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Tad pili play a dynamic role in Caulobacter crescentus surface colonization

Jenal, Urs and Sangermani, Matteo and Hug, Isabelle and Sauter, Nora and Pfohl, Thomas. (2019) Tad pili play a dynamic role in Caulobacter crescentus surface colonization. bioRxiv. p. 1.

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Abstract

Bacterial surface attachment is mediated by rotary flagella and filamentous appendages called pili. Here, we describe the role of Tad pili during surface colonization of Caulobacter crescentus. Using an optical trap and microfluidic controlled flow conditions as a mimic of natural environments, we demonstrate that Tad pili undergo repeated cycles of extension and retraction. Within seconds after establishing surface contact, pili reorient cells into an upright position promoting walking-like movements against the medium flow. Pili-mediated positioning of the flagellated pole close to the surface facilitates motor-mediated mechanical sensing and promotes anchoring of the holdfast, an adhesive substance that affords long-term attachment. We present evidence that the second messenger c-di-GMP regulates pili dynamics during surface encounter in distinct ways, promoting increased activity at intermediate levels and retraction of pili at peak concentrations. We propose a model, in which flagellum and Tad pili functionally interact and together impose a ratchet-like mechanism that progressively drives C. crescentus cells towards permanent surface attachment.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Jenal)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Growth & Development > Molecular Microbiology (Jenal)
UniBasel Contributors:Jenal, Urs and Hug, Isabelle and Sangermani, Matteo
Item Type:Article
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:bioRxiv
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:03 Apr 2019 07:42
Deposited On:02 Apr 2019 09:19

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