• Aerotaxis;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  • Chemotaxis;
  • Behavioral response;
  • Transducer


It was previously shown that the chemotaxis gene cluster 1 (cheYZABW) was required for chemotaxis. In this study, the involvement of the same cluster in aerotaxis is described and two transducer genes for aerotaxis are identified. Aerotaxis assays of a number of deletion–insertion mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 revealed that the chemotaxis gene cluster 1 and cheR are required for aerotaxis. Mutant strains which contained deletions in the methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein-like genes tlpC and tlpG showed decreased aerotaxis. A double mutant deficient in tlpC and tlpG was negative for aerotaxis. TlpC has 45% amino acid identity with the Escherichia coli aerotactic transducer Aer. The TlpG protein has a predicted C-terminal segment with 89% identity to the highly conserved domain of the E. coli serine chemoreceptor Tsr. A hydropathy plot of TlpG indicated that hydrophobic membrane-spanning regions are missing in TlpG. A PAS motif was found in the N-terminal domains of TlpC and TlpG. On this basis, the tlpC and tlpG genes were renamed aer and aer-2, respectively. No significant homology other than the PAS motif was detected in the N-terminal domains between Aer and Aer-2.