Decreased biofilm formation in Proteus mirabilis after short-term exposure to a simulated microgravity environment

Dapeng Wang, Po Bai, Bin Zhang, Xiaolei Su, Xuege Jiang, Tingzheng Fang, Junfeng Wang, Changting Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Microbes threaten human health in space exploration. Studies have shown that Proteus mirabilis has been found in human space habitats. In addition, the biological characteristics of P. mirabilis in space have been studied unconditionally. The simulated microgravity environment provides a platform for understanding the changes in the biological characteristics of P. mirabilis. Objective: This study intends to explore the effect of simulated microgravity on P. mirabilis, the formation of P. mirabilis biofilm, and its related mechanism. Methods: The strange deformable rods were cultured continuously for 14 days under microgravity simulated in high-aspect rotating vessels (HARVs). The morphology, growth rate, metabolism, and biofilm formation of the strain were measured, and the phenotypic changes of P. mirabilis were evaluated. Transcriptome sequencing was used to detect differentially expressed genes under simulated microgravity and compared with phenotype. Results: The growth rate, metabolic ability, and biofilm forming ability of P. mirabilis were lower than those of normal gravity culture under the condition of simulated microgravity. Further analysis showed that the decrease of growth rate, metabolic ability, and biofilm forming ability may be caused by the downregulation of related genes (pstS, sodB, and fumC). Conclusion: The simulated microgravity condition enables us to explore the potential relationship between bacterial phenotype and molecular biology, thus opening up a suitable and constructive method for medical fields that have not been explored before. It provides a certain strategy for the treatment of P. mirabilis infectious diseases in space environment by exploring the microgravity of P. mirabilis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2030
Number of pages10
JournalBrazilian Journal of Microbiology
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biofilm formation
  • High-aspect rotating vessel
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • Simulated microgravity
  • Transcriptome sequencing

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