News & Events
The factors involved in the formation and disassembly of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm
Speaker(s): Prof. Ma Luyan, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science.
When: 20 June 2016 (1:00 - 2:00pm)
Where: SBS Classroom 3 (Level 1)
Type: Seminars


Biofilms are surface-associated communities of microorganism embedded in extracellular matrix that show extreme tolerance to almost all antibiotic classes. Exopolysaccharide is a critical component in the extracellular matrix that maintains biofilm architecture and protects resident biofilm bacteria from antimicrobials and host immune attack. Exopolysaccharide Psl is a key biofilm matrix component in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which acts as ‘molecular glue’ to promote bacterial cell-cell and cell-surface interactions and can form a fiber-like matrix to enmesh bacteria communities and interact with extracellular DNA to strengthen the biofilm matrix. It was suggested years ago that enzymes released from dead bacteria might degrade the exopolysaccharides matrix in the center of biofilm microcolony to free ‘the seeds of biofilm’ for future biofilm dispersal. Until last year, we have just discovered one such self-generated enzyme, PslG, a protein involved in the synthesis of exopolysaccharide Psl. PslG can prevent biofilm formation and disassemble existing biofilms within minutes at nanomolar concentrations while supplied exogenously. PslG disrupts mainly the Psl matrix to disperse bacteria from biofilms. PslG treatment markedly enhances biofilm sensitivity to antibiotics and macrophage cells, resulting in improved biofilm clearance in a mouse implant infection model. Furthermore, PslG shows biofilm inhibition and disassembly activity against a wide range of Pseudomonas species, indicating its great potential in combating biofilm-related complications.

Speaker's Bio

Dr. Luyan Ma is a Professor at Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science. She has been a postdoctoral fellow in Institut Pasteur, Paris, France and a visiting scholar to University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, USA.