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Alternative flagellar filament types in the haloarchaeon Haloarcula marismortui

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Many Archaea use rotation of helical flagellar filaments for swimming motility. We isolated and characterized the flagellar filaments of Haloarcula marismortui, an archaeal species previously considered to be nonmotile. Two Haloarcula marismortui phenotypes were discriminated-their filaments are composed predominantly of either FlaB or FlaA2 flagellin, and the corresponding genes are located on different replicons. FlaB and FlaA2 filaments differ in antigenicity and thermostability. FlaA2 filaments are distinctly thicker (20-22 nm) than FlaB filaments (16-18 nm). The observed filaments are nearly twice as thick as those of other characterized euryarchaeal filaments. The results suggest that the helicity of Haloarcula marismortui filaments is provided by a mechanism different from that in the related haloarchaeon Halobacterium salinarum, where 2 different flagellin molecules present in comparable quantities are required to form a helical filament.

Plusieurs Archaea utilisent la rotation de filaments flagellaires hélocoïdaux pour nager. Nous avons isolé et caractérisé les filaments flagellaires de Haloarcula marismortui, une espèce d’archée précédemment considérée comme non motile. Deux phénotypes de Haloarcula marismortui ont été départagés : leurs filaments sont composés de façon prédominante par les flagellines FlaB ou FlaA2, et les gènes correspondants sont localisés sur des amplicons différents. Les filaments FlaB et FlaA2 diffèrent d’un point de vue antigénique et en thermostabilité. Les filaments FlaA2 sont plus épais (20-22 nm) que les filaments FlaB (16-18 nm). Les filaments observés sont presque deux fois plus gros que les filaments caractérisés chez d’autres euryarchées. Les résultats suggèrent que l’hélicité des filaments de Haloarcula marismortui résulte d’un mécanisme différent de celui de l’haloarchée apparentée Halobacterium salinarum, où 2 flagellines différentes présentes en quantités comparables sont requises pour former un filament hélocoïdal.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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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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