Spontaneous quorum-sensing hierarchy reprogramming in Pseudomonas aeruginosa laboratory strain PAO1.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1 has been commonly used in the laboratory, with frequent genome variations reported. Quorum sensing (QS), a cell-cell communication system, plays important role in controlling a variety of virulence factors. However, the evolution and adaptability of QS in those laboratory strains are still poorly understood. Here we used the QS reporter and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to systematically investigate the QS phenotypes and corresponding genetic basis in collected laboratory PAO1 strains. We found that the PAO1-z strain has an inactive LasR protein, while bearing an active Rhl QS system and exhibiting QS-controlled protease-positive activity. Our study revealed that an 18-bp insertion in mexT gene gave rise to the active QS system in the PAO1-z strain. This MexT inactivation restored the QS activity caused by the inactive LasR, showing elevated production of pyocyanin, cyanide and elastase. Our results implied the evolutionary trajectory for the PAO1-z strain, with the evulutionary order from the first Las QS inactivation to the final Rhl QS activation. Our findings point out that QS homeostasis occurs in the laboratory P. aeruginosa strain, offering a potential platform for the QS study in clinical isolates.
Cheng, X; Lu, M; Qiu, H; Li, Y; Huang, L; Dai, W
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