Development and maturation of Escherichia coli K-12 biofilms

Reisner, A., Haagensen, J. A. J., Schembri, M. A., Zechner, E. L. and Molin, S. (2003) Development and maturation of Escherichia coli K-12 biofilms. Molecular Microbiology, 48 4: 933-946. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03490.x

Author Reisner, A.
Haagensen, J. A. J.
Schembri, M. A.
Zechner, E. L.
Molin, S.
Title Development and maturation of Escherichia coli K-12 biofilms
Journal name Molecular Microbiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-382X
Publication date 2003-05-01
Year available 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03490.x
Open Access Status
Volume 48
Issue 4
Start page 933
End page 946
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject 0605 Microbiology
Abstract The development and maturation of E. coli biofilms in flow-chambers was investigated. We found that the presence of transfer constitutive IncF plasmids induced biofilm development forming structures resembling those reported for Pseudomonas aeruginosa . The development occurred in a step-wise process: (i) attachment of cells to the substratum, (ii) clonal growth and microcolony formation, and (iii) differentiation into expanding structures rising 70-100 mum into the water phase. The first two steps were the same in the plasmid-carrying and plasmid-free strains, whereas the third step only occurred in conjugation pilus proficient plasmid-carrying strains. The final shapes of the expanding structures in the mature biofilm seem to be determined by the pilus configuration, as various mutants affected in the processing and activity of the transfer pili displayed differently structured biofilms. We further provide evidence that flagella, type 1 fimbriae, curli and Ag43 are all dispensable for the observed biofilm maturation. In addition, our results indicate that cell-to-cell signalling mediated by autoinducer 2 (AI-2) is not required for differentiation of E. coli within a biofilm community. We suggest on the basis of these results that E. coli K-12 biofilm development and maturation is dependent on cell-cell adhesion factors, which may act as inducers of self-assembly processes that result in differently structured biofilms depending on the adhesive properties on the cell surface.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
F-sex Factor
Conjugative Plasmids
Bacterial Biofilms
Cloning Vectors
Transfer Region
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 202 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 211 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 20 Sep 2007, 02:40:05 EST