Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 161, Issue 4, pp 310–315 | Cite as

Several phenotypic changes in the cell envelope of Agrobacterium tumefaciens chvB mutants are prevented by calcium limitation

  • Saskia Swart
  • Trudy J. J. Logman
  • Ben J. J. Lugtenberg
  • Gerrit Smit
  • Jan W. Kijne
Original Papers


The chvB gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens encodes a 235 kDa proteinaceous intermediate involved in the synthesis of β-1,2-glucan. chvB mutants show a pleiotropic phenotype. Besides not to produce cyclic β-1,2-glucan, chvB mutants have been reported to be avirulent, attachment-deficient, and nonmotile. In this study we report additional differences from the parent strain, probably all linked to changes in the cell envelope. This pleiotropic phenotype — except for attachment and virulence — could largely be prevented by growing chvB cells with low levels of calcium. Although a role for β-1,2-glucan in osmoadaptation has been proposed, the mode of action of β-1,2-glucan is not known. We speculate that in A. tumefaciens β-1,2-glucan stabilizes membranes, which would be important especially in hypotonic media containing calcium.

Key words

Agrobacterium β-1,2-Glucan chvB Mutants—Ca2+ 







trichloroacetic acid


fraction of the stationary gel volume available for diffusion




Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saskia Swart
    • 1
  • Trudy J. J. Logman
    • 1
  • Ben J. J. Lugtenberg
    • 1
  • Gerrit Smit
    • 1
  • Jan W. Kijne
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Molecular Plant SciencesLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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