Time to “go large” on biofilm research: advantages of an omics approach


Azevedo, Nuno F., Lopes, Susana P., Keevil, Charles W., Pereira, Maria O. and Vieira, Maria J. (2009) Time to “go large” on biofilm research: advantages of an omics approach. Biotechnology Letters, 31, (4), 477-485. (doi:10.1007/s10529-008-9901-4). (PMID:19116693).

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Description/Abstract

In nature, the biofilm mode of life is of great importance in the cell cycle for many microorganisms. Perhaps because of biofilm complexity and variability, the characterization of a given microbial system, in terms of biofilm formation potential, structure and associated physiological activity, in a large-scale, standardized and systematic manner has
been hindered by the absence of high-throughput methods. This outlook is now starting to change as new methods involving the utilization of microtiter-plates and automated spectrophotometry and microscopy systems are being developed to perform large-scale testing of microbial biofilms. Here, we evaluate if the time is ripe to start an integrated omics approach, i.e., the generation and interrogation of large datasets, to biofilms—‘‘biofomics’’. This omics approach would bring much needed insight into how biofilm formation ability is affected by a number of environmental, physiological and mutational factors and how these factors interplay between themselves in a standardized manner. This could then lead to the creation of a database where biofilm signatures are identified and
interrogated. Nevertheless, and before embarking on such an enterprise, the selection of a versatile, robust,
high-throughput biofilm growing device and of appropriate methods for biofilm analysis will have to be performed. Whether such device and analytical methods are already available, particularly for complex heterotrophic biofilms is, however, very debatable.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0141-5492 (print)
1573-6776 (electronic)
Keywords: biofomics, high-throughput, systems biology, biofilms, database
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 209319
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 12:39
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:50
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/209319

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