4 years ago

Characterization of the regulation of a plant polysaccharide utilization operon and its role in biofilm formation in <i>Bacillus subtilis</i>

Moshe Shemesh, Cameron Habib, Yunrong Chai, Yiyang Yu, Kevin Gozzi, Carly Ching

by Cameron Habib, Yiyang Yu, Kevin Gozzi, Carly Ching, Moshe Shemesh, Yunrong Chai

The soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis is often found in association with plants in the rhizosphere. Previously, plant polysaccharides have been shown to stimulate formation of root-associated multicellular communities, or biofilms, in this bacterium, yet the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. A five-gene gan operon (ganSPQAB) in B. subtilis has recently been shown to be involved in utilization of the plant-derived polysaccharide galactan. Despite these findings, molecular details about the regulation of the operon and the role of the operon in biofilm formation remain elusive. In this study, we performed comprehensive genetic analyses on the regulation of the gan operon. We show that this operon is regulated both by a LacI-like transcription repressor (GanR), which directly binds to pairs of inverted DNA repeats in the promoter region of the operon, and by the catabolite control protein A (CcpA). Derepression can be triggered by the presence of the inducer β-1,4-galactobiose, a hydrolysis product of galactan, or in situ when B. subtilis cells are associated with plant roots. In addition to the transcriptional regulation, the encoded ß-galactosidase GanA (by ganA), which hydrolyzes ß-1,4-galactobiose into galactose, is inhibited at the enzymatic level by the catalytic product galactose. Thus, the galactan utilization pathway is under complex regulation involving both positive and negative feedback mechanisms in B. subtilis. We discuss about the biological significance of such complex regulation as well as a hypothesis of biofilm induction by galactan via multiple mechanisms.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179761

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.