, Volume 194, Issue 6, pp 391-403
Date: 22 Nov 2011

Inhibition and dispersal of Agrobacterium tumefaciens biofilms by a small diffusible Pseudomonas aeruginosa exoproduct(s)

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Environmental biofilms often contain mixed populations of different species. In these dense communities, competition between biofilm residents for limited nutrients such as iron can be fierce, leading to the evolution of competitive factors that affect the ability of competitors to grow or form biofilms. We have discovered a compound(s) present in the conditioned culture fluids of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that disperses and inhibits the formation of biofilms produced by the facultative plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The inhibitory activity is strongly induced when P. aeruginosa is cultivated in iron-limited conditions, but it does not function through iron sequestration. In addition, the production of the biofilm inhibitory activity is not regulated by the global iron regulatory protein Fur, the iron-responsive extracytoplasmic function σ factor PvdS, or three of the recognized P. aeruginosa quorum-sensing systems. In addition, the compound(s) responsible for the inhibition and dispersal of A. tumefaciens biofilm formation is likely distinct from the recently identified P. aeruginosa dispersal factor, cis-2-decenoic acid (CDA), as dialysis of the culture fluids showed that the inhibitory compound was larger than CDA and culture fluids that dispersed and inhibited biofilm formation by A. tumefaciens had no effect on biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa.

Communicated by John Helmann.