The effect of mutations affecting synthesis of lipopolysaccharides and calcofluor-binding polysaccharides on biofilm formation by Azospirillum brasilense

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Abstract

The thickness and antigenic properties of biofilms produced by Azospirillum brasilense Sp245 and its mutants deficient in the synthesis of lipopolysaccharides (Lps) and calcofluor-binding polysaccharides (CBPS) at the interface between water and hydrophilic or hydrophobic solid surfaces were compared. The mutants deficient in acidic LpsI synthesis produce thicker biofilms on hydrophilic surfaces. Biofilms produced on hydrophobic surfaces by bacteria that are unable to synthesize CBPS are less pronounced. Defects in CBPS production in Azospirillum mutants with impaired flagellar motility can cause adverse effects on the cell ability to attach to hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. The loss of the neutral LpsII antigen by the mutants capable of producing CBPS does not affect their behavior on hydrophobic surfaces, which is probably due to the compensatory increase in the total polysaccharide production. The fundamental change in the Lps structure correlates with the activation of biofilm formation by the relevant mutants on hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces.

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