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Death and transfiguration in static staphylococcus epidermidis cultures

Death and transfiguration in static staphylococcus epidermidis cultures
Death and transfiguration in static staphylococcus epidermidis cultures
The overwhelming majority of bacteria live in slime embedded microbial communities termed biofilms, which are typically adherent to a surface. However, when several Staphylococcus epidermidis strains were cultivated in static liquid cultures, macroscopic aggregates were seen floating within the broth and also sedimented at the test tube bottom. Light- and electron microscopy revealed that early-stage aggregates consisted of bacteria and extracellular matrix, organized in sheetlike structures. Perpendicular under the sheets hung a network of periodically arranged, bacteria-associated strands. During the extended cultivation, the strands of a subpopulation of aggregates developed into cross-connected wall-like structures, in which aligned bacteria formed the walls. The resulting architecture had a compartmentalized appearance. In late-stage cultures, the wall-associated bacteria disintegrated so that, henceforth, the walls were made of the coalescing remnants of lysed bacteria, while the compartment-like organization remained intact. At the same time, the majority of strand containing aggregates with associated culturable bacteria continued to exist. These observations indicate that some strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis are able to build highly sophisticated structures, in which a subpopulation undergoes cell lysis, presumably to provide continued access to nutrients in a nutrient-limited environment, whilst maintaining structural integrity.
1932-6203
1-9
Kreth, Jens
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Schaudinn, Christoph
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Stoodley, Paul
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Hall-Stoodley, Luanne
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Gorur, Amita
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Remis, Jonathan
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Wu, Siva
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Auer, Manfred
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Hertwig, Stefan
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Guerrero-Given, Debbie
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Hu, Fen Ze
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Ehrlich, Garth D.
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Costerton, John William
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Robinson, Douglas H.
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Webster, Paul
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Kreth, Jens
15884465-4a69-4335-93d3-a717acbe0e49
Schaudinn, Christoph
fde71ada-1707-497d-88cf-db15bb49251f
Stoodley, Paul
08614665-92a9-4466-806e-20c6daeb483f
Hall-Stoodley, Luanne
94ebdc00-b549-4488-b15f-5310fb965f5b
Gorur, Amita
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Remis, Jonathan
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Wu, Siva
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Auer, Manfred
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Hertwig, Stefan
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Guerrero-Given, Debbie
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Hu, Fen Ze
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Ehrlich, Garth D.
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Costerton, John William
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Robinson, Douglas H.
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Webster, Paul
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Kreth, Jens, Schaudinn, Christoph, Stoodley, Paul, Hall-Stoodley, Luanne, Gorur, Amita, Remis, Jonathan, Wu, Siva, Auer, Manfred, Hertwig, Stefan, Guerrero-Given, Debbie, Hu, Fen Ze, Ehrlich, Garth D., Costerton, John William, Robinson, Douglas H. and Webster, Paul (2014) Death and transfiguration in static staphylococcus epidermidis cultures. PLoS ONE, 9 (6), 1-9. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The overwhelming majority of bacteria live in slime embedded microbial communities termed biofilms, which are typically adherent to a surface. However, when several Staphylococcus epidermidis strains were cultivated in static liquid cultures, macroscopic aggregates were seen floating within the broth and also sedimented at the test tube bottom. Light- and electron microscopy revealed that early-stage aggregates consisted of bacteria and extracellular matrix, organized in sheetlike structures. Perpendicular under the sheets hung a network of periodically arranged, bacteria-associated strands. During the extended cultivation, the strands of a subpopulation of aggregates developed into cross-connected wall-like structures, in which aligned bacteria formed the walls. The resulting architecture had a compartmentalized appearance. In late-stage cultures, the wall-associated bacteria disintegrated so that, henceforth, the walls were made of the coalescing remnants of lysed bacteria, while the compartment-like organization remained intact. At the same time, the majority of strand containing aggregates with associated culturable bacteria continued to exist. These observations indicate that some strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis are able to build highly sophisticated structures, in which a subpopulation undergoes cell lysis, presumably to provide continued access to nutrients in a nutrient-limited environment, whilst maintaining structural integrity.

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Published date: 25 June 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine, nCATS Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 366426
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366426
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 22dc3cc1-71fa-41e6-ac88-be135bdf9f5f
ORCID for Paul Stoodley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6069-273X

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Date deposited: 27 Jun 2014 11:21
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:40

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Contributors

Author: Jens Kreth
Author: Christoph Schaudinn
Author: Paul Stoodley ORCID iD
Author: Luanne Hall-Stoodley
Author: Amita Gorur
Author: Jonathan Remis
Author: Siva Wu
Author: Manfred Auer
Author: Stefan Hertwig
Author: Debbie Guerrero-Given
Author: Fen Ze Hu
Author: Garth D. Ehrlich
Author: John William Costerton
Author: Douglas H. Robinson
Author: Paul Webster

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