Identification and Characterization of Differentially-Regulated Type IVb Pilin Genes Necessary for Predation in Obligate Bacterial Predators /631/326/1320 /631/326/325 /38 article

Ofir Avidan, Margarita Petrenko, René Becker, Sebastian Beck, Michael Linscheid, Shmuel Pietrokovski*, Edouard Jurkevitch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is an obligate predator of bacteria that grows and divides within the periplasm of its prey. Functions involved in the early steps of predation have been identified and characterized, but mediators of prey invasion are still poorly detailed. By combining omics data available for Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALO's), we identified 43 genes expressed in B. bacteriovorus during the early interaction with prey. These included genes in a tight adherence (TAD) operon encoding for two type IVb fimbriae-like pilin proteins (flp1 and flp2), and their processing and export machinery. Two additional flp genes (flp3 and flp4) were computationally identified at other locations along the chromosome, defining the largest and most diverse type IVb complement known in bacteria to date. Only flp1, flp2 and flp4 were expressed; their respective gene knock-outs resulted in a complete loss of the predatory ability without losing the ability to adhere to prey cells. Additionally, we further demonstrate differential regulation of the flp genes as the TAD operon of BALOs with different predatory strategies is controlled by a flagellar sigma factor FliA, while flp4 is not. Finally, we show that FliA, a known flagellar transcriptional regulator in other bacteria, is an essential Bdellovibrio gene.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1013
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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© 2017 The Author(s).

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