Quorum-sensing (QS) allows bacterial communication to coordinate the production of extracellular products essential for population fitness at higher cell densities. It has been generally accepted that a significant time duration is required to reach appropriate cell density to activate the relevant quiescent genes encoding these costly but beneficial public goods. Which regulatory genes are involved and how these genes control bacterial communication at the early phases are largely un-explored. By determining time-dependent expression of QS-related genes of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aerugionsa, we show that the induction of social cooperation could be critically influenced by environmental factors to optimize the density of population. In particular, small regulatory RNAs (RsmY and RsmZ) serving as early responders, can promote the expression of dependent genes (e.g. lasR) to boost the synthesis of intracellular enzymes and coordinate instant cooperative behavior in bacterial cells. These early responders, acting as a rheostat to finely modulate bacterial cooperation, which may be quickly activated under environment threats, but peter off when critical QS dependent genes are fully functional for cooperation. Our findings suggest that RsmY and RsmZ critically control the timing and levels of public goods production, which may have implications in sociomicrobiology and infection control.

Cite: Kelei Zhao, Yi Li, Bisong Yue, Min Wu (2014) Genes as Early Responders Regulate Quorum-sensing and Contro1 Bacterial Cooperation in Pesudomonas aerugionosa. PLoS ONE. 9 (7) : e101887.

期刊杂志: PLoS ONE

影响因子: 3.534

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101887