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Intracellular Accumulation of Mannopine, an Opine Produced by Crown Gall Tumors, Transiently Inhibits Growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens

June 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  6
Pages  793 - 803

Kun-Soo Kim , 1 Chang-Ho Baek , 1 Jeong Kug Lee , 1 Jai Myung Yang , 1 and Stephen K. Farrand 2

1Department of Life Science, Sogang University, Sinsoo-Dong 1, Mapo-Gu, Seoul 121-742, Korea; 2Departments of Microbiology and Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, U.S.A.

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Accepted 27 February 2001.

pYDH208, a cosmid clone from the octopine-mannityl opine-type tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid pTi15955 confers utilization of mannopine (MOP) and agropine (AGR) on Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain NT1. NT1 harboring pYDH208 with an insertion mutation in mocC, which codes for MOP oxidoreductase, not only fails to utilize MOP as a sole carbon source, but also was inhibited in its growth by MOP and AGR. In contrast, the growth of mutants with insertions in other tested moc genes was not inhibited by either opine. Growth of strains NT1 or UIA5, a derivative of C58 that lacks pAtC58, was not inhibited by MOP, but growth of NT1 or UIA5 harboring pRE10, which codes for the MOP transport system, was inhibited by the opine. When a clone expressing mocC was introduced, the growth of strain NT1(pRE10) was not inhibited by MOP, although UIA5(pRE10) was still weakly inhibited. In strain NT1(pRE10, mocC), santhopine (SOP), produced by the oxidation of MOP by MocC, was further degraded by functions encoded by pAtC58. These results suggest that MOP and, to a lesser extent, SOP are inhibitory when accumulated intracellularly. The growth of NT1(pRE10), as measured by turbidity and viable cell counts, ceased upon the addition of MOP but restarted in a few hours. Regrowth was partly the result of the outgrowth of spontaneous MOP-resistant mutants and partly the adaptation of cells to MOP in the medium. Chrysopine, isochrysopine, and analogs of MOP in which the glutamine residue is substituted with other amino acids were barely taken up by NT1(pRE10) and were not inhibitory to growth of the strain. Sugar analogs of MOP were inhibitory, and those containing sugars in the D form were more inhibitory than those containing sugars in the L form. MOP analogs containing hexose sugars were more inhibitory than those containing sugars with three, four, or five carbon atoms. Mutants of NT1(pRE10) that are resistant to MOP arose in the zone of growth inhibition. Genetic and physiological analyses indicate that the mutations are located on pRE10 and abolish uptake of the opine.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society