. Cereulide-producing showed higher maximal growth rates (µ) than cereulide non-producing in K-deficient medium (K concentration ~1 mM). The cereulide-producing strains grew faster in K-deficient than in K-rich medium with or without added cereulide. Cereulide non-producing neither increased µ in K-deficient medium compared with K-rich medium, nor benefited from added cereulide. Cereulide-producing strains outcompeted GFP-labelled in potassium-deficient (K concentration ~1 mM) but not in potassium-rich (K concentration ~30 mM) medium. Exposure to 2 µM cereulide in potassium-free medium lacking an energy source caused, within seconds, a major efflux of cellular K from not producing cereulide as well as from Cereulide depleted the cereulide non-producing and cells of a major part of their K stores, but did not affect cereulide-producing strains. Externally added 6–10 µM cereulide triggered the generation of biofilms and pellicles by . The results indicate that both endogenous and externally accessible cereulide supports the fitness of cereulide-producing in environments where the potassium concentration is low.

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2012-04-01
2019-12-07
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