Clostridium taeniosporum spore ribbon-like appendage structure, composition and genes

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Abstract

Summary

Clostridium taeniosporum spores have about 12 large, flat, ribbon-like appendages attached through a common trunk at one spore pole to a previously unknown surface layer outside the coat that is proposed to be called the ‘encasement’. Appendages are about 4.5 μm long, 0.5 μm wide and 30 nm thick and taper at the attachment end into a semicircle that is twisted relative to the flat ribbon. Individual fibrils, about 45 nm in length with spherical heads and long thin tails, form a hair-like nap, visible along the appendage edge. Four appendage proteins have been detected: a paralogous pair of 29 kDa (designated P29a and P29b), a glycoprotein of about 37 kDa (designated GP85) and an orthologue of the Bacillus spore morphogenetic protein SpoVM. The P29 proteins consist of duplicated regions and each region includes a domain of unknown function 11. The GP85 glycoprotein contains a collagen-like region. The genes for P29a and b, GP85 and possibly related proteins are closely linked on two small chromosome fragments. Putative σK-dependent promoters upstream of the P29a and b genes indicate that they likely are expressed late in the mother cell, consistent with their deposition into the layer external to the coat.

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