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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 May;11(5):337-48. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3010.

Going local: technologies for exploring bacterial microenvironments.

Author information

1
Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, A5000, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

Abstract

Microorganisms lead social lives and use coordinated chemical and physical interactions to establish complex communities. Mechanistic insights into these interactions have revealed that there are remarkably intricate systems for coordinating microbial behaviour, but little is known about how these interactions proceed in the spatially organized communities that are found in nature. This Review describes the technologies available for spatially organizing small microbial communities and the analytical methods for characterizing the chemical environment surrounding these communities. Together, these complementary technologies have provided novel insights into the impact of spatial organization on both microbial behaviour and the development of phenotypic heterogeneity within microbial communities.

PMID:
23588251
PMCID:
PMC3984535
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro3010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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