1887

Abstract

Single-celled bacteria are capable of acting as a community by sensing and responding to population density via quorum signalling. Quorum signalling in , mediated by the homologue, , regulates a variety of phenotypes including violacein pigmentation, virulence and biofilm formation. A number of biological and organic molecules have been described as quorum signalling inhibitors but, to date, metal-based inhibitors have not been widely tested. In this study, we show that quorum sensing is inhibited in in the presence of sub-lethal concentrations of cadmium salts. Notable Cd-inhibition was seen against pigmentation, motility, chitinase production and biofilm formation. Cd-inhibition of quorum-signalling genes occurred at the level of transcription. There was no direct inhibition of chitinase activity by Cd at the concentrations tested. Addition of the cognate quorum signals, -hexanoyl homoserine lactone or -decanoyl homoserine lactone, even at concentrations in excess of physiological levels, did not reverse the inhibition, suggesting that Cd-inhibition of quorum signaling is irreversible. This study represents the first description of heavy metal-based quorum inhibition in .

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2017-10-01
2020-01-25
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