Transcriptomic Responses to Coaggregation between Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus oralis

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Cell-cell adhesion between oral bacteria plays a key role in the development of polymicrobial communities such as dental plaque. Oral streptococci such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus oralis are important early colonizers of dental plaque and bind to a wide range of different oral microorganisms, forming multispecies clumps or "coaggregates."S. gordonii actively responds to coaggregation by regulating gene expression. To further understand these responses, we assessed gene regulation in S. gordonii and S. oralis following coaggregation in 25% human saliva. Coaggregates were formed by mixing, and after 30 min, RNA was extracted for dual transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis. In S. oralis, 18 genes (6 upregulated and 12 downregulated) were regulated by coaggregation. Significantly downregulated genes encoded functions such as amino acid and antibiotic biosynthesis, ribosome, and central carbon metabolism. In total, 28 genes were differentially regulated in Streptococcus gordonii (25 upregulated and 3 downregulated). Many genes associated with transporters and a two-component (NisK/SpaK) regulatory system were upregulated following coaggregation. Our comparative analyses of S. gordonii- S. oralis with different previously published S. gordonii pairings (S. gordonii- Fusobacterium nucleatum and S. gordonii-Veillonella parvula) suggest that the gene regulation is specific to each pairing, and responses do not appear to be conserved. This ability to distinguish between neighboring bacteria may be important for S. gordonii to adapt appropriately during the development of complex biofilms such as dental plaque.

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology



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