The Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 wrinkly spreader biofilm requires attachment factor, cellulose fibre and LPS interactions to maintain strength and integrity
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The wrinkly spreader (WS) isolate of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 forms a substantial biofilm at the air–liquid interface. The biofilm is composed of an extracellular partially acetylated cellulose-fibre matrix, and previous mutagenesis of WS with mini-Tn5 had identified both the regulatory and cellulose-biosynthetic operons. One uncharacterized WS mutant, WS-5, still expressed cellulose but produced very weak biofilms. In this work, the mini-Tn5 insertion site in WS-5 has been identified as being immediately upstream of the tol-pal operon. Like Tol-Pal mutants of other Gram-negative bacteria, WS-5 showed a ‘leaky-membrane’ phenotype, including the serendipitous ability to utilize sucrose, increased uptake of the hydrophilic dye propidium iodide, and the loss of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) expression. WS-5 cells were altered in relative hydrophobicity, and showed poorer recruitment and maintenance in the biofilm than WS. The WS-5 biofilm was also less sensitive to chemical interference during development. However, growth rate, cellulose expression and attachment were not significantly different between WS and WS-5. Finally, WS-5 biofilms could be partially complemented with WS-4, a biofilm- and attachment-deficient mutant that expressed LPS, resulting in a mixed biofilm with significantly increased strength. These findings show that a major component of the WS air–liquid biofilm strength results from the interactions between LPS and the cellulose matrix of the biofilm – and that in the WS biofilm, cellulose fibres, attachment factor and LPS are required for biofilm development, strength and integrity.
Spiers, A. J. and Rainey, P. B. 2005. The Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 wrinkly spreader biofilm requires attachment factor, cellulose fibre and LPS interactions to maintain strength and integrity. Microbiology. 151(2005): pp.2829-2839. [Online] Available from: DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.27984-0