Beneficial biofilms may confer effective adaptation to food matrices that assist bacteria in enduring hostile environmental conditions. The matrices, for instance, dietary fibres of various food products, might serve as a natural scaffold for bacterial cells to adhere and grow as biofilms. Here, we report on a unique interaction of Bacillus subtilis cells with the resistant starch fibresof chickpea milk (CPM), herein CPM fibres, along with the production of a reddish-pink pigment. Genetic analysis identified the pigment as pulcherrimin, and also revealed the involvement of Spo0A/SinI pathway in modulating the observed phenotypes. Besides, through successful colonization of the CPM fibres, the wild-type cells of B. subtilis displayed enhanced survivability and resilience to environmental stress, such as heat and in vitro gastrointestinal treatments. In total, we infer that the biofilm formation on CPM fibres is an adaptation response of B. subtilis for strategic survival.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Agricultural Research Organisation. Authors thank Professor Nicola R. Stanley-Wall at the University of Dundee, the United Kingdom, for providing the pulcherrimin-deficient mutants. We are also grateful to Eduard Belausov (from the ARO) for technical assistance with CLSM. We likewise acknowledge members of the Shemesh laboratory for helpful discussions and technical assistance.
© 2020 The Authors. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology