Loss of Motility as a Non-Lethal Mechanism for Intercolony Inhibition (“Sibling Rivalry”) in Marinobacter

Ricardo Cruz-Lopez, Piotr Kolesinski, Frederik De Boever, David Green, Carrano Mary, Carl J. Carrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Downloads (Pure)


Bacteria from the genus Marinobacter are ubiquitous throughout the worlds’ oceans as “opportunitrophs” capable of surviving a wide range of conditions, including colonization of surfaces of marine snow and algae. To prevent too many bacteria from occupying this ecological niche simultaneously, some sort of population dependent control must be operative. Here, we show that while Marinobacter do not produce or utilize an acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-based quorum sensing system, “sibling” colonies of many species of Marinobacter exhibit a form of non-lethal chemical communication that prevents colonies from overrunning each other’s niche space. Evidence suggests that this inhibition is the result of a loss in motility for cells at the colony interfaces. Although not the signal itself, we have identified a protein, glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase, that is enriched in the inhibition zone between the spreading colonies that may be part of the overall response.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • sibling rivalry
  • Marinobacter
  • bacteriocins
  • quorum
  • motility


Dive into the research topics of 'Loss of Motility as a Non-Lethal Mechanism for Intercolony Inhibition (“Sibling Rivalry”) in Marinobacter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this