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The DSF type quorum sensing signalling system RpfF/R regulates diverse phenotypes in the opportunistic pathogen Cronobacter


Suppiger, Angela; Eshwar, Athmanya Konegadde; Stephan, Roger; Kaever, Volkhard; Eberl, Leo; Lehner, Angelika (2016). The DSF type quorum sensing signalling system RpfF/R regulates diverse phenotypes in the opportunistic pathogen Cronobacter. Scientific Reports, 6:18753.

Abstract

Several bacterial pathogens produce diffusible signal factor (DSF)-type quorum sensing (QS) signals to control biofilm formation and virulence. Previous work showed that in Burkholderia cenocepacia the RpfFBc/RpfR system is involved in sensing and responding to DSF signals and that this signal/sensor gene pair is highly conserved in several bacterial species including Cronobacter spp. Here we show that C. turicensis LMG 23827T possesses a functional RpfF/R system that is involved in the regulation of various phenotypes, including colony morphology, biofilm formation and swarming motility. In vivo experiments using the zebrafish embryo model revealed a role of this regulatory system in virulence of this opportunistic pathogen. We provide evidence that the RpfF/R system modulates the intracellular c-di-GMP level of the organism, an effect that may underpin the alteration in phenotype and thus the regulated phenotypes may be a consequence thereof. This first report on an RpfF/R-type QS system of an organism outside the genus Burkholderia revealed that both the underlying molecular mechanisms as well as the regulated functions show a high degree of conservation.

Abstract

Several bacterial pathogens produce diffusible signal factor (DSF)-type quorum sensing (QS) signals to control biofilm formation and virulence. Previous work showed that in Burkholderia cenocepacia the RpfFBc/RpfR system is involved in sensing and responding to DSF signals and that this signal/sensor gene pair is highly conserved in several bacterial species including Cronobacter spp. Here we show that C. turicensis LMG 23827T possesses a functional RpfF/R system that is involved in the regulation of various phenotypes, including colony morphology, biofilm formation and swarming motility. In vivo experiments using the zebrafish embryo model revealed a role of this regulatory system in virulence of this opportunistic pathogen. We provide evidence that the RpfF/R system modulates the intracellular c-di-GMP level of the organism, an effect that may underpin the alteration in phenotype and thus the regulated phenotypes may be a consequence thereof. This first report on an RpfF/R-type QS system of an organism outside the genus Burkholderia revealed that both the underlying molecular mechanisms as well as the regulated functions show a high degree of conservation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:08 Feb 2016 14:27
Last Modified:21 May 2016 15:04
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/srep18753

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