Rethinking ‘secondary’ metabolism: physiological roles for phenazine antibiotics

Price-Whelan, Alexa M.; Dietrich, Lars; Newman, Dianne K.

Microorganisms exist in the environment as multicellular communities that face the challenge of surviving under nutrientlimited conditions. Chemical communication is an essential part of the way in which these populations coordinate their behavior, and there has been an explosion of understanding in recent years regarding how this is accomplished. Much less, however, is understood about the way these communities sustain their metabolism. Bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas are ubiquitous, and are distinguished by their production of colorful secondary metabolites called phenazines. In this article, we suggest that phenazines, which are produced under conditions of high cell density and nutrient limitation, may be important for the persistence of pseudomonads in the environment.


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Also Published In

Nature Chemical Biology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Biological Sciences
Published Here
April 2, 2015