Tasmancin and lysogenic bacteriophages induced from Erwinia tasmaniensis strains
Mitomycin C treatment of Erwinia tasmaniensis strains from Australia induced prophages and the expression of bacteriocins. The bacteriocin named tasmancin inhibited E. tasmaniensis strains from South Africa and Germany. A gene cluster with a klebicin-related operon and an immunity protein was detected on plasmid pET46 from E. tasmaniensis strain Et1/99. PCR reactions using primers directed to this region produced signals for several strains originating from Australia, but not for strains isolated in South Africa and Germany. The latter isolates lacked plasmid pET46. Bacteriophages were induced from E. tasmaniensis strains Et88 and Et14/99, both isolates from South-Eastern Australia. These phages formed plaques on several other strains from this region, as well as on E. tasmaniensis strains from South Africa and Germany. Sequencing revealed similarity of phages ϕEt88 and ϕEt14, which shared the host range on E. tasmaniensis strains. Bacteriophages and tasmancin may interfere with the viability of several related E. tasmaniensis strains in the environment of carrier strains.