Role of flagella and type four pili in the co-migration of Burkholderia terrae BS001 with fungal hyphae through soil

Yang, P., Zhang, M. & van Elsas, J. D., 7-Jun-2017, In : Scientific Reports. 7, 10 p., 2997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Burkholderia terrae BS001 has previously been found to be able to disperse along with growing fungal hyphae in soil, with the type-3 secretion system having a supportive role in this movement. In this study, we focus on the role of two motility-and adherence-associated appendages, i.e. type-4 pili (T4P) and flagella. Electron microcopy and motility testing revealed that strain BS001 produces polar flagella and can swim on semi-solid R2A agar. Flagellum-and T4P-negative mutants were then constructed to examine the ecological roles of the respective systems. Both in liquid media and on swimming agar, the mutant strains showed similar fitness to the wild-type strain in mixed culture. The flagellar mutant had completely lost its flagella, as well as its swimming capacity. It also lost its co-migration ability with two soil-exploring fungi, Lyophyllum sp. strain Karsten and Trichoderma asperellum 302, in soil microcosms. In contrast, the T4P mutant showed reduced surface twitching motility, whereas its co-migration ability in competition with the wild-type strain was slightly reduced. We conclude that the co-migration of strain BS001 with fungal hyphae through soil is dependent on the presence of functional flagella conferring swimming motility, with the T4P system having a minor effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2997
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 7-Jun-2017



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