Evolution of exploitative interactions during diversification in Bacillus subtilis biofilms

Dragos, Anna and Lakshmanan, Nivedha and Martin, Marivic and Horváth, Balázs and Maróti, Gergely and Falcón García, Carolina and Lieleg, Oliver and T. Kovács, Ákos (2018) Evolution of exploitative interactions during diversification in Bacillus subtilis biofilms. FEMS MICROBIOLOGY ECOLOGY, 94 (1). ISSN 0168-6496

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Microbial biofilms are tightly packed, heterogeneous structures that serve as arenas for social interactions. Studies on Gram negative models reveal that during evolution in structured environments like biofilms, isogenic populations commonly diversify into phenotypically and genetically distinct variants. These variants can settle in alternative biofilm niches and develop new types of interactions that greatly influence population productivity. Here, we explore the evolutionary diversification of pellicle biofilms of the Gram positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We discovered that-similarly to other species-B. subtilis diversifies into distinct colony variants. These variants dramatically differ in biofilm formation abilities and expression of biofilm-related genes. In addition, using a quantitative approach, we reveal striking differences in surface complexity and hydrophobicity of the evolved colony types. Interestingly, one of the morphotypes completely lost the ability of independent biofilm formation and evolved to hitchhike with other morphotypes with improved biofilm forming abilities. Genome comparison suggests that major phenotypic transformations between the morphotypes can be triggered by subtle genetic differences. Our work demonstrates how positive complementarity effects and exploitative interactions intertwine during evolutionary diversification in biofilms.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia > QH3011 Biochemistry / biokémia
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 14:05
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 14:05

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