Flagellin redundancy in Caulobacter crescentus and its implications for flagellar filament assembly

Alexandra Faulds-Pain, Christopher Birchall, Christine Aldridge, Wendy D. Smith, Giulia Grimaldi, Shuichi Nakamura, Tomoko Miyata, Joe Gray, Guanglai Li, Jay X. Tang, Keiichi Namba, Tohru Minamino, Phillip D. Aldridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial flagella play key roles in surface attachment and host-bacterial interactions as well as driving motility. Here, we have investigated the ability of Caulobacter crescentus to assemble its flagellar filament from six flagellins: FljJ, FljK, FljL, FljM, FljN, and FljO. Flagellin gene deletion combinations exhibited a range of phenotypes from no motility or impaired motility to full motility. Characterization of the mutant collection showed the following: (i) that there is no strict requirement for any one of the six flagellins to assemble a filament; (ii) that there is a correlation between slower swimming speeds and shorter filament lengths in ΔfljK ΔfljM mutants; (iii) that the flagellins FljM to FljO are less stable than FljJ to FljL; and (iv) that the flagellins FljK, FljL, FljM, FljN, and FljO alone are able to assemble a filament.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2695-2707
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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