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J Theor Biol. 2008 Mar 7;251(1):24-34. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Microcolony and biofilm formation as a survival strategy for bacteria.

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Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.


Bacterial communities such as biofilms are widely recognized as being important for survival and persistence of bacteria in harsh environments. Mechanistic models of biofilm growth indicate that the way in which the surface is seeded can effect the morphology of simulated biofilms. Experimental studies indicate that genes which are important for chemotaxis also influence biofilm formation, perhaps by influencing aggregation on a surface. Understanding aggregation and microcolony formation could therefore help clarify factors influencing biofilm formation and illuminate how groups influence the fitness of bacteria. In this paper I develop an individual based model to examine how different behaviors involved in microcolony formation on a surface determine patterns of group sizes and link patterns to bacterial fitness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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