Rasika M. Harshey

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When free-living bacteria colonize biotic or abiotic surfaces, the resultant changes in physiology and morphology have important consequences on their growth, development, and survival. Surface motility, biofilm formation, fruiting body development, and host invasion are some of the manifestations of functional responses to surface colonization. Bacteria(More)
We describe a mechanism of flagellar motor control by the bacterial signaling molecule c-di-GMP, which regulates several cellular behaviors. E. coli and Salmonella have multiple c-di-GMP cyclases and phosphodiesterases, yet absence of a specific phosphodiesterase YhjH impairs motility in both bacteria. yhjH mutants have elevated c-di-GMP levels and require(More)
We describe a new behavioral response in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium in which the bacteria differentiate into filamentous, multinucleate, hyperflagellate cells that navigate the surface of solid media by means of coordinated swarming motility. The cue for differentiation into swarmer cells is provided by the concentration and composition of(More)
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium can differentiate into hyperflagellated swarmer cells on agar of an appropriate consistency (0.5 to 0.8%), allowing efficient colonization of the growth surface. Flagella are essential for this form of motility. In order to identify genes involved in swarming, we carried out extensive transposon mutagenesis of serovar(More)
Bacteriophage Mu is the largest and most efficient transposable element known. The Mu transposase (A protein) of relative molecular mass 75,000 is a central component of the transposition machinery. We report here that the N-terminal region of Mu transposase contains two distinct DNA-binding domains, one which binds the two Mu DNA ends, and another which(More)
Limited proteolysis of phage Mu transposase with three proteases of differing specificities produced a common pattern of fragmentation. The fragments were mapped by using a combination of immunoblotting and amino acid sequence analysis. Our results suggest that the transposase molecule is organized principally into three domains: an amino-terminal domain of(More)
The Rcs phosphorelay is a multicomponent signaling system that positively regulates colanic acid synthesis and negatively regulates motility and virulence. We have exploited a spontaneously isolated mutant, IgaA(T191P), that is nearly maximally activated for the Rcs system to identify a vast set of genes that respond to the stimulation, and we report new(More)
Swarming motility plays an important role in surface colonization by several flagellated bacteria. Swarmer cells are specially adapted to rapidly translocate over agar surfaces by virtue of their more numerous flagella, longer cell length, and encasement of slime. The external slime provides the milieu for motility and likely harbors swarming signals. We(More)
Swarming bacteria move in multicellular groups and exhibit adaptive resistance to multiple antibiotics. Analysis of this phenomenon has revealed the protective power of high cell densities to withstand exposure to otherwise lethal antibiotic concentrations. We find that high densities promote bacterial survival, even in a nonswarming state, but that the(More)
DNA transposition is central to the propagation of temperate phage Mu. A long-standing problem in Mu biology has been the mechanism by which the linear genome of an infecting phage, which is linked at both ends to DNA acquired from a previous host, integrates into the new host chromosome. If Mu were to use its well-established cointegrate mechanism for(More)