Synergism between Corynebacterium and Streptococcus sanguinis reveals new interactions between oral commensals

Puthayalai Treerat, Ulrike Redanz, Sylvio Redanz, Rodrigo A. Giacaman, Justin Merritt, Jens Kreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The oral microbiome engages in a diverse array of highly sophisticated ecological interactions that are crucial for maintaining symbiosis with the host. Streptococci and corynebacteria are among the most abundant oral commensals and their interactions are critical for normal biofilm development. In this study, we discovered that Streptococcus sanguinis specifically responds to the presence of Corynebacterium durum by dramatically altering its chain morphology and improving its overall fitness. By employing gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, specific fatty acids were identified in C. durum supernatants that are responsible for the observed effect. Membrane vesicles (MVs) containing these fatty acids were isolated from C. durum supernatants and were able to replicate the chain morphology phenotype in S. sanguinis, suggesting MV as a mediator of interspecies interactions. Furthermore, S. sanguinis responds to C. durum lipids by decreasing the expression of key FASII genes involved in fatty acid synthesis. Several of these genes are also essential for the chain elongation phenotype, which implicates a regulatory connection between lipid metabolism and chain elongation. In addition, C. durum was found to affect the growth, cell aggregation, and phagocytosis of S. sanguinis, revealing a complex association of these species that likely supports oral commensal colonization and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1169
Number of pages16
JournalISME Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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