Mutational Analysis of c-di-GMP-Modulating Genes Reveals Complex Regulation of Motility. Journal Article

Authors: Shrestha, P; Razvi, A; Fung, BL; Eichinger, SJ; Visick, KL
Article Title: Mutational Analysis of c-di-GMP-Modulating Genes Reveals Complex Regulation of Motility.
Abstract: The symbiont Vibrio fischeri uses motility to colonize its host. In numerous bacterial species, motility is negatively controlled by cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP), which is produced by diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) with GGDEF domains and degraded by phosphodiesterases with either EAL or HD-GYP domains. To begin to decode the functions of the 50 Vibrio fischeri genes with GGDEF, EAL, and/or HD-GYP domains, we deleted each gene and assessed each mutant's migration through tryptone broth salt (TBS) soft agar medium containing or lacking magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca), which are known to influence V. fischeri motility. We identified 6, 13, and 16 mutants with altered migration in TBS-Mg, TBS, and TBS-Ca soft agar, respectively, a result that underscores the importance of medium conditions in assessing gene function. A biosensor-based assay revealed that Mg and Ca affected c-di-GMP levels negatively and positively, respectively; the severe decrease in c-di-GMP caused by Mg addition correlates with its strong positive impact on bacterial migration. A mutant defective for , a homolog of V. cholerae , exhibited a severe defect in migration across all conditions. Motility of a double mutant was also severely defective and could be restored by expression of "c-di-GMP-blind" alleles of master flagellar regulator . Together, this work sheds light on the genes and conditions that influence c-di-GMP-mediated control over motility in V. fischeri and provides a foundation for (i) assessing roles of putative c-di-GMP-binding proteins, (ii) evaluating other c-di-GMP-dependent phenotypes in V. fischeri, (iii) uncovering potential redundancy, and (iv) deciphering signal transduction mechanisms. Critical bacterial processes, including motility, are influenced by c-di-GMP, which is controlled by environment-responsive synthetic and degradative enzymes. Because bacteria such as Vibrio fischeri use motility to colonize their hosts, understanding the roles of c-di-GMP-modulating enzymes in controlling motility has the potential to inform on microbe-host interactions. We leveraged recent advances in genetic manipulation to generate 50 mutants defective for putative c-di-GMP synthetic and degradative enzymes. We then assessed the consequences on motility, manipulating levels of magnesium and calcium, which inversely influenced motility and levels of c-di-GMP. Distinct subsets of the 50 genes were required under the different conditions. Our data thus provide needed insight into the functions of these enzymes and environmental factors that influence them.
Journal Title: Journal of Bacteriology
ISSN: 1098-5530; 0021-9193
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2022