Quorum sensing is a cell density-dependent regulation of gene expression. N-acyl-l-homoserine lactone (AHL) is a major quorum-sensing signaling molecule in gram-negative bacteria and synthesized by the LuxI family protein. The genus Serratia is known as a producer of the red pigment, prodigiosin, whose biosynthesis is dependent on the pig gene cluster. Some Serratia strains regulate prodigiosin production via AHL-mediated quorum sensing, whereas there is red-pigmented Serratia strains without quorum-sensing system. In addition, nonpigmented Serratia marcescens, which does not produce prodigiosin, has also been isolated from natural and clinical environments. In this study, we aim to reveal the distribution and genetic diversity of quorum-sensing genes and pig gene cluster in the complete genome sequences of S. marcescens. We previously demonstrated that S. marcescens AS-1 regulates the production of prodigiosin via AHL-mediated quorum sensing. We sequenced the genomes of AS-1 and compared with the complete genomes of AS-1 and the other 34 strains of S. marcescens. The luxI homolog was present on 25 complete genome sequences. The deduced amino acid sequences of the luxI homolog were divided into three phylogenetic classes. In contrast, the pig gene cluster was present in the genome of seven S. marcescens strains and only two strains, AS-1 and N4-5 contained both the luxI homolog and pig gene cluster in their genome. It is therefore assumed that prodigiosin production and its regulation by quorum sensing are not essential for the life cycle of S. marcescens. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Journal: Genome biology and evolution