Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 5, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands
Cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs) are versatile molecules produced by a variety of bacterial genera, including plant-associated Pseudomonas spp. CLPs are composed of a fatty acid tail linked to a short oligopeptide, which is cyclized to form a lactone ring between two amino acids in the peptide chain. CLPs are very diverse both structurally and in terms of their biological activity. The structural diversity is due to differences in the length and composition of the fatty acid tail and to variations in the number, type, and configuration of the amino acids in the peptide moiety. CLPs have received considerable attention for their antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and surfactant properties. For plant-pathogenic Pseudomonas spp., CLPs constitute important virulence factors, and pore formation, followed by cell lysis, is their main mode of action. For the antagonistic Pseudomonas sp., CLPs play a key role in antimicrobial activity, motility, and biofilm formation. CLPs are produced via nonribosomal synthesis on large, multifunctional peptide synthetases. Both the structural organization of the CLP synthetic templates and the presence of specific domains and signature sequences within peptide synthetase genes will be described for both pathogenic and antagonistic Pseudomonas spp. Finally, the role of various genes and regulatory mechanisms in CLP production by Pseudomonas spp., including two-component regulation and quorum sensing, will be discussed in detail.