1887

Abstract

This study demonstrates that attachment of the marine bacterium to the cellulose-containing surface of the green alga is mediated by a mannose-sensitive haemagglutinin (MSHA-like) pilus. We have identified an MSHA pilus biogenesis gene locus in , termed , which shows significant homology, with respect to its genetic characteristics and organization, to the MSHA pilus biogenesis gene locus of . Electron microscopy studies revealed that wild-type cells express flexible pili peritrichously arranged on the cell surface. A mutant (SM5) with a transposon insertion in the region displayed a non-piliated phenotype. Using SM5, it has been demonstrated that the MSHA pilus promotes attachment of wild-type cells in polystyrene microtitre plates, as well as to microcrystalline cellulose and to the living surface of . also demonstrated increased pilus production in response to cellulose and its monomer constituent cellobiose. The MSHA pilus thus functions as a determinant of attachment in , and it is proposed that an understanding of surface sensing mechanisms displayed by will provide insight into specific ecological interactions that occur between this bacterium and higher marine organisms.

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2006-10-01
2019-11-16
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