R-type bacteriocins in related strains of Xenorhabdus bovienii: Xenorhabdicin tail fiber modularity and contribution to competitiveness

Kristin Ciezki, Kristen Murfin, Heidi Goodrich-Blair, S Patricia Stock, Steven Forst

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

R-type bacteriocins are contractile phage tail-like structures that are bactericidal towards related bacterial species. The C-terminal region of the phage tail fiber protein determines target-binding specificity. The mutualistic bacteria Xenorhabdus nematophila and X. bovienii produce R-type bacteriocins (xenorhabdicins) that are selectively active against different Xenorhabdus species. We analyzed the P2-type remnant prophage clusters in draft sequences of nine strains of X. bovienii. The C-terminal tail fiber region in each of the respective strains was unique and consisted of mosaics of modular units. The region between the main tail fiber gene (xbpH1) and the sheath gene (xbpS1) contained a variable number of modules encoding tail fiber fragments. DNA inversion and module exchange between strains was involved in generating tail fiber diversity. Xenorhabdicin-enriched fractions from three different X. bovienii strains isolated from the same nematode species displayed distinct activities against each other. In one set of strains, the strain that produced highly active xenorhabdicin was able to eliminate a sensitive strain. In contrast, xenorhabdicin activity was not a determining factor in the competitive fitness of a second set of strains. These findings suggest that related strains of X. bovienii use xenorhabdicin and additional antagonistic molecules to compete against each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfnw235
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume364
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Xenorhabdus
Bacteriocins
Bacteriophages
Prophages
Genes
Bacteria
DNA
Proteins

Keywords

  • Antibiotics
  • Bacteriocins
  • Competition
  • Phage tail
  • Xenorhabdus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

R-type bacteriocins in related strains of Xenorhabdus bovienii : Xenorhabdicin tail fiber modularity and contribution to competitiveness. / Ciezki, Kristin; Murfin, Kristen; Goodrich-Blair, Heidi; Stock, S Patricia; Forst, Steven.

In: FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 364, No. 1, fnw235, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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