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

Antonio Maldonado-Barragan*, Stuart A. West

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

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: (a) 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; (b) bacteriocin production is costly, leading to reduced growth when grown in poor and, to a lesser extent, in rich media; (c) bacteriocin production provides a fitness advantage, when grown in competition with sensitive strains; and (d) the fitness benefits provided by bacteriocin production are greater at higher cell densities. These results show how the costs and benefits of upregulating bacteriocin production can depend upon abiotic and biotic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume33
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Bacteriocins
  • Benefits
  • Costs
  • Fitness
  • Quorum sensing

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The cost and benefit of quorum sensing-controlled bacteriocin production in Lactobacillus plantarum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this