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The phosphotransferase system gene ptsH plays an important role in MnSOD production, biofilm formation, swarming motility, and root colonization in Bacillus cereus 905

Gao, Tantan, Ding, Mingzheng, Yang, Ching-Hong, Fan, Haiyan, Chai, Yunrong, Li, Yan
Research in microbiology 2019 v.170 no.2 pp. 86-96
Bacillus cereus, arabinose, bacterial motility, biofilm, genes, glucose, oxidative stress, plant growth, rhizosphere, rhizosphere bacteria, roots, superoxide dismutase, transferases, wheat
The rhizosphere bacterium Bacillus cereus 905 is capable of promoting plant growth through effective colonization on plant roots. The sodA2-encoding manganese-containing superoxide dismutase (MnSOD2) is important for survival of B. cereus 905 in the wheat rhizosphere. However, the genes involved in regulating sodA2 expression and the mechanisms of rhizosphere colonization of B. cereus 905 are not well elucidated. In this study, we found that the deletion of the ptsH gene, which encodes the histidine-phosphorylatable protein (HPr), a component of the phosphotransferase system (PTS), causes a decrease of about 60% in the MnSOD2 expression. Evidences indicate that the ptsH dramatically influences resistance to oxidative stress, glucose uptake, as well as biofilm formation and swarming motility of B. cereus 905. Root colonization assay demonstrated that ΔptsH is defective in colonizing wheat roots, while complementation of the sodA2 gene could partially restore the ability in utilization of arabinose, a non-PTS sugar, and root colonization caused by the loss of the ptsH gene. In toto, based on the current findings, we propose that PtsH contributes to root colonization of B. cereus 905 through multiple indistinct mechanisms, involving PTS and uptake of PTS-sugars, up-regulation of MnSOD2 production, and promotion of biofilm formation and swarming motility.