Mark McBride

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Biological Sciences


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1987
  • BS, University of Rochester, 1980

Research Interests

The molecular mechanism by which swimming bacteria are propelled through liquid media by rotating flagella is understood relatively well. Gliding motility (movement of cells over surfaces without the aid of flagella) is a trait common to many bacteria, yet the mechanisms responsible for gliding motility are poorly understood. My lab uses the techniques of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and microscopy to determine the mechanism of Flavobacterium johnsoniae gliding motility. We developed techniques to allow genetic manipulation of this organism, and have used these techniques to isolate nonmotile mutants and to identify the genes that are altered in these mutants. These genes code for proteins that make up the gliding motility apparatus ('motor') that propels the cells. We use antibodies raised against these proteins to localize the components of the motor, determine how they interact, and visualize the gliding motility apparatus in cells. Based on our results we have developed a model for Flavobacterium gliding that involves the active movement of adhesive fibrils along the cell surface. We also identified a novel protein secretion system that is involved in assembly of the motility apparatus.

In addition to studies on gliding motility, we are also investigating other aspects of the biology of gliding bacteria. These bacteria are abundant in many environments and some have characteristics that make them important organisms to study. Examples of applied projects include studies of chitin digestion by F. johnsoniae, studies of cellulose digestion by Cytophaga hutchinsonii, and genetic analysis of the fish pathogens Flavobacterium psychrophilum and Flavobacterium columnare.

Selected Publications

Lorencik, Katarzyna, Ekiert, Robert, Zhu, Yongtao, McBride, Mark J., Gennis, Robert B., Sarewicz, Marcin, and Osyczka, Artur. “The monoheme c subunit of respiratory alternative complex III is not essential for electron transfer to cytochrome aa3 in Flavobacterium johnsoniae.” Microbiology Spectrum 9. (2021): e00135-21.
Hoikkala, V., Ravantti, J., Díez-Villaseñor, C., Tiirola, M., Conrad, Rachel A., McBride, Mark J., Moineau, S., and Sundberg, Lotta R. “Cooperation between different CRISPR-Cas types enables adaptation in an RNA-targeting system.” mBio 12. (2021): e03338-20.
Barbier, Paul, Rochat, Tatiana, Mohammed, Haitham H., Wiens, Gregory D., Bernardet, Jean-Francois, Halpern, David, Duchaud, Eric, and McBride, Mark J. “The type IX secretion system is required for virulence of the fish pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 86. (2020): 1-22.
McBride, Mark J. “Bacteroidetes gliding motility and the type IX secretion system.” Microbiology Spectrum 7. (2019): PSIB-0002-2018.
Kulkarni, Surashree S., Johnston, Joseph J., Zhu, Yongtao, Hying, Zachary T., and McBride, Mark J. “The carboxy-terminal region of Flavobacterium johnsoniae SprB facilitates its secretion by the type IX secretion system and propulsion by the gliding motility machinery.” Journal of Bacteriology 201. (2019): 21.
Johnston, J J., Shrivastava, A, and McBride, Mark J. “Untangling <i>Flavobacterium johnsoniae</i> gliding motility and protein secretion.” Journal of bacteriology 200.2 (2018): 19.
Ficko-Blean, E, Préchoux, A, Thomas, F, Rochat, T, Larocque, R, Zhu, Y, Stam, M, Génicot, S, Jam, M, Calteau, A, Viart, B, Ropartz, D, Pérez-Pascual, D, Correc, G, Matard-Mann, M, Stubbs, K A., Rogniaux, H, Jeudy, A, Barbeyron, T, Médigue, C, Czjzek, M, Vallenet, D, McBride, Mark J., Duchaud, E, and Michel, G. “Carrageenan catabolism is encoded by a complex regulon in marine heterotrophic bacteria.” Nature communications 8.1 (2017): 1685.
Li, N, Zhu, Y, LaFrentz, B R., Evenhuis, J P., Hunnicutt, D W., Conrad, R A., Barbier, P, Gullstrand, C W., Roets, J E., Powers, J L., Kulkarni, S S., Erbes, D H., García, J C., Nie, P, and McBride, Mark J. “The Type IX Secretion System Is Required for Virulence of the Fish Pathogen Flavobacterium columnare.” Applied and environmental microbiology 83.23 (2017).
Zhu, Y, Thomas, F, Larocque, R, Li, N, Duffieux, D, Cladière, L, Souchaud, F, Michel, G, and McBride, Mark J. “Genetic analyses unravel the crucial role of a horizontally acquired alginate lyase for brown algal biomass degradation by Zobellia galactanivorans.” Environmental microbiology 19. (2017): 2164-2181.
Zhu, Yongtao, and McBride, Mark J. “The unusual cellulose utilization system of the aerobic soil bacterium Cytophaga hutchinsonii.” Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 101. (2017): 7113-7127.
Kulkarni, S S., Zhu, Y, Brendel, C J., and McBride, Mark J. “Diverse C-terminal sequences involved in <i>Flavobacterium johnsoniae</i> protein secretion.” Journal of bacteriology 199. (2017): 18.
Zhu, Yongtao, Han, Lanlan, Hefferon, Kathleen L., Silvaggi, Nicholas R., Wilson, David B., and McBride, Mark J. “Periplasmic Cytophaga hutchinsonii endoglucanases are required for use of crystalline cellulose as sole carbon and energy source.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 82.15 (2016): 4835-4845.
Larsbrink, Johan, Zhu, Yongtao, Kharade, Sampada S., Kwiatkowski, Kurt J., Eijsink, Vincent G., Koropatkin, Nicole M., McBride, Mark J., and Pope, Philip B. “A polysaccharide utilization locus from Flavobacterium johnsoniae enables conversion of recalcitrant chitin.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 9.260 (2016): 16.
McBride, Mark J., and Nakane, D. “Flavobacterium gliding motility and the type IX secretion system.” Current opinion in microbiology 28. (2015): 72-7.
Li, N, Qin, T, Zhang, X L., Huang, B, Liu, Z X., Xie, H X., Zhang, J, McBride, Mark J., and Nie, P. “Gene deletion strategy to examine the involvement of the two chondroitin lyases in Flavobacterium columnare virulence.” Applied and environmental microbiology 81.21 (2015): 7394-402.
Kharade, Sampada S., and McBride, Mark J. “Flavobacterium johnsoniae PorV is required for secretion of a subset of proteins targeted to the type IX secretion system.” Journal of Bacteriology 197. (2015): 147-158.
Nan, Beiyan, McBride, Mark J., Chen, J, Zusman, David R., and Oster, George. “Bacteria that glide with helical tracks.” Current Biology 24. (2014): R169-R173.
McBride, Mark J., Liu, Weifeng, Lu, Xuemei, Zhu, Yongtao, and Zhang, Weixin. “The family Cytophagaceae.” The Prokaryotes 11.4 Ed. Rosenberg, E., Stackebrandt, E., DeLong, E., Lory, S., and Thompson, F. L. Springer, (2014): 577-593.
McBride, Mark J. “The family Flavobacteriaceae.” The Prokaryotes 11.4 Ed. Rosenberg, E., Stackebrandt, E., DeLong, E., Lory, S., and Thompson, F. L. Springer, (2014): 643-676.
Kharade, Sampada S., and McBride, Mark J. “The Flavobacterium johnsoniae chitinase ChiA is required for chitin utilization and is secreted by the type IX secretion system.” Journal of Bacteriology, ASM 196. (2014): 961-970.
Shrivastava, Abhishek, Johnston, Joseph J., van Baaren, Jessica M., and McBride, Mark J. “Flavobacterium johnsoniae GldK, GldL, GldM, and SprA are required for secretion of the cell surface gliding motility adhesins SprB and RemA.” Journal of Bacteriology 195. (2013): 3201-3212.
Nakane, Daisuke, Sato, Keiko, Wada, Hirofumi, McBride, Mark J., and Nakayama, Koji. “Helical flow of surface protein required for bacterial gliding motility.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110. (2013): 11145-11150.
McBride, Mark J., and Zhu, Yongtao. “Gliding motility and Por secretion system genes are widespread among members of the phylum Bacteroidetes.” Journal of Bacteriology 195. (2013): 270-278.
Shrivastava, Abhishek, Rhodes, Ryan G., Pochiraju, Soumya, Nakane, Daisuke, and McBride, Mark J. “Flavobacterium johnsoniae RemA is a mobile cell surface lectin involved in gliding.” Journal of Bacteriology 194. (2012): 3678-3688.
Rhodes, Ryan G., Pucker, Halley G., and McBride, Mark J. “Development and use of a gene deletion strategy for Flavobacterium johnsoniae to identify the redundant gliding motility genes remF, remG, remH, and remI.” Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Bacteriology 193.10 (2011): 2418-2428.
Rhodes, Ryan G., Nelson, Shawn S., Pochiraju, Soumya, and McBride, Mark J. “Flavobacterium johnsoniae sprB is part of an operon spanning the additional gliding motility genes sprC, sprD, and sprF.” Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Bacteriology 193.3 (2011): 599-610.
Rhodes, Ryan G., Samarasam, Mudiarasan N., Van Groll, Eric J., and McBride, Mark J. “Mutations in Flavobacterium johnsoniae sprE result in defects in gliding motility and protein secretion.” Journal of Bacteriology 193.19 (2011): 5322-5327.
Rhodes, Ryan G., Samarasam, Mudiarasan N., Shrivastava, Abhishek, van Baaren, Jessica M., Pochiraju, Soumya, Bollampalli, Sreelekha, and McBride, Mark J. “Flavobacterium johnsoniae gldN and gldO are partially redundant genes required for gliding motility and surface localization of SprB.” Journal of Bacteriology 192.5 (2010): 1201-1211.
Sato, Keiko, Naito, Mariko, Yukitake, Hideharu, Harakawa, Hideki, Shoji, Mikio, McBride, Mark J., Rhodes, Ryan G., and Nakayama, Koji. “A protein secretion system linked to bacteroidete gliding motility and pathogenesis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107.1 (2010): 276-281.