Purification of pili from Bacteroides nodosus and an examination of their chemical, physical and serological properties

Journal of General Microbiology
D Every


Pili from Bacteroides nodosus were purified to greater than 99% homogeneity by precipitation at pH 4.0 and in MgCl2 followed by chromatography on BioGel A150. The pili were composed entirely of one type of polypeptide subunit, pilin. No carbohydrates, nucleic acid, lipid, lipopolysaccharide or phosphate could be detected in purified pili preparations. The molecular weight of pilin from B. nodosus strains 91B and 198 was 18,400 and from strain 80 was 19,300. The isoelectric points of pili from B. nodosus strains 91B and 80 were both 4.5. The buoyant densities of pili from strains 91B, 80 and 198 were 1.287, 1.284 and 1.286 g ml-1, respectively. The three strains of B. nodosus did not cross-react in K-agglutination tests and produced pili which did not cross-react in immunodiffusion tests. Antiserum to highly purified pili caused a characteristic K-type agglutination reaction. It was concluded that pili are the K-agglutinogen.


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