1887

Abstract

causes the disease tularaemia. Type IV pili (Tfp) genes are present in the genomes of all subspecies. We show that the wild-type subsp. expresses pilus fibres on its surface, and mutations in the Tfp genes and disrupt pilus biogenesis. Mutations in other Tfp genes ( and ) do not eliminate pilus expression. A mutation in eliminates pilus expression, whereas mutations in the other pilin subunits and do not, suggesting that is the major pilus structural subunit. The virulence regulator MglA is required for pilus expression, and it regulates the transcription of a putative Tfp glycosylation gene (FTN0431). However, MglA does not regulate transcription of , or , and a strain lacking FTN0431 still expresses pili; thus, it is unclear how MglA regulates pilus expression. Only was also required for protein secretion, while and were not, indicating that there is very little overlap of the protein secretion/Tfp functions of the genes. The protein secretion component was more important for intramacrophage growth and mouse virulence than the Tfp component . Our results provide the first genetic characterization of the novel Tfp system of .

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2008-07-01
2020-10-20
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