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Substratum-induced morphological changes in a marine bacterium and their relevance to biofilm structure.

By H M Dalton, L K Poulsen, P Halasz, M L Angles, A E Goodman and K C Marshall


The effects of surfaces on the physiology of bacteria adhering to surfaces or immobilized within biofilms are receiving more interest. A study of the effects of hydrophobic and hydrophilic substrata on the colonization behavior of a marine bacterium, SW5, revealed major differences in the morphology of SW5 on these surfaces. Using epifluorescence, scanning confocal laser, and on-line visualization (time-lapse video) microscopy, the organisms at hydrophobic surfaces were characterized by the formation of tightly packed biofilms, consisting of single and paired cells, whereas those at hydrophilic surfaces exhibited sparse colonization and the formation of chains more than 100 microns long, anchored at the surface by the terminal (colonizing) cell. The results are discussed in terms of the possible factors inducing the observed morphological differences and the significance of these differences in terms of biofilm structure and plasmid transfer when SW5 is the recipient organism

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.176.22.6900-6906.1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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