Two Burkholderia gladioli strains isolated from the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients were found to produce unusual lipodepsipeptides containing a unique citrate-derived fatty acid and a rare dehydro-β-alanine residue. The gene cluster responsible for their biosynthesis was identified by bioinformatics and insertional mutagenesis. In-frame deletions and enzyme activity assays were used to investigate the functions of several proteins encoded by the biosynthetic gene cluster, which was found in the genomes of about 45 % of B. gladioli isolates, suggesting that its metabolic products play an important role in the growth and/or survival of the species. The Chrome Azurol S assay indicated that these metabolites bind ferric iron, which suppresses their production when added to the growth medium. Moreover, a gene encoding a TonB-dependent ferric-siderophore receptor is adjacent to the biosynthetic genes, suggesting that these metabolites may function as siderophores in B. gladioli.
- fatty acids
- genome mining
- natural products
- nonribosomal peptide synthetase