Chapter 16 : Biofilm Life

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Preview this chapter:
Zoom in

Biofilm Life, Page 1 of 2

| /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817442/9781555815004_Chap16-1.gif /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817442/9781555815004_Chap16-2.gif


Medical microbiologists in particular still love to isolate organisms in pure culture, most of their kindred now recognize the limitations and artificiality of this simplistic craft. The greater reality is, of course, the complex world of polymicrobial communities, such as biofilms. Scrutiny of these heterogeneous populations is now providing both deeper insights into the sophistication of microbial life and pointers toward possible avenues for cooperation and control. In the early years of research on bacterial biofilms, they have sometimes been portrayed as passive occupants of inactive surfaces, whether oil rigs or shellfish in the oceans or tissues or implants in the body. This chapter goes on to talk about Jeremy Webb, a SAM contributor, who described how biofilms undergo intrinsic ontogenic effects, such as regulated differentiation and cell death, which lead much of the structure to disperse and slough away. Cary Lambert of Nottingham University described work on the gram-negative bacterium . Emma Woodmansey of Smith and Nephew Research Centre, York, United Kingdom, reported promising results from feeding trials designed to counteract adverse changes in the gut population. There were also warnings in Edinburgh that bioremediation efforts often prove to be disappointing because specialized scavengers, developed in the laboratory, have to function not in isolation, but in the ecological networks of which they become a part. While much can be learned about the behavior of specific isolates under laboratory conditions, understanding and modifying polymicrobial communities in the real world pose rather more formidable challenges.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Biofilm Life, p 74-78. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch16
Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...


1. Sauer, K.,, A. H. Rickard,, and D. G. Davies. 2007. Biofilms and biocomplexity. Microbe 2: 347 353.
2. Schaudinn, C.,, P. Stoodley,, A. Kainoviæ,, T. O'Keeffe,, B. Costerton,, D. Robinson,, M. Baum,, G. Ehrlich,, and P. Webster. 2007. Bacterial biofilms, other structures seen as mainstream concepts. Microbe 2: 231 237.

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error