Bacteria participate in social behaviors by communicating with each other and forming surface-associated biofilms. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, such social behaviors are affected greatly by the environment. Although P. aeruginosa survive under anaerobic conditions, previous studies indicate that quorum sensing is attenuated under such conditions, and that this leads to decreased activity of extracellular virulence factors as compared to aerobic conditions. Hence it has come into question whether P. aeruginosa are virulent under anaerobic conditions. Here, we compared various phenotypes between PAO1 and clinical isolates under anaerobic conditions. Our data revealed that when grown anaerobically, growth and cell morphology greatly differed among the strains. One of the clinical isolates produced comparable amounts of quorum-sensing signaling molecules and extracellular virulence factors under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, while the other strains showed low production under anaerobic conditions. Biofilm formation also exhibited strain-dependent variations, suggesting that there are several mechanisms that lead to biofilm formation under anaerobic conditions. Taken together, these results indicate that the impact of anaerobiosis on the social interactions of P. aeruginosa is strain dependent, and suggest that multiple regulatory mechanisms are involved in the regulation of quorum sensing and biofilm formation under anaerobic conditions.
2013 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry