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  • Identification of a Transcriptomic Network Underlying the Wrinkly and Smooth Phenotypes of Vibrio fischeri.

Identification of a Transcriptomic Network Underlying the Wrinkly and Smooth Phenotypes of Vibrio fischeri.

Journal of bacteriology (2020-11-18)
Alba Chavez-Dozal, William Soto, Michele K Nishiguchi
ABSTRACT

Vibrio fischeri is a cosmopolitan marine bacterium that oftentimes displays different colony morphologies, switching from a smooth to a wrinkly phenotype in order to adapt to changes in the environment. This wrinkly phenotype has also been associated with increased biofilm formation, an essential characteristic for V. fischeri to adhere to substrates, to suspended debris, and within the light organs of sepiolid squids. Elevated levels of biofilm formation are correlated with increased microbial survival of exposure to environmental stressors and the ability to expand niche breadth. Since V. fischeri has a biphasic life history strategy between its free-living and symbiotic states, we were interested in whether the wrinkly morphotype demonstrated differences in its expression profile in comparison to the naturally occurring and more common smooth variant. We show that genes involved in major biochemical cascades, including those involved in protein sorting, oxidative stress, and membrane transport, play a role in the wrinkly phenotype. Interestingly, only a few unique genes are specifically involved in macromolecule biosynthesis in the wrinkly phenotype, which underlies the importance of other pathways utilized for adaptation under the conditions in which Vibrio bacteria are producing this change in phenotype. These results provide the first comprehensive analysis of the complex form of genetic activation that underlies the diversity in morphologies of V. fischeri when switching between two different colony morphotypes, each representing a unique biofilm ecotype.IMPORTANCE The wrinkly bacterial colony phenotype has been associated with increased squid host colonization in V. fischeri The significance of our research is in identifying the genetic mechanisms that are responsible for heightened biofilm formation in V. fischeri This report also advances our understanding of gene regulation in V. fischeri and brings to the forefront a number of previously overlooked genetic networks. Several loci that were identified in this study were not previously known to be associated with biofilm formation in V. fischeri.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Corning® 96 Well Clear Polystyrene Microplate, flat bottom clear, Tissue Culture (TC)-treated surface, bag of 20, sterile, lid
Sigma-Aldrich
Mechlorethamine hydrochloride, 98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Cellulase from Aspergillus niger, powder, ≥0.3 units/mg solid