Carocin D is a bacteriocin produced by Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum Pcc21. Carocin D inhibits the growth of P carotovorum subsp. carotovorum and closely related strains. Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum is a causative bacterium for soft rot disease and leads to severe economic losses. Bacteriocins recognize and interact with a specific membrane protein of target bacteria as a receptor. To identify the receptor responsible for carocin D recognition, mutants that underwent a phenotypic change from carocin D sensitivity to carocin D insensitivity were screened. Based on Tn5 insertions, carocin D sensitivity was dependent on expression of the outer membrane protein OmpF. The insensitivity of the mutant (Pcc3MR) to carocin D was complemented with ompF from carocin D-sensitive strains, not from carocin D-resistant strains. The selectivity between sensitive and resistant strains could be attributed to variation in OmpFs in the cell-surface-exposed regions. Based on sequence analysis and complementation assays, it appears that carocin D uses OmpF as a receptor and is translocated by the TonB system. According to previously reported translocation mechanisms of colicins, OmpF works along with the TolA system rather than the TonB system. Therefore, the current findings suggest that carocin D is imported by a unique colicin-like bacteriocin translocation system.
Keywords: Pectobacterium; bacteriocin; bio-control; carocin D; ompF; receptor.
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