The alternative sigma factor RpoQ regulates colony morphology, biofilm formation and motility in the fish pathogen Aliivibrio salmonicida
Results: The rpoQ gene in A. salmonicida LFI1238 was deleted using allelic exchange. We found that RpoQ is a strong repressor of rugose colony morphology and biofilm formation, and that it controls motility of the bacteria. We also show that overexpression of rpoQ in a ΔlitR mutant of A. salmonicida disrupts the biofilm produced by the ΔlitR mutant and decreases its motility, whereas rpoQ overexpression in the wild-type completely eliminates the motility.
Conclusion: The present work demonstrates that the RpoQ sigma factor is a novel regulatory component involved in modulating motility, colony morphology and biofilm formation in the fish pathogen A. salmonicida. The findings also confirm that RpoQ functions downstream of the QS master regulator LitR. However further studies are needed to elucidate how LitR and RpoQ work together in controlling phenotypes related to QS in A. salmonicida.