Phenotypic heterogeneity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates in the protected nature park ‘Palić’ (Serbia)

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a globally distributed environmental bacterium, which is also a significant opportunistic pathogen of humans, animals and plants. It is considered that wide distribution of this bacterium is connected with its most significant constitutive property to form biofilms, and that this multicellular mode of growth, predominant in nature, serves as a protective mechanism against unfavourable environmental conditions. The work presented here examines the phenotypic diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa environmental isolates with respect to biofilm production capacity under different environmental conditions (temperature, pH, NaCl), production of virulence factors, and motility. The purpose of this work is to present the production of two quorum sensing-regulated virulence factors (rhamnolipids and pyocyanin), explore different motility tests (swimming, swarming and twitching) and discover potential relationship between assessed phenotypic features. Obtained results delineate environmental conditions coinciding with biofilm production and suggest a high correlation between rhamnolipid production levels and biofilm formation. Rhamnolipids affect motility competence, yet only the flagellum-mediated swimming motility has significant impact on the biofilm formation potential. Although it is challenging to demarcate a definitive, clear correlation between parameters tested, rhamnolipid content appears to serve as a link between the tested phenotypic factors.

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