Predation-resistant Pseudomonas bacteria engage in symbiont-like behavior with the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum

Margaret I. Steele, Jessica M. Peiser, P. M. Shreenidhi, Joan E. Strassmann, David C. Queller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum acts as both a predator and potential host for diverse bacteria. We tested fifteen Pseudomonas strains that were isolated from transiently infected wild D. discoideum for ability to escape predation and infect D. discoideum fruiting bodies. Three predation-resistant strains frequently caused extracellular infections of fruiting bodies but were not found within spores. Furthermore, infection by one of these species induces secondary infections and suppresses predation of otherwise edible bacteria. Another strain can persist inside of amoebae after being phagocytosed but is rarely taken up. We sequenced isolate genomes and discovered that predation-resistant isolates are not monophyletic. Many Pseudomonas isolates encode secretion systems and toxins known to improve resistance to phagocytosis in other species, as well as diverse secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters that may contribute to predation resistance. However, the distribution of these genes alone cannot explain why some strains are edible and others are not. Each lineage may employ a unique mechanism for resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2352-2361
Number of pages10
JournalISME Journal
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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