eDNA, amyloid fibers and membrane vesicles identified in Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 biofilms

Olena V. Moshynets, Ianina Pokholenko, Olga Iungin, Geert Potters*, Andrew J. Spiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 is a model soil- and plant-associated bacterium capable of forming a variety of air–liquid interface biofilms in experimental microcosms and on plant surfaces. Previous investigations have shown that cellulose is the primary structural matrix component in the robust and well-attached Wrinkly Spreader biofilm, as well as in the fragile Viscous Mass biofilm. Here, we demonstrate that both biofilms include extracellular DNA (eDNA) which can be visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), quantified by absorbance measurements, and degraded by DNase I treatment. This eDNA plays an important role in cell attachment and biofilm development. However, exogenous high-molecular-weight DNA appears to decrease the strength and attachment levels of mature Wrinkly Spreader biofilms, whereas low-molecular-weight DNA appears to have little effect. Further investigation with CLSM using an amyloid-specific fluorophore suggests that the Wrinkly Spreader biofilm might also include Fap fibers, which might be involved in attachment and contribute to biofilm strength. The robust nature of the Wrinkly Spreader biofilm also allowed us, using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, to identify matrix-associated proteins unable to diffuse out of the structure, as well as membrane vesicles which had a different protein profile compared to the matrix-associated proteins. CLSM and DNase I treatment suggest that some vesicles were also associated with eDNA. These findings add to our understanding of the matrix components in this model pseudomonad, and, as found in other biofilms, biofilm-specific products and material from lysed cells contribute to these structures through a range of complex interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15096
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
Early online date1 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Air-liquid interface
  • Amyloid fibers
  • Biofilm
  • eDNA
  • EPS
  • Outer-membrane vesicles
  • Pseudomonas


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