Potassium and sodium transporters of Pseudomonas aeruginosa regulate virulence to barley

Akihiro Ueda, Thomas K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We investigated the role of three uncharacterized cation transporters of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 as virulence factors for barley: PA1207, PA5021, and PA2647. PAO1 displayed reduced barley virulence with inactivated PA1207, PA5021, and PA2647 as well as with one known Na+/H+ antiporter, PA1820. Using the Escherichia coli LB2003 mutant lacking three K+ uptake systems, the expression of the PA5021 gene repressed LB2003 growth with low K+, but the strain acquired tolerance to high K +. In contrast, the expression of the PA1207 gene enhanced growth of LB2003 with low K+ but repressed its growth with high K+; therefore, the PA5021 protein exports K+, while the PA1207 protein imports K+. The PA5021 mutant of P. aeruginosa also showed impaired growth at 400 mM KCl and at 400 mM NaCl; therefore, the PA5021 protein may also export Na+. The loss of the PA5021 protein also decreased production of the virulence factor pyocyanin; corroborating this result, pyocyanin production decreased in wild-type PAO1 under high salinity. Whole-genome transcriptome analysis showed that PAO1 induced more genes in barley upon infection compared to the PA5021 mutant. Additionally, PAO1 infection induced water stress-related genes in barley, which suggests that barley may undergo water deficit upon infection by this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-858
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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