The prokaryotic second messenger cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is a global bacterial signaling molecule that controls the switch between motile or planktonic lifestyles and sedentary or adhesive lifestyles. Regulation by this second messenger has been associated with virulence traits, biofilm formation, and antibiotic tolerance. Christen et al. engineered fluorescence resonance energy transfer–based sensors that enabled the visualization of c-di-GMP fluctuations in individual bacterial cells. Using the sensor, c-di-GMP distribution was found to change during the cell cycle in Caulobacter crescentus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells.
M. Christen, H. D. Kulasekara, B. Christen, B. R. Kulasekara, L. R. Hoffman, S. I. Miller, Asymmetrical distribution of the second messenger c-di-GMP upon bacterial cell division. Science 328, 1295–1297 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]