1887

Abstract

This report describes a new behavioural response of that consists of a surface-induced differentiation of elongated and hyperflagellated swarm cells exhibiting the ability to move collectively across the surface of the medium. The discovery of swarming motility in paralleled the isolation of a spontaneous non-swarming mutant that was found to carry a deletion of , the homologue of which, in , encodes an essential component of the flagellar motor-switch complex. However, in contrast to , the mutant of was flagellated and motile, thus suggesting a different role for FliY in this organism. The mutant was completely deficient in chemotaxis and in the secretion of the L component of the tripartite pore-forming necrotizing toxin, haemolysin BL, which was produced exclusively by the wild-type strain during swarm-cell differentiation. All the defects in the mutant of could be complemented by a plasmid harbouring the gene. These results demonstrate that the activity of is required for swarming and chemotaxis in , and suggest that swarm-cell differentiation is coupled with virulence in this organism.

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2002-06-01
2019-09-16
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