A comparison between two Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655 substrains possessing different swimming motility
ABSTRACT: Substrains in Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655 can possess various swimming motility, which is mostly resulted from different expression levels of flhDC. Here, we studied the swimming motility of two MG1655 substrains, CY562 and CY570. Our results showed that CY562 had no insertion at the promoter region of flhDC and possessed no swimming motility. In contrast, CY570 had an IS-element insertion at the promoter region of flhDC and showed a hyper-motile phenotype. Transcriptomic data suggest that expression of flhDC and the other known flagella genes was much lower in CY562 than that in CY570. Moreover, CY562 possessed higher expression levels for genes involved in stress response, especially acid-stress response, than CY570. Consistently, CY562 showed a higher survival rate under acid stress than CY570. Our data indicate that there are mechanisms conversely regulating motility and stress response in E. coli. Overall design: Determination of gene expression in E. coli K-12 MG1655 substrains CY562 and CY570. Please note that each processed data file was generated from both replicates and is linked to the corresponding *-1 sample records.
INSTRUMENT(S): Illumina NovaSeq 6000 (Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655)
Project description:Mutation rates may be influenced by the environment. Here, we demonstrate that insertion sequence IS5 in Escherichia coli inserts into the upstream region of the flhDC operon in a manner that depends on whether the environment permits motility; this operon encodes the master regulator of cell motility, FlhDC, and the IS5 insertion increases motility. IS5 inserts upstream of flhD(+) when cells are grown on soft-agar plates that permit swimming motility, but does not insert upstream of this locus on hard-agar plates that do not permit swimming motility or in planktonic cultures. Furthermore, there was only one IS5 insertion event on soft-agar plates, indicating insertion of IS5 into flhDC is not due to general elevated IS5 transposition throughout the whole genome. We also show that the highly motile cells with IS5 upstream of flhD(+) have greater biofilm formation, although there is a growth cost due to the energetic burden of the enhanced motility as these highly motile cells have a lower yield in rich medium and reduced growth rate. Functional flagella are required for IS5 insertion upstream of flhD(+) as there was no IS5 insertion upstream of flhD(+) for flhD, flgK and motA mutants, and the mutation is stable. Additionally, the IS5 mutation occurs during biofilm formation, which creates genetic and phenotypic diversity. Hence, the cells appear to 'sense' whether motility is feasible before a sub-population undergoes a mutation to become hypermotile; this sensing appears related to the master transcription regulator, FlhDC.
Project description:The flagellar system in Escherichia coli K12 is expressed under the control of the flhDC-encoded master regulator FlhDC. Transposition of insertion sequence (IS) elements to the upstream flhDC promoter region up-regulates transcription of this operon, resulting in a more rapid motility. Wang and Wood (ISME J 2011;5:1517-1525) provided evidence that insertion of IS5 into upstream activating sites occurs at higher rates in semi-solid agar media in which swarming behaviour is allowed as compared with liquid or solid media where swarming cannot occur. We confirm this conclusion and show that three IS elements, IS1, IS3 and IS5, transpose to multiple upstream sites within a 370?bp region of the flhDC operon control region. Hot spots for IS insertion correlate with positions of stress-induced DNA duplex destabilization (SIDD). We show that IS insertion occurs at maximal rates in 0.24?% agar, with rates decreasing dramatically with increasing or decreasing agar concentrations. In mixed cultures, we show that these mutations preferentially arise from the wild-type parent at frequencies of up to 3×10-3 cell-1 day-1 when the inoculated parental and co-existing IS-activated mutant cells are entering the stationary growth phase. We rigorously show that the apparent increased mutation frequencies cannot be accounted for by increased swimming or by increased growth under the selective conditions used. Thus, our data are consistent with the possibility that appropriate environmental conditions, namely those that permit but hinder flagellar rotation, result in the activation of a mutational pathway that involves IS element insertion upstream of the flhDC operon.
Project description:The ability to move over and colonize surface substrata has been linked to the formation of biofilms and to the virulence of some bacterial pathogens. Results from this study show that the gastrointestinal pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica can migrate over and colonize surfaces by swarming motility, a form of cooperative multicellular behavior. Immunoblot analysis and electron microscopy indicated that swarming motility is dependent on the same flagellum organelle that is required for swimming motility, which occurs in fluid environments. Furthermore, motility genes such as flgEF, flgMN, flhBA, and fliA, known to be required for the production of flagella, are essential for swarming motility. To begin to investigate how environmental signals are processed and integrated by Y. enterocolitica to stimulate the production of flagella and regulate these two forms of cell migration, the motility master regulatory operon, flhDC, was cloned. Mutations within flhDC completely abolished swimming motility, swarming motility, and flagellin production. DNA sequence analysis revealed that this locus is similar to motility master regulatory operons of other gram-negative bacteria. Genetic complementation and functional analysis of flhDC indicated that it is required for the production of flagella. When flhDC was expressed from an inducible ptac promoter, flagellin production was shown to be dependent on levels of flhDC expression. Phenotypically, induction of the ptac-flhDC fusion also corresponded to increased levels of both swimming and swarming motility.
Project description:The distribution and location of insertion elements in a genome is an excellent tool to track the evolution of bacterial strains and a useful molecular marker to distinguish between closely related bacterial isolates. The information about the genomic locations of IS elements is available in public sequence databases. However, the locations of mobile elements may vary from strain to strain and within the population of an individual strain. Tools that allow de novo localization of IS elements and are independent of existing sequence information are essential to map insertion elements and advance our knowledge of the role that such elements play in gene regulation and genome plasticity in bacteria.In this study, we present an efficient and reliable method for linear mapping of mobile elements using whole-genome DNA microarrays. In addition, we describe an algorithm for analysis of microarray data that can be applied to find DNA sequences physically juxtaposed with a target sequence of interest. This approach was used to map the locations of the IS5 elements in the genome of Escherichia coli K12. All IS5 elements present in the E. coli genome known from GenBank sequence data were identified. Furthermore, previously unknown insertion sites were predicted with high sensitivity and specificity. Two variants of E. coli K-12 MG1655 within a population of this strain were predicted by our analysis. The only significant difference between these two isolates was the presence of an IS5 element upstream of the main flagella regulator, flhDC. Additional experiments confirmed this prediction and showed that these isolates were phenotypically distinct. The effect of IS5 on the transcriptional activity of motility and chemotaxis genes in the genome of E. coli strain MG1655 was examined. Comparative analysis of expression profiles revealed that the presence of IS5 results in a mild enhancement of transcription of the flagellar genes that translates into a slight increase in motility.In summary, this work presents a case study of an experimental and analytical application of DNA microarrays to map insertion elements in bacteria and gains an insight into biological processes that might otherwise be overlooked by relying solely on the available genome sequence data.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Motility is a beneficial attribute that enables cells to access and explore new environments and to escape detrimental ones. The organelle of motility in Escherichia coli is the flagellum, and its production is initiated by the activating transcription factors FlhD and FlhC. The expression of these factors by the flhDC operon is highly regulated and influenced by environmental conditions. The flhDC promoter is recognized by ?(70) and is dependent on the transcriptional activator cyclic AMP (cAMP)-cAMP receptor protein complex (cAMP-CRP). A number of K-12 strains exhibit limited motility due to low expression levels of flhDC. We report here a large number of mutations that stimulate flhDC expression in such strains. They include single nucleotide changes in the -10 element of the promoter, in the promoter spacer, and in the cAMP-CRP binding region. In addition, we show that insertion sequence (IS) elements or a kanamycin gene located hundreds of base pairs upstream of the promoter can effectively enhance transcription, suggesting that the topology of a large upstream region plays a significant role in the regulation of flhDC expression. None of the mutations eliminated the requirement for cAMP-CRP for activation. However, several mutations allowed expression in the absence of the nucleoid organizing protein, H-NS, which is normally required for flhDC expression.<h4>Importance</h4>The flhDC operon of Escherichia coli encodes transcription factors that initiate flagellar synthesis, an energetically costly process that is highly regulated. Few deregulating mutations have been reported thus far. This paper describes new single nucleotide mutations that stimulate flhDC expression, including a number that map to the promoter spacer region. In addition, this work shows that insertion sequence elements or a kanamycin gene located far upstream from the promoter or repressor binding sites also stimulate transcription, indicating a role of regional topology in the regulation of flhDC expression.
Project description:Bacteria growing as surface-adherent biofilms are better able to withstand chemical and physical stresses than their unattached, planktonic counterparts. Using transcriptional profiling and quantitative PCR, we observed a previously uncharacterized gene, yjfO, to be upregulated during Escherichia coli MG1655 biofilm growth in a chemostat on serine-limited defined medium. A yjfO mutant, developed through targeted insertion mutagenesis, and a yjfO-complemented strain, were obtained for further characterization. While bacterial surface colonization levels (CFU/cm2) were similar in all three strains, the mutant strain exhibited reduced microcolony formation when observed in flow cells, and greatly enhanced flagellar motility on soft (0.3%) agar. Complementation of yjfO restored microcolony formation and flagellar motility to wild type levels. Cell surface hydrophobicity and twitching motility were unaffected by the presence or absence of yjfO. In contrast to the parent strain, biofilms from the mutant strain were less able to resist acid and peroxide stresses. yjfO had no significant effect on E. coli biofilm susceptibility to alkali or heat stress. Planktonic cultures from all three strains showed similar responses to these stresses. Regardless of the presence of yjfO, planktonic E. coli withstood alkali stress better than biofilm populations. Complementation of yjfO restored viability following exposure to peroxide stress, but did not restore acid resistance. Based on its influence on biofilm formation, stress response, and effects on motility, we propose renaming the uncharacterized gene, yjfO, as bsmA (biofilm stress and motility). Overall design: Transcriptional profiling of duplicate biofilm and planktonic cultures of E. coli MG1655 grown in serine-limited MOPS minimal media.
Project description:By screening a collection of Salmonella mutants deleted for genes encoding small proteins of ?60 amino acids, we identified three paralogous small genes (ymdF, STM14_1829, and yciG) required for wild-type flagellum-dependent swimming and swarming motility. The ymdF, STM14_1829, and yciG genes encode small proteins of 55, 60, and 60 amino acid residues, respectively. A bioinformatics analysis predicted that these small proteins are intrinsically disordered proteins, and circular dichroism analysis of purified recombinant proteins confirmed that all three proteins are unstructured in solution. A mutant deleted for STM14_1829 showed the most severe motility defect, indicating that among the three paralogs, STM14_1829 is a key protein required for wild-type motility. We determined that relative to the wild type, the expression of the flagellin protein FliC is lower in the ?STM14_1829 mutant due to the downregulation of the flhDC operon encoding the FlhDC master regulator. By comparing the gene expression profiles between the wild-type and ?STM14_1829 strains via RNA sequencing, we found that the gene encoding the response regulator PhoP is upregulated in the ?STM14_1829 mutant, suggesting the indirect repression of the flhDC operon by the activated PhoP. Homologs of STM14_1829 are conserved in a wide range of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa We showed that the inactivation of STM14_1829 homologs in E. coli and P. aeruginosa also alters motility, suggesting that this family of small intrinsically disordered proteins may play a role in the cellular pathway(s) that affects motility.IMPORTANCE This study reports the identification of a novel family of small intrinsically disordered proteins that are conserved in a wide range of flagellated and nonflagellated bacteria. Although this study identifies the role of these small proteins in the scope of flagellum-dependent motility in Salmonella, they likely play larger roles in a more conserved cellular pathway(s) that indirectly affects flagellum expression in the case of motile bacteria. Small intrinsically disordered proteins have not been well characterized in prokaryotes, and the results of our study provide a basis for their detailed functional characterization.
Project description:Bacteria growing as surface-adherent biofilms are better able to withstand chemical and physical stresses than their unattached, planktonic counterparts. Using transcriptional profiling and quantitative PCR, we observed a previously uncharacterized gene, yjfO to be upregulated during Escherichia coli MG1655 biofilm growth in a chemostat on serine-limited defined medium. A yjfO mutant, developed through targeted-insertion mutagenesis, and a yjfO-complemented strain, were obtained for further characterization. While bacterial surface colonization levels (c.f.u. cm(-2)) were similar in all three strains, the mutant strain exhibited reduced microcolony formation when observed in flow cells, and greatly enhanced flagellar motility on soft (0.3 %) agar. Complementation of yjfO restored microcolony formation and flagellar motility to wild-type levels. Cell surface hydrophobicity and twitching motility were unaffected by the presence or absence of yjfO. In contrast to the parent strain, biofilms from the mutant strain were less able to resist acid and peroxide stresses. yjfO had no significant effect on E. coli biofilm susceptibility to alkali or heat stress. Planktonic cultures from all three strains showed similar responses to these stresses. Regardless of the presence of yjfO, planktonic E. coli withstood alkali stress better than biofilm populations. Complementation of yjfO restored viability following exposure to peroxide stress, but did not restore acid resistance. Based on its influence on biofilm maturation and stress response, and effects on motility, we propose renaming the uncharacterized gene, yjfO, as bsmA (biofilm stress and motility).
Project description:Bacterial motility shows a strong evolvable feature depending on the environment. Hyper-motile E. coli could be isolated by evolving non-motile E. coli due to the mutations that enhanced transcriptional expression of the master regulator of the flagellum biosynthesis, FlhDC. These hyper-motile isolates showed reduced growth fitness but with the molecular mechanisms unrevealed. Here we obtained a novel type of hyper-motile isolates by evolving a weakly-motile E. coli K12 strain on the soft agar plates. These isolates carried high accumulated FlhDC proteins and they shared one single point mutation of ClpXV78F. The V78F affected the ATP binding to ClpX via steric repulsive effect and the mutated ClpXP protease lost most of its ability to degraded FlhDC and some other of its known targets. The signal tag of FlhDC for ClpXP recognition was also characterized. Intriguingly, in the hyper-motile strains, the highly enhanced expression of the motility genes was accompanied by the reduced expression of stress resistance genes relating to the reduced fitness of these isolates. Hence, ClpX appeared to be a novel and hot locus during the evolution of bacterial motility and the molecular mechanism of the trade-off between motility and growth was proposed for the first time. Overall design: Determination of gene expression in the wild type strain CY598 and its derivates CY706 (spontaneous clpX-V78F mutant), CY708 (spontaneous clpX-V78F mutant), CY1102 (manipulated clpX-V78F mutant), CY1166 (the CY708 strain with a wild-type clpX), and CY1179 (manipulated ∆clpX mutant).