Isolation of a set of mutations linked to the TAG-1 locus of Bacillus subtilis, which perturb cell surface properties.
AuthorBriehl, Margaret Marie.
Bacillus subtilis -- Genetics.
Bacillus subtilis -- Biotechnology.
Bacterial cell walls.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe physiological role of the teichoic acid polymers found in Gram-positive bacterial cell walls is not known. Studies of Bacillus subtilis hybrid strains implicate a defined chromosomal region, which includes the tag-1 locus, as necessary for teichoic acid biosynthesis. A set of ten mutants carrying lesions in this region was identified from among forty-four temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants generated by nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis and bacteriophage 029 selection. This protocol gave a population enriched for ts, versus auxotrophic, mutants. For each of the ten mutants, the frequency of genetic reconstruction, or correction, of the ts phenotype indicated that it was due to change(s) in a single gene. Results of two-factor transformation crosses sorted the mutants into three complementation groups; all ten could complement tag-1. Mutants in two complementation groups were transformed to ts⁺ with cloned rodC DNA. The map order of the newly isolated ts markers was determined from the results of two factor crosses. Orientation with respect to the hisA marker was inferred from transduction experiments. The newly isolated strains were shown to be conditional rod⁻ mutants. Growth at 48°C resulted in reduced growth rates and spherically shaped cells. Additional phenotypes seen for some mutants, namely 029 phage resistance and ts spore outgrowth, appeared closely associated with the ts rod⁻ mutation. Wall phosphate content for two of the mutants, following growth at 48°C, was found to be reduced in comparison to the wild-type control. Taken together these results lend support to the argument that the tag-1 region of the chromosome, which most likely directs teichoic acid biosynthesis, is important for establishment and maintenance of the normal bacillary morphology seen for B. subtilis. The importance of other gene products to the organization of newly synthesized wall was examined using B. subtilis macrofibers. Left- and right-handed macrofibers were converted to spheroplasts and the multi-celled structures regenerated under the two sets of conditions conducive for production of the original, and inverse hand. The helix hands observed for the regenerated structures always corresponded to those expected on the basis of the parental genotype.
Degree ProgramMolecular and Cellular Biology