Haloarcula marismortui archaellin genes as ecoparalogs

Extremophiles. 2014 Mar;18(2):341-9. doi: 10.1007/s00792-013-0619-4. Epub 2013 Dec 25.


The genome of haloarchaeon Haloarcula marismortui contains two archaellin genes-flaA2 and flaB. Earlier we isolated and characterized two H. marismortui strains in that archaella consisting of FlaA2 archaellin (with a minor FlaB fraction) or of FlaB only. Both the FlaA2 and FlaB strains were motile and produced functional helical archaella. Thus, it may seem that the FlaA2 archaellin is redundant. In this study we investigated the biological roles of archaellin redundancy and demonstrated that FlaA2 archaellin is better adapted to more severe conditions of high temperature/low salinity, while FlaB has an advantage with increasing salinity. We used the thermodynamic data and bioinformatics sequence analysis to demonstrate that archaella formed by FlaA2 are more stable than those formed by FlaB. Our combined data indicate that the monomer FlaA2 archaellin is more flexible and leads to more compact and stable formation of filamentous structures. The difference in response to environmental stress indicates that FlaA2 and FlaB replace each other under different environmental conditions and can be considered as ecoparalogs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaeal Proteins / chemistry
  • Archaeal Proteins / genetics
  • Archaeal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flagellin / chemistry
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Flagellin / metabolism*
  • Genes, Archaeal*
  • Haloarcula marismortui / genetics*
  • Haloarcula marismortui / metabolism
  • Hot Temperature
  • Protein Stability
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Salt Tolerance


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • FlaB2 protein, archaeal
  • Flagellin