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Identification of functions linking quorum sensing with biofilm formation inBurkholderia cenocepaciaH111

By Silja Inhülsen, Claudio Aguilar, Nadine Schmid, Angela Suppiger, Kathrin Riedel and Leo Eberl

Abstract

Burkholderia cenocepacia has emerged as an important pathogen for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF). Previous work has shown that this organism employs the CepIR quorum-sensing (QS) system to control the expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. To date, however, very little is known about the QS-regulated virulence factors and virtually nothing about the factors that link QS and biofilm formation. Here, we have employed a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach to precisely define the QS regulon in our model strain B. cenocepacia H111, a CF isolate. Among the identified CepR-activated loci, three were analyzed in better detail for their roles in biofilm development: (i) a gene cluster coding for the BclACB lectins, (ii) the large surface protein BapA, and (iii) a type I pilus. The analysis of defined mutants revealed that BapA plays a major role in biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces while inactivation of the type I pilus showed little effect both in a static microtitre dish-based biofilm assay and in flow-through cells. Inactivation of the bclACB lectin genes resulted in biofilms containing hollow microcolonies, suggesting that the lectins are important for biofilm structural development

Topics: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 580 Plants (Botany)
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1002/mbo3.24
OAI identifier: oai:www.zora.uzh.ch:70966
Provided by: ZORA

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