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J Bacteriol. 1996 Jan;178(2):554-9.

Differentiation of Serratia liquefaciens into swarm cells is controlled by the expression of the flhD master operon.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.


The velocity with which a swarming colony of Serratia liquefaciens colonizes the surface of a suitable solid substratum was controlled by modulating the expression of the flhD master operon. In liquid medium, the stimulation of flhD expression resulted in filamentous, multinucleate, and hyperflagellated cells that were indistinguishable from swarm cells isolated from the edge of a swarm colony. Thus, expression of the flhD master operon appears to play a central role in the process of swarm cell differentiation.

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