Regulation of the alginate biosynthesis gene algc in Pseudomonas aeruginosa during biofilm development in continuous culture
Davies, David Gwilym
Geesey, Gill G.
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Reporter gene technology was used to observe the regulation of the alginate biosynthesis gene, algC in a mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in developing and mature biofilms in continuous culture on Teflon and glass substrata. The plasmid pNZ63, carrying an algC-lacZ transcriptional fusion, was shown to not be diluted in continuous culture over a period of 25 days in the absence of selection pressure. Biofilm cells under bulk phase steady-state conditions demonstrated fluctuations in algC expression over a 16-day period, but no trend of increased or decreased expression over the time interval was indicated. In vivo detection of algC up-expression in developing biofilms was performed with a fluorogenic substrate for the plasmid-borne lacZ gene product (beta-galactosidase) by using microscopy coupled with image analysis. By this technique, cells were tracked over time and analyzed for algC activity. During the initial stages of biofilm development, cells already attached to a glass surface for at least 15 min exhibited up-expression of algC, detectable as the development of whole-cell fluorescence. However, initial cell attachment to the substratum appeared to be independent of algC promoter activity. Furthermore, cells not exhibiting algC up-expression were shown to be less capable of remaining at a glass surface under flowing conditions than were cells in which algC up-expression was detected.
Davies DG, Geesey GG, "Regulation of the alginate biosynthesis gene algc in Pseudomonas aeruginosa during biofilm development in continuous culture," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1995 61(3):860–867.