Volume 14 (2017) Pages 173-181
Vibrio alginolyticus normally has a single polar flagellum whose number and placement are regulated positively by FlhF. FlhF is a GTPase and homolog of a signal recognition particle (SRP) protein called Ffh and SRP receptor FtsY. FlhF is located at the cell pole and directs formation of the flagellum. To study the mechanism of FlhF localization, we introduced random mutations into flhF by means of hydroxylamine and isolated mutants that could not generate the flagellum at the cell pole. The novel mutations were only mapped to the GTPase motif of FlhF. The mutant FlhF proteins showed reduced polar localization as compared to the wild type and still could associate with the membrane. These results support the assumption that the GTPase motif of FlhF plays a critical role in the polar localization of this protein during formation of the flagellum.