Chapter 7 : Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City

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In clinical microbiology, the biofilm mode of bacterial growth has attracted particular attention because many persistent and chronic infections, including periodontitis, otitis media, biliary tract infection, and endocarditis, and the colonization of medical implants are now believed to be intrinsically linked to the formation of bacterial biofilms. Recent work has shown that blockade of -acyl-L-homoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated gene expression represents an effective approach to interfere with surface colonization and to attenuate the virulence of opportunistic bacterial pathogens. The first example of a surface-associated behavior that is controlled by means of quorum sensing (QS) was the process of bacterial surface translocation. There are several described forms of bacterial surface translocation including swarming, twitching, darting, and sliding. The swarming phenomenon involves cell differentiation, extensive flagellation, and contact between neighboring bacteria. An involvement of a QS system in the regulation of biofilm formation was originally reported for . In this study the authors reported that a mutant of only forms flat and undifferentiated biofilms when compared with the wild type, which formed characteristic microcolonies separated by water channels. In conclusion, the data suggest that both QS systems of participate in the regulation of biofilm development.

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7
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Image of FIGURE 1

Scanning confocal photomicrographs of biofilms formed by wild-type PAO1, an isogenic signaling-deficient mutant, and an isogenic signal receptor mutant. The upper panel shows three-dimensional renderings of the biofilms growing on a glass substratum in flow cells. The lower panel illustrates sagittal views of the biofilms. The scale bar is 20 µm. The biofilms were grown in ABtrace minimal medium with 0.3 mM glucose for 11 days at 30°C.

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7
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Image of FIGURE 2

QS signaling compounds and antagonists. Top row, the two major signaling compounds 3-oxo-C12-HSL and C4-HSL produced by the system and the system, respectively. Middle row, two of the approximately 30 furanone compounds produced by the Australian macroalga . Bottom row, two synthetic furanone compounds with enhanced quorum-sensing inhibitory properties ( ).

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7
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Image of FIGURE 3

Functional classification of genes differentially expressed in biofilms. The functional classes are according to the annotation by the Community Annotation Project (PseudoCAP). The percentage of genes in each class is calculated as the number of genes affected divided by the number of genes in a given functional class. The numbers are given as percentages to reflect the extent a given functional class is either controlled by QS or affected by the furanone drug. White bars indicate biofilm-repressed genes. Black bars indicate biofilminduced genes. LPS, lipopolysaccharide.

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7
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Differential gene expression in biofilm-growing PAO1

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7
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QS-controlled genes differentially expressed in biofilms

Citation: Hentzer M, Givskov M, Eberl L. 2004. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Gossip in Slime City, p 118-140. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch7

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