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Microbial biofilms

Microbial biofilms
Microbial biofilms
Biofilms are usually thought of as the slimy layer of microorganisms that covers solid surfaces. However, there are a number of features that distinguish biofilm populations from their planktonic (suspended or free floating) counterparts, namely, the association with a surface, high population densities (on the order of 1010 cells per ml of hydrated biofilm), an extracellular polymer (EPS) slime matrix, and a wide range of physical, metabolic, and chemical heterogeneities. However, some biofilms may not have all features. Indeed, a concise universal definition of biofilms has yet to emerge; in part, this is because of the wide diversity of biofilm populations. Although much of contemporary microbiology is based on the study of planktonic “cells,” it is now thought that biofilms are the primary habitat for many microorganisms. Microbial mats associated with sediment and suspended microbial flocs or aggregates, although different in appearance from conventional biofilms, have many important features in common and thus are included in the definition of “biofilm.” Often biofilm cells are embedded within a highly hydrated EPS matrix, and in the absence of corrosion products or scale, biofilms are estimated to be primarily water. The physical properties of the biofilm are largely determined by the EPS, while the physiological properties are determined by the bacterial cells (Figs. 13.1 and 13.2).
978-3-642-31330-1
343-372
Springer Verlag
Beer, Dirk
36c6941d-4cc0-4ef0-8e25-b343ca3c03c2
Stoodley, Paul
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Eugene, Rosenberg
Edward F., DeLong
Erko, Stackebrandt
Fabiano, Thompson
Beer, Dirk
36c6941d-4cc0-4ef0-8e25-b343ca3c03c2
Stoodley, Paul
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Eugene, Rosenberg
Edward F., DeLong
Erko, Stackebrandt
Fabiano, Thompson

Beer, Dirk and Stoodley, Paul (2013) Microbial biofilms. In, Eugene, Rosenberg, Edward F., DeLong, Erko, Stackebrandt and Fabiano, Thompson (eds.) The Prokaryotes. Berlin, DE. Springer Verlag, pp. 343-372. (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-31331-8_32).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Biofilms are usually thought of as the slimy layer of microorganisms that covers solid surfaces. However, there are a number of features that distinguish biofilm populations from their planktonic (suspended or free floating) counterparts, namely, the association with a surface, high population densities (on the order of 1010 cells per ml of hydrated biofilm), an extracellular polymer (EPS) slime matrix, and a wide range of physical, metabolic, and chemical heterogeneities. However, some biofilms may not have all features. Indeed, a concise universal definition of biofilms has yet to emerge; in part, this is because of the wide diversity of biofilm populations. Although much of contemporary microbiology is based on the study of planktonic “cells,” it is now thought that biofilms are the primary habitat for many microorganisms. Microbial mats associated with sediment and suspended microbial flocs or aggregates, although different in appearance from conventional biofilms, have many important features in common and thus are included in the definition of “biofilm.” Often biofilm cells are embedded within a highly hydrated EPS matrix, and in the absence of corrosion products or scale, biofilms are estimated to be primarily water. The physical properties of the biofilm are largely determined by the EPS, while the physiological properties are determined by the bacterial cells (Figs. 13.1 and 13.2).

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Published date: 2013
Organisations: nCATS Group

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Local EPrints ID: 359597
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/359597
ISBN: 978-3-642-31330-1
PURE UUID: 62f0c29c-f100-4398-9746-42f3e6d831fd

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Nov 2013 14:56
Last modified: 08 Apr 2019 16:32

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