Department of Plant Pathology, University of California-Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616, U.S.A.
An 8.1-kb DNA fragment from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae that contains six open reading frames (ORF) was cloned. The ORF encodes proteins similar to flagellar proteins FlhB, FlhA, FlhF, and FliA, plus two proteins of unknown function, ORF234 and ORF319, from Bacillus subtilis and other organisms. These ORF have a similar genomic organization to those of their homologs in other bacteria. The flhF gene product, FlhF, has a GTP-binding motif conserved in its homologs. Unlike its homologs, however,X. oryzae pv. oryzae FlhF carries two transmembrane-like domains. Insertional mutations of the flhF gene with the omega cassette or the kanamycin resistance gene significantly retard but do not abolish the motility of the bacteria. Complementation of the mutants with the wild-type flhF gene restored the motility. The X. oryzae pv. oryzae FlhF interacts with itself; the disease resistance gene product XA21; and a protein homologous to the PilL protein of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, XooPilL, in the yeast two-hybrid system. The biological relevance of these interactions remains to be determined.