Ethanol decreases Pseudomonas aeruginosa flagellar motility through a cyclic-di-GMP- and stator-dependent pathway
AbstractPseudomonas aeruginosa frequently encounters microbes that produce bioactive metabolites including ethanol. At concentrations that do not affect growth, we found that ethanol reduces P. aeruginosa motility by 30% in a swim agar assay and this decrease is accompanied by a 2.5-fold increase in levels of cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP), a second messenger that represses motility, in planktonic cells. A screen of mutants lacking genes involved in c-di-GMP metabolism identified SadC and GcbA
... ied SadC and GcbA as diguanylate cyclases involved in swim zone reduction by ethanol and ethanol-induced c-di-GMP production. The reduction of swimming in response to ethanol also required the stator set, MotAB, two PilZ-domain proteins (FlgZ and PilZ), PilY1-a proposed surface-sensing protein, and PilMNOP, which comprises the pilus alignment complex and these proteins have been previously implicated in the control of motility on agar surfaces. Microscopic analysis of the fraction of quiescent cells in swim medium showed that ethanol decreased the portion of motile cells in the wild type, but had opposite effects in the ∆pilY1, ∆pilMNOP, ∆motAB, and ∆pilZ∆flgZ mutants. Together, these data indicate ethanol induces a regulated change in motility in planktonic cells at concentrations similar to those produced by other microbes. We propose that this ethanol-responsiveness may contribute to the co-localization of P. aeruginosa with ethanol-producing microbes.