Cloning and expression of a toxin gene fromPseudomonas fluorescensGcM5–1A

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Pseudomonas fluorescens GcM5–1A was isolated from the pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, obtained from wilted Japanese black pine, Pinus thumbergii, in China. In this paper, a genomic library of the GcM5–1A strain was constructed and a toxin-producing clone was isolated by bioassay. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 1,290 bp encoding a protein of 429 amino acids with N-terminal putative signal peptide of 36 amino acids, which shared a similarity of 83, 82 and 80% identity with hypothetical protein PFLU2919 from P. fluorescens SBW25, Dyp-type peroxidase family protein from P. fluorescens Pf-5 and Tat-translocated enzyme from P. fluorescens Pf0–1, respectively. The gene encoding a full-length protein or without the putative signal peptide was cloned and expressed as a soluble protein in E. coli. The recombinant protein was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by affinity chromatography using a Ni2+ matrix column. Its relative molecular weight was estimated to be 48.5 kDa by SDS-PAGE for full-length protein, and 45.0 kDa for the recombinant protein without putative signal peptide. Bioassay results showed that the recombinant protein with or without the putative signal peptide was toxic to both suspension cells and P. thunbergii seedlings. HPLC analysis demonstrated that components in branch extracts of P. thunbergii were significantly changed after addition of the recombinant full-length protein and hydrogen peroxide, which indicated that it is probably a peroxidase. This study offers information that can be used to determine the mechanism of pine wilt disease caused by the PWN.

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