Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 84, Issue 5, pp 509–519 | Cite as

Polysaccharide Galactan Inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Formation but Protects Pre-formed Biofilms from Antibiotics

  • A. V. GrishinEmail author
  • A. S. KaryaginaEmail author


Microorganisms residing within a biofilm become more tolerant to antibiotics and other types of adverse impact, and biofilm formation by pathogenic bacteria is an important problem of current medicine. Polysaccharides that prevent biofilm formation are among the promising candidates to help tackle this problem. Earlier we demonstrated the ability of a potato polysaccharide galactan to inhibit biofilm formation by a Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate. Here we investigate the effect of potato galactan on P. aeruginosa biofilms in more detail. Microscopic analysis indicated that the galactan did not interfere with the adhesion of bacterial cells to the substrate but prevented the build-up of bacterial biomass. Moreover, the galactan not only inhibited biofilm formation, but partially destroyed pre-formed biofilms. Presumably, this activity of the galactan was due to the excessive aggregation of bacterial cells, which prohibited the formation and maintenance of proper biofilm architecture, or due to some other mechanisms of biofilm structure remodeling. This led to an unexpected effect, i.e., P. aeruginosa biofilms treated with an antibiotic and the galactan retained more viable bacterial cells compared to biofilms treated with the antibiotic alone. Galactan is the first polysaccharide demonstrated to exert such effect on bacterial biofilms.


biofilm galactan Pseudomonas aeruginosa polysaccharide antibiotics tolerance 



Calgary biofilm device


colony-forming unit


minimum bactericidal concentration


minimum biofilm eradication concentration


minimum inhibitory concentration


Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 laboratory strain.


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The authors are thankful to Dr. I. G. Tiganova for P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain, Dr. O. Yu. Dobrynina for P. aeruginosa isolate 216, and Dr. Yu. M. Romanova for kindly providing LIVE/DEAD dyes.

Supplementary material

10541_2019_771_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (143 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 142 KB.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.N. F. Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and MicrobiologyMinistry of Health of the Russian FederationMoscowRussia
  2. 2.All-Russia Research Institute of Agricultural BiotechnologyMoscowRussia
  3. 3.A. N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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