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Phenotypic diversity of multicellular filamentation in oral streptococci


Rossetti, Valentina; Ammann, Thomas W; Thurnheer, Thomas; Bagheri, Homayoun C; Belibasakis, Georgios N (2013). Phenotypic diversity of multicellular filamentation in oral streptococci. PLoS ONE, 8(9):e76221.

Abstract

Filamentous multicellular bacteria are among the most ancient multicellular organisms. They inhabit a great variety of environments and are present in the human body, including the oral cavity. Beside the selective advantages related to the larger size achieved through filamentation, the development of multicellular bacteria can be also driven by simple ecological factors such as birth and death rates at the cellular level. In order to extend earlier results obtained in aquatic species, we investigate the filamentation process of four different strains of oral streptococci, namely S. mutans, S. salivarius, S. oralis and S. anginosus. The results indicate differences in the capacities of different streptococcus species to form filaments, manifested in terms of length and the time-scale of filament elongation. The filamentation pattern of these oral streptococci resembles that of aquatic bacteria, whereby filaments reach a peak length during exponential growth and become short when the population reaches a steady state. Hence, this study validates that multicellularity can be an emergent property of filamentous bacteria of different ecological niches, and that phenotypic differences in filamentation can occur within species of the same genus, in this case oral streptococci. Moreover, given the role that specific oral streptococci can play in the etiology of oral diseases, these results can possibly open new perspectives in the study of the virulence properties of these species.

Abstract

Filamentous multicellular bacteria are among the most ancient multicellular organisms. They inhabit a great variety of environments and are present in the human body, including the oral cavity. Beside the selective advantages related to the larger size achieved through filamentation, the development of multicellular bacteria can be also driven by simple ecological factors such as birth and death rates at the cellular level. In order to extend earlier results obtained in aquatic species, we investigate the filamentation process of four different strains of oral streptococci, namely S. mutans, S. salivarius, S. oralis and S. anginosus. The results indicate differences in the capacities of different streptococcus species to form filaments, manifested in terms of length and the time-scale of filament elongation. The filamentation pattern of these oral streptococci resembles that of aquatic bacteria, whereby filaments reach a peak length during exponential growth and become short when the population reaches a steady state. Hence, this study validates that multicellularity can be an emergent property of filamentous bacteria of different ecological niches, and that phenotypic differences in filamentation can occur within species of the same genus, in this case oral streptococci. Moreover, given the role that specific oral streptococci can play in the etiology of oral diseases, these results can possibly open new perspectives in the study of the virulence properties of these species.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Dental Medicine > Institute of Oral Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:27 September 2013
Deposited On:11 Oct 2013 15:56
Last Modified:29 Aug 2017 06:25
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076221
PubMed ID:24086713

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