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The Ser/Thr Kinase PknH Is Essential for Maintaining Heterocyst Pattern in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120

Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
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Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology in Cyanobacteria)
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Abstract

In the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain, PCC 7120, heterocysts (which are nitrogen-fixing cells) are formed in the absence of combined nitrogen in the medium. Heterocysts are separated from one another by 10 to 15 vegetative cells along the filaments, which consist of a few hundred of cells. hetR is necessary for heterocyst differentiation; and patS and hetN, expressed in heterocysts, play important roles in heterocyst pattern formation by laterally inhibiting the expression of hetR in adjacent cells. The results of this study indicated that pknH, which encodes a Ser/Thr kinase, was also involved in heterocyst pattern formation. In the pknH mutant, the heterocyst pattern was normal within 24 h after nitrogen deprivation, but multiple contiguous heterocysts were formed from 24 to 48 h. A time-lapse analysis of reporter strains harboring a fusion between gfp and the hetR promoter indicated that pknH was required to suppress hetR expression in cells adjacent to the preexisting heterocysts. These results indicated that pknH was necessary for the lateral inhibition of heterocyst differentiation to maintain the heterocyst pattern. View Full-Text
Keywords: pattern formation; cyanobacteria; heterocyst; serine/threonine kinase; time-lapse analysis pattern formation; cyanobacteria; heterocyst; serine/threonine kinase; time-lapse analysis
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Fukushima, S.-I.; Ehira, S. The Ser/Thr Kinase PknH Is Essential for Maintaining Heterocyst Pattern in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120. Life 2018, 8, 34.

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