Suberin is a recalcitrant plant biopolymer composed of a polyphenolic and a polyaliphatic domain. Although suberin contributes to a significant portion of soil organic matter, the biological process of suberin degradation is poorly characterized. It has been suggested that Streptomyces scabiei, a plant pathogenic bacterium, can produce suberin-degrading enzymes. In this study, a comparative analysis of the S. scabiei secretome from culture media supplemented or not with potato suberin was carried out to identify enzymes that could be involved in suberin degradation.
S. scabiei was grown in the presence of casein only or in the presence of both casein and suberin. Extracellular proteins from 1-, 3- and 5-day-old supernatants were analyzed by LC-MS/MS to determine their putative functions. Real-time RT-PCR was performed to monitor the expression level of genes encoding several proteins potentially involved in suberin degradation.
The effect of suberin on the extracellular protein profile of S. scabiei strain has been analyzed. A total of 246 proteins were found to be common in the data sets from both casein medium (CM) and casein-suberin medium (CSM), whereas 124 and 139 proteins were detected only in CM or CSM, respectively. The identified proteins could be divided into 19 functional groups. Two functional groups of proteins (degradation of aromatic compounds and secondary metabolism) were only associated with the CSM. A high proportion of the proteins found to be either exclusively produced, or overproduced, in presence of suberin were involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Most of the proteins included in the lipid metabolism class have been detected in CSM. Apart from lipid metabolism proteins, other identified proteins, particularly two feruloyl esterases, may also actively participate in the breakdown of suberin architecture. Both feruloyl esterase genes were overexpressed between 30 to 340 times in the presence of suberin.
This study demonstrated that the presence of suberin in S. scabiei growth medium induced the production of a wide variety of glycosyl hydrolases. Furthermore, this study has allowed the identification of extracellular enzymes that could be involved in the degradation of suberin, including enzymes of the lipid metabolism and feruloyl esterases.