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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Jul;2(7):a000398. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a000398. Epub 2010 Jun 2.

Biofilms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

The ability to form biofilms is a universal attribute of bacteria. Biofilms are multicellular communities held together by a self-produced extracellular matrix. The mechanisms that different bacteria employ to form biofilms vary, frequently depending on environmental conditions and specific strain attributes. In this review, we emphasize four well-studied model systems to give an overview of how several organisms form biofilms: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Using these bacteria as examples, we discuss the key features of biofilms as well as mechanisms by which extracellular signals trigger biofilm formation.

PMID:
20519345
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2890205
Free PMC Article

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