In contrast maintenance of biofilm for prolonged incubation times, for both the wt and comC mutant FP64, was completely dependent on addition of synthetic CSP. In contrast the CSP receptor comD mutant (FP184) could not be complemented by addition of synthetic peptide [8, 14]. Microscopic examination at 18 to 24 hours showed absence of any biofilm-like structure in this condition. To confirm that the phenomena observed was serotype independent, we performed the
same experiment using the RX1 strain, a D39 derivative carrying the comCD1 allele and responsive to CSP1 (Figure 2b). As in TIGR4, there were two distinct phases of biofilm formation and maintenance, respectively independent and dependent Cytoskeletal Signaling inhibitor from competence. As described above also the D39 comD mutant resulted impaired in biofilm maintenance even in presence of CSP. Repetition Saracatinib ic50 of experiments with an unrelated comD deletion mutant in (FP421) yielded at 24 hours no detectable biofilm counts, as for the insertion mutant. These data confirm that the first phase of biofilm formation is competence-independent, while the second phase is competence-dependent. Figure 2 Dynamics of biofilm formation in the model based on exponentially growing cells. Biofilm formation in comC and comD mutants in different genetic backgrounds. Biofilm
formation in microtiter plates was evaluated in the presence (closed symbols) and absence of CSP (open symbols). Rough wt pneumococci (squares), the mutants for comC encoding CSP (circles) and for comD encoding the CSP-receptor histidine kinase (triangles) were assayed in parallel in a time course experiment. Panel A: Biofilm formation induced by CSP2 in strains derived from strain TIGR4 (comC2, comD2). Mutants assayed were FP23 (non-capsulated TIGR4) and its derivatives FP64 (comC mutant) and FP184 (comD mutant). Panel B: Biofilm formation induced by CSP1 in strains derived from D39 (comC1, comD1). Mutants assayed were RX1 (non-capsulated mutant) and its derivatives FP5 (comC mutant) and FP48 (comD mutant). Data of the
twelve time course experiments are from one representative series; repetition showed comparable results. To test the specificity of CSP effect on biofilm formation of the TIGR4 Chloroambucil strain, carrying the comCD2 alleles, biofilm formation was assayed with CSP1 and CSP2 . Incubation with CSP2 yielded biofilm counts of 105 CFU/well after 18 hours of incubation (Figure 1B). No cells were recovered when incubating without CSP or with CSP1 (Figure 1B). In parallel to TIGR4, biofilm formation was also assayed with FP218, a mutant for the response regulator of the related Blp bacteriocin peptide sensing system [31–33]. Incubation of FP218 with CSP2 yielded biofilm counts of 8 × 104 CFU/well, while no biofilm was detected after incubation with CSP1, the BlpC peptide of TIGR4 or the BlpC peptide of R6 (Figure 1B).