Skip to main content

Free Content Surface sensing in Vibrio parahaemolyticus triggers a programme of gene expression that promotes colonization and virulence

Download Article:

You have access to the full text article on a website external to Ingenta Connect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library



Vibrio parahaemolyticus senses surfaces via impeded rotation of its polar flagellum. We have exploited this surface-sensing mechanism to trick the organism into thinking it is on a surface when it is growing in liquid. This facilitated studies of global gene expression in a way that avoided many of the complications of surface-to-liquid comparisons, and illuminated ∼ 70 genes that respond to surface sensing per se. Almost all are surface-induced (not repressed) and encode swarming motility proteins, virulence factors or sensory enzymes involved with chemoreception and c-di-GMP signalling. Follow-up studies were performed to place the surface-responsive genes in a regulatory hierarchy. Mapping the hierarchy revealed two surprises about LafK, a transcriptional activator that until now has been considered to be the master regulator for the lateral flagellar system. First, LafK controls a more diverse set of genes than previously appreciated. Second, some laf genes are not under LafK control, which means LafK is not the master regulator after all. Additional experiments motivated by the transcriptome analyses revealed that growth on a surface lowers c-di-GMP levels and enhances cytotoxicity. Thus, we demonstrate that V. parahaemolyticus can invoke a programme of gene control upon encountering a surface and the specific identities of the surface-responsive genes are pertinent to colonization and pathogenesis.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departments of Microbiology 2: Biostatistics, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2011

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more