HexA is a versatile regulator involved in the control of phenotypic heterogeneity of Photorhabdus luminescens

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dc.contributor.author Langer, Angela
dc.contributor.author Moldovan, Adriana
dc.contributor.author Harmath, Christian
dc.contributor.author Joyce, Susan A.
dc.contributor.author Clarke, David J.
dc.contributor.author Heermann, Ralf
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-11T11:42:46Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-11T11:42:46Z
dc.date.issued 2017-04-27
dc.identifier.citation Langer, A., Moldovan, A., Harmath, C., Joyce, S. A., Clarke, D. J. and Heermann, R. (2017) ‘HexA is a versatile regulator involved in the control of phenotypic heterogeneity of Photorhabdus luminescens’, PLoS ONE 12(4), e0176535 (23pp). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176535 en
dc.identifier.volume 12 en
dc.identifier.issued 4 en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 23 en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/3945
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0176535
dc.description.abstract Phenotypic heterogeneity in microbial communities enables genetically identical organisms to behave differently even under the same environmental conditions. Photorhabdus luminescens, a bioluminescent Gram-negative bacterium, contains a complex life cycle, which involves a symbiotic interaction with nematodes as well as a pathogenic association with insect larvae. P. luminescens exists in two distinct phenotypic cell types, designated as the primary (1°) and secondary (2°) cells. The 1° cells are bioluminescent, pigmented and can support nematode growth and development. Individual 1° cells undergo phenotypic switching after prolonged cultivation and convert to 2° cells, which lack the 1° specific phenotypes. The LysR-type regulator HexA has been described as major regulator of this switching process. Here we show that HexA controls phenotypic heterogeneity in a versatile way, directly and indirectly. Expression of hexA is enhanced in 2° cells, and the corresponding regulator inhibits 1° specific traits in 2° cells. HexA does not directly affect bioluminescence, a predominant 1° specific phenotype. Since the respective luxCDABE operon is repressed at the post-transcriptional level and transcriptional levels of the RNA chaperone gene hfq are also enhanced in 2° cells, small regulatory RNAs are presumably involved that are under control of HexA. Another phenotypic trait that is specific for 1° cells is quorum sensing mediated cell clumping. The corresponding pcfABCDEF operon could be identified as the first direct target of HexA, since the regulator binds to the pcfA promoter region and thereby blocks expression of the target operon. In summary, our data show that HexA fulfills the task as repressor of 1° specific features in 2° cells in a versatile way and gives first insights into the complexity of regulating phenotypic heterogeneity in Photorhabdus bacteria. en
dc.description.sponsorship Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SPP1617, HE-5247/5-1) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en
dc.rights © 2017 Langer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ en
dc.subject Phenotype en
dc.subject Bioluminescence en
dc.subject Regulator en
dc.subject Operon en
dc.subject Repressor en
dc.subject Phenotypic heterogeneity en
dc.title HexA is a versatile regulator involved in the control of phenotypic heterogeneity of Photorhabdus luminescens en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Susan Joyce, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: s.joyce@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2017-05-11T11:34:22Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 394616049
dc.contributor.funder Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Plos ONE en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress s.joyce@ucc.ie en
dc.identifier.articleid e0176535


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© 2017 Langer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017 Langer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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