The strain-specific capsular polysaccharide KR5 antigen of Sinorhizobium meliloti 41 is required both for invasion of the symbiotic nodule and for the adsorption of bacteriophage 16-3. In order to know more about the genes involved in these events, bacterial mutants carrying an altered phage receptor were identified by using host range phage mutants. A representative mutation was localized in the rkpM gene by complementation and DNA sequence analysis. A host range phage mutant isolated on these phage-resistant bacteria was used to identify the h gene, which is likely to encode the tail fiber protein of phage 16-3. The nucleotide sequences of the h gene as well as a host range mutant allele were also established. In both the bacterial and phage mutant alleles, a missense mutation was found, indicating a direct contact between the RkpM and H proteins in the course of phage adsorption. Some mutations could not be localized in these genes, suggesting that additional components are also important for bacteriophage receptor recognition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology