Involvement of the global regulators GrrS, RpoS, and SplIR in formation of biofilms in Serratia plymuthica

J.V: Zaitseva, P.V: Voloshinaa, X. Liu, M.I. Ovadisc, Gabriele Berg, L.S. Chernin, I.A. Khmela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most bacteria exist in the natural environment as biofilms, multicellular communities attached to hard surfaces. Biofilms have a characteristic architecture and are enclosed in the exopolymer matrix. Bacterial cells in biofilms are extremely resistant to antibacterial factors. It was shown in this work that the GrrA/GrrS system of global regulators of gene expression and the sigma S subunit of RNA polymerase (RpoS) play a significant role in positive regulation of biofilm formation in the rhizospheric bacterium Serratia plymuthica IC1270. Inactivation of grrS and rpoS genes resulted in an up to six-to-sevenfold and four-to-fivefold reduction in biofilm formation, respectively. Mutations in the grrS gene decreased the capacity of the bacterium for swarming motility. The splIR Quorum Sensing (QS) system was shown to negatively influence the biofilm formation. Transfer of the recombinant plasmid containing cloned genes splI/splR of S. plymuthica HRO-C48 into S. plymuthica IC1270 cells led to a twofold decrease of their ability to form biofilms. Inactivation of the splI gene coding for the synthase of N-acyl-homoserine lactones in S. plymuthica HRO-C48 resulted in a 2-2.5-fold increase in the level of biofilm formation, whereas the inclusion of plasmid carrying the cloned splI/splR genes into these mutant cells restored the biofilm formation to the normal level. The results obtained demonstrate that the formation of biofilms in S. plymuthica is positively regulated by the GrrA/GrrS and RpoS global regulators and is negatively regulated by the SplIR QS system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-545
JournalRussian Journal of Genetics
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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