Cells of the gliding bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae move rapidly over surfaces. Mutations in gldN cause a partial defect in gliding. A novel bacteriophage selection strategy was used to aid construction of a strain with a deletion spanning gldN and the closely related gene gldO in an otherwise wild-type F. johnsoniae UW101 background. Bacteriophage transduction was used to move a gldN mutation into F. johnsoniae UW101 to allow phenotypic comparison with the gldNO deletion mutant. Cells of the gldN mutant formed nonspreading colonies on agar but retained some ability to glide in wet mounts. In contrast, cells of the gldNO deletion mutant were completely nonmotile, indicating that cells require GldN, or the GldN-like protein GldO, to glide. Recent results suggest that Porphyromonas gingivalis PorN, which is similar in sequence to GldN, has a role in protein secretion across the outer membrane. Cells of the F. johnsoniae gldNO deletion mutant were defective in localization of the motility protein SprB to the cell surface, suggesting that GldN may be involved in secretion of components of the motility machinery. Cells of the gldNO deletion mutant were also deficient in chitin utilization and were resistant to infection by bacteriophages, phenotypes that may also be related to defects in protein secretion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology