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Transcriptional Responses of Streptococcus gordonii and Fusobacterium nucleatum to Coaggregation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Natalio KrasnogorORCiD, Geok Yuan Annie Tan, Professor Nicholas JakubovicsORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Cell-cell interactions between genetically distinct bacteria, known as coaggregation, are important for the formation of mixed-species biofilms such as dental plaque. Interactions lead to gene regulation in the partner organisms that may be critical for adaptation and survival in mixed-species biofilms. Here, gene regulation responses to coaggregation between Streptococcus gordonii and Fusobacterium nucleatum were studied using dual RNA-Seq. Initially, S. gordonii DL1 was shown to coaggregate strongly with F. nucleatum in buffer or human saliva. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, cells of different species were shown to be evenly distributed throughout the coaggregate and were closely associated with one another. This distribution was confirmed by serial block face sectioning scanning electron microscopy, which provided high resolution 3D images of coaggregates. Cell-cell sensing responses were analysed 30 min after inducing coaggregation in human saliva. By comparison with monocultures, 16 genes were regulated following coaggregation in F. nucleatum whereas 119 genes were regulated in S. gordonii. In both species, genes involved in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism were strongly affected by coaggregation. In particular, one 8-gene operon in F. nucleatum encoding sialic acid uptake and catabolism was up-regulated 2- to 5-fold following coaggregation. In S. gordonii, a gene cluster encoding functions for phosphotransferase system-mediated uptake of lactose and galactose was down-regulated up to 3-fold in response to coaggregation. The genes identified in this study may play key roles in the development of mixed-species communities and represent potential targets for approaches to control dental plaque accumulation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mutha NVR, Mohammed WK, Krasnogor N, Tan GYA, Choo SW, Jakubovics NS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Oral Microbiology

Year: 2018

Volume: 33

Issue: 6

Pages: 450-464

Print publication date: 20/11/2018

Online publication date: 17/10/2018

Acceptance date: 12/10/2018

Date deposited: 12/10/2018

ISSN (print): 2041-1006

ISSN (electronic): 2041-1014

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1111/omi.12248


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