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Pili and other surface proteins influence the structure and the nanomechanical properties of Lactococcus lactis biofilms

Abstract : Lactic acid bacteria, in particular Lactococcus lactis, are widely used in the food industry, for the control and/or the protection of the manufacturing processes of fermented food. While L. lactis has been reported to form compact and uniform biofilms it was recently shown that certain strains able to display pili at their surface form more complex biofilms exhibiting heterogeneous and aerial structures. As the impact of those biofilm structures on the biomechanical properties of the biofilms is poorly understood, these were investigated using AFM force spectroscopy and imaging. Three types of strains were used i.e., a control strain devoid of pili and surface mucus-binding protein, a strain displaying pili but no mucus-binding proteins and a strain displaying both pili and a mucus-binding protein. To identify potential correlations between the nanomechanical measurements and the biofilm architecture, 24-h old biofilms were characterized by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Globally the strains devoid of pili displayed smoother and stiffer biofilms (Young Modulus of 4-100 kPa) than those of piliated strains (Young Modulus around 0.04-0.1 kPa). Additional display of a mucus-binding protein did not affect the biofilm stiffness but made the biofilm smoother and more compact. Finally, we demonstrated the role of pili in the biofilm cohesiveness by monitoring the homotypic adhesion of bacteria to the biofilm surface. These results will help to understand the role of pili and mucus-binding proteins withstanding external forces.
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https://hal.laas.fr/hal-03163203
Contributor : Etienne Dague <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 10:29:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 8:13:38 AM

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Ibrahima Drame, Christine Lafforgue, Cecile Formosa-Dague, Marie-Pierre Chapot-Chartier, Jean-Christophe Piard, et al.. Pili and other surface proteins influence the structure and the nanomechanical properties of Lactococcus lactis biofilms. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-84030-1⟩. ⟨hal-03163203⟩

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