The type IX secretion system is required for virulence of the fish pathogen Flavobacterium columnare

Li, N., Zhu, Y., LaFrentz, B.R., Evenhuis, J.P., Hunnicutt, D.W., Conrad, R.A., Barbier, P., Gullstrand, C.W., Roets, J.E., Powers, J.L., Kulkarni, S.S., Erbes, D.H., García, J.C., Nie, P., McBride, M.J.
Applied and environmental microbiology   83(23): (Journal)
Registered Authors
Nie, Pin
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins/metabolism*
  • Bacterial Secretion Systems/genetics
  • Bacterial Secretion Systems/metabolism*
  • Fish Diseases/microbiology*
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections/microbiology
  • Flavobacteriaceae Infections/veterinary*
  • Flavobacterium/genetics
  • Flavobacterium/metabolism*
  • Flavobacterium/pathogenicity*
  • Ictaluridae/microbiology
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss/microbiology
  • Virulence
  • Zebrafish/microbiology
28939608 Full text @ Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
Flavobacterium columnare, a member of the phylum Bacteroidetes, causes columnaris disease in wild and aquaculture-reared freshwater fish. The mechanisms responsible for columnaris disease are not known. Many members of the phylum Bacteroidetes use type IX secretion systems (T9SSs) to secrete enzymes, adhesins, and proteins involved in gliding motility. The F. columnare genome has all of the genes needed to encode a T9SS. gldN, which encodes a core component of the T9SS, was deleted in wild-type strains of F. columnare The F. columnare ΔgldN mutants were deficient in the secretion of several extracellular proteins and lacked gliding motility. The ΔgldN mutants exhibited reduced virulence in zebrafish, channel catfish, and rainbow trout, and complementation restored virulence. PorV is required for the secretion of a subset of proteins targeted to the T9SS. An F. columnare ΔporV mutant retained gliding motility but exhibited reduced virulence. Cell-free spent media from exponentially growing cultures of wild-type and complemented strains caused rapid mortality, but spent media from ΔgldN and ΔporV mutants did not, suggesting that soluble toxins are secreted by the T9SS.IMPORTANCE Columnaris disease, caused by F. columnare, is a major problem for freshwater aquaculture. Little is known regarding the virulence factors produced by F. columnare, and control measures are limited. Analysis of targeted gene deletion mutants revealed the importance of the type IX protein secretion system (T9SS) and of secreted toxins in F. columnare virulence. T9SSs are common in members of the phylum Bacteroidetes and likely contribute to the virulence of other animal and human pathogens.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes