Selection for increased quorum-sensing cooperation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa through the shut-down of a drug resistance pump

Ron D. Oshri, Keren S. Zrihen, Itzhak Shner, Shira Omer Bendori, Avigdor Eldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs a hierarchical quorum-sensing network to regulate virulence factor production that cooperatively benefit the population at a cost to the individual. It has been argued that the evolution of a cooperative mutant in a quorum sensing-suppressed population would be hampered through its exploitation by neighboring non-mutant cells. It remains unclear whether mechanisms which overcome this exploitation exist. Here we investigate the regain of quorum-sensing cooperation by evolving a mutant of the lasR master quorum-sensing regulator. The mutant regained partial cooperative growth through null mutations in mexT, which codes for an activator of the MexEF-OprN multidrug-resistant pump. We find that these mutations enhance cooperative growth in both the lasR mutant and wild-type backgrounds through the activation of the RhlIR system. We show that the regain of cooperation in mexT mutants is mediated by the reduction in MexEF-OprN activity, whereas an additional source of private benefit is mostly mexEF-oprN-independent. Finally, we show that addition of antibiotics for which resistance is mediated by MexEF-OprN prevents the selection of increased cooperation at sub-MIC concentrations. MexT, therefore, not only links private and public goods, but also exposes conflicts between selection for antibiotic resistance and enhanced cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2458-2469
Number of pages12
JournalISME Journal
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Selection for increased quorum-sensing cooperation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa through the shut-down of a drug resistance pump'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this