The response regulator OmpR is involved in numerous adaptive responses to environmental challenges. The role that OmpR plays in swarming behavior and swarm-cell differentiation in the symbiotic-pathogenic bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila was examined in this study. Swarming began 4 h sooner in an ompR mutant strain than in wild-type cells. Precocious swarming was correlated with elevated expression of fliC, early flagellation, and cell elongation. The level of flhDC mRNA was elevated during the early period of swarming in the ompR strain relative to the level in the wild type. These findings show that OmpR is involved in the temporal regulation of flhDC expression and flagellum production and demonstrate that this response regulator plays a role in the swarming behavior of X. nematophila
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