A comparison of genes involved in sphingan biosynthesis brought up to date

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Abstract

Microbial polysaccharides have a wide range of functional properties and show high relevance in industrial applications. The possibility to create tailor-made polysaccharides by genetic engineering will further enhance the product portfolio and may open new fields of application. Here, we have examined in detail the recently sequenced genome of the welan-producing strain Sphingomonas sp. ATCC 31555 to identify the complete welan cluster and further genes involved in EPS production. The corresponding genes were compared on the nucleotide and amino acid sequence level to the EPS clusters of the described gellan-producing Sphingomonas elodea ATCC 31461, diutan-producing Sphingomonas sp. ATCC 53159, and the S-88-producing Sphingomonas sp. ATCC 31554 strains. We also compared the previously mentioned strains to each other and included the genes upstream of the main cluster in gellan and welan cluster. The cluster organization of Sphingomonas strain S-7 was also compared based on previous hybridization experiments, without nucleotide sequences. We have found that the occurrence of genes in all biosynthesis clusters is connected to the structures of the various produced sphingans. Along these lines, homologous genes responsible for the assembly of the identical repeating unit generally show high sequence identity, whereas genes for putative side chain attachment urf31, urf31.4, and urf34 vary more in distinct areas. Moreover, gene clusters for biosynthesis of diutan, welan, gellan, and S-88 as well as S-7 are similar in general organization but differ in location and arrangement of some genes. Finally, we summarized genetic and mutational engineering approaches toward modified sphingan variants as described in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7719-7733
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume98
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Biosynthesis
  • Diutan
  • Gellan
  • Gene cluster
  • Sphingan
  • Welan

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