Host-independent (H-I) mutants of the obligate bacterial parasite Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus were isolated from wild-type strain 109J. Seven H-I mutants differed in morphological features such as cell length (2-30 μm) and shape (short or long spirals or rod-like), plaque size, and pigmentation (from almost colorless to bright orange). The mutants exhibited widely different growth capabilities in rich medium, with biomass doubling times and final biomass varying by a factor of two or more. Growth was always enhanced by the addition of host cell extract or divalent cations to the growth medium, but the effect varied widely between the mutants. Analysis of the hit region, mutations in which were previously proposed to be associated with the H-I phenotype, revealed that changes in the nucleotide-sequence in this region occurred only in three of the seven mutants.
- Bacterial parasite
- Host-independent mutant