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The specific effect of gallic acid on Escherichia coli biofilm formation by regulating pgaABCD genes expression

Kang, Jiamu, Li, Qianqian, Liu, Liu, Jin, Wenyuan, Wang, Jingfan, Sun, Yuyang
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 1837-1846
DNA, Escherichia coli, bacteria, biofilm, confocal laser scanning microscopy, food industry, gallic acid, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, gentian violet, image analysis, minimum inhibitory concentration, plankton, polymers, polysaccharides, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, staining
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is associated with an array of health-threatening contaminations, some of which are related to biofilm states. The pgaABCD-encoded poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (PGA) polymer plays an important role in biofilm formation. This study was conducted to determine the inhibitory effect of gallic acid (GA) against E. coli biofilm formation. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) values of GA against planktonic E. coli were 0.5 and 4 mg/mL, and minimal biofilm inhibitory concentration and minimal biofilm eradication concentration values of GA against E. coli in biofilms were 2 and 8 mg/mL, respectively. Quantitative crystal violet staining of biofilms and ESEM images clearly indicate that GA effectively, dose-dependently inhibited biofilm formation. CFU counting and confocal laser scanning microscopy measurements showed that GA significantly reduced viable bacteria in the biofilm. The contents of polysaccharide slime, protein, and DNA in the E. coli biofilm also decreased. qRT-PCR data showed that at the sub-MIC level of GA (0.25 mg/mL) and expression of pgaABC genes was downregulated, while pgaD gene expression was upregulated. The sub-MBC level of GA (2 mg/mL) significantly suppressed the pgaABCD genes. Our results altogether demonstrate that GA inhibited viable bacteria and E. coli biofilm formation, marking a novel approach to the prevention and treatment of biofilm-related infections in the food industry.