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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Dec;11(6):560-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.09.015. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Pattern formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7242, USA.


Bacteria are capable of forming elaborate multicellular communities called biofilms. Pattern formation in biofilms depends on cell proliferation and cellular migration in response to the available nutrients and other external cues, as well as on self-generated intercellular signal molecules and the production of an extracellular matrix that serves as a structural 'scaffolding' for the biofilm cells. Pattern formation in biofilms allows cells to position themselves favorably within nutrient gradients and enables buildup and maintenance of physiologically distinct subpopulations, which facilitates survival of one or more subpopulations upon environmental insult, and therefore plays an important role in the innate tolerance displayed by biofilms toward adverse conditions.

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