1887

Abstract

is a Gram-negative bacterium able to detoxify arsenic-contaminated environments by oxidizing arsenite [As(III)] to arsenate [As(V)] and by scavenging arsenic ions in an extracellular matrix. Its motility and colonization behaviour have been previously suggested to be influenced by arsenite. Using time-course confocal laser scanning microscopy, we investigated its biofilm development in the absence and presence of arsenite. Arsenite was shown to delay biofilm initiation in the wild-type strain; this was partly explained by its toxicity, which caused an increased growth lag time. However, this delayed adhesion step in the presence of arsenite was not observed in either a swimming motility defective mutant or an arsenite oxidase defective mutant; both strains displayed the wild-type surface properties and growth capacities. We propose that during the biofilm formation process arsenite acts on swimming motility as a result of the arsenite oxidase activity, preventing the switch between planktonic and sessile lifestyles. Our study therefore highlights the existence, under arsenite exposure, of a competition between swimming motility, resulting from arsenite oxidation, and biofilm initiation.

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2010-08-01
2020-06-01
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