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Title: Effectiveness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type VI secretion system relies on toxin potency and type IV pili-dependent interaction
Authors: Rudzite, Marta
Subramoni, Sujatha
Endres, Robert G.
Filloux, Alain
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Rudzite, M., Subramoni, S., Endres, R. G. & Filloux, A. (2023). Effectiveness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa type VI secretion system relies on toxin potency and type IV pili-dependent interaction. PLoS Pathogens, 19(5), e1011428-.
Journal: PLoS Pathogens 
Abstract: The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is an antibacterial weapon that is used by numerous Gram-negative bacteria to gain competitive advantage by injecting toxins into adjacent prey cells. Predicting the outcome of a T6SS-dependent competition is not only reliant on presence-absence of the system but instead involves a multiplicity of factors. Pseudomonas aeruginosa possesses 3 distinct T6SSs and a set of more than 20 toxic effectors with diverse functions including disruption of cell wall integrity, degradation of nucleic acids or metabolic impairment. We generated a comprehensive collection of mutants with various degrees of T6SS activity and/or sensitivity to each individual T6SS toxin. By imaging whole mixed bacterial macrocolonies, we then investigated how these P. aeruginosa strains gain a competitive edge in multiple attacker/prey combinations. We observed that the potency of single T6SS toxin varies significantly from one another as measured by monitoring the community structure, with some toxins acting better in synergy or requiring a higher payload. Remarkably the degree of intermixing between preys and attackers is also key to the competition outcome and is driven by the frequency of contact as well as the ability of the prey to move away from the attacker using type IV pili-dependent twitching motility. Finally, we implemented a computational model to better understand how changes in T6SS firing behaviours or cell-cell contacts lead to population level competitive advantages, thus providing conceptual insight applicable to all types of contact-based competition.
ISSN: 1553-7366
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1011428
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SCELSE Journal Articles

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