The planctomycete Stieleria maiorica Mal15T employs stieleriacines to alter the species composition in marine biofilms

Nicolai Kallscheuer, Olga Jeske, Birthe Sandargo, Christian Boedeker, Sandra Wiegand, Pascal Bartling, Mareike Jogler, Manfred Rohde, Jörn Petersen, Marnix H. Medema, Frank Surup*, Christian Jogler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial strains of the phylum Planctomycetes occur ubiquitously, but are often found on surfaces of aquatic phototrophs, e.g. alga. Despite slower growth, planctomycetes are not outcompeted by faster-growing bacteria in biofilms on such surfaces; however, strategies allowing them to compensate for slower growth have not yet been investigated. Here, we identified stieleriacines, a class of N-acylated tyrosines produced by the novel planctomycete Stieleria maiorica Mal15T, and analysed their effects on growth of the producing strain and bacterial species likely co-occurring with strain Mal15T. Stieleriacines reduced the lag phase of Mal15T and either stimulated or inhibited biofilm formation of two bacterial competitors, indicating that Mal15T employs stieleriacines to specifically alter microbial biofilm composition. The genetic organisation of the putative stieleriacine biosynthetic cluster in strain Mal15T points towards a functional link of stieleriacine biosynthesis to exopolysaccharide-associated protein sorting and biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number303
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


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