Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 1219–1236 | Cite as

The PII protein GlnK is a pleiotropic regulator for morphological differentiation and secondary metabolism in Streptomyces coelicolor

  • Eva Waldvogel
  • Alexander Herbig
  • Florian Battke
  • Rafat Amin
  • Merle Nentwich
  • Kay Nieselt
  • Trond E. Ellingsen
  • Alexander Wentzel
  • David A. Hodgson
  • Wolfgang Wohlleben
  • Yvonne MastEmail author
Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics


GlnK is an important nitrogen sensor protein in Streptomyces coelicolor. Deletion of glnK results in a medium-dependent failure of aerial mycelium and spore formation and loss of antibiotic production. Thus, GlnK is not only a regulator of nitrogen metabolism but also of morphological differentiation and secondary metabolite production. Through a comparative transcriptomic approach between the S. coelicolor wild-type and a S. coelicolor glnK mutant strain, 142 genes were identified that are differentially regulated in both strains. Among these are genes of the ram and rag operon, which are involved in S. coelicolor morphogenesis, as well as genes involved in gas vesicle biosynthesis and ectoine biosynthesis. Surprisingly, no relevant nitrogen genes were found to be differentially regulated, revealing that GlnK is not an important nitrogen sensor under the tested conditions.


Actinomycetes PII protein GlnK Transcriptome Glutamate 



The authors would like to acknowledge Anders Øverby, Sunniva Hoel, Øyvind M. Jakobsen, and Ingemar Nærdal for their excellent participation in fermentation experiments and the members of the STREAM consortium led by E. M. H. Wellington for their input and discussions. This project was supported by the EU-funded (FP6) ActinoGEN project (LSHM-CT-2004-005224) and grants of the ERA-NET SysMO Project [GEN2006-27745-E/SYS]: (P-UK-01-11-3i), “STREAM”, and the Research Council of Norway [project no. 181840/I30].

Supplementary material

253_2011_3644_Fig7_ESM.jpg (80 kb)
Fig. S1

Expression profiles of the 41 genes that show a variant expression profile in the SCglnK-3 mutant but not in the wild-type strain. The centroid profile is shown as a dotted blue line (JPEG 80 kb)

253_2011_3644_MOESM1_ESM.tif (452 kb)
High resolution (TIFF 452 kb)
253_2011_3644_Fig8_ESM.jpg (123 kb)
Fig. S2

Expression profiles of the nar2 operon (blue: wild-type; red: SC glnK-3). (JPEG 123 kb)

253_2011_3644_MOESM2_ESM.tif (206 kb)
High resolution (TIFF 205 kb)
253_2011_3644_Fig9_ESM.jpg (116 kb)
Fig. S3

Expression profiles of the ectABCD genes (blue: wild-type; red: SCglnK-3) (JPEG 116 kb)

253_2011_3644_MOESM3_ESM.tif (189 kb)
High resolution (TIFF 188 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Waldvogel
    • 1
  • Alexander Herbig
    • 2
  • Florian Battke
    • 2
  • Rafat Amin
    • 1
  • Merle Nentwich
    • 1
  • Kay Nieselt
    • 2
  • Trond E. Ellingsen
    • 3
  • Alexander Wentzel
    • 3
  • David A. Hodgson
    • 4
  • Wolfgang Wohlleben
    • 1
  • Yvonne Mast
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Microbiology/Biotechnology, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Center for Bioinformatics Tübingen, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologySINTEF Materials and ChemistryTrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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