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Chapter 12 : Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms

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Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

The strong-and increasing-interest in microbial biofilms, and the special properties connected with this life form, is related, in part, to their importance in medical and industrial contexts and, in part, to the unexpected complexity of the processes that apparently lie behind their development; the three-dimensional structures of many biofilms indicate organized buildup programs, which challenge one's previous understanding of bacterial capabilities. This chapter talks about a series of investigations carried out under standardized conditions in flow chambers. Specific interactions are monitored through the application of molecular reporters, and confocal microscopy has been used to localize specific features and events in the structured communities developing in the flow-chamber biofilms. The purpose of these experiments has been to document how bacterial populations use their chemosensory repertoire to record and react to the presence of other populations. Despite the simplicity of these defined mixed-species model biofilm consortia, the obtained results turned out to be complex eye-openers for ecological and evolutionary aspects of “life on surfaces. Interactions between such phenotypically distinct subpopulations may be commensal, competitive, or antagonistic, just as we know from mixed-species communities, and it is likely that discussions and conclusions about microbial interactions based on nutrient acquisition are also relevant for phenotypically distinct single-species populations.

Citation: Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T, Kirkelund Hansen S. 2004. Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, p 206-222. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch12
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Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

The flow-chamber biofilm setup.

Citation: Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T, Kirkelund Hansen S. 2004. Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, p 206-222. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch12
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

The LB400/B13 consortium. Commensal growth on 3-chlorobiphenyl leads to mineralization to CO and HO. Both strains are able to use citrate as a carbon source.

Citation: Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T, Kirkelund Hansen S. 2004. Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, p 206-222. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch12
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Carbon flow in the mixed-species toluene-degrading consortium. TCA refers to the citric acid cycle.

Citation: Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T, Kirkelund Hansen S. 2004. Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, p 206-222. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch12
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Image of FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4

Carbon flow in the mixed-species toluene-degrading consortium. TCA refers to the citric acid cycle.

Citation: Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T, Kirkelund Hansen S. 2004. Microbial Interactions in Mixed-Species Biofilms, p 206-222. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch12
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