Quorum Sensing and Bioremediation
Authors: Jyotsana Prakasha,b, Shikha Koula,b, Subhasree Raya,b, Ravi Kumara, Vipin Chandra Kaliaa,b
aMicrobial Biotechnology and Genomics, CSIR - Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, Delhi-110007.
bAcademy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR), 2, Rafi Marg, Anusandhan Bhawan, New Delhi- 110001.
Environmental pollution is increasing rapidly as most of the organic matter is not easily accessible to microbial activity. Biosurfactants are among those biochemicals which facilitate the availability and uptake of organic matter by microbes. Bacteria have the unique ability to express genes responsible for biosurfactants production at high cell densities only. This expression of genes at cell densities above a threshold level is termed as quorum sensing (QS). QS operates through signal molecules such as acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) and peptides. This QS system can be exploited to treat waste waters from domestic and industrial sources.
Biosurfactant molecules increase the hydrophobicity of the contaminants, thereby enhancing their solubility and biodegradation. Pseudomonas and Burkholderia sp. are known to produce biosurfactants - rhamnolipids through QS mediated activities. These have been reported to be used industrially for the treatment of lipid containing waste water. Rhamnolipids also find use in removal of oil and toxic metals from contaminated sites and soils. Burkholderia cenocepacia produces biosurfactants which increase the solubility of pesticides thereby speeding up their removal from contaminated soil. Putisolvin produced by Pseudomonas putida and surfactin by Bacillus are surfactants having an ability to remove metal contaminants from the soil. Surfactin by Bacillus is also known to act as an antibiotic, enabling it to survive in large microbial communities, which makes it a potent organism for waste treatment.
QS mediated processes like denitrification, ammonium oxidation and exoenzyme production enables Aeromonas hydrophila, Pseudomonas spp., and Acinetobacter spp., to enhance biodegradation of organic matter from waste water. Similarly, Sinorhizobium meliloti and Agrobacterium, through QS dependent entry into the roots in the rhizophere, enhances the process of the degradation of chlorinated ethenes in soil.
Bioremediation of toxic pollutants on industrial scale is carried out by biological means using whole cell microbes or enzymes. However, to make the process economical, immobilization of cells become mandatory. Biofilms provide a natural means of immobilization of cells. It overcomes the disadvantages including lower mass transfer, higher costs, and reduced activity of biological catalysts, encountered in other chemical immobilization techniques. QS can be used for forming robust biofilms, which allow a large population of cells to be retained in the bioreactor. Here, these bacterial cells with enhanced tolerance to contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), the lethal contaminants, and thus help in efficient cleanup.
Bacterial QS is paving new ways for efficient and rapid bioremediation.
1. Agarwala M, Choudhury B, Yadav RNS (2014) Comparative study of antibiofilm activity of copper oxide and iron oxide nanoparticles against multidrug resistant biofilm forming uropathogens. Indian J Microbiol 54:365â€"368. doi: 10.1007/s12088-014-0462-z
2. Alipiah NM, Shamsudin MN, Yusoff FM, Arshad A (2015) Membrane biosynthesis gene disruption in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as potential mechanism for reducing antibiotic resistance. Indian J Microbiol 54:41-49. doi: 10.1007/s12088-014-0488-2
3. Gui Z, Wang H, Ding T, Zhu W, Zhuang X, Chu W (2014) Azithromycin reduces the production of α-hemolysin and biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus. Indian J Microbiol 54:114-117. doi: 10.1007/s12088-013-0438-4
4. Hema M, Balasubramanian S, Princy SA (2015) Meddling Vibrio cholerae murmurs: A neoteric advancement in cholera research. Indian J Microbiol 55:121â€"130. doi:10.1007/s12088-015-0520-1
5. Kalia VC (2013) Quorum sensing inhibitors: an overview. Biotechnol Adv 31:224â€"245. doi:10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.10.004
6. Kalia VC (2014) Microbes, antimicrobials and resistance: The battle goes on. Indian J Microbiol 54:1-2. doi: 10.1007/s12088-013-0443-7
7. Kalia VC (2015) Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight. http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-81-322-1982-8
8. Kalia VC (2015) Microbes: The most friendly beings? In: Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight, 1-5. Editor: VC Kalia. Springer India. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-1982-8_1
9. Kalia VC, Prakash J, Koul S, Ray S (2016) Simple and rapid method for detecting biofilm forming bacteria. Indian J Microbiol 56:1-3. doi: 10.1007/s12088-016-0616-2
10. Kalia VC, Kumar P, Pandian SK, Sharma P (2014) Biofouling control by quorum quenching. Hb_25 Springer Handbook of Marine Biotechnology Chapter 15:431-440. Springer Ed. S. K. Kim.
11. Kalia VC, Kumar P (2015) Potential applications of quorum sensing inhibitors in diverse fields. In: Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight, 359-370. Editor: VC Kalia. Springer India. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-1982-8_29
12. Kalia VC, Kumar P (2015) The Battle: Quorum-sensing inhibitors versus evolution of bacterial resistance. In: Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight, 385-391. Editor: VC Kalia. Springer India. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-1982-8_31
13. Kaur G, Rajesh S, Princy SA (2015) Plausible drug targets in the Streptococcus mutans quorum sensing pathways to combat dental biofilms and associated risks. Indian J Microbiol 55:349-357. doi:10.1007/s12088-015-0534-8
14. Koul S, Prakash J, Mishra A, Kalia VC (2016) Potential emergence of multi-quorum sensing inhibitor resistant (MQSIR) bacteria. Indian J Microbiol 56:1-18. doi: 10.1007/s12088-015-0558-0
15. Kumar P, Koul S, Patel SKS, Lee JK, Kalia VC (2015) Heterologous expression of quorum sensing inhibitory genes in diverse organisms. In: Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight, 343-356. Editor: VC Kalia. Springer India. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-1982-8_28
16. Kumar P, Patel SKS, Lee JK, Kalia VC (2013) Extending the limits of Bacillus for novel biotechnological applications. Biotechnol Adv 31:1543-1561. doi:10.1016/j.biotechadv.2013.08.007
17. Mahale KN, Paranjape PS, Marathe NP, Dhotre DP, Chowdhury S, Shetty SA, Sharma A, Sharma K, Tuteja U, Batra HV, Shouche YS (2014) Draft genome sequences of Yersinia pestis strains from the 1994 plague epidemic of Surat and 2002 Shimla outbreak in India. Indian J Microbiol 54:480-482. doi: 10.1007/s12088-014-0475-7
18. Moroeanu VI, Vamanu E, Paun G, Neagu E, Ungureanu OR, Eremia SAV, Radu GL, Ionescu R, Pelinescu DR (2015) Probiotic strains influence on infant microbiota in the in vitro colonic fermentation model GIS1. Indian J Microbiol 55:423-429. doi: 10.1007/s12088-015-0542-8
19. Prakasham RS, Kumar BS, Kumar YS, Kumar KP (2014) Production and characterization of protein encapsulated silver nanoparticles by marine isolate Streptomyces parvulus SSNP11. Indian J Microbiol 54:329-336. doi: 10.1007/s12088-014-0452-1
20. Saxena A, Mukherjee M, Kumari R, Singh P, Lal R (2014) Synthetic biology in action: Developing a drug against MDR-TB. Indian J Microbiol 54:369-375. doi:10.1007/s12088-014-0498-0
21. Shang Z, Wang H, Zhou S, Chu W (2014) Characterization of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs)-deficient clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Indian J Microbiol 54:158-162. doi: 10.1007/s12088-014-0449-9
22. Wang R, Fang S, Xiang S, Ling S, Yuan J, Wang S (2014) Generation and characterization of a scFv antibody against T3SS needle of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Indian J Microbiol 54:143-150. doi: 10.1007/s12088-013-0428-6
About Author / Additional Info:
Researchers in Microbial Biotechnology and Genomics at CSIR-IGIB, Delhi.