Bordetella bronchiseptica lipopolysaccharide (LPS) expression varies depending on growth conditions, regulated by the Bvg system. A B. bronchiseptica pagP homologue was identified that is required for Bvg-mediated modification of the lipid A core region of LPS that occurs on switching from the Bvg- to the Bvg+ phase. Structural analysis demonstrated that the lipid A of a B. bronchiseptica pagP mutant differed from wild-type lipid A by the absence of a palmitate group in secondary acylation at the C3' position. The putative pagP promoter drove the expression of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene in a Bvg-regulated fashion. These data suggest that B. bronchiseptica pagP encodes a Bvg-regulated lipid A palmitoyl transferase that mediates modification of the lipid A as part of the overall Bvg-mediated adaptation of this organism to changing environmental conditions. We also show that pagP is not required for the initial colonization of the mouse respiratory tract by B. bronchiseptica, but is required for persistence of the organism within this organ.