Role of Quorum Sensing and Antimicrobial Component Production by Serratia plymuthica in Formation of Biofilms, Including Mixed Biofilms with Escherichia coli

Pieter Moons, Rob Van Houdt, Abram Aertsen, Kristof Vanoirbeek, Yves Engelborghs, Chris W. Michiels, Patrick De Boever

    Research outputpeer-review


    In this study, we investigated the role of the quorum-sensing system of Serratia plymuthica RVH1 on biofilm formation by RVH1 and on the cocultivation of RVH1 and E. coli in planktonic cultures or in biofilms. Biofilm formation of S. plymuthica was not affected by the knockout of splI or splR or by the knockout of AC production. E. coli grew well in mixed broth culture with RVH1 until the latter reached 8.5 to 9.5 log CFU/ml, after which the E. coli colony counts steeply declined. Complementation with exogenous N-hexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone rescued the wild-type phenotype of the splI mutant. The splR knockout mutant also induced a steep decline of E. coli, consistent with its proposed function as a repressor of quorum-sensing-regulated genes. The numbers of E. coli in 3-day-old mixed biofilms followed a similar pattern, being higher with S. plymuthica deficient in SplI or AC production than with wild-type S. plymuthica, the splR mutant, or the splI mutant in the presence of N-hexanoyl-Lhomoserine lactone. Confocal laser scanning microscopic analysis of mixed biofilms established with strains producing different fluorescent proteins showed that E. coli microcolonies were less developed in the presence of RVH1 than in the presence of the AC-deficient mutant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7294-7300
    JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Nov 2006

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