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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02594

Integrated proteomics and lipidomics reveal that the swarming motility of Paenibacillus polymyxa is characterized by phospholipid modification, surfactant deployment, and flagellar specialization relative to swimming motility

  • 1Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States
  • 2Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States
  • 3The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States
  • 4Oak Ridge National Laboratory (DOE), United States

Paenibacillus polymyxa is a Gram-positive bacterium commonly found associated with plant roots. P. polymyxa can exhibit two forms of flagellar motility: swimming in liquid culture and swarming on a surface. Here, swimming cells were compared to swarming cells using an integrated proteomic and lipidomic approach, yielding information about how lipid modifications and protein/enzyme pathways are tailored for these specific phenotypes. Observed differences in both phospholipid composition and metabolism between the two conditions suggest membrane remodeling in response to the surrounding environment. Key enzymes involved in glycerophospholipid metabolism were abundant in swimming bacteria, while enzymes associated with glycerol-3-phosphate metabolism were more abundant in swarming bacteria. Several glycoside hydrolases were either unique to or more abundant during swarming. This likely reflects the degradation of their own exopolysaccharides to both enhance swarming and supply the necessary chemical energy to compensate for increased flagellar synthesis. The observed upregulation of biosynthetic gene clusters (polyketides, lantibiotics, and surfactin) in swarming bacteria suggest the importance of signaling, antimicrobial activity, and surfactin production during this mode of motility – the latter of which is confirmed via PCR.

Keywords: Proteomics, lipidomics, Phospholipids, surfactant, swarming, Flagella, Exopolysacharides, Glycerol

Received: 13 Aug 2019; Accepted: 25 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Poudel, Giannone, Farmer, Campagna, Bible, Morrell-Falvey, Elkins and Hettich. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Robert L. Hettich, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (DOE), Oak Ridge, United States,