The copyright line of this article has been changed on 29 May 2014, since its first online publication.
Interference with the germination and growth of Ulva zoospores by quorum-sensing molecules from Ulva-associated epiphytic bacteria
Article first published online: 23 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Thematic Issue: Protists
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 445–453, February 2014
How to Cite
Twigg, M. S., Tait, K., Williams, P., Atkinson, S. and Cámara, M. (2014), Interference with the germination and growth of Ulva zoospores by quorum-sensing molecules from Ulva-associated epiphytic bacteria. Environmental Microbiology, 16: 445–453. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12203
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 23 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 26 JUN 2013 04:42AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 5 MAR 2013
- UK Natural Environment Research Council. Grant Number: NE/F012365/1
Ulva zoospores preferentially settle on N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) producing marine bacterial biofilms. To investigate whether AHL signal molecules also affect the success and rate of zoospore germination in addition to zoospore attraction, the epiphytic bacteria associated with mature Ulva linza were characterized and bacterial isolates representative of this community tested for the ability to produce AHLs. Two of these AHL-producing isolates, Sulfitobacter spp. 376 and Shewanella spp. 79, were transformed with plasmids expressing the Bacillus spp. AHL lactonase gene aiiA to generate AHL-deficient variants. The germination and growth of U. linza zoospores was studied in the presence of these AHL-deficient strains and their AHL-producing counterparts. This revealed that the AHLs produced by Sulfitobacter spp. and Shewanella spp. or the bacterial products they regulate have a negative impact on both zoospore germination and the early growth of the Ulva germling. Further experiments with Escherichia coli biofilms expressing recombinant AHL synthases and synthetic AHLs provide data to demonstrate that zoospores germinated and grown in the absence of AHLs were significantly longer than those germinated in the presence of AHLs. These results reveal an additional role for AHLs per se in the interactive relationships between marine bacteria and Ulva zoospores.