BMQ_0737 encodes a novel protein crucial to the integrity of the outermost layers of Bacillus megaterium QM B1551 spores

Authors

  • Julia Manetsberger,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
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  • Elizabeth A.H. Hall,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
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  • Graham Christie

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    • Correspondence: Graham Christie, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QT, UK. Tel.: +44 1223 334166; fax: +44 1223 334162; e-mail: gc301@cam.ac.uk

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Abstract

Bioinformatic and electron microscopy analyses indicate that the composition of the B. megaterium QM B1551 spore coat is likely to differ substantially from other Bacillus species. We report here on the identification and characterisation of novel B. megaterium proteins that appear to be abundant in the spore coat. All three proteins, encoded by loci BMQ_0737, BMQ_3035 and BMQ_4051, were identified by proteomic analysis of alkaline detergent extracts from mature spores. Putative spore coat proteins were characterised by transcriptional, reporter-fusion and mutagenesis analyses supported by fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. These analyses revealed that BMQ_0737 is a novel morphogenetic protein that is required for the correct assembly of the B. megaterium outer spore coat and exosporium, both of which are structurally compromised or missing in BMQ_0737 null mutant spores.

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