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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336147

Research Project: Novel Pre-harvest Interventions and Alternatives to Antibiotics to Reduce Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit

Title: L-Fucose metabolism in camplobacter jejuni

item GARBER, JOLENE - University Of Georgia
item NOTHAFT, HARALD - University Of Alberta
item HUANG, HUA - University Of Illinois
item PLUVINAGE, BENE - University Of Victoria
item Line, John
item ENRIQUEZ, AMBER - University Of Georgia
item BORASTON, ALASDAIR - University Of Victoria
item GERLT, JOHN - University Of Illinois
item SZYMANSKI, CHRISTINE - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2016
Publication Date: 11/19/2016
Citation: Garber, J., Nothaft, H., Huang, H., Pluvinage, B., Line, J.E., Enriquez, A., Boraston, A., Gerlt, J.A., Szymanski, C.M. 2016. L-Fucose metabolism in camplobacter jejuni [abstract}. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: none

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni is a gastrointestinal pathogen once considered asaccharolytic, but now known to metabolize fucose. Strains with the fuc locus encode enzymes for fucose uptake and metabolism and show a competitive colonization advantage in the piglet disease model. C. jejuni NCTC11168 shows reduced biofilm formation in the presence of fucose while its fucose permease mutant (fucP) shows no changes. However, both wildtype and the fucP mutant are capable of chemotaxis towards fucose. Mutagenesis studies have linked the putative dehydrogenase Cj0485 with coordinating fucose metabolism and chemotaxis. Overall, our results suggest that fucose chemotaxis is coupled to possession of the fuc locus, but downstream signals, only in fuc+ strains, are involved in coordinating fucose availability with biofilm development. Interestingly, the enzymes encoded by the C. jejuni fucose utilization locus are not similar to those used by other fucose-utilizing organisms such as Escherichia coli or the Bacteroides species. However, they are similar to those in the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris. We are further characterizing the proteins in crystallography studies and enzymatic assays to determine their metabolic roles and are particularly interested in Cj0485 due to its dual function in both metabolism and chemotaxis. Additionally, we are interested in comparing how strains that can and cannot use fucose are able to use other carbon sources. Biolog analyses show differential utilization profiles between wildtype C. jejuni 11168 and the fucose regulator (fucR) and fucP mutants, suggesting that utilization of other carbon sources is linked to fucose metabolism. Overall, these studies enable us to characterize a unique fucose metabolic pathway and help to better understand the importance of fucose and other carbon sources for pathogen colonization and persistence in the gut.