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Transposon mutagenesis in Pseudomonas fluorescens reveals genes involved in blue pigment production and antioxidant protection.

Andreani, Nadia Andrea, Carraro, Lisa, Zhang, Lihong, Vos, Michiel, Cardazzo, Barbara
Food microbiology 2019 v.82 pp. 497-503
Pseudomonas fluorescens, bacteria, biochemical pathways, coculture, dairy industry, discoloration, financial economics, foods, genes, genetic analysis, genomics, hydrogen peroxide, mutagenesis, mutants, oxidative stress, phenotype, transposons, tryptophan
Pseudomonas fluorescens Ps_77 is a blue-pigmenting strain able to cause food product discoloration, causing relevant economic losses especially in the dairy industry. Unlike non-pigmenting P. fluorescens, blue pigmenting strains previously were shown to carry a genomic region that includes homologs of trpABCDF genes, pointing at a possible role of the tryptophan biosynthetic pathway in production of the pigment. Here, we employ random mutagenesis to first identify the genes involved in blue-pigment production in P. fluorescens Ps_77 and second to investigate the biological function of the blue pigment. Genetic analyses based on the mapping of the random insertions allowed the identification of eight genes involved in pigment production, including the second copy of trpB (trpB_1) gene. Phenotypic characterization of Ps_77 white mutants demonstrated that the blue pigment increases oxidative-stress resistance. Indeed, while Ps_77 was growing at a normal rate in presence of 5 mM of H2O2, white mutants were completely inhibited. The antioxidative protection is not available for non-producing bacteria in co-culture with Ps_77.