1887

Abstract

Poly--glutamic acid (-PGA) is an extracellular polymer produced by various strains of . Ιt was first described as the component of the capsule in , where it plays a relevant role in virulence. -PGA is also a distinctive component of ‘natto’, a traditional Japanese food consisting of soybean fermented by (natto). Domesticated . strains do not synthesize -PGA although they possess the functional biosynthetic operon. In the present work we explore the correlation between the genetic determinants, and , which allow a derivative of the domestic strain JH642 to display a mucoid colony morphology on LB agar plates due to the production of -PGA. Full activation of the operon requires the co-presence of SwrAA and the phosphorylated form of DegU (DegU∼P). The presence of either DegU∼P or SwrAA alone has only marginal effects on operon transcription and -PGA production. Although SwrAA was identified as necessary for swarming and full swimming motility together with DegU, we show that motility is not involved in -PGA production. Activation of -PGA synthesis is therefore a motility-independent phenotype in which SwrAA and DegU∼P display a cooperative effect.

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2009-07-01
2020-10-28
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