Graduate Students Mini-Symposium

Chemotaxis towards autoinducer 2 mediates intra- and interspecies behaviors of Escherichia coli

  • Date: Sep 11, 2017
  • Time: 13:15 - 13:50
  • Speaker: Leanid Laganenka
  • MPI / Systems and Synthetic Microbiology
  • Location: MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Prof. Dr. Victor Sourjik
  • Contact: victor.sourjik@synmikro.mpi-marburg.mpg.de

Many bacteria can communicate with each other, coordinating and synchronizing their behavior by means of production and sensing of extracellular signal molecules called autoinducers. A universal autounducer AI-2 is the only established quorum-sensing molecule produced by E. coli, though its physiological role remains elusive. Here we show that motility and chemotaxis towards self-produced AI-2 mediates collective behavior – autoaggregation – of E. coli. In contrast to previous studies, our results thus show that autoaggregation and motility are not mutually exclusive behaviors, but both functional flagellar apparatus and chemotaxis are required for efficient autoaggregation at physiological cell densities. Such AI-2 dependent autoaggregation benefits bacteria by enhancing their stress resistance and promotes biofilm formation.
We further show that E. coli can employ AI-2 produced by enteric bacterium Enterococcus faecalis to perform collective behaviors at lower cell densities. This leads to co-aggregation between the two species, subsequently enhancing E. coli microcolony formation in static dual-species biofilms.


 
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