A Caltech Library Service

Bacterial Community Morphogenesis Is Intimately Linked to the Intracellular Redox State

Dietrich, Lars E. P. and Okegbe, Chinweike and Price-Whelan, Alexa and Sakhtah, Hassan and Hunter, Ryan C. and Newman, Dianne K. (2013) Bacterial Community Morphogenesis Is Intimately Linked to the Intracellular Redox State. Journal of Bacteriology, 195 (7). pp. 1371-1380. ISSN 0021-9193. PMCID PMC3624522. doi:10.1128/JB.02273-12.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Many microbial species form multicellular structures comprising elaborate wrinkles and concentric rings, yet the rules governing their architecture are poorly understood. The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces phenazines, small molecules that act as alternate electron acceptors to oxygen and nitrate to oxidize the intracellular redox state and that influence biofilm morphogenesis. Here, we show that the depth occupied by cells within colony biofilms correlates well with electron acceptor availability. Perturbations in the environmental provision, endogenous production, and utilization of electron acceptors affect colony development in a manner consistent with redox control. Intracellular NADH levels peak before the induction of colony wrinkling. These results suggest that redox imbalance is a major factor driving the morphogenesis of P. aeruginosa biofilms and that wrinkling itself is an adaptation that maximizes oxygen accessibility and thereby supports metabolic homeostasis. This type of redox-driven morphological change is reminiscent of developmental processes that occur in metazoans.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Price-Whelan, Alexa0000-0003-0872-7098
Hunter, Ryan C.0000-0003-3841-1676
Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Additional Information:© 2013 American Society for Microbiology. Received 21 December 2012. Accepted 27 December 2012. Published ahead of print 4 January 2013. We thank W. Ziebis, P. Girguis, G. Squyres, and D. Chapman for technical assistance. This research was supported by funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) (L.E.P.D., A.P.-W., R.C.H., and D.K.N.), a Gilliam fellowship from the HHMI (C.O.), an IGERT fellowship from the NSF (H.S.), and a startup fund from Columbia University to L.E.P.D. D.K.N. is an HHMI Investigator.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Columbia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC3624522
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130506-103435647
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Bacterial Community Morphogenesis Is Intimately Linked to the Intracellular Redox State Lars E. P. Dietrich, Chinweike Okegbe, Alexa Price-Whelan, Hassan Sakhtah, Ryan C. Hunter, and Dianne K. Newman J. Bacteriol. April 2013 195:1371-1380; published ahead of print 4 January 2013 , doi:10.1128/JB.02273-12
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38290
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 May 2013 18:10
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:36

Repository Staff Only: item control page