Precise Deletion of tagD and Controlled Depletion of Its Product, Glycerol 3-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase, Leads to Irregular Morphology and Lysis of Bacillus subtilis Grown at Physiological Temperature
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Using a previously reported conditional expression system for use in Bacillus subtilis (A. P. Bhavsar, X. Zhao, and E. D. Brown, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:403-410, 2001), we report the first precise deletion of a teichoic acid biosynthesis (tag) gene, tagD, in B. subtilis. This teichoic acid mutant showed a lethal phenotype when characterized at a physiological temperature and in a defined genetic background. This tagD mutant was subject to full phenotypic rescue upon expression of the complementing copy of tagD. Depletion of the tagD gene product (glycerol 3-phosphate cytidylyltransferase) via modulated expression of tagD from the amyE locus revealed structural defects centered on shape, septation, and division. Thickening of the wall and ultimately lysis followed these events.
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