Bacterial biofilms: prokaryotic adventures in multicellularity

Bacterial biofilms: prokaryotic adventures in multicellularity

Joseph E. McDade

Three-dimensional bacterial biofilm microstructures display multicellular characteristics in common with higher organisms, such as cell death and differentiation during development, which carry several medical and evolutionary implications. Biofilm microstructures appear to enhance bacterial tolerance to a number of stresses, including antimicrobial agents; determinants of multicellularity, such as cell-cell signaling, are necessary for this tolerance. Processes of microcolony development and differentiation are therefore of particular interest as targets for novel strategies to control biofilms.

Webb JS, Givskov M, Kielleberg S. Bacterial biofilms: prokaryotic adventures in multicellularity. Curr Opin Microbiol 2003;6:578-85. Review. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mib.2003.10.014

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