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Microbiology. 2007 Oct;153(Pt 10):3255-63.

Linear osmoregulated periplasmic glucans are encoded by the opgGH locus of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) are produced by many proteobacteria and are important for bacterial-host interactions. The opgG and opgH genes involved in the synthesis of OPGs are the most widely distributed genes in proteobacterial genomes. Two other non-homologous genes, both named ndvB, are also involved in OPG biosynthesis in several species. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa genome possesses two ORFs, PA5077 and PA5078, that show similarity to opgH and opgG of Pseudomonas syringae, respectively, and one ORF, PA1163, similar to ndvB of Sinorhizobium meliloti. Here, we report that the opgGH locus of P. aeruginosa PA14 is involved in the synthesis of linear polymers with beta-1,2-linked glucosyl residues branched with a few beta-1,6 glucosyl residues. Succinyl residues also substitute this glucose backbone. Transcription of opgGH is repressed by high osmolarity. Low osmolarity promotes the formation of highly structured biofilms, but biofilm development is slower and the area of biomass is reduced under high osmolarity. Biofilm development of an opgGH mutant grown under low osmolarity presents a similar phenotype to the wild-type biofilm grown under high osmolarity. These results suggest that OPGs are important for biofilm formation under conditions of low osmolarity. A previous study suggested that the P. aeruginosa ndvB gene is involved in the resistance of biofilms to antibiotics. We have shown that ndvB is not involved in the biosynthesis of the OPG described here, and opgGH do not appear to be involved in the resistance of P. aeruginosa PA14 biofilms to antibiotics.

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