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The cost and benefit of quorum sensing controlled bacteriocin production in Lactobacillus plantarum

Citation

Maldonado-Barragán, Antonio; West, Stuart A. (2019), The cost and benefit of quorum sensing controlled bacteriocin production in Lactobacillus plantarum, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vmcvdncp4

Abstract

Bacteria eliminate competitors via ‘chemical warfare’ with bacteriocins. Some species appear to adjust bacteriocin production conditionally in response to the social environment. We tested whether variation in the cost and benefit of producing bacteriocins could explain such conditional behaviour, in the bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum. We found that: (1) bacterial bacteriocin production could be upregulated by either the addition of a synthetic autoinducer peptide (PLNC8IF; signalling molecule), or by a plasmid which constitutively encodes for the production of this peptide; (2) bacteriocin production is costly, leading to reduced growth when grown in poor and, to a lesser extent, in rich media; (3) bacteriocin production provides a fitness advantage, when grown in competition with sensitive strains; (4) the fitness benefits provided by bacteriocin production is greater at higher cell densities. These results show how the costs and benefits of upregulating bacteriocin production can depend upon abiotic and biotic conditions.

Funding

Project approved by the Andalucía Talent Hub Program launched by the Andalusian Knowledge Agency, co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (COFUND – Grant Agreement nº 291780) and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Junta de Andalucía., Award: Grant Agreement nº 291780