Global effects of the developmental regulator BldB in Streptomyces venezuelae

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In Streptomyces, the Bld (Bald) regulators control formation of the reproductive aerial hyphae. The functions of some of these regulators have been well characterized, but BldB has remained enigmatic. In addition to the bldB gene itself, Streptomyces venezuelae has 10 paralogs of bldB that sit next to paralogs of whiJ and abaA. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) revealed that loss of BldB function causes the dramatic transcriptional upregulation of the abaA paralogs and a novel inhibitor of sporulation, iosA, and that cooverexpression of just two of these genes, iosA and abaA6, was sufficient to recapitulate the bldB mutant phenotype. Further RNA-seq analysis showed that the transcription factor WhiJ9 is required for the activation of iosA seen in the bldB mutant, and biochemical studies showed that WhiJ9 mediates the activation of iosA expression by binding to direct repeats in the iosA-whiJ9 intergenic region. BldB and BldB9 hetero-oligomerize, providing a potential link between BldB and the iosA-whiJ9-bldB9 locus. This work greatly expands our overall understanding of the global effects of the BldB developmental regulator.