A chromosomal region present in Salmonella typhimurium but absent from related species was identified by hybridization. A DNA probe originating from 78 min on the S. typhimurium chromosome hybridized with DNA from Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella heidelberg, and Salmonella dublin but not with DNA from Salmonella typhi, Salmonella arizonae, Escherichia coli, and Shigella serotypes. Cloning and sequence analysis revealed that the corresponding region of the S. typhimurium chromosome encodes a fimbrial operon. Long fimbriae inserted at the poles of the bacterium were observed by electron microscopy when this fimbrial operon was introduced into a nonpiliated E. coli strain. The genes encoding these fimbriae were therefore termed lpfABCDE, for long polar fimbriae. Genetically, the lpf operon was found to be most closely related to the fim operon of S. typhimurium, both in gene order and in conservation of the deduced amino acid sequences.
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