Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
The phytopathogenic bacterium Pectobacterium atrosepticum (Pba) strain SCRI1043 does not exhibit appreciable biofilm formation under standard laboratory conditions. Here we show that a biofilm-forming phenotype in this strain could be activated from a cryptic state by increasing intracellular levels of c-di-GMP, through overexpression of a constitutively active diguanylate cyclase (PleD*) from Caulobacter crescentus. Randomly obtained Pba transposon mutants defective in the pga operon, involved in synthesis and translocation of poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (PGA), were all impaired in this biofilm formation. The presence of the PGA-degrading enzyme dispersin B in the growth media prevented biofilm formation by Pba overexpressing PleD*, further supporting the importance of PGA for biofilm formation by Pba. Importantly, a pga mutant exhibited a reduction in root binding to the host plant under conditions of high intracellular c-di-GMP levels. A modest but consistent increase in pga transcript levels was associated with high intracellular levels of c-di-GMP. Our results indicate tight control of PGA-dependent biofilm formation by c-di-GMP in Pba.