Peer pressure from a Proteus mirabilis self-recognition system controls participation in cooperative swarm motility: [article]

Murray J Tipping, Karine A Gibbs
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
Colonies of the opportunistic pathogen Proteus mirabilis can distinguish self from non-self: in swarming colonies of two different strains, one strain excludes the other from the expanding colony edge. Predominant models characterize bacterial kin discrimination as immediate antagonism towards non-kin cells, typically through delivery of toxin effector molecules from one cell into its neighbor. Upon effector delivery, receiving cells must either neutralize it by presenting a cognate anti-toxin,
more » ... as would a clonal sibling, or suffer cell death or irreversible growth inhibition, as would a non-kin cell. Here we expand this paradigm to explain the non-lethal Ids self-recognition system, which stops access to a cooperative social behavior in P. mirabilis through a distinct mechanism: selectively and transiently inducing non-self cells into a lifestyle incompatible with cooperative swarming. This state is characterized by reduced expression of genes associated with protein synthesis, virulence, and motility, and also causes non-self cells to tolerate previously lethal concentrations of antibiotics. We found that entry into this state requires a temporary activation of the stringent response in non-self cells and results in the iterative exclusion of non-self cells as a swarm colony migrates outwards. These data clarify the intricate connection between non-lethal recognition and the lifecycle of P. mirabilis swarm colonies.
doi:10.1101/490771 fatcat:4mptxsslqnaijguojefzuda4yq