Present address: Osel Inc., 4008 Burton Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA.
Gliding motility and polarized slime secretion
Article first published online: 11 DEC 2006
Volume 63, Issue 2, pages 454–467, January 2007
How to Cite
Yu, R. and Kaiser, D. (2007), Gliding motility and polarized slime secretion. Molecular Microbiology, 63: 454–467. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2006.05536.x
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 11 DEC 2006
- Accepted 21 November, 2006.
Myxococcus leaves a trail of slime on agar as it moves. A filament of slime can be seen attached to the end of a cell, but it is seen only at one end at any particular moment. To identify genes essential for A motility, transposon insertion mutations with defective A motility were studied. Fifteen of the 33 mutants had totally lost A motility. All these mutant cells had filaments of slime emerging from both ends, indicating that bipolar secretion prevents A motility. The remaining 18 A motility mutants, also produced by gene knockout, secreted slime only from one pole, but they swarmed at a lower rate than A+ and are called ‘partial’ gliding mutants, or pgl. For each pgl mutant, the reduction in swarm expansion rate was directly proportional to the reduction in the coefficient of elasticotaxis. The pgl mutants have a normal reversal frequency and normal gliding speed when they move. But their probability of movement per unit time is lower than pgl+ cells. Many of the pgl mutants are produced by transposon insertions in glycosyltransferase genes. It is proposed that these glycosyltransferases carry out the synthesis of a repeat unit polysaccharide that constitutes the slime.