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J Bacteriol. 2004 Jul;186(14):4457-65.

Two genetic loci produce distinct carbohydrate-rich structural components of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm matrix.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa forms biofilms, which are cellular aggregates encased in an extracellular matrix. Molecular genetics studies of three common autoaggregative phenotypes, namely wrinkled colonies, pellicles, and solid-surface-associated biofilms, led to the identification of two loci, pel and psl, that are involved in the production of carbohydrate-rich components of the biofilm matrix. The pel gene cluster is involved in the production of a glucose-rich matrix material in P. aeruginosa strain PA14 (L. Friedman and R. Kolter, Mol. Microbiol. 51:675-690, 2004). Here we investigate the role of the pel gene cluster in P. aeruginosa strain ZK2870 and identify a second genetic locus, termed psl, involved in the production of a mannose-rich matrix material. The 11 predicted protein products of the psl genes are homologous to proteins involved in carbohydrate processing. P. aeruginosa is thus able to produce two distinct carbohydrate-rich matrix materials. Either carbohydrate-rich matrix component appears to be sufficient for mature biofilm formation, and at least one of them is required for mature biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa strains PA14 and ZK2870.

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