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Gene inactivation of a chemotaxis operon in the pathogen Leptospira interrogans

Abstract : Chemotaxis may have an important role in the infection process of pathogenic Leptospira spp.; however, little is known about the regulation of flagellar-based motility in these atypical bacteria. We generated a library of random transposon mutants of the pathogen L. interrogans, which included a mutant with insertion in the first gene of an operon containing the chemotaxis genes cheA, cheW, cheD, cheB, cheY and mcp. The disrupted gene encodes a putative histidine kinase (HK). The HK mutant was motile and virulent, but swarm plate and capillary assays suggested that chemotaxis was reduced in this mutant. Further analysis of bacterial trajectories by videomicroscopy showed that the ability of this mutant to reverse was significantly impaired in comparison to wild-type strain. Our data therefore show that this operon is required for full chemotaxis of Leptospira spp.
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Ambroise Lambert, Jérôme Wong Ng, Mathieu Picardeau. Gene inactivation of a chemotaxis operon in the pathogen Leptospira interrogans. FEMS Microbiology Letters, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 362 (3), pp.1-8. ⟨10.1093/femsle/fnu054⟩. ⟨pasteur-02537900⟩

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