Quorum sensing controls multicellular aggregate formation.

TitleQuorum sensing controls multicellular aggregate formation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsJemielita, M, Wingreen, NS, Bassler, BL
Date Published2018 12 24
KeywordsBacterial Adhesion, Bacterial Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Genetic Testing, Microscopy, Mutagenesis, Quorum Sensing, Vibrio cholerae

Bacteria communicate and collectively regulate gene expression using a process called quorum sensing (QS). QS relies on group-wide responses to signal molecules called autoinducers. Here, we show that QS activates a new program of multicellularity in . This program, which we term aggregation, is distinct from the canonical surface-biofilm formation program, which QS represses. Aggregation is induced by autoinducers, occurs rapidly in cell suspensions, and does not require cell division, features strikingly dissimilar from those characteristic of biofilm formation. Extracellular DNA limits aggregate size, but is not sufficient to drive aggregation. A mutagenesis screen identifies genes required for aggregate formation, revealing proteins involved in intestinal colonization, stress response, and a protein that distinguishes the current pandemic strain from earlier pandemic strains. We suggest that QS-controlled aggregate formation is important for to successfully transit between the marine niche and the human host.

Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID30582742
PubMed Central IDPMC6351105
Grant ListR01 GM065859 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
/ HHMI / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States
R01 GM082938 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
2R37GM065859 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01GM082938 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R37 GM065859 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States