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  • Title:  Type VI secretion system drives bacterial diversity and functions in multispecies biofilms
  • Authors: 
  • Corresponding Author:  Xiang Xiong, Wenjie Wan, Bangjing Ding, Miaomiao Cai, Mingzhu Lu, Wenzhi Liu*
  • Pubyear:  2024
  • Title of Journal:  Microbiological Research
  • Paper Code: 
  • Volume:  279
  • Number: 
  • Page:  127570
  • Others: 
  • Classification: 
  • Source: 


  • Type VI secretion system (T6SS) plays an essential role in interspecies interactions and provides an advantage for a strain with T6SS in multispecies biofilms. However, how T6SS drives the bacterial community structure and functions in multispecies biofilms still needs to be determined. Using gene deletion and Illumina sequencing technique, we estimated bacterial community responses in multispecies biofilms to T6SS by introducing T6SS-containing Pseudomonas putida KT2440. Results showed that the niche structure shifts of multispecies biofilms were remarkably higher in the presence of T6SS than in the absence of T6SS. The presence of T6SS significantly drove the variation in microbial composition, reduced the alpha-diversity of bacterial communities in multispecies biofilms, and separately decreased and increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidota. Co-occurrence network analysis with inferred putative bacterial interactions indicated that P. putida KT2440 mainly displayed strong negative associations with the genera of Psychrobacter, Cellvibrio, Stenotrophomonas, and Brevundimonas. Moreover, the function redundancy index of the bacterial community was strikingly higher in the presence of T6SS than in the absence of T6SS, regardless of whether relative abundances of bacterial taxa were inhibited or promoted. Remarkably, the increased metabolic network similarity with T6SS-containing P. putida KT2440 could enhance the antibacterial activity of P. putida KT2440 on other bacterial taxa. Our findings extend knowledge of microbial adaptation strategies to potential bacterial weapons and could contribute to predicting biodiversity loss and change in ecological functions caused by T6SS.
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