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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 126986, 9 pages
Research Article

Cloning, Identification, and Characterization of the rpoS-Like Sigma Factor rpoX from Vibrio alginolyticus

1Key Laboratory of Marine Bio-resources Sustainable Utilization (LMB), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Guangzhou 510301, China
2Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China

Received 26 March 2009; Revised 5 August 2009; Accepted 28 September 2009

Academic Editor: Roy Gross

Copyright © 2009 Jing-jing Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vibrio alginolyticus ZJ-51 displays phase variation between opaque/rugose colonies (Op) and translucent/smooth colonies (Tr). These colony variants show great differences in biofilm formation and motility. In this study, a gene encoding for an rpoS-like sigma factor, rpoX, has been cloned and characterized. The absence of rpoX did not affect colony switching rate but did decrease biofilm formation in both the Op and the Tr variants. When challenged with hydrogen peroxide, the rpoX in the Op background showed a slightly higher survival rate compared with the wild type, whereas survival was decreased in the Tr background. Deletion of rpoX in the Tr background resulted in a higher ability to resist ethanol challenges and to survive hyperosmolarity challenges, and in the Op background the opposite phenotype was observed. This indicates that the rpoX gene is involved in biofilm formation and stress response but the effects are controlled by colony phase variation in V. alginolyticus.