Isogenic populations of Bacillus subtilis are multicellular communities consisting of distinct differentiated cell types and the two component system DegS-DegU has a central role in the control of single cell fates. The level of DegU phosphorylation attained inside each cell is one of the main parameters used to select specific cell fates but is not the only parameter that triggers a particular genetic programme. In laboratory strains, cooperativity between DegU and SwrAA has been observed in motility: a wild-type copy of the gene (swrAA+) confers a full swimming capacity and the ability to swarm on semi-solid surfaces when DegU is present but it does not show any motility advantage if the two component system DegS/U is deleted (1). We will show that the synergic action of DegU and SwrAA is a conserved “modus operandi” since it is also observed in the production of poly-gamma-glutamic acid (gamma-PGA), an extracellular anionic polymer composed of thousands of glutamic acid residues linked by gamma-glutamyl bonds, produced and secreted by Bacilli. Domesticated B. subtilis strains synthesize gamma-PGA if they carry a degQH (2) or a degU32(Hy) / degS200(Hy) mutation and the wild type swrAA allele. These data indicate that the activation of the biosynthetic pgs operon is dependent on the co-presence of a high level of DegU~P and SwrAA. The presence of either SwrAA or DegU~P alone has only a marginal effect on gamma-PGA production and pgs operon transcription. The effect of SwrAA and DegU~P is cooperative rather than additive. Motility is not involved in gamma-PGA production since a sigD null mutation or a large deletion in the main flagellar operon (fla/che) do not affect gamma-PGA synthesis in degU32(Hy) swrAA+ strains. Moreover, a fla/che promoter up-mutation, that allows swarming and full swimming motilities in a degU32(Hy) swrAA- strain, does not confer the ability to produce gamma-PGA. Activation of gamma-PGA synthesis is therefore a motility-independent phenotype in which SwrAA and DegU~P display a cooperative effect. 1) Calvio et al., 2008. J Bacteriol 190:5720-28. 2) Stanley NR and Lazazzera BA, 2005. Mol Microbiol 57:1143-5

Swarming and poly-gamma-glutamate synthesis depend on the synergic action of SwrAA and DegU in Bacillus subtilis

CALVIO, CINZIA;OSERA, CECILIA;SCAVONE, FRANCESCO;GALIZZI, ALESSANDRO
2009

Abstract

Isogenic populations of Bacillus subtilis are multicellular communities consisting of distinct differentiated cell types and the two component system DegS-DegU has a central role in the control of single cell fates. The level of DegU phosphorylation attained inside each cell is one of the main parameters used to select specific cell fates but is not the only parameter that triggers a particular genetic programme. In laboratory strains, cooperativity between DegU and SwrAA has been observed in motility: a wild-type copy of the gene (swrAA+) confers a full swimming capacity and the ability to swarm on semi-solid surfaces when DegU is present but it does not show any motility advantage if the two component system DegS/U is deleted (1). We will show that the synergic action of DegU and SwrAA is a conserved “modus operandi” since it is also observed in the production of poly-gamma-glutamic acid (gamma-PGA), an extracellular anionic polymer composed of thousands of glutamic acid residues linked by gamma-glutamyl bonds, produced and secreted by Bacilli. Domesticated B. subtilis strains synthesize gamma-PGA if they carry a degQH (2) or a degU32(Hy) / degS200(Hy) mutation and the wild type swrAA allele. These data indicate that the activation of the biosynthetic pgs operon is dependent on the co-presence of a high level of DegU~P and SwrAA. The presence of either SwrAA or DegU~P alone has only a marginal effect on gamma-PGA production and pgs operon transcription. The effect of SwrAA and DegU~P is cooperative rather than additive. Motility is not involved in gamma-PGA production since a sigD null mutation or a large deletion in the main flagellar operon (fla/che) do not affect gamma-PGA synthesis in degU32(Hy) swrAA+ strains. Moreover, a fla/che promoter up-mutation, that allows swarming and full swimming motilities in a degU32(Hy) swrAA- strain, does not confer the ability to produce gamma-PGA. Activation of gamma-PGA synthesis is therefore a motility-independent phenotype in which SwrAA and DegU~P display a cooperative effect. 1) Calvio et al., 2008. J Bacteriol 190:5720-28. 2) Stanley NR and Lazazzera BA, 2005. Mol Microbiol 57:1143-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/200814
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