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Characterization of Edwardsiella tarda rpoS: effect on serum resistance, chondroitinase activity, biofilm formation, and autoinducer synthetases expression


In this study, rpoS gene was identified from Edwardsiella tarda EIB202 and its functional role was analyzed by using an in-frame deletion mutant ∆rpoS and the complemental strain rpoS +. Compared with the wild type and rpoS +, ∆rpoS was impaired in terms of the ability to survive under oxidative stress and nutrient starvation, as well as the resistance to 50% serum of Scophthalmus maximus in 3 h, demonstrating essential roles of RpoS in stress adaptation. The rpoS mutant also displayed markedly increased chondroitinase activity and biofilm formation. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that the expression level of quorum sensing autoinducer synthetase genes luxS and edwI was increased by 3.7- and 2.5-fold in the rpoS mutant strain. Those results suggested that rpoS might be involved in the negative or positive regulation of chondroitinase and biofilm formation, or quorum sensing networks in E. tarda, respectively. Although there were no obvious differences between the wild-type and the rpoS mutant in adherence of epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cell and in the lethality on fish model, rpoS deletion leads to the drastically reduced capacity for E. tarda to internalize in EPC cells, indicating that RpoS was, while not the main, the factor required for the virulence network of E. tarda.

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This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Agriculture of China (No. nyhyzx07-046), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (No. 2008AA092501) as well as by the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (No. B505) as well as by the National Special Fund for State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering (No. 2060204).

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Correspondence to Qiyao Wang or Yuanxing Zhang.

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Xiao, J., Wang, Q., Liu, Q. et al. Characterization of Edwardsiella tarda rpoS: effect on serum resistance, chondroitinase activity, biofilm formation, and autoinducer synthetases expression. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 83, 151–160 (2009).

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  • Edwardsiella tarda
  • Chondroitinase
  • rpoS
  • Virulence
  • Quorum sensing