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Life 2016, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/life6040041

Screening of a Haloferax volcanii Transposon Library Reveals Novel Motility and Adhesion Mutants

1
Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, PA, USA
2
Division of Genetics and Physiology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku 20500, Finland
3
Immunobiology Program, Research Programs Unit, University of Helsinki, Fi-00014, Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rafael Montalvo-Rodríguez, Aharon Oren and Antonio Ventosa
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3372 KB, uploaded 26 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Archaea, like bacteria, use type IV pili to facilitate surface adhesion. Moreover, archaeal flagella—structures required for motility—share a common ancestry with type IV pili. While the characterization of archaeal homologs of bacterial type IV pilus biosynthesis components has revealed important aspects of flagellum and pilus biosynthesis and the mechanisms regulating motility and adhesion in archaea, many questions remain. Therefore, we screened a Haloferax volcanii transposon insertion library for motility mutants using motility plates and adhesion mutants, using an adapted air–liquid interface assay. Here, we identify 20 genes, previously unknown to affect motility or adhesion. These genes include potential novel regulatory genes that will help to unravel the mechanisms underpinning these processes. Both screens also identified distinct insertions within the genomic region lying between two chemotaxis genes, suggesting that chemotaxis not only plays a role in archaeal motility, but also in adhesion. Studying these genes, as well as hypothetical genes hvo_2512 and hvo_2876—also critical for both motility and adhesion—will likely elucidate how these two systems interact. Furthermore, this study underscores the usefulness of the transposon library to screen other archaeal cellular processes for specific phenotypic defects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Haloferax volcanii; transposon mutagenesis; archaeon; flagellum; archaellum; type IV pilus; adhesion; biofilm; swimming motility; chemotaxis Haloferax volcanii; transposon mutagenesis; archaeon; flagellum; archaellum; type IV pilus; adhesion; biofilm; swimming motility; chemotaxis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Legerme, G.; Yang, E.; Esquivel, R.N.; Kiljunen, S.; Savilahti, H.; Pohlschroder, M. Screening of a Haloferax volcanii Transposon Library Reveals Novel Motility and Adhesion Mutants. Life 2016, 6, 41.

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