Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Bacteriol. 2010 Jun;192(12):2973-80. doi: 10.1128/JB.01601-09. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Increase in rhamnolipid synthesis under iron-limiting conditions influences surface motility and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Author information

  • 1The Bacterial Biofilm Research Laboratory, The Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.


Iron is an essential element for life but also serves as an environmental signal for biofilm development in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Under iron-limiting conditions, P. aeruginosa displays enhanced twitching motility and forms flat unstructured biofilms. In this study, we present evidence suggesting that iron-regulated production of the biosurfactant rhamnolipid is important to facilitate the formation of flat unstructured biofilms. We show that under iron limitation the timing of rhamnolipid expression is shifted to the initial stages of biofilm formation (versus later in biofilm development under iron-replete conditions) and results in increased bacterial surface motility. In support of this observation, an rhlAB mutant defective in biosurfactant production showed less surface motility under iron-restricted conditions and developed structured biofilms similar to those developed by the wild type under iron-replete conditions. These results highlight the importance of biosurfactant production in determining the mature structure of P. aeruginosa biofilms under iron-limiting conditions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center