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Description: bacterial hydrophobin, forms water-repellent surface layer of the biofilm, required for sliding, inhibitor of KinA autophosphorylation, and subsequently of entry into sporulation

Name: bslA
Locus: BSU31080BsubCyc
pI: 9.0
MW: 19.0 kDa
Protein length: 181 aaBLASTSequence
Gene length: 543 bpBLASTSequenceSequence + Flanks
Function: biofilm formation, control of entry into sporulation via the phosphorelay
Product: biofilm surface layer, inhibitor of KinA autophosphorylation
Essential: no
E.C. number:
Synonyms: yuaB, sivB
Databases: SubtiListKEGGUniProtExpression data browser

Categories containing this gene/protein

biofilm formation, phosphorelay

This gene is a member of the following regulons

AbrB regulon, DegU regulon


  • Coordinates on the chromosome (coding sequence): 3,187,503 -> 3,188,048
  • Phenotypes of a mutant

  • reduced colony complexity PubMed
  • loss of surface repellency of the biofilm PubMed
  • diminished sliding of B. subtilis natto PubMed
  • The protein

    Catalyzed reaction/ biological activity

  • inhibits KinA autophophorylation PubMed
  • contributes to the surface stiffness and increases the surface roughness of NCIB 3610 bioflms PubMed
  • Protein family

    Paralogous protein(s)

  • SivA
  • Kinetic information




    Effectors of protein activity


  • 4BHU PubMed
  • Localization

  • extracellular (signal peptide) PubMed
  • biofilm matrix in an extracellular polysaccharide-dependent manner PubMed
  • forms a layer on the biofilm surface PubMed
  • Interactions

    Additional information

    Expression and Regulation


  • bslA PubMed
  • Sigma factor


    Regulatory mechanism

  • AbrB: transcription repression PubMed
  • LutR: transcription activation PubMed
  • expression is down-regulated in a rok mutant (indirect effect) PubMed
  • DegU-P: transcription activation PubMed, this might be indirect PubMed
  • Additional information

    Biological materials


  • MGNA-A218 (yuaB::erm), available at the NBRP B. subtilis, Japan
  • B. subtilis W939 bslA::Cm (ATCC6051 based) PubMed
  • B. subtilis NRS2097 bslA::Cm (NCIB3610 based) PubMed
  • B. subtilis bslA::Cm (168 based) PubMed
  • Expression vector

  • Physpank-bslA based on vector pDR111: pDRyuaB2 PubMed
  • lacZ fusion

  • pNW500 PbslA-lacZ fusion in pDG1663 PubMed
  • GFP fusion

  • PbslA-gfp fusion in pSG1151 vector: pSGyuaB PubMed
  • two-hybrid system

    FLAG-tag construct


    Labs working on this gene/protein



    Arnaouteli S, MacPhee CE, Stanley-Wall NR

    Just in case it rains: building a hydrophobic biofilm the Bacillus subtilis way

    Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Dec;34:7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.07.012. Epub 2016 Jul 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 27458867.
    Hobley L, Harkins C, MacPhee CE, Stanley-Wall NR

    Giving structure to the biofilm matrix: an overview of individual strategies and emerging common themes

    FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2015 Sep;39(5):649-69. doi: 10.1093/femsre/fuv015. Epub 2015 Apr 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 25907113; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4551309.
    Cairns LS, Hobley L, Stanley-Wall NR

    Biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis: new insights into regulatory strategies and assembly mechanisms

    Mol Microbiol. 2014 Aug;93(4):587-98. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12697. Epub 2014 Jul 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 24988880; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4238804.
    Hofer U

    Bacterial physiology: a raincoat for Bacillus subtilis

    Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Oct;11(10):660-1. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3115. Epub 2013 Aug 27. PubMed PMID: 23979433.
    Kovács AT, van Gestel J, Kuipers OP

    The protective layer of biofilm: a repellent function for a new class of amphiphilic proteins

    Mol Microbiol. 2012 Jul;85(1):8-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08101.x. Epub 2012 May 30. PubMed PMID: 22607588.

    Original publications

    Morris RJ, Bromley KM, Stanley-Wall N, MacPhee CE

    A phenomenological description of BslA assemblies across multiple length scales

    Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2016 Jul 28;374(2072). pii: 20150131. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0131. PubMed PMID: 27298433; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4920280.
    Kesel S, Grumbein S, Gümperlein I, Tallawi M, Marel AK, Lieleg O, Opitz M

    Direct Comparison of Physical Properties of Bacillus subtilis NCIB 3610 and B-1 Biofilms

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Apr 4;82(8):2424-32. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03957-15. Print 2016 Apr. PubMed PMID: 26873313; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4959484.
    Brandani GB, Schor M, Morris R, Stanley-Wall N, MacPhee CE, Marenduzzo D, Zachariae U

    The Bacterial Hydrophobin BslA is a Switchable Ellipsoidal Janus Nanocolloid

    Langmuir. 2015 Oct 27;31(42):11558-63. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b02347. Epub 2015 Oct 14. PubMed PMID: 26378478.
    Grau RR, de Oña P, Kunert M, Leñini C, Gallegos-Monterrosa R, Mhatre E, Vileta D, Donato V, Hölscher T, Boland W, Kuipers OP, Kovács ÁT

    A Duo of Potassium-Responsive Histidine Kinases Govern the Multicellular Destiny of Bacillus subtilis

    MBio. 2015 Jul 7;6(4):e00581. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00581-15. PubMed PMID: 26152584; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4495169.
    Bromley KM, Morris RJ, Hobley L, Brandani G, Gillespie RM, McCluskey M, Zachariae U, Marenduzzo D, Stanley-Wall NR, MacPhee CE

    Interfacial self-assembly of a bacterial hydrophobin

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 28;112(17):5419-24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1419016112. Epub 2015 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 25870300; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4418867.
    Hobley L, Ostrowski A, Rao FV, Bromley KM, Porter M, Prescott AR, MacPhee CE, van Aalten DM, Stanley-Wall NR

    BslA is a self-assembling bacterial hydrophobin that coats the Bacillus subtilis biofilm

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 13;110(33):13600-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1306390110. Epub 2013 Jul 31. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 22;112(38):E5371-5. PubMed PMID: 23904481; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3746881.
    Garti-Levi S, Eswara A, Smith Y, Fujita M, Ben-Yehuda S

    Novel modulators controlling entry into sporulation in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2013 Apr;195(7):1475-83. doi: 10.1128/JB.02160-12. Epub 2013 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 23335417; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3624523.
    Kobayashi K, Iwano M

    BslA(YuaB) forms a hydrophobic layer on the surface of Bacillus subtilis biofilms

    Mol Microbiol. 2012 Jul;85(1):51-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08094.x. Epub 2012 May 28. PubMed PMID: 22571672.
    Kobayashi K, Iwano M

    BslA(YuaB) forms a hydrophobic layer on the surface of Bacillus subtilis biofilms

    Mol Microbiol. 2012 Jul;85(1):51-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08094.x. Epub 2012 May 28. PubMed PMID: 22571672.
    Nicolas P, Mäder U, Dervyn E, Rochat T, Leduc A, Pigeonneau N, Bidnenko E, Marchadier E, Hoebeke M, Aymerich S, Becher D, Bisicchia P, Botella E, Delumeau O, Doherty G, Denham EL, Fogg MJ, Fromion V, Goelzer A, Hansen A, Härtig E, Harwood CR, Homuth G, Jarmer H, Jules M, Klipp E, Le Chat L, Lecointe F, Lewis P, Liebermeister W, March A, Mars RA, Nannapaneni P, Noone D, Pohl S, Rinn B, Rügheimer F, Sappa PK, Samson F, Schaffer M, Schwikowski B, Steil L, Stülke J, Wiegert T, Devine KM, Wilkinson AJ, van Dijl JM, Hecker M, Völker U, Bessières P, Noirot P

    Condition-dependent transcriptome reveals high-level regulatory architecture in Bacillus subtilis

    Science. 2012 Mar 2;335(6072):1103-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1206848. PubMed PMID: 22383849.
    Ostrowski A, Mehert A, Prescott A, Kiley TB, Stanley-Wall NR

    YuaB functions synergistically with the exopolysaccharide and TasA amyloid fibers to allow biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2011 Sep;193(18):4821-31. doi: 10.1128/JB.00223-11. Epub 2011 Jul 8. PubMed PMID: 21742882; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3165672.
    Kovács AT, Kuipers OP

    Rok regulates yuaB expression during architecturally complex colony development of Bacillus subtilis 168

    J Bacteriol. 2011 Feb;193(4):998-1002. doi: 10.1128/JB.01170-10. Epub 2010 Nov 19. PubMed PMID: 21097620; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3028688.
    Verhamme DT, Murray EJ, Stanley-Wall NR

    DegU and Spo0A jointly control transcription of two loci required for complex colony development by Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2009 Jan;191(1):100-8. doi: 10.1128/JB.01236-08. Epub 2008 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 18978066; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2612447.
    Voigt B, Antelmann H, Albrecht D, Ehrenreich A, Maurer KH, Evers S, Gottschalk G, van Dijl JM, Schweder T, Hecker M

    Cell physiology and protein secretion of Bacillus licheniformis compared to Bacillus subtilis

    J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;16(1-2):53-68. doi: 10.1159/000142894. Epub 2008 Oct 29. PubMed PMID: 18957862.
    Kobayashi K

    Gradual activation of the response regulator DegU controls serial expression of genes for flagellum formation and biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2007 Oct;66(2):395-409. Epub 2007 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 17850253.
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