Kai Thormann

Kai Thormann
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen | JLU · Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie

Prof. Dr.

About

94
Publications
8,247
Reads
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2,402
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2013 - present
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • see www.thormanlab.org

Publications

Publications (94)
Article
Full-text available
In bacteria, the monopolar localization of enzymes and protein complexes can result in a bimodal distribution of enzyme activity between the dividing cells and heterogeneity of cellular behaviors. In Shewanella putrefaciens , the multidomain hybrid diguanylate cyclase/phosphodiesterase PdeB, which degrades the secondary messenger c-di-GMP, is locat...
Article
A huge number of bacterial species are motile by flagella, which allow them to actively move toward favorable environments and away from hazardous areas and to conquer new habitats. The general perception of flagellum-mediated movement and chemotaxis is dominated by the Escherichia coli paradigm, with its peritrichous flagellation and its famous ru...
Article
Flagella enable bacteria to actively spread within the environment. A number of species possess two separate flagellar systems, where in most cases a primary polar flagellar system is supported by distinct secondary lateral flagella under appropriate conditions. Using functional fluorescence tagging on one of these species, Shewanella putrefaciens,...
Article
Full-text available
The search for novel drugs that efficiently eliminate prokaryotic pathogens is one of the most urgent health topics of our time. Robust evaluation methods for monitoring the antibiotic stress response in prokaryotes are therefore necessary for developing respective screening strategies. Besides advantages of common in vitro techniques, there is a g...
Article
Full-text available
Flagellar motors are intricate rotating nanomachines that are powered by transmembrane ion gradients. The stator complexes are the powerhouses of the flagellar motor: They convert a transmembrane ion gradient, mainly of H+ or Na+, into rotation of the helical flagellar filament. They are thus essential for motor function. The number of stators sync...
Article
Full-text available
The search for novel drugs that efficiently eliminate prokaryotic pathogens is one of the most urgent health topics of our time. Robust evaluation methods for monitoring the antibiotic stress response in prokaryotes are therefore necessary for developing respective screening strategies. Besides advantages of common in vitro techniques, there is a g...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria frequently engage in obligate metabolic mutualisms with other microorganisms. However, it remains generally unclear how the resulting metabolic dependencies affect the ecological niche space accessible to the whole consortium relative to the niche space available to its constituent individuals. Here we address this issue by systematically...
Preprint
Full-text available
In bacteria, the monopolar localization of enzymes and protein complexes can result in a bi-modal distribution of enzyme activity between the dividing cells and heterogeneity of cellular behaviors. In Shewanella putrefaciens , the multidomain hybrid diguanylate cyclase/phosphodiesterase PdeB, which degrades the secondary messenger c-di-GMP, is loca...
Article
Full-text available
A number of bacterial species control the function of the flagellar motor in response to the levels of the secondary messenger c-di-GMP, which is often mediated by c-di-GMP-binding proteins that act as molecular brakes or clutches to slow the motor rotation. The gammaproteobacterium Shewanella putrefaciens possesses two distinct flagellar systems,...
Article
Full-text available
We have studied the localization and dynamics of bacterial Ffh, part of the SRP complex, its receptor FtsY, and of ribosomes in the Gamma-proteobacterium Shewanella putrefaciens. Using structured illumination microscopy, we show that ribosomes show a pronounced accumulation at the cell poles, whereas SRP and FtsY are distributed at distinct sites a...
Article
Full-text available
The search for novel drugs that efficiently eliminate prokaryotic pathogens is one of the most urgent health topics of our time. Robust evaluation methods for monitoring the antibiotic stress response in prokaryotes are therefore necessary for developing respective screening strategies. Besides advantages of common in vitro techniques, there is a g...
Article
Full-text available
Flagella are bacterial organelles of locomotion. Their biogenesis is highly coordinated in time and space and relies on a specialized flagellar type III secretion system (fT3SS) required for the assembly of the extracellular hook, rod, and filament parts of this complex motor device. The fT3SS protein FlhB switches secretion substrate specificity o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bacteria frequently engage in obligate metabolic mutualisms with other microorganisms. However, it remains generally unclear how the resulting metabolic dependencies affect the ecological niche space accessible to the whole consortium relative to the niche space available to its constituent individuals. Here we address this issue by systematically...
Article
Full-text available
Species of the genus Shewanella are widespread in nature in various habitats, however, little is known about phages affecting Shewanella sp. Here, we report the isolation of phages from diverse freshwater environments that infect and lyse strains of Shewanella oneidensis and other Shewanella sp. Sequence analysis and microscopic imaging strongly in...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial flagella differ in their number and spatial arrangement. In many species, the MinD-type ATPase FlhG (also YlxH/FleN) is central to the numerical control of bacterial flagella, and its deletion in polarly flagellated bacteria typically leads to hyperflagellation. The molecular mechanism underlying this numerical control, however, remains e...
Article
Full-text available
Flagella-mediated motility, where propulsion is mediated by a rotating helical filament, is a very widespread and effective means of locomotion for numerous bacteria. Almost half of all species assemble their filament from more than one distinct building block, the flagellin. Here we show how bacteria may use different flagellins to build a filamen...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial cells in nature are frequently exposed to changes in their chemical environment1,2. The response mechanisms of isolated cells to such stimuli have been investigated in great detail. By contrast, little is known about the emergent multicellular responses to environmental changes, such as antibiotic exposure3,4,5,6,7, which may hold the key...
Article
Biofilms form when bacteria aggregate in a self-secreted exopolysaccharide matrix. Biofilms are resistant to antibiotics and thus implicated in human disease. Nitric oxide (NO) is known to mediate biofilm formation in many bacteria via ligation to H-NOX (heme-NO/oxygen binding) proteins. Most NO-responsive bacteria, however, lack H-NOX domain-conta...
Article
Full-text available
Polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA)‐associated biofilm formation is mediated by the intercellular adhesin (ica) locus and represents a major pathomechanism of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Here we report on a novel long non‐coding (nc)RNA, named IcaZ, which is approximately 400 nucleotides in size. icaZ is located downstream of the ica repress...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria switch only intermittently to motile planktonic lifestyles under favorable conditions. Under chronic nutrient deprivation, however, bacteria orchestrate a switch to stationary phase, conserving energy by altering metabolism and stopping motility. About two-thirds of bacteria use flagella to swim, but how bacteria deactivate this large mole...
Data
Lysed P. shigelloides cells show multiple flagellar relics at the pole. (A) Slice through a tomogram with red arrows highlighting relic structures. (B) A different slice from the same tomogram as shown in (A) showing the top view of more relic structures. (TIFF)
Data
Relic structures are made of the same proteins as flagellar motors and can be visualised by negative-stain EM. (A) Example particles extracted from negative-stain EM images of relic structures isolated using affinity purification of a S. putrefaciens MotX-His strain. (B) Example 2D class average of relic structures showing concentric rings. (C) Sli...
Data
Analysis of subtomogram averages. FSC curves of subtomogram averages and subtomogram averages of the P. shigelloides motor (top panel) and relic structure (bottom panel) before and after applying symmetry. Resolution at a 0.5 threshold of the unsymmetrized motor structure is approximately 3.3 nm, and the unsymmetrized relic is approximately 4.7 nm....
Data
Flagellar filaments are not required for flagellar ejection. (A) Slice through a tomogram of P. shigelloides ΔfliC showing intact motors with hooks but no filament. (B) Slice through a tomogram of P. shigelloides ΔfliC showing multiple relics (red arrows). (TIFF)
Data
Underlying data for Figs 1A, 1C, 1D, 3F, 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E and 5H. (XLSX)
Data
Partial flagellar motors are relics of old motors and are not formed in mutants incapable of assembling rods. Slices through six representative tomograms of ΔflhA cells. No relics were seen at the poles of any of the 68 cells imaged. Red arrows indicate chemoreceptor arrays. (TIFF)
Data
Placement of motors and relics in 3D. The 3D placement of relics and full flagellar motors on the pole of a representative cell. Red arrows point to relics, green flagellar filaments indicate full motors. (TIFF)
Article
Full-text available
c-di-GMP-dependent signaling affects a range of processes in many bacterial species. Most bacteria harbor a plethora of proteins with domains which are potentially involved in synthesis and breakdown of c-di-GMP. A potential mechanism to elicit an appropriate c-di-GMP-dependent response is to organize the corresponding proteins in a spatiotemporal...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial flagella are helical proteinaceous fibers, composed of the protein flagellin, that confer motility to many bacterial species. The genomes of about half of all flagellated species include more than one flagellin gene, for reasons mostly unknown. Here we show that two flagellins (FlaA and FlaB) are spatially arranged in the polar flagellum...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial extracellular nucleases have multiple functions in processes as diverse as nutrient acquisition, natural transformation, biofilm formation, or defense against neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Here we explored the properties of ExeM in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, an extracellular nuclease, which is widely conserved among species of S...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bacteria switch only intermittently to motile planktonic lifestyles under favourable conditions. Under chronic nutrient deprivation, however, bacteria orchestrate a switch to stationary phase, conserving energy by altering metabolism and stopping motility. About two-thirds of bacteria use flagella to swim, but how bacteria deactivate this large-mol...
Article
The ability of most bacterial flagellar motors to reverse the direction of rotation is crucial for efficient chemotaxis. In Escherichia coli, motor reversals are mediated by binding of phosphorylated chemotaxis protein CheY to components of the flagellar rotor, FliM and FliN, which induces a conformational switch of the flagellar C‐ring. Here we sh...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria swim in sequences of straight runs that are interrupted by turning events. They drive their swimming locomotion with the help of rotating helical flagella. Depending on the number of flagella and their arrangement across the cell body, different run-and-turn patterns can be observed. Here, we present fluorescence microscopy recordings show...
Article
Many bacterial species swim by rotating single polar helical flagella. Depending on the direction of rotation, they can swim forward or backward and change directions to move along chemical gradients but also to navigate their obstructed natural environment in soils, sediments, or mucus. When they get stuck, they naturally try to back out, but they...
Chapter
The stator is an eminent component of the flagellar motor and determines a number of the motor’s properties, such as the rotation-energizing coupling ion (H+ or Na+) or the torque that can be generated. The stator consists of several units located in the cytoplasmic membrane surrounding the flagellar drive shaft. Studies on flagellar motors of seve...
Article
Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 possesses two different stator units to drive flagellar rotation, the Na+-dependent PomAB stator and the H+-driven MotAB stator, the latter possibly acquired by lateral gene transfer. Although either stator can independently drive swimming through liquid, MotAB-driven motors cannot support efficient motility in structured...
Article
Full-text available
Type I CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)–Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems exist in bacterial and archaeal organisms and provide immunity against foreign DNA. The Cas protein content of the DNA interference complexes (termed Cascade) varies between different CRISPR-Cas subtypes. A minimal variant of the Type I-F syste...
Article
Spatiotemporal regulation of cell polarity plays a role in many fundamental processes in bacteria and often relies on 'landmark' proteins which recruit the corresponding clients to their designated position. Here, we explored the localization of two multi-protein complexes, the polar flagellar motor and the chemotaxis array, in Shewanella putrefaci...
Article
Bacteria differ in number and location of their flagella that appear in regular patterns at the cell surface (flagellation pattern). Despite the plethora of bacterial species, only a handful of these patterns exist. The correct flagellation pattern is a prerequisite for motility, but also relates to biofilm formation and the pathogenicity of diseas...
Article
The bacterial flagellar motor is an intricate nanomachine which converts ion gradients into rotational movement. Torque is created by ion-dependent stator complexes which surround the rotor in a ring. Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 expresses two distinct types of stator unit: the Na(+) -dependent PomA4 B2 and the H(+) -dependent MotA4 B2 . Here, we hav...
Article
The number and location of flagella, bacterial organelles of locomotion, are species specific and appear in regular patterns that represent one of the earliest taxonomic criteria in microbiology. However, the mechanisms that reproducibly establish these patterns during each round of cell division are poorly understood. FlhG (previously YlxH) is a m...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteriophages and genetic elements, such as prophage-like elements, pathogenicity islands, and phage morons, make up a considerable amount of the bacterial genome. Their transfer and subsequent activity within the host's genetic circuitry have had a significant impact on bacterial evolution. In what follows, it is considered what underlying mechan...
Article
Full-text available
As numerous bacterial species, Shewanella putrefaciens CN-32 possesses a complete secondary flagellar system. A significant subpopulation of CN-32 cells induces expression of the secondary system under planktonic conditions, resulting in formation of one, sometimes two, filaments at lateral positions in addition to the primary polar flagellum. Muta...
Article
Full-text available
Prophages are ubiquitous elements within bacterial chromosomes and affect host physiology and ecology in multiple ways. We have previously demonstrated that phage-induced lysis is required for extracellular DNA (eDNA) release and normal biofilm formation in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanisms of prophage λSo...