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Swarming motility by Photorhabdus temperata is influenced by environmental conditions and uses the same flagella as that used in swimming motility

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Photorhabdus temperata, an insect pathogen and nematode symbiont, is motile in liquid medium by swimming. We found that P. temperata was capable of surface movement, termed swarming behavior. Several lines of evidence indicate that P. temperata use the same flagella for both swimming and swarming motility. Both motility types required additional NaCl or KCl in the medium and had peritrichous flagella, which were composed of the same flagellin as detected by immunoblotting experiments. Mutants defective in flagellar structural proteins were nonmotile for both motility types. Unlike swimming, we observed swarming behavior to be a social form of movement in which the cells coordinately formed intricate channels covering a surface. The constituents of the swarm media affected motility. Swarming was optimal on low agar concentrations; as agar concentrations increased, swarm ring diameters decreased.

Photorhabdus temperata, un pathogène chez l’insecte et un symbiote du nématode, utilise la nage pour se mouvoir en milieu liquide. Nous avons trouvé que P. temperata était capable d’un mouvement de surface appelé essaimage. Plusieurs éléments de preuve indiquent que P. temperata utilisait le même type de flagelle pour la nage et l’essaimage. Les deux types de mouvement requéraient l’ajout de NaCl ou de KCl dans le milieu, et utilisaient des flagelles péritriches composés de la même flagelline selon la détection par immunobuvardage. Les mutants dépourvus de protéines structurales flagellaires étaient non motiles quant aux deux types de mouvements. Nous avons observé que contrairement à la nage, l’essaimage consistait en une forme sociale de mouvement par lequel les cellules formaient de façon coordonnée un réseau complexe de canaux couvrant une surface. Les constituantes du milieu d’essaimage affectaient la motilité. L’essaimage était optimal à faible concentration d’agar; l’augmentation des concentrations d’agar s’accompagnait d’une diminution du diamètre de l’anneau d’essaimage.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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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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