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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 May;13(5):255-68. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3433.

Living in the matrix: assembly and control of Vibrio cholerae biofilms.

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Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA.
Bioengineering Department, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA.


Nearly all bacteria form biofilms as a strategy for survival and persistence. Biofilms are associated with biotic and abiotic surfaces and are composed of aggregates of cells that are encased by a self-produced or acquired extracellular matrix. Vibrio cholerae has been studied as a model organism for understanding biofilm formation in environmental pathogens, as it spends much of its life cycle outside of the human host in the aquatic environment. Given the important role of biofilm formation in the V. cholerae life cycle, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process and the signals that trigger biofilm assembly or dispersal have been areas of intense investigation over the past 20 years. In this Review, we discuss V. cholerae surface attachment, various matrix components and the regulatory networks controlling biofilm formation.

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