Kristien Braeken

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Swarming is the fastest known bacterial mode of surface translocation and enables the rapid colonization of a nutrient-rich environment and host tissues. This complex multicellular behavior requires the integration of chemical and physical signals, which leads to the physiological and morphological differentiation of the bacteria into swarmer cells. Here,(More)
The alarmone (p)ppGpp mediates a global reprogramming of gene expression upon nutrient limitation and other stresses to cope with these unfavorable conditions. Synthesis of (p)ppGpp is, in most bacteria, controlled by RelA/SpoT (Rsh) proteins. The role of (p)ppGpp has been characterized primarily in Escherichia coli and several Gram-positive bacteria. Here,(More)
Swarming motility is suggested to be a social phenomenon that enables groups of bacteria to coordinately and rapidly move atop solid surfaces. This multicellular behavior, during which the apparently organized bacterial populations are embedded in an extracellular slime layer, has previously been linked with biofilm formation and virulence. Many population(More)
A hyperphosphorylated guanosine nucleotide, (p)ppGpp, was initially identified as the effector molecule responsible for the stringent response in Escherichia coli. However, a rapidly growing number of reports proves that (p)ppGpp-mediated regulation is conserved in many bacteria and even in plants. It is now clear that (p)ppGpp acts as a global regulator(More)
The symbiotic interaction between Rhizobium etli and Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean plant, ultimately results in the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules. Many aspects of the intermediate and late stages of this interaction are still poorly understood. The R. etli relA gene was identified through a genome-wide screening for R. etli symbiotic mutants.(More)
Phylogenetic analysis of the superfamily of D-2-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases identified the previously unrecognized cluster of glyoxylate/hydroxypyruvate reductases (GHPR). Based on the genome sequence of Rhizobium etli, the nodulating endosymbiont of the common bean plant, we predicted a putative 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase to exhibit GHPR activity(More)
Rhizobium etli is a Gram-negative root-colonizing soil bacterium capable of fixing nitrogen while living in symbiosis with its leguminous host Phaseolus vulgaris. A genome-wide screening for R. etli symbiotic mutants revealed a R. etli operon encoding an oligopeptide ABC-transporter (Opt), two redA homologous genes and one redB gene. Expression analysis(More)
Rhizobium etli occurs either in a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with its host plant, Phaseolus vulgaris, or free-living in the soil. During both conditions, the bacterium has been suggested to reside primarily in a nongrowing state. Using genome-wide transcriptome profiles, we here examine the molecular basis of the physiological adaptations of rhizobia to(More)
The rel gene of Rhizobium etli (rel Ret ), the nodulating endosymbiont of the common bean plant, determines the cellular level of the alarmone (p)ppGpp and was previously shown to affect free-living growth and symbiosis. Here, we demonstrate its role in cellular adaptation and survival in response to various stresses. Growth of the R. etli rel Ret mutant(More)
Rhizobium etli occurs either in a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with its host plant, Phaseolus vulgaris, or free-living in the soil. During both conditions, the bacterium has been suggested to reside primarily in a nongrowing state. Using genome-wide transcriptome profiles, we here examine the molecular basis of the physiological adaptations of rhizobia to(More)