Recent metabolomics research on the temperature-dependent coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus has led to the discovery of several compounds produced by the organism as a response to high-density, low nutrient growing conditions. Three compounds identified in the stressed metabolome are maltose, ethanolamine, and the first report of the production of the bioplastic-type compound (BTC) 2-buteonic acid, 2-carboxy-1-methylethyl ester by V. coralliilyticus. The presence of maltose and ethanolamine indicate a state of acute nutrient limitation; therefore, we hypothesize that the cells metabolism turned to its own cell wall, or perhaps neighboring cells, for sources of carbon and nitrogen. The presence of the BTC also supports the acute nutrient limitation idea due to the parallels with polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production in other Gram-negative bacteria including other Vibrio species. PHAs are industrially manufactured via fermentation of bacteria in which certain nutrients are limited once cell density has reached a substantial level. The result is a bioplastic polymeric material or PHA formed as a defense mechanism of the bacterial cell to store nutrients in the form of granular polyesters. Although nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy (MS) data indicate that the BTC produced by V. coralliilyticus is a single unit (as opposed to the polymeric PHA), its structure is common with the repeated ester monomer of PHAs. The three metabolites along with the NMR 1H metabolic fingerprints of the nutrient- limited samples are proposed to serve as metabolic markers for extremely stressful growing conditions of V. coralliilytiucs.
Citation: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Pub Type: Journals
NMR, Vibrio coralliilyticus, metabolomics, 2-butenoic acid, 2-carboxy-1-methylethyl ester, (E)-3-(but-2-enoyloxy)butanoic acid, maltose, ethanolamine