Characterization of starvation-induced dispersion in Pseudomonas putida biofilms: genetic elements and molecular mechanisms

Mol Microbiol. 2010 Feb;75(4):815-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06793.x. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


Pseudomonas putida OUS82 biofilm dispersal was previously shown to be dependent on the gene PP0164 (here designated lapG). Sequence and structural analysis has suggested that the LapG geneproduct belongs to a family of cysteine proteinases that function in the modification of bacterial surface proteins. We provide evidence that LapG is involved in P. putida OUS82 biofilm dispersal through modification of the outer membrane-associated protein LapA. While the P. putida lapG mutant formed more biofilm than the wild-type, P. putida lapA and P. putida lapAG mutants displayed decreased surface adhesion and were deficient in subsequent biofilm formation, suggesting that LapG affects LapA, and that the LapA protein functions both as a surface adhesin and as a biofilm matrix component. Lowering of the intracellular c-di-GMP level via induction of an EAL domain protein led to dispersal of P. putida wild-type biofilm but did not disperse P. putida lapG biofilm, indicating that LapG exerts its activity on LapA in response to a decrease in the intracellular c-di-GMP level. In addition, evidence is provided that associated to LapA a cellulase-degradable exopolysaccharide is part of the P. putida biofilm matrix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Biofilms*
  • Cyclic GMP / analogs & derivatives
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Cysteine Proteases / chemistry
  • Cysteine Proteases / metabolism
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Mutagenesis
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Pseudomonas putida / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas putida / physiology*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • bis(3',5')-cyclic diguanylic acid
  • Cysteine Proteases
  • Cyclic GMP