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Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 198, Issue 2, pp 137–147 | Cite as

The non-metabolizable sucrose analog sucralose is a potent inhibitor of hormogonium differentiation in the filamentous cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme

  • Samantha D. Splitt
  • Douglas D. Risser
Original Paper

Abstract

Nostoc punctiforme is a filamentous cyanobacterium which forms nitrogen-fixing symbioses with several different plants and fungi. Establishment of these symbioses requires the formation of motile hormogonium filaments. Once infected, the plant partner is thought to supply a hormogonium-repressing factor (HRF) to maintain the cyanobacteria in a vegetative, nitrogen-fixing state. Evidence implies that sucrose may serve as a HRF. Here, we tested the effects of sucralose, a non-metabolizable sucrose analog, on hormogonium differentiation. Sucralose inhibited hormogonium differentiation at a concentration approximately one-tenth that of sucrose. This result implies that: (1) sucrose, not a sucrose catabolite, is perceived by the cell and (2) inhibition is not due to a more general osmolarity-dependent effect. Additionally, both sucrose and sucralose induced the accrual of a polysaccharide sheath which bound specifically to the lectin ConA, indicating the presence of α-d-mannose and/or α-d-glucose. A ConA-specific polysaccharide was also found to be expressed in N. punctiforme colonies from tissue sections of the symbiotically grown hornwort Anthoceros punctatus. These findings imply that plant-derived sucrose or sucrose analogs may have multiple effects on N. punctiforme, including both repression of hormogonia and the induction of a polysaccharide sheath that may be essential to establish and maintain the symbiotic state.

Keywords

Symbiosis Hormogonia Nostoc punctiforme Anthoceros punctatus Sucrose Sucralose 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Marcos Gridi-Papp for his assistance in sectioning A. punctatus tissue and the Lin-Cereghino laboratory for use of and assistance with their vacuum blotting module.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of the PacificStocktonUSA

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