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Spontaneous mutations in the flhD operon generate motility heterogeneity in Escherichia coli biofilm

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Microbiology, November 2016
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (63rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

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6 tweeters
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Citations

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Title
Spontaneous mutations in the flhD operon generate motility heterogeneity in Escherichia coli biofilm
Published in
BMC Microbiology, November 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12866-016-0878-1
Pubmed ID
Authors

Shelley M. Horne, Joseph Sayler, Nicholas Scarberry, Meredith Schroeder, Ty Lynnes, Birgit M. Prüß

Abstract

Heterogeneity and niche adaptation in bacterial biofilm involve changes to the genetic makeup of the bacteria and gene expression control. We hypothesized that i) spontaneous mutations in the flhD operon can either increase or decrease motility and that ii) the resulting motility heterogeneity in the biofilm might lead to a long-term increase in biofilm biomass. We allowed the highly motile E. coli K-12 strain MC1000 to form seven- and fourteen-day old biofilm, from which we recovered reduced motility isolates at a substantially greater frequency (5.4 %) than from a similar experiment with planktonic bacteria (0.1 %). Biofilms formed exclusively by MC1000 degraded after 2 weeks. In contrast, biofilms initiated with a 1:1 ratio of MC1000 and its isogenic flhD::kn mutant remained intact at 4 weeks and the two strains remained in equilibrium for at least two weeks. These data imply that an 'optimal' biofilm may contain a mixture of motile and non-motile bacteria. Twenty-eight of the non-motile MC1000 isolates contained an IS1 element in proximity to the translational start of FlhD or within the open reading frames for FlhD or FlhC. Two isolates had an IS2 and one isolate had an IS5 in the open reading frame for FlhD. An additional three isolates contained deletions that included the RNA polymerase binding site, five isolates contained point mutations and small deletions in the open reading frame for FlhC. The locations of all these mutations are consistent with the lack of motility and further downstream within the flhD operon than previously published IS elements that increased motility. We believe that the location of the mutation within the flhD operon determines whether the effect on motility is positive or negative. To test the second part of our hypothesis where motility heterogeneity in a biofilm may lead to a long-term increase in biofilm biomass, we quantified biofilm biomass by MC1000, MC1000 flhD::kn, and mixtures of the two strains at ratios of 1:1, 10:1, and 1:10. After 3 weeks, biofilm of the mixed cultures contained up to five times more biomass than biofilm of each of the individual strains. Mutations in the flhD operon can exert positive or negative effects on motility, depending on the site of the mutation. We believe that this is a mechanism to generate motility heterogeneity within E. coli biofilm, which may help to maintain biofilm biomass over extended periods of time.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 22 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 22 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 41%
Student > Master 3 14%
Student > Bachelor 3 14%
Other 2 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 5%
Other 4 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 10 45%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 23%
Immunology and Microbiology 2 9%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 1 5%
Physics and Astronomy 1 5%
Other 2 9%
Unknown 1 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 November 2016.
All research outputs
#2,252,661
of 8,636,243 outputs
Outputs from BMC Microbiology
#327
of 1,417 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#85,895
of 245,124 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Microbiology
#15
of 62 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,636,243 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 60th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,417 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 3.2. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 245,124 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 63% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 62 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.