Specific control of Pseudomonas aeruginosa surface-associated behaviors by two c-di-GMP diguanylate cyclases

Judith H. Merritt, Dae Gon Ha, Kimberly N. Cowles, Wenyun Lu, Diana K. Morales, Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Zemer Gitai, George A. O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


The signaling nucleotide cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) regulates the transition between motile and sessile growth in a wide range of bacteria. Understanding how microbes control c-di-GMP metabolism to activate specific pathways is complicated by the apparent multifold redundancy of enzymes that synthesize and degrade this dinucleotide, and several models have been proposed to explain how bacteria coordinate the actions of these many enzymes. Here we report the identification of a diguanylate cyclase (DGC), RoeA, of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that promotes the production of extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) and contributes to biofilm formation, that is, the transition from planktonic to surface-dwelling cells. Our studies reveal that RoeA and the previously described DGC SadC make distinct contributions to biofilm formation, controlling polysaccharide production and flagellar motility, respectively. Measurement of total cellular levels of c-di-GMP in ΔroeA and ΔsadC mutants in two different genetic backgrounds revealed no correlation between levels of c-di-GMP and the observed phenotypic output with regard to swarming motility and EPS production. Our data strongly argue against a model wherein changes in total levels of c-di-GMP can account for the specific surface-related phenotypes of P. aeruginosa. IMPORTANCE: A critical question in the study of cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) signaling is how the bacterial cell integrates contributions of multiple c-di-GMP-metabolizing enzymes to mediate its cognate functional outputs. One leading model suggests that the effects of c-di-GMP must, in part, be localized subcellularly. The data presented here show that the phenotypes controlled by two different diguanylate cyclase (DGC) enzymes have discrete outputs despite the same total level of c-di-GMP. These data support and extend the model in which localized c-di-GMP signaling likely contributes to coordination of the action of the multiple proteins involved in the synthesis, degradation, and/or binding of this critical signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00183-10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Specific control of Pseudomonas aeruginosa surface-associated behaviors by two c-di-GMP diguanylate cyclases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this