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Microb Ecol. 2007 Jan;53(1):153-62. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Bacterial community structure of biofilms on artificial surfaces in an estuary.

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College of Marine and Earth Studies, University of Delaware, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE, 19958, USA.


This study examined bacterial community structure of biofilms on stainless steel and polycarbonate in seawater from the Delaware Bay. Free-living bacteria in the surrounding seawater were compared to the attached bacteria during the first few weeks of biofilm growth. Surfaces exposed to seawater were analyzed by using 16S rDNA libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Community structure of the free-living bacterial community was different from that of the attached bacteria according to FISH and DGGE. In particular, alpha-proteobacteria dominated the attached communities. Libraries of 16S rRNA genes revealed that representatives of the Rhodobacterales clade were the most abundant members of biofilm communities. Changes in community structure during biofilm growth were also examined by DGGE analysis. We hypothesized that bacterial communities on dissimilar surfaces would initially differ and become more similar over time. In contrast, the compositions of stainless steel and polycarbonate biofilms were initially the same, but differed after about 1 week of biofilm growth. These data suggest that the relationship between surface properties and biofilm community structure changes as biofilms grow on surfaces such as stainless steel and polycarbonate in estuarine water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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