Biofilms can be defined as a community of microorganisms attached to a surface, living embedded in a self- produced matrix of hydrated extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) which comprises most of the biofilm mass. We have recently used an extensive pool of microscopy techniques (confocal fluorescence, electron and scanning probe microscopies) at the micro and nanoscales in order to create a detailed temporal observation of Xylella fastidiosa biofilm formation, using both wild type strain and Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-modified cells of this citrus phytopathogen. We have identified three different EPS compositions, as well as their spatial and temporal distribution from single cell to mature biofilm formation stages. In the initial adhesion stage, soluble-EPS (S-EPS) accumulates at cell polar regions and forms a surface layer which facilitates irreversible cell attachment and cell cluster formation. These small clusters are subsequently connected by filamentous cells; further S-EPS surface coverage facilitates cell attachment and form filaments, leading to a floating framework of mature biofilms. The important role of EPS in X.fastidiosa biology was further investigated by imunolabelling experiments to detect the distribution of XadA1 adhesin, which is expressed in early stages of biofilm formation and released in outer membrane vesicles. This protein is located mainly in S-EPS covered areas, as well as on the filaments, indicating a molecular pathway to the enhanced cell attachment previously observed. These results suggest that S-EPS may thus represent an important target for disease control, slow plant colonization by the bacteria, keeping the plant more productive in the field.
Richard Janissen, Duber M. Murillo, Barbara Niza, Prasana K. Sahoo, Moniellen P. Monteiro, Carlos L. César, Hernandes F. Carvalho, Alessandra A. de Souza, and Monica A. Cotta, "Filamentation and spatiotemporal distribution of extracellular polymeric substances: role on X.fastidiosa single cell adhesion and biofilm formation
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9711, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IX, 97110H (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213830.4848767203001.
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