coli has revealed a strong correlation between the presence of the yfeABCD operon and virulence . In this study we have shown that the yfeABCD Selleckchem APR-246 operon is important for the virulence of P. luminescens is some insect hosts. Therefore the Δyfe mutant was as virulent as the WT bacteria in one lepidopteran insect host, G. mellonella, but
was completely avirulent in another lepidopteran host, M. sexta. This implicates the yfeABCD operon as a possible host-range determining locus in P. luminescens. The defect in virulence observed with the Δyfe mutant was rescued by the pre-loading the insect with Fe3+ but not Mn2+ suggesting that the role of the Yfe transporter in insect virulence is associated with iron homeostasis (data not shown). In this
study we have also shown that the Yfe transporter may have a role during the symbiotic interaction with the nematode, in particular during the colonization of the IJ. We observed that the Δyfe mutant has a very low plating efficiency, compared to WT, on LB agar when isolated directly from the IJ nematode. This low selleck chemical plating buy GSK2126458 efficiency was rescued by the addition of either pyruvate or catalase, known scavengers of H2O2, to the LB agar plates. Therefore the Δyfe mutant appears more sensitive to H2O2 than the WT bacteria. The Yfe transporter can mediate the uptake of Mn2+ and it has been shown that Mn2+ can protect the cells from ROS [18, 22]. Although it was thought that part of this protective affect was due to the ability of Mn2+ to act as a chemical scavenger of ROS, recent evidence suggests that the role of Temsirolimus Mn2+ during oxidative stress in E. coli is as an enzyme co-factor (i.e. replacing the Fe2+ in Fe-S clusters that are sensitive to oxidative stress) . Many bacteria contain a dedicated
Nramp-like Mn2+ transporter called MntH [18, 37]. In E. coli the expression of mntH can be induced by oxidative stress and it has been reported that mntH yfe double mutants in Salmonella, APEC and Shigella are sensitive to H2O2 [38–40]. Therefore Mn2+ uptake appears to be critical in some cells for their ability to survive exposure to H2O2. Interestingly analysis of the Pl TT01 genome reveals that there is no mntH homologue in Pl TT01 and, therefore, the Yfe transporter is the only means by which Pl TT01 is predicted to be able to obtain Mn2+ from the environment. However we could not detect any inherent increase in the sensitivity of the Δyfe mutant to H2O2 during growth on LB agar plates. This suggests that there is something specific about the conditions within the nematode that induces the H2O2-sensitive phenotype in Pl TT01 Δyfe. Recent studies in the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (a close relative of Heterorhabditis) have shown that this nematode produces 3 intestinally localized Nramp-like proteins that are involved in Mn2+ transport from the gut lumen [41, 42]. Therefore, the levels of Mn2+ available to Pl TT01 within the gut of the IJ are likely to be very low.