PCR detection of novel non-ribosomal peptide synthetase genes in lipopeptide-producing Pseudomonas

Microb Ecol. 2011 Nov;62(4):941-7. doi: 10.1007/s00248-011-9885-9. Epub 2011 Jun 7.


Bacterial lipopeptides (LPs) are a diverse group of secondary metabolites synthesized through one or more non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). In certain genera, such as Pseudomonas and Bacillus, these enzyme systems are often involved in synthesizing biosurfactants or antimicrobial compounds. Several different types of LPs have been reported for non-pathogenic plant-associated Pseudomonas. Focusing on this group of bacteria, we devised and validated a PCR method to detect novel LP-synthesizing NRPS genes by targeting their lipoinitiation and tandem thioesterase domains, thus avoiding amplification of genes for non-LP metabolites, such as the pyoverdine siderophores present in all fluorescent Pseudomonas. This approach enabled detection of as yet unknown NRPS genes in strains producing viscosin, viscosinamide, WLIP, or lokisin. Furthermore, it proved valuable to identify novel candidate LP producers among Pseudomonas rhizosphere isolates. By phylogenetic analysis of these amplicons, several of the corresponding NRPS genes can be tentatively assigned to the viscosin, amphisin, or entolysin biosynthetic groups, while some others may represent novel NRPS systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Lipopeptides / biosynthesis*
  • Peptide Synthases / genetics
  • Peptide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Peptides, Cyclic / biosynthesis
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Lipopeptides
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • viscosinamide
  • viscosin
  • Peptide Synthases