Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Bacteriol. 2016 Sep 9;198(19):2643-50. doi: 10.1128/JB.00047-16. Print 2016 Oct 1.

Quorum Sensing Influences Burkholderia thailandensis Biofilm Development and Matrix Production.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA boo.tseng@unlv.edu parsem@u.washington.edu.
2
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.
3
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
4
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA boo.tseng@unlv.edu parsem@u.washington.edu.

Abstract

Members of the genus Burkholderia are known to be adept at biofilm formation, which presumably assists in the survival of these organisms in the environment and the host. Biofilm formation has been linked to quorum sensing (QS) in several bacterial species. In this study, we characterized Burkholderia thailandensis biofilm development under flow conditions and sought to determine whether QS contributes to this process. B. thailandensis biofilm formation exhibited an unusual pattern: the cells formed small aggregates and then proceeded to produce mature biofilms characterized by "dome" structures filled with biofilm matrix material. We showed that this process was dependent on QS. B. thailandensis has three acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) QS systems (QS-1, QS-2, and QS-3). An AHL-negative strain produced biofilms consisting of cell aggregates but lacking the matrix-filled dome structures. This phenotype was rescued via exogenous addition of the three AHL signals. Of the three B. thailandensis QS systems, we show that QS-1 is required for proper biofilm development, since a btaR1 mutant, which is defective in QS-1 regulation, forms biofilms without these dome structures. Furthermore, our data show that the wild-type biofilm biomass, as well as the material inside the domes, stains with a fucose-binding lectin. The btaR1 mutant biofilms, however, are negative for fucose staining. This suggests that the QS-1 system regulates the production of a fucose-containing exopolysaccharide in wild-type biofilms. Finally, we present data showing that QS ability during biofilm development produces a biofilm that is resistant to dispersion under stress conditions.

IMPORTANCE:

The saprophyte Burkholderia thailandensis is a close relative of the pathogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, which is contracted from its environmental reservoir. Since most bacteria in the environment reside in biofilms, B. thailandensis is an ideal model organism for investigating questions in Burkholderia physiology. In this study, we characterized B. thailandensis biofilm development and sought to determine if quorum sensing (QS) contributes to this process. Our work shows that B. thailandensis produces biofilms with unusual dome structures under flow conditions. Our findings suggest that these dome structures are filled with a QS-regulated, fucose-containing exopolysaccharide that may be involved in the resilience of B. thailandensis biofilms against changes in the nutritional environment.

PMID:
27068594
PMCID:
PMC5019063
DOI:
10.1128/JB.00047-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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