Unipolar peptidoglycan synthesis in the Rhizobiales requires an essential class A penicillin-binding protein [article]

Michelle A Williams, Alena Aliashkevich, Elizaveta Krol, Erkin Kuru, Jacob M Bouchier, Jonathan Rittichier, Yves V Brun, Michael S VanNieuwenhze, Anke Becker, Felipe Cava, Pamela JB Brown
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Members of the Rhizobiales are polarly-growing bacteria that lack homologs of the canonical rod complex. To investigate the mechanisms underlying polar cell wall synthesis, we systematically probed the function of cell wall synthesis enzymes in the plant-pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The development of fluorescent D-amino acid dipeptide (FDAAD) probes, which are incorporated into peptidoglycan by penicillin-binding proteins in A. tumefaciens, enabled us to monitor changes in growth
more » ... s in the mutants. Use of these fluorescent cell wall probes and peptidoglycan compositional analysis convincingly demonstrate that a single class A penicillin-binding protein is essential for polar peptidoglycan synthesis. Furthermore, we find evidence of an alternative mode of cell wall synthesis that likely requires LD-transpeptidase activity. Genetic analysis and cell wall targeting antibiotics reveal that the mechanism of unipolar growth is conserved in Sinorhizobium and Brucella. This work provides insights into unipolar peptidoglycan biosynthesis employed by the Rhizobiales during cell elongation.
doi:10.1101/2021.03.31.437934 fatcat:illm5znnt5aonabs3w3564tc4y