Quorum sensing (QS) is a process by which bacteria communicate using secreted chemical signaling molecules called autoinducers (AIs). By this process, many bacterial species modulate the expression of a wide variety of physiological functions in response to changes in population density. In this study, the periodontal pathogen Eikenella corrodens was observed to secrete type 2 signaling molecules. An ortholog of luxS, the gene required for AI-2 synthesis in Vibrio harveyi, was isolated from the E. corrodens genome. A V. harveyi bioassay showed luxS functionality in E. corrodens and the ability of luxS to complement the luxS-negative phenotype of Escherichia coli DH5α. AI activity was detected in the supernatant, and the maximum expression of AI-2 was observed during the late exponential phase. To determine the potential role of luxS in the colonization processes, an E. corrodens luxS mutant was constructed and tested for its capacity to form an in vitro biofilm on a polystyrene surface. The biofilm forming efficiency of the luxS mutant was approximately 1.3-fold greater than that of the wild type. These data suggest that a LuxS-dependent signal plays a role in the biofilm formation by E. corrodens.
- Eikenella corrodens
- quorum sensing