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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Dec;5(12):928-38.

Multimetal resistance and tolerance in microbial biofilms.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada.


Geochemical cycling and industrial pollution have made toxic metal ions a pervasive environmental pressure throughout the world. Biofilm formation is a strategy that microorganisms might use to survive a toxic flux in these inorganic compounds. Evidence in the literature suggests that biofilm populations are protected from toxic metals by the combined action of chemical, physical and physiological phenomena that are, in some instances, linked to phenotypic variation among the constituent biofilm cells. Here, we propose a multifactorial model by which biofilm populations can withstand metal toxicity by a process of cellular diversification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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