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Bacterial Bioluminescence: Light Emission in Photobacterium phosphoreum Is Not Under Quorum-Sensing Control

Abstract : Bacterial-bioluminescence regulation is often associated with quorum sensing. Indeed, many studies have been made on this subject and indicate that the expression of the light-emission-involved genes is density dependent. However, most of these studies have concerned two model species, Aliivibrio fischeri and Vibrio campbellii. Very few works have been done on bioluminescence regulation for the other bacterial genera. Yet, according to the large variety of habitats of luminous marine bacteria, it would not be surprising to find different light-regulation systems. In this study, we used Photobacterium phosphoreum ANT-2200, a piezophilic bioluminescent strain isolated from Mediterranean deep-sea waters (2200-m depth). To answer the question of whether or not the bioluminescence of P. phosphoreum ANT-2200 is under quorum-sensing control, we focused on the correlation between growth and light emission through physiological, genomic and, transcriptomic approaches. Unlike A. fischeri and V. campbellii, the light of P. phosphoreum ANT-2200 immediately increases from its initial level. Interestingly, the emitted light increases at much higher rate at the low cell density than it does for higher cell-density values. The expression level of the light-emission-involved genes stays constant all along the exponential growth phase. We also showed that, even when more light is produced, when the strain is cultivated at high hydrostatic pressure, no change in the transcription level of these genes can be detected. Through different experiments and approaches, our results clearly indicate that, under the tested conditions, the genes, directly involved in the bioluminescence in P. phosphoreum ANT-2200, are not controlled at a transcriptomic level. Quite obviously, these results demonstrate that the light emission of the strain is not density dependent, which means not under quorum-sensing control. Through this study, we point out that bacterial-bioluminescence regulation should not, from now on, be always linked with the quorum-sensing control.
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Lisa Tanet, Christian Tamburini, Chloé Baumas, Marc Garel, Gwenola Simon, et al.. Bacterial Bioluminescence: Light Emission in Photobacterium phosphoreum Is Not Under Quorum-Sensing Control. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2019, 10, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2019.00365⟩. ⟨hal-02055577⟩

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