In Burkholderia cenocepacia, the second messenger cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) has previously been shown to positively regulate biofilm formation and the expression of cellulose and type-I fimbriae genes through binding to the transcriptional regulator Bcam1349. Here, we provide evidence that cellulose and type-I fimbriae are not involved in B. cenocepacia biofilm formation in flow chambers, and we identify a novel Bcam1349/c-di-GMP-regulated exopolysaccharide gene cluster which is essential for B. cenocepacia biofilm formation. Overproduction of Bcam1349 in trans promotes wrinkly colony morphology, pellicle, and biofilm formation in B. cenocepacia. A screen for transposon mutants unable to respond to the overproduction of Bcam1349 led to the identification of a 12-gene cluster, Bcam1330-Bcam1341, the products of which appear to be involved in the production of a putative biofilm matrix exopolysaccharide and to be essential for flow-chamber biofilm formation. We demonstrate that Bcam1349 binds to the promoter region of genes in the Bcam1330-Bcam1341 cluster and that this binding is enhanced by the presence of c-di-GMP. Furthermore, we demonstrate that overproduction of both c-di-GMP and Bcam1349 leads to increased transcription of these genes, indicating that c-di-GMP and Bcam1349 functions together in regulating exopolysaccharide production from the Bcam1330-Bcam1341 gene cluster. Our results suggest that the product encoded by the Bcam1330-Bcam1341 gene cluster is a major exopolysaccharide that provides structural stability to the biofilms formed by B. cenocepacia, and that its production is regulated by c-di-GMP through binding to and promotion of the activity of the transcriptional regulator Bcam1349.
Microbiologyopen, 2013, Vol 2, Issue 1, p. 105-122