1887

Abstract

The species that presently constitute the complex (Bcc) have multiple roles; they include soil and water saprophytes, bioremediators, and plant, animal and human pathogens. Since the first description of pathogenicity in the Bcc was based on sour skin rot of onion bulbs, this study returned to this plant host to investigate the onion-associated phenotype of the Bcc. Many Bcc isolates, which were previously considered to be non-mucoid, produced copious amounts of exopolysaccharide (EPS) when onion tissue was provided as the sole nutrient. EPS production was not species-specific, was observed in isolates from both clinical and environmental sources, and did not correlate with the ability to cause maceration of onion tissue. Chemical analysis suggested that the onion components responsible for EPS induction were primarily the carbohydrates sucrose, fructose and fructans. Additional sugars were investigated, and all alcohol sugars tested were able to induce EPS production, in particular mannitol and glucitol. To investigate the molecular basis for EPS biosynthesis, we focused on the highly conserved gene cluster thought to be involved in cepacian biosynthesis. We demonstrated induction of the gene cluster by mannitol, and found a clear correlation between the inability of representatives of the ET12 lineage to produce EPS and the presence of an 11 bp deletion within the gene, which encodes a glycosyltransferase. Insertional inactivation of in AMMD results in loss of EPS production on sugar alcohol media. These novel and surprising insights into EPS biosynthesis highlight the metabolic potential of the Bcc and show that a potential virulence factor may not be detected by routine laboratory culture. Our results also highlight a potential hazard in the use of inhaled mannitol as an osmolyte to improve mucociliary clearance in individuals with cystic fibrosis.

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2008-08-01
2019-10-13
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EPS production and , BCESM and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIA [ PDF] (57 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of [ PDF] (14 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIB [ PDF] (13 kb) Comparison of homology within the gene cluster of representative Bcc species [ PDF] (223 kb)

PDF

EPS production and , BCESM and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIA [ PDF] (57 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of [ PDF] (14 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIB [ PDF] (13 kb) Comparison of homology within the gene cluster of representative Bcc species [ PDF] (223 kb)

PDF

EPS production and , BCESM and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIA [ PDF] (57 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of [ PDF] (14 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIB [ PDF] (13 kb) Comparison of homology within the gene cluster of representative Bcc species [ PDF] (223 kb)

PDF

EPS production and , BCESM and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIA [ PDF] (57 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of [ PDF] (14 kb) EPS production and PCR results for clinical isolates of IIIB [ PDF] (13 kb) Comparison of homology within the gene cluster of representative Bcc species [ PDF] (223 kb)

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