Many products of secondary metabolism are activated by quorum sensing (QS), yet even at cell densities sufficient for QS, their production may be repressed under suboptimal growth conditions via mechanisms that still require elucidation. For many beneficial plant-associated bacteria, secondary metabolites such as phenazines are important for their competitive survival and plant-protective activities. Previous work established that phenazine biosynthesis in Pseudomonas chlororaphis 30-84 is regulated by the PhzR/PhzI QS system, which in turn is regulated by transcriptional regulator Pip, two-component system RpeA/RpeB and stationary phase/stress sigma factor RpoS. Disruption of MiaA, a tRNA modification enzyme, altered primary metabolism and growth leading to widespread effects on secondary metabolism, including reduced phenazine production and oxidative stress tolerance. Thus, the miaA mutant provided the opportunity to examine the regulation of phenazine production in response to altered metabolism and growth or stress tolerance. Despite the importance of MiaA for translation efficiency, the most significant effect of miaA disruption on phenazine production was the reduction in the transcription of phzR, phzI and pip, whereas neither the transcription nor translation of RpeB, a transcriptional regulator of pip, was affected. Constitutive expression of rpeB or pip in the miaA mutant completely restored phenazine production, but it resulted in further growth impairment. Constitutive expression of RpoS alleviated sensitivity to oxidative stress resulting from RpoS translation inefficiency in the miaA mutant, but it did not restore phenazine production. Our results support the model that cells curtail phenazine biosynthesis under suboptimal growth conditions via RpeB/Pip-mediated regulation of QS.
- MiaaTrna ModificationGene RegulationPseudomonas ChlororaphisBiological Control