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Identification of a Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus genetic locus, hit, associated with the host-independent phenotype.

By T W Cotter and M F Thomashow


Bdellovibrios invade and grow within the periplasmic space of suitable gram-negative bacteria. Wild-type bdellovibrios are obligately dependent on host cells for growth, but spontaneous host-independent (H-I) mutants that grow axenically on standard rich culture media can be isolated. Such mutants generally retain the ability to grow intraperiplasmically, although the plaques that they produce on lawns of host cells are smaller and more turbid than those produced by wild-type bdellovibrios. Here, we identify the first genetic locus associated with the H-I phenotype: hit (host interaction). We show that three individual H-I mutants suffered mutations at the hit locus and that recombination of wild-type hit sequences into the genomes of the H-I mutants greatly enhanced their plaquing ability. DNA sequence analysis localized the hit mutation in each of the H-I mutants to a 135-bp region of the genome. Mutations at hit may not fully account for the H-I phenotype, however, as recombination of wild-type hit sequences into the genomes of the H-I mutants had little effect on the axenic-growth phenotype of the mutants. Possible explanations for this result and potential roles for the hit locus are discussed

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1992
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.174.19.6018-6024.1992
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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