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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 5;113(14):E2066-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1601702113. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Architectural transitions in Vibrio cholerae biofilms at single-cell resolution.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 35043 Marburg, Germany; Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544; Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544;
2
Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
3
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 35043 Marburg, Germany; Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544;
4
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544;
5
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 35043 Marburg, Germany;
6
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544;
7
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 bbassler@princeton.edu.

Abstract

Many bacterial species colonize surfaces and form dense 3D structures, known as biofilms, which are highly tolerant to antibiotics and constitute one of the major forms of bacterial biomass on Earth. Bacterial biofilms display remarkable changes during their development from initial attachment to maturity, yet the cellular architecture that gives rise to collective biofilm morphology during growth is largely unknown. Here, we use high-resolution optical microscopy to image all individual cells in Vibrio cholerae biofilms at different stages of development, including colonies that range in size from 2 to 4,500 cells. From these data, we extracted the precise 3D cellular arrangements, cell shapes, sizes, and global morphological features during biofilm growth on submerged glass substrates under flow. We discovered several critical transitions of the internal and external biofilm architectures that separate the major phases of V. cholerae biofilm growth. Optical imaging of biofilms with single-cell resolution provides a new window into biofilm formation that will prove invaluable to understanding the mechanics underlying biofilm development.

KEYWORDS:

biofilm; community; emergent order; nematic order; self-organization

Comment in

PMID:
26933214
PMCID:
PMC4833255
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1601702113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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