Caister Academic Press

Cell-to-cell Communication and Biofilm Formation of Members of the Genus Burkholderia: A Story of Multilingually Talented Bacteria

Nadine Schmid, Gabriella Pessi, Claudio Aguilar and Leo Eberl
from: Burkholderia: From Genomes to Function (Edited by: Tom Coenye and Eshwar Mahenthiralingam). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Members of the genus Burkholderia appear to be particularly loquacious. Evidence has accumulated over the past few years that these bacteria are capable of utilizing at least three different chemical languages: N-acyl homoserine lactones, cis-2-unsaturated fatty acids and quinolones. Here we summarize the current knowledge of the underlying molecular architectures of these communication systems and show that they are involved in the control of some highly conserved functions, including the production of extracellular proteolytic enzymes, motility, antifungal activity, expression of virulence factors and biofilm formation. Particular attention is paid to the role of these communication systems in the formation of surface-associated consortia and the genes that are required for the sessile lifestyle of this group of bacteria. The new emerging role of the intracellular secondary messenger cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) in biofilm formation and especially as a downstream regulatory element of the fatty acid signaling cascade is discussed. Finally, given that these communication systems are required for both biofilm formation and pathogenicity, they are suggested to represent highly valuable targets for the development of novel antibacterial drugs read more ...
Access full text
Related articles ...