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Escherichia coli BdcA controls biofilm dispersal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Rhizobium meliloti

Qun Ma, Guishan Zhang and Thomas K Wood*

Author Affiliations

Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-3122, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:447  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-447

Published: 26 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Previously we showed that BdcA controls Escherichia coli biofilm dispersal by binding the ubiquitous bacterial signal cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP); upon reducing the concentration of c-di-GMP, the cell shifts to the planktonic state by increasing motility, decreasing aggregation, and decreasing production of biofilm adhesins.

Findings

Here we report that BdcA also increases biofilm dispersal in other Gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Rhizobium meliloti. BdcA binds c-di-GMP in these strains and thereby reduces the effective c-di-GMP concentrations as demonstrated by increases in swimming motility and swarming motility as well as by a reduction in extracellular polysaccharide production. We also develop a method to displace existing biofilms by adding BdcA via conjugation from E. coli in mixed-species biofilms.

Conclusion

Since BdcA shows the ability to control biofilm dispersal in diverse bacteria, BdcA has the potential to be used as a tool to disperse biofilms for engineering and medical applications.