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Emergent heterogeneous microenvironments in biofilms: substratum surface heterogeneity and bacterial adhesion force-sensing

Ren, Y., Wang, C., Chen, Z., Allan, E., van der Mei, H. C. & Busscher, H. J., May-2018, In : FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 42, 3, p. 259-272 14 p., 001.

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  • Emergent heterogeneous microenvironments in biofilms: substratum surface heterogeneity and bacterial adhesion force-sensing

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DOI

Phenotypically heterogeneous microenvironments emerge as biofilms mature across different environments. Phenotypic heterogeneity in biofilm sub-populations not obeying quorum sensing-dictated, collective group behavior may be considered as a strategy allowing non-conformists to survive hostile conditions. Heterogeneous phenotype development has been amply studied with respect to gene expression and genotypic changes, but 'biofilm genes' responsible for preprogrammed development of heterogeneous microenvironments in biofilms have never been discovered. Moreover, the question of what triggers the development of phenotypically heterogeneous microenvironments has never been addressed. The definition of biofilms as 'surface-adhering and surface-adapted' microbial communities contains the word 'surface' twice. This leads us to hypothesize that phenotypically heterogeneous microenvironments in biofilms develop as an adaptive response of initial colonizers to their adhering state, governed by the forces through which they adhere to a substratum surface. No surface is entirely homogeneous, while adhering bacteria can substantially contribute to stochastically occurring surface heterogeneity. Accordingly, bacterial adhesion forces sensed by initial colonizers differ across a substratum surface, leading to differential mechanical deformation of the cell wall and membrane, where many environmental sensors are located. Bacteria directly adhering to heterogeneous substratum domains therewith formulate their own local responses to their adhering state and command non-conformist behavior, leading to phenotypically heterogeneous microenvironments in biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Volume42
Issue number3
Early online date9-Jan-2018
Publication statusPublished - May-2018

    Keywords

  • quorum sensing, environmental sensing, swarming, antibiotic resistance, cooperativity, biosurfactants, STAPHYLOCOCCUS-EPIDERMIDIS BIOFILM, ORAL STREPTOCOCCAL ADHESION, PSEUDOMONAS-AERUGINOSA PAO1, VIBRIO-CHOLERAE BIOFILMS, SUPERHYDROPHOBIC SURFACES, MECHANOSENSITIVE CHANNELS, POSITIVE COOPERATIVITY, ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANCE, BIOMATERIAL SURFACES, SILICA NANOPARTICLES

ID: 54642421