Small-colony variant selection as a survival strategy for Staphylococcus aureus in the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Nov;75(21):6910-2. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01211-09. Epub 2009 Aug 28.


Previously it has been demonstrated that Staphylococcus aureus is sensitive toward Pseudomonas-secreted exotoxins, which preferentially target the electron transport chain in staphylococci. Here it is shown that a subpopulation of S. aureus survives these respiratory toxins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by selection of the small-colony variant (SCV) phenotype. Purified pyocyanin alone causes the same effect. A hemB mutant of S. aureus survives cocultivation with P. aeruginosa without a decrease in CFU.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis*
  • Microbial Viability*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*
  • Pyocyanine / toxicity
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • Pyocyanine