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    STUDIA BIOLOGIA - Issue no. 1 / 2019  
         
  Article:   QUORUM SENSING: SIGNALING FROM HALOARCHAEA TO BACTERIA.

Authors:  THOMAS THOMPSON, ALESSANDRO BUSETTI, STEPHEN KELLY, VICTOR FUENTES, JULIANNE MEGAW, BRENDAN GILMORE.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  Cell-cell communication through the production of autoinducer molecules has been widely studied in bacteria and found to play a pivotal role in biofilm formation and gene regulation. Quorum Sensing (QS) within the domain Archaea is understudied compared with their bacterial counterparts. The aim of this study was to determine whether haloarchaea are capable of cross-kingdom signalling through the production of QS inducing and QS inhibitory compounds. The crude extract of different haloarchaea was screened for QS induction using the AHL reporter strains Agrobacterium tumefaciens ATCC BAA-2240, Chromobacterium violaceum CV026, and the Escherichia coli luminescence reporters JM109 pSB536, pSB401, and psB1142. The effect on virulence factor production was assessed using the Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutant strain PAO-MW1. Preliminary results revealed that different genera were capable of eliciting a QS response in the A. tumefaciens bio-reporter. Initial characterisation of the signaling molcules using LC-MS (QTOF) analysis, TLC-overlays, and other biochemical tests, suggested the possible production of butyryl homoserine lactones or homologs from a Halorubrum isolate. Importantly, this extract was able to restore the production of virulence factors, pyocyanin and pyoverdine, in PAO-MW1 emphasising the capacity of an archaeal autoinducer to be sensed by bacteria. Our findings raise new questions concerning the evolution and role of QS-systems in bacteria and archaea, on the evolutionary relationship that exists between these microorganisms and on the ability of the halophilic members of these two separate domains of the tree of life to interact.

Keywords: AHLs, haloarchaea, Halorubrum, quorum sensing, signaling
 
         
     
         
         
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