Schaudinn, Christoph, Stoodley, Paul, Kainovic, Aleksandra, O’Keeffe, Teresa, Costerton, Bill, Robinson, Douglas, Baum, Marc, Ehrlich, Garth and Webster, Paul
Bacterial biofilms, other structures seen as mainstream concepts
Microbe, 2, (5), .
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As the notion that some bacteria live in structurally complex, multicellular communities gains momentum, let us pause to collect our thoughts. Many microbiologists consign organisms with complex structures or behaviors as weird” and outside the mainstream. Thus, microbiologists who focus on Escherichia coli K-12 acknowledge the complexities of Myxobacteria and Beggiatoa but may not spend much time thinking about them! When we see a particular structure or behavior in one organism, we really should look for this structure or behavior throughout the domain. Woody Hastings and Ken Nealson described signal-controlled luminescence in marine vibrios in 1977. However, another two decades elapsed before Peter Greenberg, now at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Barbara Iglewski at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., established that cell-cell signaling is critical throughout the bacterial domain, and even longer for our group to recognize that such signals help to control bacterial community development. Now we can search for genetic homologies “in silico,” enabling us to search more efficiently for common molecular mechanisms anywhere within microbiology.
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