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σX Is Involved in Controlling Bacillus subtilis Biofilm Architecture through the AbrB Homologue Abh

σX Is Involved in Controlling Bacillus subtilis Biofilm Architecture through the AbrB Homologue Abh

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Original languageEnglish
Pages6822-6832
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Journal publication date15 Nov 2009
Volume191
Issue22
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

A characteristic feature of biofilm formation is the production of a protective extracellular polymeric matrix. In the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, the biofilm matrix is synthesized by the products of the epsABCDEFGHIJKLMNO operon (hereafter called the eps operon) and yqxM-sipW-tasA loci. Transcription from these operons is repressed by two key regulators, AbrB and SinR. Relief of inhibition is necessary to allow biofilm formation to proceed. Here we present data indicating that Abh, a sequence and structural homologue of AbrB, regulates biofilm architecture by B. subtilis when colony morphology and pellicle formation are assessed. Data indicating that abh expression is dependent on the environmental signals that stimulate the activity of the extracytoplasmic function sigma-factor sigma(X) are shown. We demonstrate that expression of slrR, the proposed activator of yqxM transcription, is positively controlled by Abh. Furthermore, Abh is shown to activate transcription from the promoter of the eps operon through its control of SlrR. These findings add to the increasingly complex transcriptional network that controls biofilm formation by B. subtilis.

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