• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. Jan 1989; 171(1): 392–401.
PMCID: PMC209601

Turning off flagellum rotation requires the pleiotropic gene pleD: pleA, pleC, and pleD define two morphogenic pathways in Caulobacter crescentus.


We have identified mutations in three pleiotropic genes, pleA, pleC, and pleD, that are required for differentiation in Caulobacter crescentus. pleA and pleC mutants were isolated in an extensive screen for strains defective in both motility and adsorption of polar bacteriophage phi CbK; using temperature-sensitive alleles, we determined the time at which the two genes act. pleA was required for a short period at 0.7 of the swarmer cell cycle for flagellum biosynthesis, whereas pleC was required during an overlapping period from 0.6 to 0.95 of the cell cycle to activate flagellum rotation as well as to enable loss of the flagellum and stalk formation by swarmer cells after division. The third pleiotropic gene, pleD, is described here for the first time. A pleD mutation was identified as a bypass suppressor of a temperature-sensitive pleC allele. Strains containing this mutation were highly motile, did not shed the flagellum or form stalks, and retained motility throughout the cell cycle. Since pleD was required to turn off motility and was a bypass suppressor of pleC, we conclude that it acts after the pleA and pleC gene functions in the cell cycle. No mutants defective in both flagellum biosynthesis and stalk formation were identified. Consequently, we propose that the steps required for formation of swarmer cells and subsequent development into stalked cells are organized into at least two developmental pathways: a pleA-dependent sequence of events, responsible for flagellum biosynthesis in predivisional cells, and a pleC-pleD-dependent sequence, responsible for flagellum activation in predivisional cells and loss of motility and stalk formation in progeny swarmer cells.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.4M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Barrett JT, Rhodes CS, Ferber DM, Jenkins B, Kuhl SA, Ely B. Construction of a genetic map for Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1982 Mar;149(3):889–896. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Champer R, Bryan R, Gomes SL, Purucker M, Shapiro L. Temporal and spatial control of flagellar and chemotaxis gene expression during Caulobacter cell differentiation. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1985;50:831–840. [PubMed]
  • Degnen ST, Newton A. Chromosome replication during development in Caulobacter crescentus. J Mol Biol. 1972 Mar 14;64(3):671–680. [PubMed]
  • Ely B, Croft RH. Transposon mutagenesis in Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1982 Feb;149(2):620–625. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ely B, Croft RH, Gerardot CJ. Genetic mapping of genes required for motility in Caulobacter crescentus. Genetics. 1984 Nov;108(3):523–532. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fukuda A, Asada M, Koyasu S, Yoshida H, Yaginuma K, Okada Y. Regulation of polar morphogenesis in Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1981 Jan;145(1):559–572. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fukuda A, Iba H, Okada Y. Stalkless mutants of Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1977 Jul;131(1):280–287. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fukuda A, Miyakawa K, Iida H, Okada Y. Regulation of polar surface structures in Caulobacter crescentus: pleiotropic mutations affect the coordinate morphogenesis of flagella, pili and phage receptors. Mol Gen Genet. 1976 Dec 8;149(2):167–173. [PubMed]
  • Hodgson D, Shaw P, Letts V, Henry S, Shapiro L. Genetic analysis and characterization of a Caulobacter crescentus mutant defective in membrane biogenesis. J Bacteriol. 1984 May;158(2):430–440. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Huguenel ED, Newton A. Localization of surface structures during procaryotic differentiation: role of cell division in Caulobacter crescentus. Differentiation. 1982;21(2):71–78. [PubMed]
  • Huguenel E, Newton A. Isolation of flagellated membrane vesicles from Caulobacter crescentus cells: evidence for functional differentiation of polar membrane domains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Jun;81(11):3409–3413. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson RC, Ely B. Isolation of spontaneously derived mutants of Caulobacter crescentus. Genetics. 1977 May;86(1):25–32. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson RC, Ely B. Analysis of nonmotile mutants of the dimorphic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1979 Jan;137(1):627–634. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson RC, Ely B. Analysis of nonmotile mutants of the dimorphic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1979 Jan;137(1):627–634. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lagenaur C, Farmer S, Agabian N. Adsorption properties of stage-specific Caulobacter phage phiCbK. Virology. 1977 Mar;77(1):401–407. [PubMed]
  • Minnich SA, Ohta N, Taylor N, Newton A. Role of the 25-, 27-, and 29-kilodalton flagellins in Caulobacter crescentus cell motility: method for construction of deletion and Tn5 insertion mutants by gene replacement. J Bacteriol. 1988 Sep;170(9):3953–3960. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Newton A. Role of transcription in the temporal control of development in Caulobacter crescentus (stalk-rifampin-RNA synthesis-DNA synthesis-motility). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1972 Feb;69(2):447–451. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ohta N, Chen LS, Swanson E, Newton A. Transcriptional regulation of a periodically controlled flagellar gene operon in Caulobacter crescentus. J Mol Biol. 1985 Nov 5;186(1):107–115. [PubMed]
  • Osley MA, Newton A. Mutational analysis of developmental control in Caulobacter crescentus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Jan;74(1):124–128. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Osley MA, Newton A. Temporal control of the cell cycle in Caulobacter crescentus: roles of DNA chain elongation and completion. J Mol Biol. 1980 Mar 25;138(1):109–128. [PubMed]
  • Schmidt JM, Stanier RY. The development of cellular stalks in bacteria. J Cell Biol. 1966 Mar;28(3):423–436. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shapiro L. Generation of polarity during Caulobacter cell differentiation. Annu Rev Cell Biol. 1985;1:173–207. [PubMed]
  • Sheffery M, Newton A. Purification and characterization of a polyhook protein from Caulobacter crescentus. J Bacteriol. 1979 May;138(2):575–583. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sheffery M, Newton A. Regulation of periodic protein synthesis in the cell cycle: control of initiation and termination of flagellar gene expression. Cell. 1981 Apr;24(1):49–57. [PubMed]
  • Sommer JM, Newton A. Sequential regulation of developmental events during polar morphogenesis in Caulobacter crescentus: assembly of pili on swarmer cells requires cell separation. J Bacteriol. 1988 Jan;170(1):409–415. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...