Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Díaz M., San Martin D., Castro M., Vera M., Guiliani N. (2020)

Quorum Sensing Signaling Molecules Positively Regulate c-di-GMP Effector PelD Encoding Gene and PEL Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis in Extremophile Bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans

Revista : Genes
Volumen : 12
Número : 1
Páginas : 69
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Acidithiobacillus species are fundamental players in biofilm formation by acidophile bioleaching communities. It has been previously reported that Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans possesses a functional quorum sensing mediated by acyl-homoserine lactones (AHL), involved in biofilm formation, and AHLs naturally produced by Acidithiobacillus species also induce biofilm formation in Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. A c-di-GMP pathway has been characterized in Acidithiobacillus species but it has been pointed out that the c-di-GMP effector PelD and pel-like operon are only present in the sulfur oxidizers such as A. thiooxidans. PEL exopolysaccharide has been recently involved in biofilm formation in this Acidithiobacillus species. Here, by comparing wild type and ?pelD strains through mechanical analysis of biofilm-cells detachment, fluorescence microscopy and qPCR experiments, the structural role of PEL exopolysaccharide and the molecular network involved for its biosynthesis by A. thiooxidans were tackled. Besides, the effect of AHLs on PEL exopolysaccharide production was assessed. Mechanical resistance experiments indicated that the loss of PEL exopolysaccharide produces fragile A. thiooxidans biofilms. qRT-PCR analysis established that AHLs induce the transcription of pelA and pelD genes while epifluorescence microscopy studies revealed that PEL exopolysaccharide was required for the development of AHL-induced biofilms. Altogether these results reveal for the first time that AHLs positively regulate pel genes and participate in the molecular network for PEL exopolysaccharide biosynthesis by A. thiooxidans.