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© J.M. Ghigo (Institut Pasteur) and Brigite Arbeille (LBC-ME. Faculté de Médecine de Tours)
Colorized scanning electron microscopy of an E. coli biofilm developing on a glass surface
Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Frontiers in Microbiology - 20 Aug 2018

I. Poquet, L. Saujet, A. Canette, M. Monot, J. Mihajlovic, J.-M. Ghigo, O. Soutourina, R. Briandet, I. Martin-Verstraete, and B. Dupuy

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30258415

Front Microbiol. 2018 Sep 12;9:2084. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02084. eCollection 2018.

Clostridium difficile is an opportunistic entero-pathogen causing post-antibiotic and nosocomial diarrhea upon microbiota dysbiosis. Although biofilms could contribute to colonization, little is known about their development and physiology. Strain 630Δerm is able to form, in continuous-flow micro-fermentors, macro-colonies and submersed biofilms loosely adhesive to glass. According to gene expression data, in biofilm/planktonic cells, central metabolism is active and fuels fatty acid biosynthesis rather than fermentations. Consistently, succinate is consumed and butyrate production is reduced. Toxin A expression, which is coordinated to metabolism, is down-regulated, while surface proteins, like adhesins and the primary Type IV pili subunits, are over-expressed. C-di-GMP level is probably tightly controlled through the expression of both diguanylate cyclase-encoding genes, like dccA, and phosphodiesterase-encoding genes. The coordinated expression of genes controlled by c-di-GMP and encoding the putative surface adhesin CD2831 and the major Type IV pilin PilA1, suggests that c-di-GMP could be high in biofilm cells. A Bacillus subtilis SinR-like regulator, CD2214, and/or CD2215, another regulator co-encoded in the same operon as CD2214, control many genes differentially expressed in biofilm, and in particular dccA, CD2831 and pilA1 in a positive way. After growth in micro-titer plates and disruption, the biofilm is composed of robust aggregated structures where cells are embedded into a polymorphic material. The intact biofilm observed in situ displays a sparse, heterogeneous and high 3D architecture made of rods and micro-aggregates. The biofilm is denser in a mutant of both CD2214 and CD2215 genes, but it is not affected by the inactivation of neither CD2831 nor pilA1 . dccA, when over-expressed, not only increases the biofilm but also triggers its architecture to become homogeneous and highly aggregated, in a way independent of CD2831 and barely dependent of pilA1 . Cell micro-aggregation is shown to play a major role in biofilm formation and architecture. This thorough analysis of gene expression reprogramming and architecture remodeling in biofilm lays the foundation for a deeper understanding of this lifestyle and could lead to novel strategies to limit C. difficile spread.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30258415