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Genetic Exchange of Multidrug Efflux Pumps among Two Enterobacterial Species with Distinctive Ecological Niches

DOI: 10.3390/ijms10020629

Keywords: Erwinia amylovora, Escherichia coli, TolC, AcrAB, multidrug efflux

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Abstract:

AcrAB-TolC is the major multidrug efflux system in Enterobacteriaceae recognizing structurally unrelated molecules including antibiotics, dyes, and detergents. Additionally, in Escherichia coli it mediates resistance to bile salts. In the plant pathogen Erwinia amylovora AcrAB-TolC is required for virulence and phytoalexin resistance. Exchange analysis of AcrAB-TolC was conducted by complementing mutants of both species defective in acrB or tolC with alleles from either species. The acrB and tolC mutants exhibited increased susceptibility profiles for 24 different antibiotics. All mutants were complemented with acrAB or tolC, respectively, regardless of the taxonomic origin of the alleles. Importantly, complementation of E. amylovora mutants with respective E. coli genes restored virulence on apple plants. It was concluded that AcrAB and TolC of both species could interact and that these interactions did not yield in altered functions despite the divergent ecological niches, to which E. coli and E. amylovora have adopted.

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