Isolation of the Buchnera aphidicola flagellum basal body complexes from the Buchnera membrane

PLoS One. 2021 May 10;16(5):e0245710. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245710. eCollection 2021.


Buchnera aphidicola is an intracellular bacterial symbiont of aphids and maintains a small genome of only 600 kbps. Buchnera is thought to maintain only genes relevant to the symbiosis with its aphid host. Curiously, the Buchnera genome contains gene clusters coding for flagellum basal body structural proteins and for flagellum type III export machinery. These structures have been shown to be highly expressed and present in large numbers on Buchnera cells. No recognizable pathogenicity factors or secreted proteins have been identified in the Buchnera genome, and the relevance of this protein complex to the symbiosis is unknown. Here, we show isolation of Buchnera flagellum basal body proteins from the cellular membrane of Buchnera, confirming the enrichment of flagellum basal body proteins relative to other proteins in the Buchnera proteome. This will facilitate studies of the structure and function of the Buchnera flagellum structure, and its role in this model symbiosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphids / microbiology
  • Basal Bodies / metabolism*
  • Basal Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Buchnera / metabolism*
  • Buchnera / ultrastructure
  • Flagella / metabolism
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Membranes