Proteins with GGDEF and EAL domains regulate Pseudomonas putida biofilm formation and dispersal


  • Editor: David Clarke

Correspondence: Tim Tolker-Nielsen, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 301, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark, UK. Tel.: +45 45 25 27 93; fax: +45 45 88 73 28; e-mail:


Microbial biofilm formation often causes problems in medical and industrial settings, and knowledge about the factors that are involved in biofilm development and dispersion is useful for creating strategies to control the processes. In this report, we present evidence that proteins with GGDEF and EAL domains are involved in the regulation of biofilm formation and biofilm dispersion in Pseudomonas putida. Overexpression in P. putida of the Escherichia coli YedQ protein, which contains a GGDEF domain, resulted in increased biofilm formation. Overexpression in P. putida of the E. coli YhjH protein, which contains an EAL domain, strongly inhibited biofilm formation. Induction of YhjH expression in P. putida cells situated in established biofilms led to rapid dispersion of the biofilms. These results support the emerging theme that GGDEF-domain and EAL-domain proteins are involved in regulating the transition of bacteria between a roaming lifestyle and a sessile biofilm lifestyle.