• Shewanella oneidensis;
  • Vibrio cholerae;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  • chemotaxis


A conserved cluster of chemotaxis genes was identified from the genome sequences of fifteen Shewanella species. An in-frame deletion of the cheA-3 gene, which is located in this cluster, was created in S. oneidensis MR-1 and the gene shown to be essential for chemotactic responses to anaerobic electron acceptors. The CheA-3 protein showed strong similarity to Vibrio cholerae CheA-2 and P. aeruginosa CheA-1, two proteins that are also essential for chemotaxis. The genes encoding these proteins were shown to be located in chemotaxis gene clusters closely related to the cheA-3-containing cluster in Shewanella species. The results of this study suggest that a combination of gene neighborhood and homology analyses may be used to predict which cheA genes are essential for chemotaxis in groups of closely related microorganisms.