CdgL is a degenerate nucleotide cyclase domain protein affecting flagellin synthesis and motility in Bacillus thuringiensis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionResearch in Microbiology. 2021, 172 (4-5), . 10.1016/j.resmic.2021.103850
In Bacillus subtilis, motility genes are expressed in a hierarchical pattern – governed by the σD transcription factor and other proteins such as the EpsE molecular clutch and SlrA/SlrR regulator proteins. In contrast, motile species in the Bacillus cereus group seem to express their motility genes in a non-hierarchical pattern, and less is known about their regulation, also given that no orthologs to σD, EpsE, SlrA or SlrR are found in B. cereus group genomes. Here we show that deletion of cdgL (BTB_RS26690/BTB_c54300) in Bacillus thuringiensis 407 (cry-) resulted in a six-to ten-fold downregulation of the entire motility locus, and loss of flagellar structures and swimming motility. cdgL is unique to the B. cereus group and is found in all phylogenetic clusters in the population except for group I, which comprises isolates of non-motile Bacillus pseudomycoides. Analysis of RNA-Seq data revealed cdgL to be expressed in a three-gene operon with a NupC like nucleoside transporter, and a putative glycosyl transferase for which transposon-based gene inactivation was previously shown to produce a similar phenotype to cdgL deletion. Interestingly, all three proteins were predicted to be membrane-bound and may provide a concerted function in the regulation of B. cereus group motility.