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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46718. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046718. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Pyocyanin promotes extracellular DNA release in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Centre for Marine BioInnovation (CMB), School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia.


Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation are both dependent on the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) mainly composed of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and extracellular DNA (eDNA). eDNA promotes biofilm establishment in a wide range of bacterial species. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa eDNA is major component of biofilms and is essential for biofilm formation and stability. In this study we report that production of pyocyanin in P. aeruginosa PAO1 and PA14 batch cultures is responsible for promotion of eDNA release. A phzSH mutant of P. aeruginosa PAO1 that overproduces pyocyanin displayed enhanced hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) generation, cell lysis, and eDNA release in comparison to its wildtype strain. A ΔphzA-G mutant of P. aeruginosa PA14 deficient in pyocyanin production generated negligible amounts of H(2)O(2) and released less eDNA in comparison to its wildtype counterpart. Exogenous addition of pyocyanin or incubation with H(2)O(2) was also shown to promote eDNA release in low pyocyanin producing (PAO1) and pyocynain deficient (PA14) strains. Based on these data and recent findings in the biofilm literature, we propose that the impact of pyocyanin on biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa occurs via eDNA release through H(2)O(2) mediated cell lysis.

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