Methanol production during chemotaxis to amino acids in Bacillus subtilis

John R. Kirby, Christopher J. Kristich, Shelby L. Feinberg, George W. Ordal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 20 common amino acids act as attractants during chemotaxis by the Gram-positive organism Bacillus subtilis. In this study, we report that ail amino acids induce B. subtilis to produce methanol both upon addition and removal of the chemoeffector. Asparagine-induced methanol production is specific to the McpB receptor and aspartate-induced methanol production correlates with receptor occupancy. These findings suggest that addition and removal of all amino acids cause demethylation of specific receptors which results in methanol production. We also demonstrate that certain attractants cause greater production of methanol after multiple stimulations. CheC and CheD, while affecting the levers of receptor methylation; are not absolutely required for either methylation or demethylation. In contrast, CheY is necessary for methanol formation upon removal of attractant but not upon addition of attractant. We conclude that methanol formation due to negative stimuli indicates the existence of a unique adaptational mechanism in B. subtilis involving the response regulator, CheY.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-878
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methanol production during chemotaxis to amino acids in Bacillus subtilis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this