Three motAB stator gene products in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus contribute to motility of a single flagellum during predatory and prey-independent growth

Karen A Morehouse, Laura Hobley, Michael Capeness, R Elizabeth Sockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus uses flagellar motility to locate regions rich in Gram-negative prey bacteria, colliding and attaching to prey and then ceasing flagellar motility. Prey are then invaded to form a "bdelloplast" in a type IV pilus-dependent process, and prey contents are digested, allowing Bdellovibrio growth and septation. After septation, Bdellovibrio flagellar motility resumes inside the prey bdelloplast prior to its lysis and escape of Bdellovibrio progeny. Bdellovibrio can also grow slowly outside prey as long flagellate host-independent (HI) cells, cultured on peptone-rich media. The B. bacteriovorus HD100 genome encodes three pairs of MotAB flagellar motor proteins, each of which could potentially form an inner membrane ion channel, interact with the FliG flagellar rotor ring, and produce flagellar rotation. In 2004, Flannagan and coworkers (R. S. Flannagan, M. A. Valvano, and S. F. Koval, Microbiology 150:649-656, 2004) used antisense RNA and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression to downregulate a single Bdellovibrio motA gene and reported slowed release from the bdelloplast and altered motility of the progeny. Here we inactivated each pair of motAB genes and found that each pair contributes to motility, both predatorily, inside the bdelloplast and during HI growth; however, each pair was dispensable, and deletion of no pair abolished motility totally. Driving-ion studies with phenamil, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), and different pH and sodium conditions indicated that all Mot pairs are proton driven, although the sequence similarities of each Mot pair suggests that some may originate from halophilic species. Thus, Bdellovibrio is a "dedicated motorist," retaining and expressing three pairs of mot genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-43
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Volume193
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Keywords

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bdellovibrio
  • Flagella
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Alignment

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