Journal of bacteriology

Catabolism of raffinose, sucrose, and melibiose in Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937.

PMID 19734309


Erwinia chrysanthemi (Dickeya dadantii) is a plant pathogenic bacterium that has a large capacity to degrade the plant cell wall polysaccharides. The present study reports the metabolic pathways used by E. chrysanthemi to assimilate the oligosaccharides sucrose and raffinose, which are particularly abundant plant sugars. E. chrysanthemi is able to use sucrose, raffinose, or melibiose as a sole carbon source for growth. The two gene clusters scrKYABR and rafRBA are necessary for their catabolism. The phenotypic analysis of scr and raf mutants revealed cross-links between the assimilation pathways of these oligosaccharides. Sucrose catabolism is mediated by the genes scrKYAB. While the raf cluster is sufficient to catabolize melibiose, it is incomplete for raffinose catabolism, which needs two additional steps that are provided by scrY and scrB. The scr and raf clusters are controlled by specific repressors, ScrR and RafR, respectively. Both clusters are controlled by the global activator of carbohydrate catabolism, the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP). E. chrysanthemi growth with lactose is possible only for mutants with a derepressed nonspecific lactose transport system, which was identified as RafB. RafR inactivation allows the bacteria to the assimilate the novel substrates lactose, lactulose, stachyose, and melibionic acid. The raf genes also are involved in the assimilation of alpha- and beta-methyl-D-galactosides. Mutations in the raf or scr genes did not significantly affect E. chrysanthemi virulence. This could be explained by the large variety of carbon sources available in the plant tissue macerated by E. chrysanthemi.

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D-(+)-Melibiose, for microbiology, ≥99.0%