The Ax21 protein influences virulence and biofilm formation in the nosocomial pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

Shi-qi An (Lead / Corresponding author), Ji-Liang Tang (Lead / Corresponding author)

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative pathogen, which is associated with hospital-acquired infection. The genome encodes a protein highly related to the Ax21 protein of Xanthomonas oryzae that is implicated in interactions of this plant pathogen with rice. Here, we report on the pleiotropic nature of ax21 mutation in S. maltophilia and the effects of addition of the Ax21 protein on the restoration of the wild-type phenotype. We show that loss by mutation of Ax21 leads to reduced motility, reduced biofilm formation, reduced tolerance to the antibiotic tobramycin and reduced virulence to larvae of Galleria mellonella, as well as alteration in the expression of specific genes associated with virulence or antibiotic resistance. Addition of the Ax21protein restored motility and the level of gene expression towards wild type. These findings are consistent with the notion that the Ax21 protein is involved in intraspecies communication, although other interpretations cannot be discounted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number1
Early online date30 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Stenotrophomonas
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Motility
  • Biofilm formation
  • Virulence
  • Motility
  • Biofilm formation
  • Stenotrophomonas
  • Virulence
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections/microbiology
  • Humans
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Cross Infection/microbiology
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Biofilms
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia/genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology


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