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Agrobacterium flagellar switch gene fliG is liquid inducible and important for virulence

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Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 was mutagenized with a mini-Tn5 transposon containing a promoterless gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP). A mutant, CGS74, exhibited a higher GFP expression level in liquid media than on solid media. The ability of the mutant to cause tumors on plants was attenuated. Sequence analysis showed that the transposon was inserted at the fliG gene, which encodes a flagellar motor switch protein required for flagellar movement. Studies of the fliG–gfp fusion gene indicated that the promoter activity of the fliG gene was higher in liquid than in solid media. Electron microscopy studies demonstrated that the mutant was nonflagellate. This suggests that the A. tumefaciens motility is important for virulence and that bacterial flagellar synthesis occurs at a higher level in a liquid environment than in a solid environment, perhaps resulting in a higher motility.Key words: Agrobacterium, flagella, fliG, virulence, liquid.

La souche d'Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 a été mutée par insertion d'un transposon mini-Tn5 contenant un gène sans promoteur encodant la protéine fluorescente verte (GFP). Un mutant désigné CGS74 a démontré une plus forte expression de la GFP dans les milieux liquides que dans les milieux solides. Le mutant avait une capacité réduite pour causer des tumeurs chez les plantes. Une analyse de séquence a confirmé que le transposon était inséré au niveau du gène fliG qui code une protéine commutateur du moteur flagellaire nécessaire à la mobilité des flagelles. Des études du gène de fusion fliG–gfp ont révélé que l'activité promotrice du gène fliG était plus forte en milieux liquides qu'en milieux solides. La microscopie électronique a confirmé que le mutant ne possédait pas de flagelles. Ces résultats suggèrent que chez A. tumefaciens la mobilité est un facteur de virulence important et que la synthèse des flagelles bactériens est plus abondante dans un environnement liquide que dans un environnement solide, ce qui entraîne peut-être une plus grande mobilité.Mots clés : Agrobacterium, flagelles, fliG, virulence, liquide.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Keywords: Agrobacterium; flagella; flagelles; fliG; liquid; liquide; virulence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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