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Microbiology. 2010 Feb;156(Pt 2):431-41. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.033290-0. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

Genetic determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm establishment.

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  • 1Chronic Pseudomonas Infection Research Group, Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany.


The establishment of bacterial biofilms on surfaces is a complex process that requires various factors for each consecutive developmental step. Here we report the screening of the comprehensive Harvard Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 mutant library for mutants exhibiting an altered biofilm phenotype. We analysed the capability of all mutants to form biofilms at the bottom of a 96-well plate by the use of an automated confocal laser-scanning microscope and found 394 and 285 genetic determinants of reduced and enhanced biofilm production, respectively. Overall, 67 % of the identified mutants were affected within genes encoding hypothetical proteins, indicating that novel developmental pathways are likely to be dissected in the future. Nevertheless, a common theme that emerged from the analysis of the genes with a predicted function is that the establishment of a biofilm requires regulatory components that are involved in survival under microaerophilic growth conditions, arginine metabolism, alkyl-quinolone signalling, pH homeostasis and the DNA repair system.

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