fii, a bacterial locus required for filamentous phage infection and its relation to colicin-tolerant tolA and tolB.
We describe mutations in a new bacterial locus, designated fii, which do not allow the filamentous bacteriophage f1 to infect bacteria harboring the F plasmid. Mutations at this locus do not affect the ability of F plasmid-containing bacteria to undergo conjugation or be infected by the F plasmid-specific RNA phage f2. The filamentous phage can still adsorb to the F sex pilus, but the DNA is unable to enter the bacteria. All fii mutants become tolerant to colicins E1, E2, and E3. Strains with amber mutations in fii also are unable to plaque P1, even though they can be infected with this phage. Mutations in fii also prevent infection of bacteria harboring the N plasmid by the filamentous bacteriophage IKe. The fii locus maps adjacent to tolA, mutants of which demonstrate tolerance to high levels of the E and K colicins. The three genes tolA, tolB, and fii are shown to reside on a 4.3-kilobase fragment of the Escherichia coli chromosome. Each gene has been cloned into a chimeric plasmid and shown to complement, in trans, mutations at the corresponding chromosomal locus. Studies in maxicells show that the product of fii appears to be a 24-kilodalton protein which copurifies with the cell envelope. The product of tolA has been identified tentatively as a 51-kilodalton protein. Data from cloning, Tn5 mutagenesis, and P1 transduction studies are consistent with the gene order sucA-fii-tolA-tolB-aroG near 17 min on the E. coli map.
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