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Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100, a predator of Gram-negative bacteria, benefits energetically from Staphylococcus aureus biofilms without predation

The ISME Journalvolume 12pages20902095 (2018) | Download Citation


Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100 is a predatory bacterium which lives by invading the periplasm of Gram-negative bacteria and consuming them from within. Although B. bacteriovorus HD100 attacks only Gram-negative bacterial strains, our work here shows attack-phase predatory cells also benefit from interacting with Gram-positive biofilms. Using Staphylococcus aureus biofilms, we show this predator degrades the biofilm matrix, obtains nutrients and uses these to produce and secrete proteolytic enzymes to continue this process. When exposed to S. aureus biofilms, the transcriptome of B. bacteriovorus HD100 was analogous to that seen when present intraperiplasmically, suggesting it is responding similarly as when in a prey. Moreover, two of the induced proteases (Bd2269 and Bd2692) were purified and their activities against S. aureus biofilms verified. In addition, B. bacteriovorus HD100 gained several clear benefits from its interactions with S. aureus biofilms, including increased ATP pools and improved downstream predatory activities when provided prey.

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Funding for this research was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea within the General Research Program (Grant No. 2016R1D1A1A09919912). We thank them for the financial support. The following reagent was provided by the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (NARSA) for distribution by BEI Resources, NIAID, NIH: Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus Strain JE2 (NR-46543)

Author contributions

MD and HI designed and carried out the experiments. RJM supervised the experimental work. MD, HI, and RJM evaluated the data. MD, HI, and RJM wrote the manuscript.

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    1. School of Life Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea

      • Hansol Im
      •  & Robert J. Mitchell
    2. Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa, Japan, 904-0495

      • Mohammed Dwidar


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    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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    Correspondence to Mohammed Dwidar or Robert J. Mitchell.

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