The four motor proteins PomA, PomB, MotX and MotY, which are believed to be stator proteins, are essential for motility by the Na+-driven flagella of Vibrio alginolyticus. When we purified the flagellar basal bodies, MotX and MotY were detected in the basal body, which is the supramolecular complex comprised of the rotor and the bushing, but PomA and PomB were not. By antibody labelling, MotX and MotY were detected around the LP ring. These results indicate that MotX and MotY associate with the basal body. The basal body had a new ring structure beneath the LP ring, which was named the T ring. This structure was changed or lost in the basal body from a ΔmotX or ΔmotY strain. The T ring probably comprises MotX and MotY. In the absence of MotX or MotY, we demonstrated that PomA and PomB were not localized to a cell pole. From the above results, we suggest that MotX and MotY of the T ring are involved in the incorporation and/or stabilization of the PomA/PomB complex in the motor.
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