Article

Roles of two Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 extracellular endonucleases.

Department of Ecophysiology, Max-Planck-Institut fu¨r terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Marburg, Germany.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 06/2011; 77(15):5342-51. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00643-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The dissimilatory iron-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 is capable of using extracellular DNA (eDNA) as the sole source of carbon, phosphorus, and nitrogen. In addition, we recently demonstrated that S. oneidensis MR-1 requires eDNA as a structural component during all stages of biofilm formation. In this study, we characterize the roles of two Shewanella extracellular endonucleases, ExeS and ExeM. While ExeS is likely secreted into the medium, ExeM is predicted to remain associated with the cell envelope. Both exeM and exeS are highly expressed under phosphate-limited conditions. Mutants lacking exeS and/or exeM exhibit decreased eDNA degradation; however, the capability of S. oneidensis MR-1 to use DNA as the sole source of phosphorus is only affected in mutants lacking exeM. Neither of the two endonucleases alleviates toxic effects of increased eDNA concentrations. The deletion of exeM and/or exeS significantly affects biofilm formation of S. oneidensis MR-1 under static conditions, and expression of exeM and exeS drastically increases during static biofilm formation. Under hydrodynamic conditions, a deletion of exeM leads to altered biofilms that consist of densely packed structures which are covered by a thick layer of eDNA. Based on these results, we hypothesize that a major role of ExeS and, in particular, ExeM of S. oneidensis MR-1, is to degrade eDNA as a matrix component during biofilm formation to improve nutrient supply and to enable detachment.

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