ZapA (Proteus mirabilis) is, a bacterium that is often found in soil, water, and the intestinal tract of many mammals, including humans ... [It] is not a common cause of urinary tract infection ... [but] infects a much higher proportion of patents with complicated urinary tracts, that is, those with functional or anatomical abnormalities or with chronic instrumentation, such as long-term urinary catheterization."
[Molecular Analysis of a Metalloprotease from Proteus mirabilis, Journal of Bacteriology, Vol. 177, No. 20, Oct, 1995]
Traditionally, these things have 2 or 3 letters at the front, and a capital letter at the end: lots of others are mentioned in the paper, such as IgA, PrtD, and so on.
Proteus mirabilis was named ZapA (pronounced 'Zappa'), ensuring that FZ's name would be forever immortalised in the world of very small things, as well as very large. In the Acknowledgements section of the paper, it says:
"We especially thank the late Frank Zappa for inspiration and assistance with genetic nomenclature."
ZapA is part of a family of genes called ZapA thru ZapE. Other natural phenomena named after FZ:
- The Fish - "Zappa confluentus"
- The Jellyfish - "Phialella zappai"
- The Mollusc - "Amauratoma zappa"
- The Spider - "Pachygnatha zappa"
- The Planet - "Zappafrank"