Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.4, 988-994, 2020
SspA positively controls exopolysaccharides production and biofilm formation by up-regulating the algU expression in Pseudoalteromonas sp. R3
Biofilm formation enhances the survival and persistence of microorganisms in response to environmental stresses. It has been revealed that stringent starvation protein A (SspA) can function as an important regulator dealing with environmental stresses for bacterial survival. However, the connection between SspA and biofilm formation is essentially unclear yet. In this study, we presented evidence showing SspA positively controls biofilm formation by up-regulating exopolysaccharides (EPS) production in marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. R3. Both qPCR and lacZ reporter system congruously revealed that SspA positively controls the expression of EPS biosynthesis gene cluster. Unlike generally accepted thought that SspA regulates bacterial physiology by inhibiting the expression of histone-like nucleotide structuring protein (H-NS) gene, the function of SspA on EPS production and biofilm formation in Pseudoalteromonas sp. R3 is H-NS-independent. Instead, SspA positively regulates the expression of sigma factor AlgU-encoding gene, thus affecting EPS biosynthesis and biofilm formation. In view of the important role of SspA in biofilm formation, we believe that the improvement of tolerance to marine environmental stresses could be related to tuning of SspA-involved biofilm formation. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.