Biosynthesis of a complex yersiniabactin-like natural product via the mic locus in phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum.
A genome mining study in the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum GMI1000 unveiled a polyketide synthase/nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene cluster putatively involved in siderophore biosynthesis. Insertional mutagenesis confirmed the respective locus to be operational under iron-deficient conditions and spurred the isolation of the associated natural product. Bioinformatic analyses of the gene cluster facilitated the structural characterization of this compound, which was subsequently identified as the antimycoplasma agent micacocidin. The metal-chelating properties of micacocidin were evaluated in competition experiments, and the cellular uptake of gallium-micacocidin complexes was demonstrated in R. solanacearum GMI1000, indicating a possible siderophore role. Comparative genomics revealed a conservation of the micacocidin gene cluster in defined, but globally dispersed phylotypes of R. solanacearum.