Expression of bacteriophage φEa1h lysozyme in Escherichia coli and its activity in growth inhibition of Erwinia amylovora
A 3·3 kb fragment from Erwinia amylovora phage φEa1h in plasmid pJH94 was previously characterized and found to contain an exopolysaccharide depolymerase (dpo) gene and two additional ORFs encoding 178 and 119 amino acids. ORF178 (lyz) and ORF119 (hol) were found to overlap by 19 bp and they resembled genes encoding lysozymes and holins. In nucleotide sequence alignments, lyz had structurally conserved regions with residues important for lysozyme function. The lyz gene was cloned into an expression vector and expressed in Escherichia coli. Active lysozyme was detected only when E. coli cells with the lyz gene and a kanamycin-resistance cassette were grown in the presence of kanamycin. Growth of Erw. amylovora was inhibited after addition of enzyme exceeding a threshold for lysozyme to target cells. When immature pears were soaked in lysates of induced cells, symptoms such as ooze formation and necrosis were retarded or inhibited after inoculation with Erw. amylovora. © 2004 SGM.
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