Interspecies and intraspecies signals synergistically regulate lysobacter enzymogenes twitching motility

Tao Feng, Yong Han, Bingqing Li, Zhiqiang Li, Yameng Yu, Qingyang Sun, Xiaoyu Li, Liangcheng Du, Xiao Hua Zhang, Yan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The twitching motility of bacteria is closely related to environmental adaptability and pathogenic behaviors. Lysobacter is a good genus in which to study twitching motility because of the complex social activities and distinct movement patterns of its members. Regardless, the mechanism that induces twitching motility is largely unknown. In this study, we found that the interspecies signal indole caused Lysobacter to have irregular, random twitching motility with significantly enhanced speed. Deletion of qseC or qseB from the two-component system for indole signaling perception resulted in the disappearance of rapid, random movements and significantly decreased twitching activity. Indole-induced, rapid, random twitching was achieved through upregulation of expression of gene cluster pilE1-pilY11-pilX1- pilW1-pilV1-fimT1. In addition, under conditions of extremely low bacterial density, individual Lysobacter cells grew and divided in a stable manner in situ without any movement. The intraspecies quorum-sensing signaling factor 13-methyltetradecanoic acid, designated L. enzymogenes diffusible signaling factor (LeDSF), was essential for Lysobacter to produce twitching motility through indirect regulation of gene clusters pilM-pilN-pilO-pilP-pilQ and pilS1-pilR-pilA-pilB-pilC. These results demonstrate that the motility of Lysobacter is induced and regulated by indole and LeDSF, which reveals a novel theory for future studies of the mechanisms of bacterial twitching activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01742-19
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Interspecies and intraspecies signal LeDSF
  • Interspecies and intraspecies signal indole
  • Lysobacter enzymogenes
  • Quorum-sensing
  • Twitching motility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interspecies and intraspecies signals synergistically regulate lysobacter enzymogenes twitching motility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this