Biofilms represent an essential way of life and colonization of new environments for microorganisms. This feature is regulated by quorum sensing (QS), a microbial communication system based on autoinducer molecules, such as N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) in Gram negative bacteria. In artificial ecosystems, like Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs), biofilm attachment in filtration membranes produces biofouling. In this environment, the microbial communities are mostly composed of Gram-negative phyla. Thus, we used two AHLs-degrading enzymes, obtained from Actinoplanes utahensis (namely AuAAC and AuAHLA) to determine the effects of degradation of QS signals in the biofilm formation, among other virulence factors, of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain isolated from a WWTP, assessing molecular mechanisms through transcriptomics. Besides, we studied the possible effects on community composition in biofilms from activated sludge samples. Although the studied enzymes only degraded the AHLs involved in one of the four QS systems of P. aeruginosa, these activities produced the deregulation of the complete QS network. In fact, AuAAC -the enzyme with higher catalytic efficiency- deregulated all the four QS systems. However, both enzymes reduced the biofilm formation and pyocyanin and protease production. The transcriptomic response of P. aeruginosa affected QS related genes, moreover, transcriptomic response to AuAAC affected mainly to QS related genes. Regarding community composition of biofilms, as expected, the abundance of Gram-negative phyla was significantly decreased after enzymatic treatment. These results support the potential use of such AHLs-degrading enzymes as a method to reduce biofilm formation in WWTP membranes and ameliorate bacterial virulence.
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