A two-component regulatory system modulates twitching motility in Dichelobacter nodosus

Ruth M Kennan, Carrie J Lovitt, Xiao Y Han, Dane Parker, Lynne Turnbull, Cynthia B Whitchurch, Julian I Rood

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Dichelobacter nodosus is the essential causative agent of footrot in sheep and type IV fimbriae-mediated twitching motility has been shown to be essential for virulence. We have identified a two-component signal transduction system (TwmSR) that shows similarity to chemosensory systems from other bacteria. Insertional inactivation of the gene encoding the response regulator, TwmR, led to a twitching motility defect, with the mutant having a reduced rate of twitching motility when compared to the wild-type and a mutant complemented with the wild-type twmR gene. The reduced rate of twitching motility was not a consequence of a reduced growth rate or decreased production of surface located fimbriae, but video microscopy indicated that it appeared to result from an overall loss of twitching directionality. These results suggest that a chemotactic response to environmental factors may play an important role in the D. nodosus-mediated disease process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34 - 41
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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