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  1. Bacterial chemotaxis is the directed movement of motile bacteria in gradients of chemoeffectors. This behavior is mediated by dedicated signal transduction pathways that couple environment sensing with changes in the direction of rotation of flagellar motors to ultimately affect the motility pattern. Azospirillum brasilense uses two distinct chemotaxis pathways, named Che1 and Che4, and four different response regulators (CheY1, CheY4, CheY6, and CheY7) to control the swimming pattern during chemotaxis. Each of the CheY homologs was shown to differentially affect the rotational bias of the polar flagellum and chemotaxis. The role, if any, of these CheY homologs in swarming, whichmore »depends on a distinct lateral flagella system or in attachment is not known. Here, we characterize CheY homologs’ roles in swimming, swarming, and attachment to abiotic and biotic (wheat roots) surfaces and biofilm formation. We show that while strains lacking CheY1 and CheY6 are still able to navigate air gradients, strains lacking CheY4 and CheY7 are chemotaxis null. Expansion of swarming colonies in the presence of gradients requires chemotaxis. The induction of swarming depends on CheY4 and CheY7, but the cells’ organization as dense clusters in productive swarms appear to depend on functional CheYs but not chemotaxis per se . Similarly, functional CheY homologs but not chemotaxis, contribute to attachment to both abiotic and root surfaces as well as to biofilm formation, although these effects are likely dependent on additional cell surface properties such as adhesiveness. Collectively, our data highlight distinct roles for multiple CheY homologs and for chemotaxis on swarming and attachment to surfaces.« less
  2. Petersen, Jillian Michelle (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Bacterial chemotaxis affords motile bacteria the ability to navigate the environment to locate niches for growth and survival. At the molecular level, chemotaxis depends on chemoreceptor signaling arrays that interact with cytoplasmic proteins to control the direction of movement. In Azospirillum brasilense , chemotaxis is mediated by two distinct chemotaxis pathways: Che1 and Che4. Both Che1 and Che4 are critical in the A. brasilense free-living and plant-associated lifestyles. Here, we use whole-cell proteomics and metabolomics to characterize the role of chemotaxis in A. brasilense physiology. We found that mutants lacking CheA1 or CheA4 or both are affected in nonchemotaxismore »functions, including major changes in transcription, signaling transport, and cell metabolism. We identify specific effects of CheA1 and CheA4 on nitrogen metabolism, including nitrate assimilation and nitrogen fixation, that may depend, at least, on the transcriptional control of rpoN , which encodes RpoN, a global regulator of metabolism, including nitrogen. Consistent with proteomics, the abundance of several nitrogenous compounds (purines, pyrimidines, and amino acids) changed in the metabolomes of the chemotaxis mutants relative to the parental strain. Further, we uncover novel, and yet uncharacterized, layers of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control of nitrogen metabolism regulators. Together, our data reveal roles for CheA1 and CheA4 in linking chemotaxis and nitrogen metabolism, likely through control of global regulatory networks. IMPORTANCE Bacterial chemotaxis is widespread in bacteria, increasing competitiveness in diverse environments and mediating associations with eukaryotic hosts ranging from commensal to beneficial and pathogenic. In most bacteria, chemotaxis signaling is tightly linked to energy metabolism, with this coupling occurring through the sensory input of several energy-sensing chemoreceptors. Here, we show that in A. brasilense the chemotaxis proteins have key roles in modulating nitrogen metabolism, including nitrate assimilation and nitrogen fixation, through novel and yet unknown regulations. These results are significant given that A. brasilense is a model bacterium for plant growth promotion and free-living nitrogen fixation and is used as a bio-inoculant for cereal crops. Chemotaxis signaling in A. brasilense thus links locomotor behaviors to nitrogen metabolism, allowing cells to continuously and reciprocally adjust metabolism and chemotaxis signaling as they navigate gradients.« less
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We search for signatures of gravitational lensing in the gravitational-wave signals from compact binary coalescences detected by Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Advanced Virgo during O3a, the first half of their third observing run. We study: (1) the expected rate of lensing at current detector sensitivity and the implications of a non-observation of strong lensing or a stochastic gravitational-wave background on the merger-rate density at high redshift; (2) how the interpretation of individual high-mass events would change if they were found to be lensed; (3) the possibility of multiple images due to strong lensing by galaxies ormore »galaxy clusters; and (4) possible wave-optics effects due to point-mass microlenses. Several pairs of signals in the multiple-image analysis show similar parameters and, in this sense, are nominally consistent with the strong lensing hypothesis. However, taking into account population priors, selection effects, and the prior odds against lensing, these events do not provide sufficient evidence for lensing. Overall, we find no compelling evidence for lensing in the observed gravitational-wave signals from any of these analyses.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  6. Abstract We present a search for continuous gravitational-wave emission due to r-modes in the pulsar PSR J0537–6910 using data from the LIGO–Virgo Collaboration observing run O3. PSR J0537–6910 is a young energetic X-ray pulsar and is the most frequent glitcher known. The inter-glitch braking index of the pulsar suggests that gravitational-wave emission due to r-mode oscillations may play an important role in the spin evolution of this pulsar. Theoretical models confirm this possibility and predict emission at a level that can be probed by ground-based detectors. In order to explore this scenario, we search for r-mode emission in the epochsmore »between glitches by using a contemporaneous timing ephemeris obtained from NICER data. We do not detect any signals in the theoretically expected band of 86–97 Hz, and report upper limits on the amplitude of the gravitational waves. Our results improve on previous amplitude upper limits from r-modes in J0537-6910 by a factor of up to 3 and place stringent constraints on theoretical models for r-mode-driven spin-down in PSR J0537–6910, especially for higher frequencies at which our results reach below the spin-down limit defined by energy conservation.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  9. A bstract A search is presented for new particles produced at the LHC in proton-proton collisions at $$ \sqrt{s} $$ s = 13 TeV, using events with energetic jets and large missing transverse momentum. The analysis is based on a data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 101 fb − 1 , collected in 2017–2018 with the CMS detector. Machine learning techniques are used to define separate categories for events with narrow jets from initial-state radiation and events with large-radius jets consistent with a hadronic decay of a W or Z boson. A statistical combination is made with anmore »earlier search based on a data sample of 36 fb − 1 , collected in 2016. No significant excess of events is observed with respect to the standard model background expectation determined from control samples in data. The results are interpreted in terms of limits on the branching fraction of an invisible decay of the Higgs boson, as well as constraints on simplified models of dark matter, on first-generation scalar leptoquarks decaying to quarks and neutrinos, and on models with large extra dimensions. Several of the new limits, specifically for spin-1 dark matter mediators, pseudoscalar mediators, colored mediators, and leptoquarks, are the most restrictive to date.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022