1887

Abstract

, a Gram-negative urinary tract pathogen, has two highly homologous, tandemly arranged flagellin-encoding genes, and . is transcribed from a promoter, while is a silent allele. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of a family of hybrid flagellin genes, referred to as . These genes are composed of the 5′ end of and the 3′ end of , and are produced through excision of the intervening DNA between the two genes. Although the existence of DNA has been documented, it was not known if transcription of occurs in wild-type . In this study, proof of transcription was obtained from a combination of RNA dot-blots and RT-PCR assays using specific primers and probes for and . The RNA data were further supported by the demonstration of phenotypic switching of the locus using a FlaAB-detector strain. The results show that mRNA is transcribed and is 1/64 as abundant as in the population of wild-type cells, suggesting that constitutes 1·0–1·5 % of the total flagellin message. Nucleotide sequence analysis of products produced by RT-PCR from the wild-type confirms previous reports of a variable fusion site between and resulting in a hybrid flagellin transcript. These data support the hypothesis that the production of FlaAB is integral to the physiology of .

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2004-09-01
2019-08-23
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