Extracellular Interaction of Bacillus thuringiensis, ATP and Phage 0105phi7-2: A Potential New Anti-Bacterial Strategy

Samantha Ritter, Elena T. Wright, Philip Serwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The following hypothesis proposes non-diffusive, environmental bacteriophage (phage) motion. (1) Some phage-hosting, motile bacteria undergo chemotaxis down ATP concentration gradients to escape lysis-inducing conditions, such as phage infection. (2) Some phages respond by non-infective binding to the motile bacteria. (3) When the bacteria reach a lower ATP concentration, which is a condition that signals increased density of phage-susceptible bacteria, the phage converts, Trojan-horse-like, to productive binding and infection. This hypothesis was previously proposed for Bacillus thuringiensis siphophage 0105phi7-2. It is tested here and confirmed with the following observations. (1) B. thuringiensis is found, macroscopically, preferentially located at low ATP concentrations when propagated in-gel after inoculation in the center of an artificially generated ATP concentration gradient. (2) Inoculating phage 0105phi7-2 at the bacteria inoculation site, 2–3 h after inoculation of bacteria, results in cell lysing activity that moves with the bacteria, without a visible trail of lysis. Trojan-horse-like behavior is consistent with only biofilm-inhabiting phages because environmental selection for this behavior requires limited fluid flows. We propose using artificial ATP concentration gradients to instigate Trojan-horse-like phage behavior during phage therapy of bacterial biofilms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2409
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • ATP concentration gradients
  • ATP signaling
  • biofilms
  • chemotaxis
  • phage ride-hitching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular Interaction of Bacillus thuringiensis, ATP and Phage 0105phi7-2: A Potential New Anti-Bacterial Strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this