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Trends Microbiol. 2014 Feb;22(2):84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.12.004. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Interactions in multispecies biofilms: do they actually matter?

Author information

1
Section of Microbiology, Universitetsparken 15, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Electronic address: burmolle@bio.ku.dk.
2
Section of Microbiology, Universitetsparken 15, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
3
Department of International Health, Immunology, and Microbiology, Costerton Biofilm Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Clinical Microbiology, Juliane Mariesvej 22, Rigshospitalet, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.

Abstract

The recent focus on complex bacterial communities has led to the recognition of interactions across species boundaries. This is particularly pronounced in multispecies biofilms, where synergistic interactions impact the bacterial distribution and overall biomass produced. Importantly, in a number of settings, the interactions in a multispecies biofilm affect its overall function, physiology, or surroundings, by resulting in enhanced resistance, virulence, or degradation of pollutants, which is of significant importance to human health and activities. The underlying mechanisms causing these synergistic effects are to some extent characterized at the molecular and evolutionary levels, and further exploration is now possible due to the enhanced resolution and higher throughput of available techniques.

KEYWORDS:

biofilms; communities; evolution; interactions; multispecies; synergy

PMID:
24440178
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2013.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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