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Pivotal role of O-antigenic polysaccharide display in the sensitivity against phage tail-like particles in environmental Pseudomonas kin competition

Citation

Heiman, Clara et al. (2022), Pivotal role of O-antigenic polysaccharide display in the sensitivity against phage tail-like particles in environmental Pseudomonas kin competition, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1zcrjdft6

Abstract

Environmental pseudomonads colonize various niches including insect and plant environments. When invading these environments, bacteria are confronted with the resident microbiota. To cope with closely related strains they deploy narrow-spectrum weaponry such as tailocins, i.e phage tail-like particles. Little is known about the receptors for these tailocins especially among phylogenetically closely related species. Here, we studied the interaction between an R-tailocin from Pseudomonas protegens CHA0 and a targeted kin, Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5. Using genome-wide transposon insertion sequencing, we identified that lipopolysaccharides are involved in the sensitivity of Pf-5 towards the tailocin of CHA0. By generating Pf-5 lipopolysaccharide mutants and exposing them to extracted tailocin, we specified the two O-antigenic polysaccharides (O-PS) targeted by the tailocin. We affirmed the role of these O-PS through competition assays in vitro as well as in insects. Further, we demonstrate that O-PS are double-edge swords that are responsible for the sensitivity of P. protegens towards phage tail-like particles produced by their kin, but shield bacteria from the immune system of the insect. Our results shed light on the trade-off that bacteria are confronted with, where specific O-PS decorations can both be of benefit or disadvantage depending on the host environment and its bacterial inhabitants.

Methods

All the methods used to process the data are presented in the publish article.

Funding

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Award: 310030_184666