Genomic and proteomic analyses of the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus reveal a diverse virulence repertoire.
ISME J. 2011 Sep;5(9):1471-83
Authors: Santos Ede O, Alves N, Dias GM, Mazotto AM, Vermelho A, Vora GJ, Wilson B, Beltran VH, Bourne DG, Le Roux F, Thompson FL
Vibrio coralliilyticus has been implicated as an important pathogen of coral species worldwide. In this study, the nearly complete genome of Vibrio coralliilyticus strain P1 (LMG23696) was sequenced and proteases implicated in virulence of the strain were specifically investigated. The genome sequence of P1 (5,513,256 bp in size) consisted of 5222 coding sequences and 58 RNA genes (53 tRNAs and at least 5 rRNAs). Seventeen metalloprotease and effector (vgrG, hlyA and hcp) genes were identified in the genome and expressed proteases were also detected in the secretome of P1. As the VcpA zinc-metalloprotease has been considered an important virulence factor of V. coralliilyticus, a vcpA deletion mutant was constructed to evaluate the effect of this gene in animal pathogenesis. Both wild-type and mutant (ΔvcpA) strains exhibited similar virulence characteristics that resulted in high mortality in Artemia and Drosophila pathogenicity bioassays and strong photosystem II inactivation of the coral dinoflagellate endosymbiont (Symbiodinium). In contrast, the ΔvcpA mutant demonstrated higher hemolytic activity and secreted 18 proteins not secreted by the wild type. These proteins included four types of metalloproteases, a chitinase, a hemolysin-related protein RbmC, the Hcp protein and 12 hypothetical proteins. Overall, the results of this study indicate that V. coralliilyticus strain P1 has a diverse virulence repertoire that possibly enables this bacterium to be an efficient animal pathogen.
PMID: 21451583 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]