Role of fimbriae, flagella and cellulose on the attachment of Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 14028 to plant cell wall models

Michelle S.F. Tan, Aaron P. White, Sadequr Rahman, Gary A. Dykes

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    Cases of foodborne disease caused by Salmonella are frequently associated with the consumption of minimally processed produce. Bacterial cell surface components are known to be important for the attachment of bacterial pathogens to fresh produce. The role of these extracellular structures in Salmonella attachment to plant cell walls has not been investigated in detail. We investigated the role of flagella, fimbriae and cellulose on the attachment of Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 14028 and a range of isogenic deletion mutants (ΔfliC fljB, ΔbcsA, ΔcsgA, ΔcsgA bcsA and ΔcsgD) to bacterial cellulose (BC)-based plant cell wall models [BC-Pectin (BCP), BC-Xyloglucan (BCX) and BC-Pectin-Xyloglucan (BCPX)] after growth at different temperatures (28°C and 37°C). We found that all three cell surface components were produced at 28°C but only the flagella was produced at 37°C. Flagella appeared to be most important for attachment (reduction of up to 1.5 log CFU/cm2) although both cellulose and fimbriae also aided in attachment. The csgD deletion mutant, which lacks both cellulose and fimbriae, showed significantly higher attachment as compared to wild type cells at 37°C. This may be due to the increased expression of flagella-related genes which are also indirectly regulated by the csgD gene. Our study suggests that bacterial attachment to plant cell walls is a complex process involving many factors. Although flagella, cellulose and fimbriae all aid in attachment, these structures are not the only mechanism as no strain was completely defective in its attachment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0158311
    Number of pages13
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016

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