Biosynthesis of antibiotic prodiginines in the marine bacterium Hahella chejuensis KCTC 2396

D. Kim, J. S. Lee, Y. K. Park, J. F. Kim, H. Jeong, T. K. Oh, B. S. Kim, C. H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Hahella chejuensis KCTC 2396 produces red pigments, showing antibacterial and algicidal activities. The main red-coloured metabolite of the pigments was identified as antibiotic prodigiosin. With the expectation that the red pigments are a mixture of a series of close relatives, the aim of the present study is to detect new antibiotic prodigiosin analogues and to analyse the biosynthetic pattern for prodiginines in KCTC 2396. Methods and Results: Except prodigiosin, the other constituents in the red pigments were confirmed as well-known dipyrrolyldipyrromethene prodigiosin, norprodigiosin, and undecylprodiginine. Additionally, four new prodigiosin analogues, each of which was distinguished from prodigiosin (C5), according to differences in alkyl chain length (C3-C7), were detected in small quantities by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry spectroscopy. Owing to the presence of a cytotoxic methoxy group, it is expected that all the new prodigiosin analogues are bioactive. Conclusions: Four characterized prodiginines, including prodigiosin and four new prodigiosin analogues are produced in different ratio in KCTC 2396. All of the prodiginines possess a common linear tripyrrolyl structure and a cytotoxic methoxy group. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study shows for the first time that KCTC 2396 is able to produce antibiotic prodigiosin, undecylprodiginine and new prodigiosin analogues in a mixture of pigments. It is also shown that KCTC 2396 possesses a novel system for the simultaneous production of multiple prodiginines in a single micro-organism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-944
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr


  • Algicidal agent
  • Hahella
  • Marine bacterium
  • Prodiginine
  • Secondary metabolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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