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Article

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

1
Laboratorio de Comunicación Bacteriana, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Ñuñoa, Santiago 7800003, Chile
2
Fundación Ciencia y Vida, Ñuñoa, Santiago 7780272, Chile
3
Instituto de Ingeniería Biológica y Médica, Escuelas de Ingeniería, Medicina y Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Macul, Santiago 7820436, Chile
4
Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Escuela de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Macul, Santiago 7820436, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Dedicated to the memory of Prof. Douglas E. Rawlings.
Genes 2021, 12(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010069
Received: 28 October 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 11 December 2020 / Published: 7 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Extremophiles)
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 ΔpelD 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: acidophile; biofilm; bioleaching; cyclic dinucleotide; epifluorescence microscopy; extremophile acidophile; biofilm; bioleaching; cyclic dinucleotide; epifluorescence microscopy; extremophile
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MDPI and ACS Style

Díaz, M.; San Martin, D.; Castro, M.; Vera, M.; Guiliani, N. Quorum Sensing Signaling Molecules Positively Regulate c-di-GMP Effector PelD Encoding Gene and PEL Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis in Extremophile Bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. Genes 2021, 12, 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010069

AMA Style

Díaz M, San Martin D, Castro M, Vera M, Guiliani N. Quorum Sensing Signaling Molecules Positively Regulate c-di-GMP Effector PelD Encoding Gene and PEL Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis in Extremophile Bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. Genes. 2021; 12(1):69. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010069

Chicago/Turabian Style

Díaz, Mauricio, Diego San Martin, Matías Castro, Mario Vera, and Nicolás Guiliani. 2021. "Quorum Sensing Signaling Molecules Positively Regulate c-di-GMP Effector PelD Encoding Gene and PEL Exopolysaccharide Biosynthesis in Extremophile Bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans" Genes 12, no. 1: 69. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010069

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