, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 34-39

Flagella-mediated motility is required for biofilm formation by Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora

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To elucidate the role of flagella in biofilm formation by Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora EC1, we used a nonflagellate, nonmotile mutant (ΔfliC) and a flagellate, nonmotile mutant (ΔmotA). A biofilm-inducing medium, which contains the yeast peptone (YP) medium plus the salts of M-63 minimal medium, supported biofilm formation to a greater extent than either the YP or Luria Bertani (LB) medium alone. We demonstrated that both the ΔfliC and ΔmotA mutants greatly reduced their ability to form a biofilm on the surface of the wells of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) microtiter plates. The inability of both mutants to form biofilm on the PVC surface was further confirmed with phase-contrast microscopy. Both aflagellate (ΔfliC) and flagellate (ΔmotA) nonmotile mutants were equally defective in attachment to the PVC surface. The treatment of bacteria with the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), which inhibits the motility of this organism, reduced greatly the biofilm formation. Based on these results, flagella-mediated motility may play an important role in biofilm formation of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora EC1.