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Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2007 Jul-Aug;9(4):399-410. Epub 2007 May 12.

Marine biofilms as mediators of colonization by marine macroorganisms: implications for antifouling and aquaculture.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Coastal Marine Lab, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clearwater Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong. boqianpy@ust.hk

Abstract

In the marine environment, biofilms on submerged surfaces can promote or discourage the settlement of invertebrate larvae and macroalgal spores. The settlement-mediating effects of biofilms are believed to involve a variety of biofilm attributes including surface chemistry, micro-topography, and a wide range of microbial products from small-molecule metabolites to high-molecular weight extracellular polymers. The settled organisms in turn can modify microbial species composition of biofilms and thus change the biofilm properties and dynamics. A better understanding of biofilm dynamics and chemical signals released and/or stored by biofilms will facilitate the development of antifouling and mariculture technologies. This review provides a brief account of 1) existing knowledge of marine biofilms that are relevant to settlement mediation, 2) biotechnological application of biofilms with respect to developing non-toxic antifouling technologies and improving the operation of aquaculture facilities, and 3) challenges and future directions for advancing our understanding of settlement-mediating functions of biofilms and for applying this knowledge to real-life situations.

PMID:
17497196
DOI:
10.1007/s10126-007-9001-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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