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Environ Microbiol. 2001 Nov;3(11):731-6.

Inhibition of biofilm formation and swarming of Escherichia coli by (5Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-butyl-2(5H)-furanone.

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Departments of Chemical Engineering and Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Connecticut, 191 Auditorium Road, U-3222, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The quorum-sensing disrupter (5Z)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-3-butyl-2(5H)-furanone (furanone) of the alga Delisea pulchra was found to inhibit the swarming motility of Escherichia coli completely at 13 microg cm-2 (also at 20 microg ml-1) but did not inhibit its growth rate at 13-52 microg cm-2 or from 20 to 100 microg ml-1. Swimming was not inhibited by the furanone at 20-40 microg ml-1. In addition, confocal scanning laser microscopy revealed that this furanone at 60 microg ml-1 inhibited the biofilm formation of E. coli, as it decreased its thickness by 55%, reduced the number of water channels and decreased the percentage of live cells by 87%. This suggests that natural furanone may be used as a new method to control bacterial biofilms that does not involve toxicity. Furanone at 10 microg ml-1 also inhibited by 3300-fold the quorum sensing of Vibrio harveyi via autoinducer 1 (AI-1) and inhibited by 5500-fold that of V. harveyi via of autoinducer 2 (AI-2) as well as inhibited by 26-600-fold the quorum sensing of E. coli via AI-2; hence, this furanone is a non-specific intercellular signal antagonist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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