Characterization and localization of a hybrid non-ribosomal peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase gene from the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis

Susanna López-Legentil, Bongkeun Song, Michael DeTure, Daniel G. Baden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, a causative agent of the red tides in Florida, produces a series of toxic compounds known as brevetoxins and their derivatives. Recently, several putative genes encoding polyketide synthase (PKS) were identified from K. brevis in an effort to elucidate the genetic systems involved in brevetoxin production. In this study, novel PKS sequences were isolated from three clones of K. brevis. Eighteen unique sequences were obtained for the PKS ketosynthase (KS) domain of K. brevis. Phylogenetic comparison with closely related PKS genes revealed that 16 grouped with cyanobacteria sequences, while the remaining two grouped with Apicomplexa and previously reported sequences for K. brevis. A fosmid library was also constructed to further characterize PKS genes detected in K. brevis Wilson clone. Several fosmid clones were positive for the presence of PKS genes, and one was fully sequenced to determine the full structure of the PKS cluster. A hybrid non ribosomal peptide synthetase and PKS (NRPS-PKS) gene cluster of 16,061 bp was isolated. In addition, we assessed whether the isolated gene was being actively expressed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and determined its localization at the cellular level by chloroplast isolation. RT-PCR analyses revealed that this gene was actively expressed in K. brevis cultures. The hybrid NRPS-PKS gene cluster was located in the chloroplast, suggesting that K. brevis acquired the ability to produce some of its secondary metabolites through endosymbiosis with ancestral cyanobacteria. Further work is needed to determine the compound produced by the NRPS-PKS hybrid, to find other PKS gene sequences, and to assess their role in K. brevis toxin biosynthetic pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

Keywords

  • Chloroplast DNA
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Dinoflagellate
  • Genomics
  • Hybrid NRPS-PKS
  • Karenia brevis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Aquatic Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization and localization of a hybrid non-ribosomal peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase gene from the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this