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Genetic and molecular characterization of the polar flagellum of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.


ABSTRACT: Vibrio parahaemolyticus possesses two alternate flagellar systems adapted for movement under different circumstances. A single polar flagellum propels the bacterium in liquid (swimming), while multiple lateral flagella move the bacterium over surfaces (swarming). Energy to rotate the polar flagellum is derived from the sodium membrane potential, whereas lateral flagella are powered by the proton motive force. Lateral flagella are arranged peritrichously, and the unsheathed filaments are polymerized from a single flagellin. The polar flagellum is synthesized constitutively, but lateral flagella are produced only under conditions in which the polar flagellum is not functional, e.g., on surfaces. This work initiates characterization of the sheathed, polar flagellum. Four genes encoding flagellins were cloned and found to map in two loci. These genes, as well as three genes encoding proteins resembling HAPs (hook-associated proteins), were sequenced. A potential consensus polar flagellar promoter was identified by using upstream sequences from seven polar genes. It resembled the enterobacterial sigma 28 consensus promoter. Three of the four flagellin genes were expressed in Escherichia coli, and expression was dependent on the product of the fliA gene encoding sigma 28. The fourth flagellin gene may be different regulated. It was not expressed in E. coli, and inspection of upstream sequence revealed a potential sigma 54 consensus promoter. Mutants with single and multiple defects in flagellin genes were constructed in order to determine assembly rules for filament polymerization. HAP mutants displayed new phenotypes, which were different from those of Salmonella typhimurium and most probably were the result of the filament being sheathed.

SUBMITTER: McCarter LL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC176778 | BioStudies | 1995-01-01T00:00:00Z

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): U06949

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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