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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2009 Oct;299(1):65-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2009.01732.x. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Characterization of two host-specific genes, mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (mshA) and uridyl phosphate dehydrogenase (UDPDH) that are involved in the Vibrio fischeri-Euprymna tasmanica mutualism.

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Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, NM 88003-8001, USA.


While much has been known about the mutualistic associations between the sepiolid squid Euprymna tasmanica and the luminescent bacterium, Vibrio fischeri, less is known about the connectivity between the microscopic and molecular basis of initial attachment and persistence in the light organ. Here, we examine the possible effects of two symbiotic genes on specificity and biofilm formation of V. fischeri in squid light organs. Uridine diphosphate glucose-6-dehydrogenase (UDPDH) and mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (mshA) mutants were generated in V. fischeri to determine whether each gene has an effect on host colonization, specificity, and biofilm formation. Both squid light organ colonization assays and transmission electron microscopy confirmed differences in host colonization between wild-type and mutant strains, and also demonstrated the importance of both UDPDH and mshA gene expression for successful light organ colonization. This furthers our understanding of the genetic factors playing important roles in this environmentally transmitted symbiosis.

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