Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Commensal B. subtilis Biofilm on C. elegans Physiology
by Smolentseva, Olga, Ph.D., New York University, 2017, 143; 10260710
Abstract (Summary)

Bacteria form biofilms to survive and proliferate in a wide range of conditions. However, the physiological roles of biofilms produced by commensal microbiota remain largely unknown. To assess the impact of a bacterial biofilm on host physiology we explored the Caenorhabditis elegans - Bacillus subtilis commensal pair. We found that biofilm formation by B. subtilis augments C. elegans stress resistance, protects against pathogenic infection, and prolongs lifespan. Additionally, we showed that these beneficial effects might be due to B. subtilis biofilm formation in the nematodes intestinal lumen. Next, we identified a set of host genes that are upregulated in response to biofilm-forming B. subtilis, demonstrating a specific response to the commensal biofilm. We show that mtl-1 is responsible for the biofilm-mediated increase in oxidative stress resistance and lifespan extension. Induction of mtl-1 and hsp-70 also accounts for biofilm-mediated thermotolerance. Additionally, ilys-2 activity accounts for biofilm-mediated resistance to Pseudomonas aeruginosa killing. These results reveal the importance of commensal biofilms for host robustness and provide a framework in which to study non-pathogenic biofilms in higher organisms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nudler, Evgeny
Commitee: Darwin, Andrew, Nance, Jeremy, Ziff, Edward
School: New York University
Department: Basic Medical Science
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Molecular biology, Cellular biology, Microbiology
Keywords: Aging, Biofilm, Caenorhabditis elegans, Commensal microbiota, Stress response
Publication Number: 10260710
ISBN: 978-0-355-12812-3
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