Infections caused by gram-negative bacteria such as salmonella, pneumococcus, and cholera are a major problem for patients with compromis...
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- Immunology and Microbiology; Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100; Chromobacterium piscinae; cyanide; predation; violacein
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Predation of by HD100 was inhibited in dilute nutrient broth (DNB) but not in HEPES. Experiments showed that the effector responsible was present in the medium, as cell-free supernatants retained the ability to inhibit predation, and that the effector was not toxic to Violacein, a bisindole secondary metabolite produced by , was not responsible. Further characterization of found that this species produces sufficient concentrations of cyanide (202 µM) when grown in DNB to inhibit the predatory activity of , but that in HEPES, the cyanide concentrations were negligible (19 µM). The antagonistic role of cyanide was further confirmed, as the addition of hydroxocobalamin, which chelates cyanide, allowed predation to proceed. The activity of cyanide against was found to be twofold, depending on the life cycle stage of this predator. For the attack-phase predatory cells, cyanide caused the cells to lose motility and tumble, while for intraperiplasmic predators, development and lysis of the prey cell were halted. These findings suggest that cyanogenesis in nature may be employed by the bacterial strains that produce this compound to prevent and reduce their predation by Bacterial predators actively attack, kill, and enter the periplasm of susceptible Gram-negative bacteria, where they consume the prey cell components. To date, the activity of HD100 has been demonstrated against more than 100 human pathogens. As such, this strain and others are being considered as potential alternatives or supplements to conventional antibiotics. However, the production of secondary metabolites by prey bacteria is known to mitigate, and even abolish, predation by bacterivorous nematodes and protists. With the exception of indole, which was shown to inhibit predation, the effects of bacterial secondary metabolites on and its activities have not been considered. Consequently, we undertook this study to better understand the mechanisms that bacterial strains employ to inhibit predation by HD100. We report here that cyanogenic bacterial strains can inhibit predation and show that cyanide affects both attack-phase predators and those within prey, i.e., in the bdelloplast.