Genetic analysis of an "undomesticated" bacterial predator, Ensifer adhaerens
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Ensifer adhaerens is a soil bacterium that preys upon other soil bacteria. It is host specific and will predominantly prey upon strains of Micrococcus luteus . When E. adhaerens tracks M. luteus it produces a slime known as exopolysaccharide and uses flagellated movement, also referred to as swimming, through agar. The purpose of exopolysaccharide is unknown and our research focused on whether the exopolysaccharide production or flagellated movement was necessary to track its host cell. We have used conventional and transposon mutagenesis in an attempt to produce mutant strain E. adhaerens incapable of producing exopolysaccharide and swimming.