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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Nov 13;1579(1):55-63.

Characterization of the flgG operon of Rhodobacter sphaeroides WS8 and its role in flagellum biosynthesis.

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Departamento de Genética Molecular, Instituto de Fisiologi;a Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Postal 70-243, 04510 México D.F., Mexico.


In this work, we show evidence regarding the functionality of a large cluster of flagellar genes in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. The genes of this cluster, flgGHIJKL and orf-1, are mainly involved in the formation of the basal body, and flgK and flgL encode the hook-associated proteins HAP1 and HAP3. In general, these genes showed a good similarity as compared with those reported for Salmonella enterica. However, flgJ and flgK showed particular features that make them unique among the flagellar sequences already reported. flgJ is only a third of the size reported for flgJ from Salmonella; whereas flgK is about three times larger than any other flgK sequence previously known. Our results indicate that both genes are functional, and their products are essential for flagellar assembly. In contrast, the interruption of orf-1, did not affect motility suggesting that this sequence, if functional, is not indispensable for flagellar assembly. Finally, we present genetic evidence suggesting that the flgGHIJKL genes are expressed as a single transcriptional unit depending on the sigma-54 factor.

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