Analysis of a new cluster of genes involved in the synthesis of the unique volatile organic compound sodorifen of Serratia plymuthica 4Rx13

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The rhizobacterium Serratia plymuthica 4Rx13 emits the novel and unique volatile sodorifen (C16H26), which has a polymethylated bicyclic structure. Transcriptome analysis revealed that gene SOD_c20750 (annotated as terpene cyclase) is involved in the biosynthesis of sodorifen. Here we show that this gene is located in a small cluster of four genes (SOD_c20750 – SOD_c20780), and the analysis of the knockout mutants demonstrated that SOD_c20760 (annotated as methyltransferase) and SOD_c20780 (annotated as isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) isomerase) are needed for the biosynthesis of sodorifen, while a sodorifen-negative phenotype was not achieved with the SOD_c20770 (annotated as deoxy-xylulose-5-phosphate (DOXP) synthase) mutant. Altogether, the function of this new gene cluster was assigned to the biosynthesis of this structurally unusual volatile compound sodorifen.

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