Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. 1989 February; 171(2): 819–830.
PMCID: PMC209670

Gliding motility in Myxococcus xanthus: mgl locus, RNA, and predicted protein products.


Mutants of Myxococcus xanthus that had lost the ability to glide were examined to elucidate the mechanism of gliding motility. Nonmotile mutants resulting from a single mutational step were all defective at the same locus, mgl, which implied an important role for the mgl product(s) in gliding. Deletion experiments, transposon insertion mutagenesis, and genetic rescue of mgl mutants mapped the locus to a 1.6-kilobase segment of Myxococcus DNA. Two species of RNA that hybridized with mgl DNA were found both during vegetative growth and during the starvation-induced development of fruiting bodies, which also requires cell movement. The two RNA species, of 1.5 and 1.3 kilobases, had the same 5' to 3' orientation and overlapped extensively. The DNA sequences of mgl+ and of seven mgl mutants were determined. Each mutant differed from mgl+ by a single-base-pair change in the sequence. Two adjacent open reading frames were found in the sequence hybridizing to both species of mgl RNA. Six of the single-base-pair changes, each of which would result in a single-amino-acid change, and an insertion-produced mgl mutation were located in the downstream open reading frame. This open reading frame (of 195 amino acids) is therefore an mgl gene, called mglA. The function of the upstream open reading frame is not known with certainty, although it does contain one of the mgl mutant sites and could be a second mgl gene.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Biggin MD, Gibson TJ, Hong GF. Buffer gradient gels and 35S label as an aid to rapid DNA sequence determination. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Jul;80(13):3963–3965. [PubMed]
  • Blackhart BD, Zusman DR. "Frizzy" genes of Myxococcus xanthus are involved in control of frequency of reversal of gliding motility. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Dec;82(24):8767–8770. [PubMed]
  • Bretscher AP, Kaiser D. Nutrition of Myxococcus xanthus, a fruiting myxobacterium. J Bacteriol. 1978 Feb;133(2):763–768. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Burchard AC, Burchard RP, Kloetzel JA. Intracellular, periodic structures in the gliding bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. J Bacteriol. 1977 Nov;132(2):666–672. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Casadaban MJ, Cohen SN. Analysis of gene control signals by DNA fusion and cloning in Escherichia coli. J Mol Biol. 1980 Apr;138(2):179–207. [PubMed]
  • Chirgwin JM, Przybyla AE, MacDonald RJ, Rutter WJ. Isolation of biologically active ribonucleic acid from sources enriched in ribonuclease. Biochemistry. 1979 Nov 27;18(24):5294–5299. [PubMed]
  • De Lozanne A, Spudich JA. Disruption of the Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain gene by homologous recombination. Science. 1987 May 29;236(4805):1086–1091. [PubMed]
  • Dworkin M, Keller KH, Weisberg D. Experimental observations consistent with a surface tension model of gliding motility of Myxococcus xanthus. J Bacteriol. 1983 Sep;155(3):1367–1371. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hagen DC, Bretscher AP, Kaiser D. Synergism between morphogenetic mutants of Myxococcus xanthus. Dev Biol. 1978 Jun;64(2):284–296. [PubMed]
  • Henikoff S. Unidirectional digestion with exonuclease III creates targeted breakpoints for DNA sequencing. Gene. 1984 Jun;28(3):351–359. [PubMed]
  • Hodgkin J, Kaiser D. Cell-to-cell stimulation of movement in nonmotile mutants of Myxococcus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Jul;74(7):2938–2942. [PubMed]
  • Holmes DS, Quigley M. A rapid boiling method for the preparation of bacterial plasmids. Anal Biochem. 1981 Jun;114(1):193–197. [PubMed]
  • Kaiser D. Social gliding is correlated with the presence of pili in Myxococcus xanthus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Nov;76(11):5952–5956. [PubMed]
  • Kroos L, Kaiser D. Construction of Tn5 lac, a transposon that fuses lacZ expression to exogenous promoters, and its introduction into Myxococcus xanthus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Sep;81(18):5816–5820. [PubMed]
  • Kroos L, Kuspa A, Kaiser D. A global analysis of developmentally regulated genes in Myxococcus xanthus. Dev Biol. 1986 Sep;117(1):252–266. [PubMed]
  • Lapidus IR, Berg HC. Gliding motility of Cytophaga sp. strain U67. J Bacteriol. 1982 Jul;151(1):384–398. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mills DR, Kramer FR. Structure-independent nucleotide sequence analysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 May;76(5):2232–2235. [PubMed]
  • Mizusawa S, Nishimura S, Seela F. Improvement of the dideoxy chain termination method of DNA sequencing by use of deoxy-7-deazaguanosine triphosphate in place of dGTP. Nucleic Acids Res. 1986 Feb 11;14(3):1319–1324. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • O'Connor KA, Zusman DR. Coliphage P1-mediated transduction of cloned DNA from Escherichia coli to Myxococcus xanthus: use for complementation and recombinational analyses. J Bacteriol. 1983 Jul;155(1):317–329. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sanger F, Nicklen S, Coulson AR. DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Dec;74(12):5463–5467. [PubMed]
  • Shimkets LJ, Gill RE, Kaiser D. Developmental cell interactions in Myxococcus xanthus and the spoC locus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Mar;80(5):1406–1410. [PubMed]
  • Silverman M, Simon MI. Bacterial flagella. Annu Rev Microbiol. 1977;31:397–419. [PubMed]
  • Sodergren E, Kaiser D. Insertions of Tn5 near genes that govern stimulatable cell motility in Myxococcus. J Mol Biol. 1983 Jun 25;167(2):295–310. [PubMed]
  • Vale RD. Intracellular transport using microtubule-based motors. Annu Rev Cell Biol. 1987;3:347–378. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)