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Novel ultrastructures of Treponema primitia and their implications for motility

Murphy, Gavin E. and Matson, Eric G. and Leadbetter, Jared R. and Berg, Howard C. and Jensen, Grant J. (2008) Novel ultrastructures of Treponema primitia and their implications for motility. Molecular Microbiology, 67 (6). pp. 1184-1195. ISSN 0950-382X. PMCID PMC3082362. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:MURmm08

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Abstract

Members of the bacterial phylum Spirochaetes are generally helical cells propelled by periplasmic flagella. The spirochete Treponema primitia is interesting because of its mutualistic role in the termite gut, where it is believed to cooperate with protozoa that break down cellulose and produce H2 as a by-product. Here we report the ultrastructure of T. primitia as obtained by electron cryotomography of intact, frozen-hydrated cells. Several previously unrecognized external structures were revealed, including bowl-like objects decorating the outer membrane, arcades of hook-shaped proteins winding along the exterior and tufts of fibrils extending from the cell tips. Inside the periplasm, cone-like structures were found at each pole. Instead of the single peptidoglycan layer typical of other Gram-negative bacteria, two distinct periplasmic layers were observed. These layers formed a central open space that contained two flagella situated adjacent to each other. In some areas, the inner membrane formed flattened invaginations that protruded into the cytoplasm. High-speed light microscopic images of swimming T. primitia cells showed that cell bodies remained rigid and moved in a helical rather than planar motion. Together, these findings support the 'rolling cylinder' model for T. primitia motility that posits rotation of the protoplasmic cylinder within the outer sheath.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06120.xDOIArticle
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3082362/PubMed CentralArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Leadbetter, Jared R.0000-0002-7033-0844
Jensen, Grant J.0000-0003-1556-4864
Additional Information:© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing. Accepted 8 January, 2008. Published Online: 1 February 2008. We thank H. Jane Ding for creating an Amira module for analysis, Dylan Morris for Fig. 11C and Everett Kane for creating the animation. This work was supported in part by NIH Grants P01 G66521 and R01 AI067548 to G.J.J., DOE Grant DE-FG02-04ER63785 to G.J.J., a Searle Scholar Award to G.J.J., NSF Grants DEB-0321753 and EF-0523267 to J.R.L., NIH Grant AI016478 to H.C.B., NIH Graduate Fellowship F31 EB 004179 to G.E.M., and gifts to Caltech from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Agouron Institute, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHP01 G66521
NIHR01 AI067548
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-04ER63785
Searle Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
NSFDEB-0321753
NSFEF-0523267
NIHAI016478
NIHF31 EB 004179
Ralph M. Parsons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC3082362
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:MURmm08
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:MURmm08
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13361
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:11 Feb 2009 00:52
Last Modified:27 Apr 2020 22:31

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