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Can J Microbiol. 2001 Jul;47(7):680-4.

Bacteriophage T4 multiplication in a glucose-limited Escherichia coli biofilm.

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Department of Biology, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos 78666, USA.


An Escherichia coli K-12 biofilm was grown at a dilution rate of 0.028 h(-1) for 48 h in a glucose-limited chemostat coupled to a modified Robbins' device to determine its susceptibility to infection by bacteriophage T4. Bacteriophage T4 at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 10 caused a log reduction in biofilm density (expressed as colony forming units (CFU) per cm2) at 90 min postinfection. After 6 h, a net decrease and equilibrium in viral titer was seen. When biofilms were exposed to T4 phage at a MOI of 100, viral titer doubled after 90 min. After 6 h, viral titers (expressed as plaque forming units (PFU) per cm2) stabilized at levels approximately one order of magnitude higher than seen at a MOI of 10. Scanning confocal laser microscopy images also indicated disruption of biofilm morphology following T4 infection with the effects being more pronounced at a MOI of 100 than at a MOI of 10. These results imply that biofilms under carbon limitation can act as natural reservoirs for bacteriophage and that bacteriophage can have some influence on biofilm morphology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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