Filamentous phage impact biofilm development, stress tolerance, virulence, biofilm dispersal, and colony variants. Previously, we identified 137 Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 mutants with more than threefold enhanced and 88 mutants with more than 10-fold reduced biofilm formation by screening 5850 transposon mutants (PLoS Pathogens 5: e1000483, 2009). Here, we characterized the function of one of these 225 mutations, dppA1 (PA14_58350), in regard to biofilm formation. DppA1 is a substrate-binding protein (SBP) involved in peptide utilization via the DppBCDF ABC transporter system. We show that compared to the wild-type strain, inactivating dppA1 led to 68-fold less biofilm formation in a static model and abolished biofilm formation in flow cells. Moreover, the dppA1 mutant had a delay in swarming and produced 20-fold less small-colony variants, and both biofilm formation and swarming were complemented by producing DppA1. A whole-transcriptome analysis showed that only 10 bacteriophage Pf5 genes were significantly induced in the biofilm cells of the dppA1 mutant compared to the wild-type strain, and inactivation of dppA1 resulted in a 600-fold increase in Pf5 excision and a million-fold increase in phage production. As expected, inactivating Pf5 genes PA0720 and PA0723 increased biofilm formation substantially. Inactivation of DppA1 also reduced growth (due to cell lysis). Hence, DppA1 increases biofilm formation by repressing Pf5 prophage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)