Activation of the Cell Wall Stress Response in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infected by a Pf4 Phage Variant.

D. Tortuel, A. Tahrioui, S. Rodrigues, M. Cambronel, A. Boukerb, O. Maillot, J. Verdon, E. Bere, M. Nusser, G. Brenner-Weiss, A. David, O. Azuama, M. Feuilloley, N. Orange, O. Lesouhaitier, P. Cornelis, S. Chevalier, E. Bouffartigues
Microorganisms. 2020 8:11 PubMed: 33143386

Abstract: Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 has an integrated Pf4 prophage in its genome, encoding a relatively well-characterized filamentous phage, which contributes to the bacterial biofilm organization and maturation. Pf4 variants are considered as superinfectives when they can re-infect and kill the prophage-carrying host. Herein, the response of P. aeruginosa H103 to Pf4 variant infection was investigated. This phage variant caused partial lysis of the bacterial population and modulated H103 physiology. We show by confocal laser scanning microscopy that a Pf4 variant-infection altered P. aeruginosa H103 biofilm architecture either in static or dynamic conditions. Interestingly, in the latter condition, numerous cells displayed a filamentous morphology, suggesting a link between this phenotype and flow-related forces. In addition, Pf4 variant-infection resulted in cell envelope stress response, mostly mediated by the AlgU and SigX extracytoplasmic function sigma factors (ECFσ). AlgU and SigX involvement may account, at least partly, for the enhanced expression level of genes involved in the biosynthesis pathways of two matrix exopolysaccharides (Pel and alginates) and bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) metabolism.

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