Vijaya Kumar, S., et al. 2020. Scientific Reports

A carotenoid-deficient mutant of the plant-associated microbe Pantoea sp. YR343 displays an altered membrane proteome

Sushmitha Vijaya Kumar, Paul E. Abraham, Gregory B. Hurst, Karuna Chourey, Amber N. Bible, Robert L. Hettich, Mitchel J. Doktycz, and Jennifer L. Morrell-Falvey
11 September 2020, Scientific Reports 10, Article Number 14985; doi:


Membrane organization plays an important role in signaling, transport, and defense. In eukaryotes, the stability, organization, and function of membrane proteins are influenced by certain lipids and sterols, such as cholesterol. Bacteria lack cholesterol, but carotenoids and hopanoids are predicted to play a similar role in modulating membrane properties. We have previously shown that the loss of carotenoids in the plant-associated bacteria Pantoea sp. YR343 results in changes to membrane biophysical properties and leads to physiological changes, including increased sensitivity to reactive oxygen species, reduced indole-3-acetic acid secretion, reduced biofilm and pellicle formation, and reduced plant colonization. Here, using whole cell and membrane proteomics, we show that the deletion of carotenoid production in Pantoea sp. YR343 results in altered membrane protein distribution and abundance. Moreover, we observe significant differences in the protein composition of detergent-resistant membrane fractions from wildtype and mutant cells, consistent with the prediction that carotenoids play a role in organizing membrane microdomains. These data provide new insights into the function of carotenoids in bacterial membrane organization and identify cellular functions that are affected by the loss of carotenoids.


Vijaya Kumar, S., Abraham, P.E., Hurst, G.B. et al. A carotenoid-deficient mutant of the plant-associated microbe Pantoea sp. YR343 displays an altered membrane proteome. Sci Rep 10, 14985 (2020).

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