Matrix polysaccharides and SiaD diguanylate cyclase alter community structure and competitiveness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during dual-species biofilm development with Staphylococcus aureus
Chew, Su Chuen
Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong
Seng, Zi Jing
Rice, Scott A.
Date of Issue2018
School of Biological Sciences
Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering
Mixed-species biofilms display a number of emergent properties, including enhanced antimicrobial tolerance and communal metabolism. These properties may depend on interspecies relationships and the structure of the biofilm. However, the contribution of specific matrix components to emergent properties of mixed-species biofilms remains poorly understood. Using a dual-species biofilm community formed by the opportunistic pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, we found that whilst neither Pel nor Psl polysaccharides, produced by P. aeruginosa, affect relative species abundance in mature P. aeruginosa and S. aureus biofilms, Psl production is associated with increased P. aeruginosa abundance and reduced S. aureus aggregation in the early stages of biofilm formation. Our data suggest that the competitive effect of Psl is not associated with its structural role in cross-linking the matrix and adhering to P. aeruginosa cells but is instead mediated through the activation of the diguanylate cyclase SiaD. This regulatory control was also found to be independent of the siderophore pyoverdine and Pseudomonas quinolone signal, which have previously been proposed to reduce S. aureus viability by inducing lactic acid fermentation-based growth. In contrast to the effect mediated by Psl, Pel reduced the effective crosslinking of the biofilm matrix and facilitated superdiffusivity in microcolony regions. These changes in matrix cross-linking enhance biofilm surface spreading and expansion of microcolonies in the later stages of biofilm development, improving overall dual-species biofilm growth and increasing biovolume severalfold. Thus, the biofilm matrix and regulators associated with matrix production play essential roles in mixed-species biofilm interactions.
© 2018 Chew et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.