Formation of a biofilm matrix network shapes polymicrobial interactions

Lijun Wang, Hongxia Wang, Hua Zhang, Hui Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Staphylococcus aureus colonizes the same ecological niche as many commensals. However, little is known about how such commensals modulate staphylococcal fitness and persistence. Here we report a new mechanism that mediates dynamic interactions between a commensal streptococcus and S. aureus. Commensal Streptococcus parasanguinis significantly increased the staphylococcal biofilm formation in vitro and enhanced its colonization in vivo. A streptococcal biofilm-associated protein BapA1, not fimbriae-associated protein Fap1, is essential for dual-species biofilm formation. On the other side, three staphylococcal virulence determinants responsible for the BapA1-dependent dual-species biofilm formation were identified by screening a staphylococcal transposon mutant library. The corresponding staphylococcal mutants lacked binding to recombinant BapA1 (rBapA1) due to lower amounts of eDNA in their culture supernatants and were defective in biofilm formation with streptococcus. The rBapA1 selectively colocalized with eDNA within the dual-species biofilm and bound to eDNA in vitro, highlighting the contributions of the biofilm matrix formed between streptococcal BapA1 and staphylococcal eDNA to dual-species biofilm formation. These findings have revealed an additional new mechanism through which an interspecies biofilm matrix network mediates polymicrobial interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-477
Number of pages11
JournalISME Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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