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Sample records for biofilms microbial life

  1. Biofilms: Microbial Life on Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

    Microorganisms attach to surfaces and develop biofilms. Biofilm-associated cells can be differentiated from their suspended counterparts by generation of an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, reduced growth rates, and the up- and down- regulation of specific genes. Attachment is a complex process regulated by diverse characteristics of the growth medium, substratum, and cell surface. An established biofilm structure comprises microbial cells and EPS, has a defined architecture, and provides an optimal environment for the exchange of genetic material between cells. Cells may also communicate via quorum sensing, which may in turn affect biofilm processes such as detachment. Biofilms have great importance for public health because of their role in certain infectious diseases and importance in a variety of device-related infections. A greater understanding of biofilm processes should lead to novel, effective control strategies for biofilm control and a resulting improvement in patient management. PMID:12194761

  2. Biofilms--a microbial life perspective: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Jain, Anekant; Gupta, Yashwant; Agrawal, Rahul; Khare, Piush; Jain, Sanjay K

    2007-01-01

    Microorganisms attach to surfaces, start multiplying, and develop biofilms. Biofilm-associated cells can be differentiated from their suspended counterparts by the generation of an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, reduced growth rates, and up- and downregulation of their specific genes. The attachment of microorganisms is a complex process regulated by diverse characteristics--growth medium, substratum, and cell surfaces. An established biofilm structure comprises microbial cells and EPS, has a defined architecture, and provides an optimal environment for the exchange of genetic material between cells. Cells may also communicate via quorum sensing, which may in turn affect biofilm processes such as detachment. Biofilms have great importance for public health because of their role in certain infectious diseases and their importance in a variety of device-related infections. Because many antibiotics are unable to eradicate dense biofilms, much work is required to devise ways to prevent their occurrence and clear them from the host. A greater understanding of biofilm processes should lead to novel, effective strategies for biofilm control and improvement in patient care and management. PMID:18197780

  3. Biofilms: A microbial home

    PubMed Central

    Chandki, Rita; Banthia, Priyank; Banthia, Ruchi

    2011-01-01

    Microbial biofilms are mainly implicated in etiopathogenesis of caries and periodontal disease. Owing to its properties, these pose great challenges. Continuous and regular disruption of these biofilms is imperative for prevention and management of oral diseases. This essay provides a detailed insight into properties, mechanisms of etiopathogenesis, detection and removal of these microbial biofilms. PMID:21976832

  4. Manipulation of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C.; Palmer, R.J., Jr.; Zinn, M.; Smith, C.A.; Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Whitaker, K.W.; Kirkegaard, R.D.

    1998-08-15

    The biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms be generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desaturation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  5. Manipulatiaon of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Palmer, R.J.; Smith, C.A.; Whitaker, K.W.; White, D.C.; Zinn, M.; kirkegaard, R.

    1998-08-09

    The Biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms by generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desquamation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in the distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  6. Microbial biofilm studies of the Environmental Control and Life Support System water recovery test for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obenhuber, D. C.; Huff, T. L.; Rodgers, E. B.

    1991-01-01

    Analysis of biofilm accumulation, studies of iodine disinfection of biofilm, and the potential for microbially influenced corrosion in the water recovery test (WRT) are presented. The analysis of WRT components showed the presence of biofilms and organic deposits in selected tubing. Water samples from the WRT contained sulfate-reducing and acid-producing organisms implicated in corrosion processes. Corrosion of an aluminum alloy was accelerated in the presence of these water samples, but stainless steel corrosion rates were not accelerated.

  7. Posttranslational modification and sequence variation of redox-active proteins correlate with biofilm life cycle in natural microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Steven; Erickson, Brian K; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hwang, Mona; Shah, Manesh B; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing proteins recovered from natural microbial communities affords the opportunity to correlate protein expression and modification with environmental factors, including species composition and successional stage. Proteogenomic and biochemical studies of pellicle biofilms from subsurface acid mine drainage streams have shown abundant cytochromes from the dominant organism, Leptospirillum Group II. These cytochromes are proposed to be key proteins in aerobic Fe(II) oxidation, the dominant mode of cellular energy generation by the biofilms. In this study, we determined that posttranslational modification and expression of amino-acid sequence variants change as a function of biofilm maturation. For Cytochrome579 (Cyt579), the most abundant cytochrome in the biofilms, late developmental-stage biofilms differed from early-stage biofilms in N-terminal truncations and decreased redox potentials. Expression of sequence variants of two monoheme c-type cytochromes also depended on biofilm development. For Cyt572, an abundant membrane-bound cytochrome, the expression of multiple sequence variants was observed in both early and late developmental-stage biofilms; however, redox potentials of Cyt572 from these different sources did not vary significantly. These cytochrome analyses show a complex response of the Leptospirillum Group II electron transport chain to growth within a microbial community and illustrate the power of multiple proteomics techniques to define biochemistry in natural systems.

  8. Microbial biofilm studies of the environmental control and life support system water recovery test for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, E. B.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Huff, T. L.

    1992-01-01

    NASA is developing a water recovery system (WRS) for Space Station Freedom to reclaim human waste water for reuse by astronauts as hygiene or potable water. A water recovery test (WRT) currently in progress investigates the performance of a prototype of the WRS. Analysis of biofilm accumulation, the potential for microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) in the WRT, and studies of iodine disinfection of biofilm are reported. Analysis of WRT components indicated the presence of organic deposits and biofilms in selected tubing. Water samples for the WRT contained acid-producing and sulfate-reducing organisms implicated in corrosion processes. Corrosion of an aluminum alloy was accelerated in the presence of these water samples; however, stainless steel corrosion rates were not accelerated. Biofilm iodine sensitivity tests using an experimental laboratory scale recycled water system containing a microbial check valve (MCV) demonstrated that an iodine concentration of 1 to 2 mg/L was ineffective in eliminating microbial biofilm. For complete disinfection, an initial concentration of 16 mg/L was required, which was gradually reduced by the MCV over 4 to 8 hours to 1 to 2 mg/L. This treatment may be useful in controlling biofilm formation.

  9. Voice prostheses, microbial colonization and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Leonhard, Matthias; Schneider-Stickler, Berit

    2015-01-01

    Total laryngectomy is performed in advanced laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer stages and results in reduced quality of life due to the loss of voice and smell, permanent tracheostoma and occasionally dysphagia. Therefore, successful voice rehabilitation is highly beneficial for the patients' quality of life after surgery. Over the past decades, voice prostheses have evolved to the gold standard in rehabilitation and allow faster and superior voicing results after laryngectomy compared to esophageal speech. Polyspecies biofilm formation has become the limiting factor for device lifetimes and causes prosthesis dysfunction, leakage and in consequence pneumonia, if not replaced immediately. Although major improvements in prosthesis design have been made and scientific insight in the complexity of biofilm evolution and material interaction progresses, the microbial colonization continues to restrict device lifetimes, causing patient discomfort and elevated health costs. However, present scientific findings and advances in technology yield promising future approaches to improve the situation for laryngectomized patients. PMID:25366225

  10. Microbial biofilms on building stone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppert, M.; Kemmling, A.; Kämper, M.

    2003-04-01

    Microbial biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic and terrestric ecosystems as well as on man-made material. The organisms take part in biogenic weathering on natural rocks as well as on building stone [1]. Though the presence of biofilms on stone monuments exposed to the outdoor environment is obvious, thin films also occur on monuments under controllable indoor environment conditions. Numerous biofilm organisms produce large volumes of extracellular polymer (EP), mainly polysaccharides. Hydrated, gel-like EP acts as glue between the organisms and the material surface and forms a protected environment for the microbial cells. The contact zone between EP and the material surface is the crucial reactive interface of the bio-organic cover and the underlying building material. At this interface, all hazardous compounds (e.g. organic acids), after diffusion transfer via EP, react with the material surface. Upon dehydration, volume of EP greatly decreases. The thin, varnish-like EP layer still protects the dormant cells from irreversible inactivation. Periodic shrinking and swelling of the EP induces mechanical stress on the stone surface, epecially when the polymer penetrates small pores and cavities in the underlying material surface. Thus, monitoring and structure/functional analysis of EP and EP production by organisms is important to understand biogenic weathering phenomena and building stone deterioration. The study presented here describes biofilms on the surfaces of building material in outdoor and indoor environments. The application of marker techniques and visualization of samples with light and electron microscopy illustrates the role of EP at microscale. EP forms the matrix that encloses microorganisms, dust particles and mineral grains in a rigid film. EP penetrates small pore spaces of the underlying substratum and may also facilitate subsequent penetration of the microorganisms into the material. EP seals the material surface and cements the superficial layer

  11. MICROBIAL BIOFILMS AS INDICATORS OF ESTUARINE CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial biofilms are complex communities of bacteria, protozoa, microalgae, and micrometazoa which exist in a polymer matrix on submerged surfaces. Their development is integrative of environmental conditions and is affected by local biodiversity, the availability of organic ma...

  12. Molecular Survey of Concrete Biofilm Microbial Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although several studies have shown that bacteria can deteriorate concrete structures, there is very little information on the composition of concrete microbial communities. To this end, we studied different microbial communities associated with concrete biofilms using 16S rRNA g...

  13. Microbial biofilms in intertidal systems: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decho, Alan W.

    2000-07-01

    Intertidal marine systems are highly dynamic systems which are characterized by periodic fluctuations in environmental parameters. Microbial processes play critical roles in the remineralization of nutrients and primary production in intertidal systems. Many of the geochemical and biological processes which are mediated by microorganisms occur within microenvironments which can be measured over micrometer spatial scales. These processes are localized by cells within a matrix of extracellular polymeric secretions (EPS), collectively called a "microbial biofilm". Recent examinations of intertidal systems by a range of investigators using new approaches show an abundance of biofilm communities. The purpose of this overview is to examine recent information concerning the roles of microbial biofilms in intertidal systems. The microbial biofilm is a common adaptation of natural bacteria and other microorganisms. In the fluctuating environments of intertidal systems, biofilms form protective microenvironments and may structure a range of microbial processes. The EPS matrix of biofilm forms sticky coatings on individual sediment particles and detrital surfaces, which act as a stabilizing anchor to buffer cells and their extracellular processes during the frequent physical stresses (e.g., changes in salinity and temperature, UV irradiation, dessication). EPS is an operational definition designed to encompass a range of large microbially-secreted molecules having widely varying physical and chemical properties, and a range of biological roles. Examinations of EPS using Raman and Fourier-transform infared spectroscopy, and atomic-force microscopy suggest that some EPS gels possess physical and chemical properties which may hasten the development of sharp geochemical gradients, and contribute a protective effect to cells. Biofilm polymers act as a sorptive sponge which binds and concentrates organic molecules and ions close to cells. Concurrently, the EPS appear to localize

  14. Microbial Biofilms: from Ecology to Molecular Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Mary Ellen; O'toole, George A.

    2000-01-01

    Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms attached to surfaces or associated with interfaces. Despite the focus of modern microbiology research on pure culture, planktonic (free-swimming) bacteria, it is now widely recognized that most bacteria found in natural, clinical, and industrial settings persist in association with surfaces. Furthermore, these microbial communities are often composed of multiple species that interact with each other and their environment. The determination of biofilm architecture, particularly the spatial arrangement of microcolonies (clusters of cells) relative to one another, has profound implications for the function of these complex communities. Numerous new experimental approaches and methodologies have been developed in order to explore metabolic interactions, phylogenetic groupings, and competition among members of the biofilm. To complement this broad view of biofilm ecology, individual organisms have been studied using molecular genetics in order to identify the genes required for biofilm development and to dissect the regulatory pathways that control the plankton-to-biofilm transition. These molecular genetic studies have led to the emergence of the concept of biofilm formation as a novel system for the study of bacterial development. The recent explosion in the field of biofilm research has led to exciting progress in the development of new technologies for studying these communities, advanced our understanding of the ecological significance of surface-attached bacteria, and provided new insights into the molecular genetic basis of biofilm development. PMID:11104821

  15. Active laser tweezers microrheometry of microbial biofilms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterman, N.; Slapar, V.; Boric, M.; Stopar, D.; Babič, D.; Poberaj, I.

    2010-08-01

    Microbial biofilms are present on biotic and abiotic surfaces and have a significant impact on many fields in industry, health care and technology. Thus, a better understanding of processes that lead to development of biofilms and their chemical and mechanical properties is needed. In the following paper we report the results of active laser tweezers microrheology study of optically inhomogeneous extracellular matrix secreted by Visbrio sp. bacteria. One particle and two particle active microrheology were used in experiments. Both methods exhibited high enough sensitivity to detect viscosity changes at early stages of bacterial growth. We also showed that both methods can be used in mature samples where optical inhomogeneity becomes significant.

  16. Community proteomics of a natural microbial biofilm.

    PubMed

    Ram, Rachna J; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Thelen, Michael P; Tyson, Gene W; Baker, Brett J; Blake, Robert C; Shah, Manesh; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2005-06-24

    Using genomic and mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation. PMID:15879173

  17. Community Proteomics of a Natural Microbial Biofilm

    SciTech Connect

    Ram, Rachna J.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Thelen, Michael P.; Tyson, Gene W.; Baker, Brett J.; Shah, Manesh B; BlakeII, Robert C.; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2005-06-01

    Using genomic and mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation.

  18. Environmental transcriptome analysis reveals physiological differences between biofilm and planktonic modes of life of the iron oxidizing bacteria Leptospirillum spp. in their natural microbial community

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Extreme acidic environments are characterized by their high metal content and lack of nutrients (oligotrophy). Macroscopic biofilms and filaments usually grow on the water-air interface or under the stream attached to solid substrates (streamers). In the Río Tinto (Spain), brown filaments develop under the water stream where the Gram-negative iron-oxidizing bacteria Leptospirillum spp. (L. ferrooxidans and L. ferriphilum) and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans are abundant. These microorganisms play a critical role in bioleaching processes for industrial (biominery) and environmental applications (acid mine drainage, bioremediation). The aim of this study was to investigate the physiological differences between the free living (planktonic) and the sessile (biofilm associated) lifestyles of Leptospirillum spp. as part of its natural extremely acidophilic community. Results Total RNA extracted from environmental samples was used to determine the composition of the metabolically active members of the microbial community and then to compare the biofilm and planktonic environmental transcriptomes by hybridizing to a genomic microarray of L. ferrooxidans. Genes up-regulated in the filamentous biofilm are involved in cellular functions related to biofilm formation and maintenance, such as: motility and quorum sensing (mqsR, cheAY, fliA, motAB), synthesis of cell wall structures (lnt, murA, murB), specific proteases (clpX/clpP), stress response chaperons (clpB, clpC, grpE-dnaKJ, groESL), etc. Additionally, genes involved in mixed acid fermentation (poxB, ackA) were up-regulated in the biofilm. This result, together with the presence of small organic acids like acetate and formate (1.36 mM and 0.06 mM respectively) in the acidic (pH 1.8) water stream, suggests that either L. ferrooxidans or other member of the microbial community are producing acetate in the acidophilic biofilm under microaerophilic conditions. Conclusions Our results indicate that the acidophilic

  19. Microbial Biofilms: Persisters, Tolerance and Dosing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cogan, N. G.

    2005-03-01

    Almost all moist surfaces are colonized by microbial biofilms. Biofilms are implicated in cross-contamination of food products, biofouling, medical implants and various human infections such as dental cavities, ulcerative colitis and chronic respiratory infections. Much of current research is focused on the recalcitrance of biofilms to typical antibiotic and antimicrobial treatments. Although the polymer component of biofilms impedes the penetration of antimicrobials through reaction-diffusion limitation, this does not explain the observed tolerance, it merely delays the action of the agent. Heterogeneities in growth-rate also slow the eradication of the bacteria since most antimicrobials are far less effective for non-growing, or slowly growing bacteria. This also does not fully describe biofilm tolerance, since heterogeneities arr primairly a result of nutrient consumption. In this investigation, we describe the formation of `persister' cells which neither grow nor die in the presence of antibiotics. We propose that the cells are of a different phenotype than typical bacterial cells and the expression of the phenotype is regulated by the growth rate and the antibiotic concentration. We describe several experiments which describe the dynamics of persister cells and which motivate a dosing protocol that calls for periodic dosing of the population. We then introduce a mathematical model, which describes the effect of such a dosing regiment and indicates that the relative dose/withdrawal times are important in determining the effectiveness of such a treatment. A reduced model is introduced and the similar behavior is demonstrated analytically.

  20. Biophysical controls on cluster dynamics and architectural differentiation of microbial biofilms in contrasting flow environments.

    PubMed

    Hödl, Iris; Mari, Lorenzo; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Suweis, Samir; Besemer, Katharina; Rinaldo, Andrea; Battin, Tom J

    2014-03-01

    Ecology, with a traditional focus on plants and animals, seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying structure and dynamics of communities. In microbial ecology, the focus is changing from planktonic communities to attached biofilms that dominate microbial life in numerous systems. Therefore, interest in the structure and function of biofilms is on the rise. Biofilms can form reproducible physical structures (i.e. architecture) at the millimetre-scale, which are central to their functioning. However, the spatial dynamics of the clusters conferring physical structure to biofilms remains often elusive. By experimenting with complex microbial communities forming biofilms in contrasting hydrodynamic microenvironments in stream mesocosms, we show that morphogenesis results in 'ripple-like' and 'star-like' architectures--as they have also been reported from monospecies bacterial biofilms, for instance. To explore the potential contribution of demographic processes to these architectures, we propose a size-structured population model to simulate the dynamics of biofilm growth and cluster size distribution. Our findings establish that basic physical and demographic processes are key forces that shape apparently universal biofilm architectures as they occur in diverse microbial but also in single-species bacterial biofilms. PMID:23879839

  1. Microbial biofilm formation and its consequences for the CELSS program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, R.

    1994-01-01

    A major goal of the Controlled Ecology Life Support System (CELSS) program is to provide reliable and efficient life support systems for long-duration space flights. A principal focus of the program is on the growth of higher plants in growth chambers. These crops should be grown without the risk of damage from microbial contamination. While it is unlikely that plant pathogens will pose a risk, there are serious hazards associated with microorganisms carried in the nutrient delivery systems and in the atmosphere of the growth chamber. Our experience in surface microbiology showed that colonization of surfaces with microorganisms is extremely rapid even when the inoculum is small. After initial colonization extensive biofilms accumulate on moist surfaces. These microbial films metabolize actively and slough off continuously to the air and water. During plant growth in the CELSS program, microbial biofilms have the potential to foul sensors and to plug nutrient delivery systems. In addition both metabolic products of microbial growth and degradation products of materials being considered for use as nutrient reservoirs and for delivery are likely sources of chemicals known to adversly affect plant growth.

  2. MICROBIAL BIOFILMS AS INTEGRATIVE SENSORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Snyder, Richard A., Michael A. Lewis, Andreas Nocker and Joe E. Lepo. In press. Microbial Biofilms as Integrative Sensors of Environmental Quality. In: Estuarine Indicators Workshop Proceedings. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 34 p. (ERL,GB 1198).

    Microbial biofilms are comple...

  3. Microbial community structures in a closed raw water distribution system biofilm as revealed by 454-pyrosequencing analysis and the effect of microbial biofilm communities on raw water quality.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jianghan; Liang, Heng; Yan, Lijun; Ma, Jun; Yang, Yanling; Li, Guibai

    2013-11-01

    This is the first report on the characterization of the microbial biofilm community structure and water quality change along a closed and stable raw water distribution system. 454-pyrosequencing was employed to investigate the microbial communities in four biofilm samples. 25,426 optimized sequences were obtained. Results showed Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in each biofilm sample. The abundance of Nitrospiraes in M6 biofilm, Firmicutes in M8 biofilm, Actinobacteria in M9 biofilm were higher by comparing with other three biofilm samples. The M6 microbial biofilm community structure was similar to that of M7, dissimilar to that of M9. Dissolved oxygen and nitrogen was probably major factors to influence the microbial biofilm communities. Nitrospiraes in M6 biofilm and Firmicutes in M8 biofilm were crucial to remove ammonia nitrogen and nitrate in raw water. How to enrich functional microbes in biofilm to pretreat raw water is an important area of future research. PMID:24055963

  4. Microbial composition and antibiotic resistance of biofilms recovered from endotracheal tubes of mechanically ventilated patients.

    PubMed

    Vandecandelaere, Ilse; Coenye, Tom

    2015-01-01

    In critically ill patients, breathing is impaired and mechanical ventilation, using an endotracheal tube (ET) connected to a ventilator, is necessary. Although mechanical ventilation is a life-saving procedure, it is not without risk. Because of several reasons, a biofilm often forms at the distal end of the ET and this biofilm is a persistent source of bacteria which can infect the lungs, causing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). There is a link between the microbial flora of ET biofilms and the microorganisms involved in the onset of VAP. Culture dependent and independent techniques were already used to identify the microbial flora of ET biofilms and also, the antibiotic resistance of microorganisms obtained from ET biofilms was determined. The ESKAPE pathogens play a dominant role in the onset of VAP and these organisms were frequently identified in ET biofilms. Also, antibiotic resistant microorganisms were frequently present in ET biofilms. Members of the normal oral flora were also identified in ET biofilms but it is thought that these organisms initiate ET biofilm formation and are not directly involved in the development of VAP. PMID:25366226

  5. Enhancing Metagenomics Investigations of Microbial Interactions with Biofilm Technology

    PubMed Central

    McLean, Robert J. C.; Kakirde, Kavita S.

    2013-01-01

    Investigations of microbial ecology and diversity have been greatly enhanced by the application of culture-independent techniques. One such approach, metagenomics, involves sample collections from soil, water, and other environments. Extracted nucleic acids from bulk environmental samples are sequenced and analyzed, which allows microbial interactions to be inferred on the basis of bioinformatics calculations. In most environments, microbial interactions occur predominately in surface-adherent, biofilm communities. In this review, we address metagenomics sampling and biofilm biology, and propose an experimental strategy whereby the resolving power of metagenomics can be enhanced by incorporating a biofilm-enrichment step during sample acquisition. PMID:24284397

  6. Spatial & Temporal Geophysical Monitoring of Microbial Growth and Biofilm Formation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous studies have examined the effect of biogenic gases and biomineralization on the acoustic properties of porous media. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal effect of microbial growth and biofilm formation on compressional waves and complex conductivity in sand...

  7. A computational model for biofilm-based microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Picioreanu, Cristian; Head, Ian M; Katuri, Krishna P; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M; Scott, Keith

    2007-07-01

    This study describes and evaluates a computational model for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) based on redox mediators with several populations of suspended and attached biofilm microorganisms, and multiple dissolved chemical species. A number of biological, chemical and electrochemical reactions can occur in the bulk liquid, in the biofilm and at the electrode surface. The evolution in time of important MFC parameters (current, charge, voltage and power production, consumption of substrates, suspended and attached biomass growth) has been simulated under several operational conditions. Model calculations evaluated the effect of different substrate utilization yields, standard potential of the redox mediator, ratio of suspended to biofilm cells, initial substrate and mediator concentrations, mediator diffusivity, mass transfer boundary layer, external load resistance, endogenous metabolism, repeated substrate additions and competition between different microbial groups in the biofilm. Two- and three-dimensional model simulations revealed the heterogeneous current distribution over the planar anode surface for younger and patchy biofilms, but becoming uniform in older and more homogeneous biofilms. For uniformly flat biofilms one-dimensional models should give sufficiently accurate descriptions of produced currents. Voltage- and power-current characteristics can also be calculated at different moments in time to evaluate the limiting regime in which the MFC operates. Finally, the model predictions are tested with previously reported experimental data obtained in a batch MFC with a Geobacter biofilm fed with acetate. The potential of the general modeling framework presented here is in the understanding and design of more complex cases of wastewater-fed microbial fuel cells. PMID:17537478

  8. The biofilm ecology of microbial biofouling, biocide resistance and corrosion

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C. |; Kirkegaard, R.D.; Palmer, R.J. Jr.; Flemming, C.A.; Chen, G.; Leung, K.T.; Phiefer, C.B.; Arrage, A.A. |

    1997-06-01

    In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. Heterogeneous distribution of microbes and/or their metabolic activity can promote microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) which is a multibillion dollar problem. Consequently, it is important that biofilm microbial ecology be understood so it can be manipulated rationally. It is usually simple to select organisms that form biofilms by flowing a considerably dilute media over a substratum, and propagating the organisms that attach. To examine the biofilm most expeditiously, the biomass accumulation, desquamation, and metabolic activities need to be monitored on-line and non-destructively. This on-line monitoring becomes even more valuable if the activities can be locally mapped in time and space within the biofilm. Herein the authors describe quantitative measures of microbial biofouling, the ecology of pathogens in drinking water distributions systems, and localization of microbial biofilms and activities with localized MIC.

  9. Coexistence facilitates interspecific biofilm formation in complex microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jonas S; Røder, Henriette L; Russel, Jakob; Sørensen, Helle; Burmølle, Mette; Sørensen, Søren J

    2016-09-01

    Social interactions in which bacteria respond to one another by modifying their phenotype are central determinants of microbial communities. It is known that interspecific interactions influence the biofilm phenotype of bacteria; a phenotype that is central to the fitness of bacteria. However, the underlying role of fundamental ecological factors, specifically coexistence and phylogenetic history, in biofilm formation remains unclear. This study examines how social interactions affect biofilm formation in multi-species co-cultures from five diverse environments. We found prevalence of increased biofilm formation among co-cultured bacteria that have coexisted in their original environment. Conversely, when randomly co-culturing bacteria across these five consortia, we found less biofilm induction and a prevalence of biofilm reduction. Reduction in biofilm formation was even more predominant when co-culturing bacteria from environments where long-term coexistence was unlikely to have occurred. Phylogenetic diversity was not found to be a strong underlying factor but a relation between biofilm induction and phylogenetic history was found. The data indicates that biofilm reduction is typically correlated with an increase in planktonic cell numbers, thus implying a behavioral response rather than mere growth competition. Our findings suggest that an increase in biofilm formation is a common adaptive response to long-term coexistence. PMID:27119650

  10. Metamorphosis of a scleractinian coral in response to microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Webster, Nicole S; Smith, Luke D; Heyward, Andrew J; Watts, Joy E M; Webb, Richard I; Blackall, Linda L; Negri, Andrew P

    2004-02-01

    Microorganisms have been reported to induce settlement and metamorphosis in a wide range of marine invertebrate species. However, the primary cue reported for metamorphosis of coral larvae is calcareous coralline algae (CCA). Herein we report the community structure of developing coral reef biofilms and the potential role they play in triggering the metamorphosis of a scleractinian coral. Two-week-old biofilms induced metamorphosis in less than 10% of larvae, whereas metamorphosis increased significantly on older biofilms, with a maximum of 41% occurring on 8-week-old microbial films. There was a significant influence of depth in 4- and 8-week biofilms, with greater levels of metamorphosis occurring in response to shallow-water communities. Importantly, larvae were found to settle and metamorphose in response to microbial biofilms lacking CCA from both shallow and deep treatments, indicating that microorganisms not associated with CCA may play a significant role in coral metamorphosis. A polyphasic approach consisting of scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed that coral reef biofilms were comprised of complex bacterial and microalgal communities which were distinct at each depth and time. Principal-component analysis of FISH data showed that the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Cytophaga-Flavobacterium of Bacteroidetes had the largest influence on overall community composition. A low abundance of Archaea was detected in almost all biofilms, providing the first report of Archaea associated with coral reef biofilms. No differences in the relative densities of each subdivision of Proteobacteria were observed between slides that induced larval metamorphosis and those that did not. Comparative cluster analysis of bacterial DGGE patterns also revealed that there were clear age and depth distinctions in biofilm community structure; however, no

  11. A mucosal model to study microbial biofilm development and anti-biofilm therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michele J.; Parks, Patrick J.; Peterson, Marnie L.

    2013-01-01

    Biofilms are a sessile colony of bacteria which adhere to and persist on surfaces. The ability of bacteria to form biofilms is considered a virulence factor, and in fact is central to the pathogenesis of some organisms. Biofilms are inherently resistant to chemotherapy and host immune responses. Clinically, biofilms are considered a primary cause of a majority of infections, such as otitis media, pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients and endocarditis. However, the vast majority of the data on biofilm formation comes from traditional microtiter-based or flow displacement assays with no consideration given to host factors. These assays, which have been a valuable tool in high-throughput screening for biofilm-related factors, do not mimic a host-pathogen interaction and may contribute to an inappropriate estimation of the role of some factors in clinical biofilm formation. We describe the development of a novel ex vivo model of biofilm formation on a mucosal surface by an important mucosal pathogen, methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). This model is being used for the identification of microbial virulence factors important in mucosal biofilm formation and novel anti-biofilm therapies. PMID:23246911

  12. Next-generation studies of microbial biofilm communities.

    PubMed

    Rice, Scott A; Wuertz, Stefan; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2016-09-01

    As we look into the future of microbial biofilm research, there is clearly an emerging focus on communities rather than populations. This represents an essential change in direction to more accurately understand how and why microorganisms assemble into communities, as well as the functional implications for such a life style. For example, current research studies shows that communities display emergent properties or functions that are not predicted from the individual single species populations, including elevated stress tolerance and resistance to antibiotics. Models for mixed species biofilms can be very simple, comprised only a handful of species or can be extremely species rich, with hundreds or thousands of species present. The future holds much promise for this area of research, where investigators will increasingly be able to resolve, at the molecular and biochemical levels, interspecies relationships and mechanisms of interaction. The outcome of these studies will greatly enhance our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive community function in natural and engineered systems. PMID:27471123

  13. The role of microbial biofilms in prosthetic joint infections.

    PubMed

    Gbejuade, Herbert O; Lovering, Andrew M; Webb, Jason C

    2015-04-01

    Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) still remains a significant problem. In line with the forecasted rise in joint replacement procedures, the number of cases of PJI is also anticipated to rise. The formation of biofilm by causative pathogens is central to the occurrence and the recalcitrance of PJI. The subject of microbial biofilms is receiving increasing attention, probably as a result of the wide acknowledgement of the ubiquity of biofilms in the natural, industrial, and clinical contexts, as well as the notorious difficulty in eradicating them. In this review, we discuss the pertinent issues surrounding PJI and the challenges posed by biofilms regarding diagnosis and treatment. In addition, we discuss novel strategies of prevention and treatment of biofilm-related PJI. PMID:25238433

  14. Dynamic remodeling of microbial biofilms by functionally distinct exopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Chew, Su Chuen; Kundukad, Binu; Seviour, Thomas; van der Maarel, Johan R C; Yang, Liang; Rice, Scott A; Doyle, Patrick; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2014-01-01

    Biofilms are densely populated communities of microbial cells protected and held together by a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. The structure and rheological properties of the matrix at the microscale influence the retention and transport of molecules and cells in the biofilm, thereby dictating population and community behavior. Despite its importance, quantitative descriptions of the matrix microstructure and microrheology are limited. Here, particle-tracking microrheology in combination with genetic approaches was used to spatially and temporally study the rheological contributions of the major exopolysaccharides Pel and Psl in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Psl increased the elasticity and effective cross-linking within the matrix, which strengthened its scaffold and appeared to facilitate the formation of microcolonies. Conversely, Pel reduced effective cross-linking within the matrix. Without Psl, the matrix becomes more viscous, which facilitates biofilm spreading. The wild-type biofilm decreased in effective cross-linking over time, which would be advantageous for the spreading and colonization of new surfaces. This suggests that there are regulatory mechanisms to control production of the exopolysaccharides that serve to remodel the matrix of developing biofilms. The exopolysaccharides were also found to have profound effects on the spatial organization and integration of P. aeruginosa in a mixed-species biofilm model of P. aeruginosa-Staphylococcus aureus. Pel was required for close association of the two species in mixed-species microcolonies. In contrast, Psl was important for P. aeruginosa to form single-species biofilms on top of S. aureus biofilms. Our results demonstrate that Pel and Psl have distinct physical properties and functional roles during biofilm formation. Importance: Most bacteria grow as biofilms in the environment or in association with eukaryotic hosts. Removal of biofilms that form on surfaces is a challenge in clinical

  15. Microbial biofilm study by synchrotron X-ray microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennafirme, S.; Lima, I.; Bitencourt, J. A.; Crapez, M. A. C.; Lopes, R. T.

    2015-11-01

    Microbial biofilm has already being used to remove metals and other pollutants from wastewater. In this sense, our proposal was to isolate and cultivate bacteria consortia from mangrove's sediment resistant to Zn (II) and Cu (II) at 50 mg L-1 and to observe, through synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy (microXRF), whether the biofilm sequestered the metal. The biofilm area analyzed was 1 mm2 and a 2D map was generated (pixel size 20×20 μm2, counting time 5 s/point). The biofilm formation and retention followed the sequence Zn>Cu. Bacterial consortium zinc resistant formed dense biofilm and retained 63.83% of zinc, while the bacterial consortium copper resistant retained 3.21% of copper, with lower biofilm formation. Dehydrogenase activity of Zn resistant bacterial consortium was not negatively affect by 50 mg ml-1 zinc input, whereas copper resistant bacterial consortium showed a significant decrease on dehydrogenase activity (50 mg mL-1 of Cu input). In conclusion, biofilm may protect bacterial cells, acting as barrier against metal toxicity. The bacterial consortia Zn resistant, composed by Nitratireductor spp. and Pseudomonas spp formed dense biofilm and sequestered metal from water, decreasing the metal bioavailability. These bacterial consortia can be used in bioreactors and in bioremediation programs.

  16. The effects of disinfectant foam on microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Sreenivasan, Prem K; Chorny, Roberto C

    2005-01-01

    This investigation examined the effects of common aqueous biocides and disinfectant foams derived from them on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Biofilms were grown on stainless steel coupons under standardised conditions in a reactor supplemented with low concentrations of organic matter to simulate conditions prevalent in industrial systems. Five-day-old biofilms formed under ambient conditions with continuous agitation demonstrated a low coefficient of variation (5.809%) amongst viable biofilm bacteria from independent trials. Scanning electron microscopy revealed biofilms on coupons with viable biofilm bacteria observed by confocal microscopy. An aqueous solution of a common foaming agent amine oxide (AO) produced negligible effects on bacterial viability in biofilms (p>0.05). However, significant biofilm inactivation was noted with aqueous solutions of common biocides (peracetic acid, sodium hypochlorite, sodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) with or without AO (p<0.05). Aereation of a mixture of AO with each of these common biocides resulted in significant reductions in the viability of biofilm bacteria (p<0.05). In contrast, limited effects were noted by foam devoid of biocides. A relationship between microbial inactivation and the concentration of biocide in foam (ranging from 0.1-0.5%) and exposure period were noted (p<0.05). Although, lower numbers of viable biofilm bacteria were recovered after treatment with the disinfectant foam than by the cognate aqueous biocide, significant differences between these treatments were not evident (p>0.05). In summary, the studies revealed significant biofilm inactivation by biocidal foam prepared with common biocides. Validation of foam disinfectants in controlled trials at manufacturing sites may facilitate developments for clean in place applications. Advantages of foam disinfectants include reductions in the volumes of biocides for industrial disinfection and in their disposal after use. PMID:16167393

  17. Laser Microbial Killing and Biofilm Disruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krespi, Yosef P.; Kizhner, Victor

    2009-06-01

    Objectives: To analyze the ability of NIR lasers to reduce bacterial load and demonstrate the capability of fiber-based Q-switched Nd:YAG laser disrupting biofilm. Study Design: NIR diode laser was tested in vitro and in vivo using pathogenic microorganisms (S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa). In addition biofilms were grown from clinical Pseudomonas isolates and placed in culture plates, screws, tympanostomy tubes and PET sutures. Methods: In the animal experiments acute rhinosinusitis model was created by packing the rabbit nose with bacteria soaked solution. The nasal pack was removed in two days and nose was exposed to laser irradiation. A 940 nm diode laser with fiber diffuser was used. Nasal cultures were obtained before and after the laser treatments. Animals were sacrificed fifteen days following laser treatment and bacteriologic/histologic results analyzed. Q-switched Nd:YAG laser generated shockwave pulses were delivered on biofilm using special probes over culture plates, screws, tubes, and PET sutures for the biofilm experiments. Results: Average of two log bacteria reduction was achieved with NIR laser compared to controls. Histologic studies demonstrated preservation of tissue integrity without significant damage to mucosa. Biofilms were imaged before, during and after treatment using a confocal microscope. During laser-generated shockwave application, biofilm was initially seen to oscillate and eventually break off. Large and small pieces of biofilm were totally and instantly removed from the surface to which they were attached in seconds. Conclusions: Significant bacterial reduction was achieved with NIR laser therapy in this experimental in vitro and animal study. In addition we disrupted Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms using Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and special probes generating plasma and shockwave. This new and innovative method of bacteria killing and biofilm disruption without injuring host tissue may have clinical application in the

  18. Embryo fossilization is a biological process mediated by microbial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Elizabeth C.; Schollaert, Kaila L.; Nelson, David E.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Turner, F. Rudolf; Stein, Barry D.; Dong, Xiping; Bengtson, Stefan; Huldtgren, Therese; Stampanoni, Marco; Chongyu, Yin; Raff, Rudolf A.

    2008-01-01

    Fossilized embryos with extraordinary cellular preservation appear in the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian, coincident with the appearance of animal body fossils. It has been hypothesized that microbial processes are responsible for preservation and mineralization of organic tissues. However, the actions of microbes in preservation of embryos have not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, we show that bacterial biofilms assemble rapidly in dead marine embryos and form remarkable pseudomorphs in which the bacterial biofilm replaces and exquisitely models details of cellular organization and structure. The experimental model was the decay of cleavage stage embryos similar in size and morphology to fossil embryos. The data show that embryo preservation takes place in 3 distinct steps: (i) blockage of autolysis by reducing or anaerobic conditions, (ii) rapid formation of microbial biofilms that consume the embryo but form a replica that retains cell organization and morphology, and (iii) bacterially catalyzed mineralization. Major bacterial taxa in embryo decay biofilms were identified by using 16S rDNA sequencing. Decay processes were similar in different taphonomic conditions, but the composition of bacterial populations depended on specific conditions. Experimental taphonomy generates preservation states similar to those in fossil embryos. The data show how fossilization of soft tissues in sediments can be mediated by bacterial replacement and mineralization, providing a foundation for experimentally creating biofilms from defined microbial species to model fossilization as a biological process. PMID:19047625

  19. Dynamic Remodeling of Microbial Biofilms by Functionally Distinct Exopolysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Su Chuen; Kundukad, Binu; Seviour, Thomas; van der Maarel, Johan R. C.; Yang, Liang; Rice, Scott A.; Doyle, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Biofilms are densely populated communities of microbial cells protected and held together by a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. The structure and rheological properties of the matrix at the microscale influence the retention and transport of molecules and cells in the biofilm, thereby dictating population and community behavior. Despite its importance, quantitative descriptions of the matrix microstructure and microrheology are limited. Here, particle-tracking microrheology in combination with genetic approaches was used to spatially and temporally study the rheological contributions of the major exopolysaccharides Pel and Psl in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Psl increased the elasticity and effective cross-linking within the matrix, which strengthened its scaffold and appeared to facilitate the formation of microcolonies. Conversely, Pel reduced effective cross-linking within the matrix. Without Psl, the matrix becomes more viscous, which facilitates biofilm spreading. The wild-type biofilm decreased in effective cross-linking over time, which would be advantageous for the spreading and colonization of new surfaces. This suggests that there are regulatory mechanisms to control production of the exopolysaccharides that serve to remodel the matrix of developing biofilms. The exopolysaccharides were also found to have profound effects on the spatial organization and integration of P. aeruginosa in a mixed-species biofilm model of P. aeruginosa-Staphylococcus aureus. Pel was required for close association of the two species in mixed-species microcolonies. In contrast, Psl was important for P. aeruginosa to form single-species biofilms on top of S. aureus biofilms. Our results demonstrate that Pel and Psl have distinct physical properties and functional roles during biofilm formation. PMID:25096883

  20. Modelling mechanical characteristics of microbial biofilms by network theory

    PubMed Central

    Ehret, Alexander E.; Böl, Markus

    2013-01-01

    In this contribution, we present a constitutive model to describe the mechanical behaviour of microbial biofilms based on classical approaches in the continuum theory of polymer networks. Although the model is particularly developed for the well-studied biofilms formed by mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains, it could easily be adapted to other biofilms. The basic assumption behind the model is that the network of extracellular polymeric substances can be described as a superposition of worm-like chain networks, each connected by transient junctions of a certain lifetime. Several models that were applied to biofilms previously are included in the presented approach as special cases, and for small shear strains, the governing equations are those of four parallel Maxwell elements. Rheological data given in the literature are very adequately captured by the proposed model, and the simulated response for a series of compression tests at large strains is in good qualitative agreement with reported experimental behaviour. PMID:23034354

  1. Molecular Survey of Concrete Sewer Biofilm Microbial Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although bacteria are implicated in deteriorating concrete structures, there is very little information on the composition of concrete microbial communities. To this end, we studied different concrete biofilms by performing sequence analysis of 16S rDNA concrete clone libraries. ...

  2. Essential factors of an integrated moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor: Adhesion characteristics and microbial community of the biofilm.

    PubMed

    Tang, Bing; Yu, Chunfei; Bin, Liying; Zhao, Yiliang; Feng, Xianfeng; Huang, Shaosong; Fu, Fenglian; Ding, Jiewei; Chen, Cuiqun; Li, Ping; Chen, Qianyu

    2016-07-01

    This work aims at revealing the adhesion characteristics and microbial community of the biofilm in an integrated moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor, and further evaluating their variations over time. With multiple methods, the adhesion characteristics and microbial community of the biofilm on the carriers were comprehensively illuminated, which showed their dynamic variation along with the operational time. Results indicated that: (1) the roughness of biofilm on the carriers increased very quickly to a maximum value at the start-up stage, then, decreased to become a flat curve, which indicated a layer of smooth biofilm formed on the surface; (2) the tightly-bound protein and polysaccharide was the most important factor influencing the stability of biofilm; (3) the development of biofilm could be divided into three stages, and Gammaproteobacteria were the most dominant microbial species in class level at the last stage, which occupied the largest ratio (51.48%) among all microbes. PMID:27038266

  3. Utilization of microbial biofilms as monitors of bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Peacock, Aaron D.; IstokD., Jonathan; Krumholz, Lee R.; Geyer, Roland; Kinsall, Barry Lee; Watson, David B; Sublette, K.; White, David C.

    2004-03-01

    A down-well aquifer microbial sampling system was developed using glass wool or Bio-Sep beads as a solid-phase support matrix. Here we describe the use of these devices to monitor the groundwater microbial community dynamics during field bioremediation experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy Natural and Accelerated Bioremediation Research Programs Field Research Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. During the 6-week deployment, microbial biofilms colonized glass wool and bead internal surfaces. Changes in viable biomass, community composition, metabolic status, and respiratory state were reflected in sampler composition, type of donor, and groundwater pH. Biofilms that formed on Bio-Sep beads had 2-13 times greater viable biomass; however, the bead communities were less metabolically active [higher cyclopropane/monoenoic phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) ratios] and had a lower aerobic respiratory state (lower total respiratory quinone/PLFA ratio and ubiquinone/menaquinone ratio) than the biofilms formed on glass wool. Anaerobic growth in these systems was characterized by plasmalogen phospholipids and was greater in the wells that received electron donor additions. Partial 16S rDNA sequences indicated that Geobacter and nitrate-reducing organisms were induced by the acetate, ethanol, or glucose additions. DNA and lipid biomarkers were extracted and recovered without the complications that commonly plague sediment samples due to the presence of clay or dissolved organic matter. Although microbial community composition in the groundwater or adjacent sediments may differ from those formed on down-well biofilm samplers, the metabolic activity responses of the biofilms to modifications in groundwater geochemistry record the responses of the microbial community to biostimulation while providing integrative sampling and ease of recovery for biomarker analysis.

  4. Microbial genomes: Blueprints for life

    SciTech Connect

    Relman, David A.; Strauss, Evelyn

    2000-12-31

    Complete microbial genome sequences hold the promise of profound new insights into microbial pathogenesis, evolution, diagnostics, and therapeutics. From these insights will come a new foundation for understanding the evolution of single-celled life, as well as the evolution of more complex life forms. This report is an in-depth analysis of scientific issues that provides recommendations and will be widely disseminated to the scientific community, federal agencies, industry and the public.

  5. Life Support Systems Microbial Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Monserrate C.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the current microbial challenges of environmental control and life support systems. The contents include: 1) Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) What is it?; 2) A Look Inside the International Space Station (ISS); 3) The Complexity of a Water Recycling System; 4) ISS Microbiology Acceptability Limits; 5) Overview of Current Microbial Challenges; 6) In a Perfect World What we Would like to Have; and 7) The Future.

  6. Adhesion and formation of microbial biofilms in complex microfluidic devices

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Aloke; Karig, David K; Neethirajan, Suresh; Suresh, Anil K; Srijanto, Bernadeta R; Mukherjee, Partha P; Retterer, Scott T; Doktycz, Mitchel John

    2012-01-01

    Shewanella oneidensis is a metal reducing bacterium, which is of interest for bioremediation and clean energy applications. S. oneidensis biofilms play a critical role in several situations such as in microbial energy harvesting devices. Here, we use a microfluidic device to quantify the effects of hydrodynamics on the biofilm morphology of S. oneidensis. For different rates of fluid flow through a complex microfluidic device, we studied the spatiotemporal dynamics of biofilms, and we quantified several morphological features such as spatial distribution, cluster formation and surface coverage. We found that hydrodynamics resulted in significant differences in biofilm dynamics. The baffles in the device created regions of low and high flow in the same device. At higher flow rates, a nonuniform biofilm develops, due to unequal advection in different regions of the microchannel. However, at lower flow rates, a more uniform biofilm evolved. This depicts competition between adhesion events, growth and fluid advection. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed that higher production of extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) occurred at higher flow velocities.

  7. Microbial biofilm growth on irradiated, spent nuclear fuel cladding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruhn, D. F.; Frank, S. M.; Roberto, F. F.; Pinhero, P. J.; Johnson, S. G.

    2009-02-01

    A fundamental criticism regarding the potential for microbial influenced corrosion in spent nuclear fuel cladding or storage containers concerns whether the required microorganisms can, in fact, survive radiation fields inherent in these materials. This study was performed to unequivocally answer this critique by addressing the potential for biofilm formation, the precursor to microbial-influenced corrosion, in radiation fields representative of spent nuclear fuel storage environments. This study involved the formation of a microbial biofilm on irradiated spent nuclear fuel cladding within a hot cell environment. This was accomplished by introducing 22 species of bacteria, in nutrient-rich media, to test vessels containing irradiated cladding sections and that was then surrounded by radioactive source material. The overall dose rate exceeded 2 Gy/h gamma/beta radiation with the total dose received by some of the bacteria reaching 5 × 10 3 Gy. This study provides evidence for the formation of biofilms on spent-fuel materials, and the implication of microbial influenced corrosion in the storage and permanent deposition of spent nuclear fuel in repository environments.

  8. Microbial Biofilm Growth on Irradiated, Spent Nuclear Fuel Cladding

    SciTech Connect

    S.M. Frank

    2009-02-01

    A fundamental criticism regarding the potential for microbial influenced corrosion in spent nuclear fuel cladding or storage containers concerns whether the required microorganisms can, in fact, survive radiation fields inherent in these materials. This study was performed to unequivocally answer this critique by addressing the potential for biofilm formation, the precursor to microbial-influenced corrosion, in radiation fields representative of spent nuclear fuel storage environments. This study involved the formation of a microbial biofilm on irradiated spent nuclear fuel cladding within a hot cell environment. This was accomplished by introducing 22 species of bacteria, in nutrient-rich media, to test vessels containing irradiated cladding sections and that was then surrounded by radioactive source material. The overall dose rate exceeded 2 Gy/h gamma/beta radiation with the total dose received by some of the bacteria reaching 5 × 103 Gy. This study provides evidence for the formation of biofilms on spent-fuel materials, and the implication of microbial influenced corrosion in the storage and permanent deposition of spent nuclear fuel in repository environments.

  9. Life Support Systems Microbial Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Monsi C.

    2010-01-01

    Many microbiological studies were performed during the development of the Space Station Water Recovery and Management System from1990-2009. Studies include assessments of: (1) bulk phase (planktonic) microbial population (2) biofilms, (3) microbially influenced corrosion (4) biofouling treatments. This slide presentation summarizes the studies performed to assess the bulk phase microbial community during the Space Station Water Recovery Tests (WRT) from 1990 to 1998. This report provides an overview of some of the microbiological analyses performed during the Space Station WRT program. These tests not only integrated several technologies with the goal of producing water that met NASA s potable water specifications, but also integrated humans, and therefore human flora into the protocols. At the time these tests were performed, not much was known (or published) about the microbial composition of these types of wastewater. It is important to note that design changes to the WRS have been implemented over the years and results discussed in this report might be directly related to test configurations that were not chosen for the final flight configuration. Results microbiological analyses performed Conclusion from the during the WRT showed that it was possible to recycle water from different sources, including urine, and produce water that can exceed the quality of municipally produced water.

  10. Molecular survey of concrete sewer biofilm microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Santo Domingo, Jorge W; Revetta, Randy P; Iker, Brandon; Gomez-Alvarez, Vicente; Garcia, Jarissa; Sullivan, John; Weast, James

    2011-10-01

    The microbial composition of concrete biofilms within wastewater collection systems was studied using molecular assays. SSU rDNA clone libraries were generated from 16 concrete surfaces of manholes, a combined sewer overflow, and sections of a corroded sewer pipe. Of the 2457 sequences analyzed, α-, β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria represented 15%, 22%, 11%, and 4% of the clones, respectively. β-Proteobacteria (47%) sequences were more abundant in the pipe crown than any of the other concrete surfaces. While 178 to 493 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were associated with the different concrete samples, only four sequences were shared among the different clone libraries. Bacteria implicated in concrete corrosion were found in the clone libraries while archaea, fungi, and several bacterial groups were also detected using group-specific assays. The results showed that concrete sewer biofilms are more diverse than previously reported. A more comprehensive molecular database will be needed to better study the dynamics of concrete biofilms. PMID:21981064

  11. Changes in Microbial Biofilm Communities during Colonization of Sewer Systems.

    PubMed

    Auguet, O; Pijuan, M; Batista, J; Borrego, C M; Gutierrez, O

    2015-10-01

    The coexistence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and methanogenic archaea (MA) in anaerobic biofilms developed in sewer inner pipe surfaces favors the accumulation of sulfide (H2S) and methane (CH4) as metabolic end products, causing severe impacts on sewerage systems. In this study, we investigated the time course of H2S and CH4 production and emission rates during different stages of biofilm development in relation to changes in the composition of microbial biofilm communities. The study was carried out in a laboratory sewer pilot plant that mimics a full-scale anaerobic rising sewer using a combination of process data and molecular techniques (e.g., quantitative PCR [qPCR], denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis [DGGE], and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing). After 2 weeks of biofilm growth, H2S emission was notably high (290.7±72.3 mg S-H2S liter(-1) day(-1)), whereas emissions of CH4 remained low (17.9±15.9 mg COD-CH4 liter(-1) day(-1)). This contrasting trend coincided with a stable SRB community and an archaeal community composed solely of methanogens derived from the human gut (i.e., Methanobrevibacter and Methanosphaera). In turn, CH4 emissions increased after 1 year of biofilm growth (327.6±16.6 mg COD-CH4 liter(-1) day(-1)), coinciding with the replacement of methanogenic colonizers by species more adapted to sewer conditions (i.e., Methanosaeta spp.). Our study provides data that confirm the capacity of our laboratory experimental system to mimic the functioning of full-scale sewers both microbiologically and operationally in terms of sulfide and methane production, gaining insight into the complex dynamics of key microbial groups during biofilm development. PMID:26253681

  12. Changes in Microbial Biofilm Communities during Colonization of Sewer Systems

    PubMed Central

    Auguet, O.; Pijuan, M.; Batista, J.; Gutierrez, O.

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and methanogenic archaea (MA) in anaerobic biofilms developed in sewer inner pipe surfaces favors the accumulation of sulfide (H2S) and methane (CH4) as metabolic end products, causing severe impacts on sewerage systems. In this study, we investigated the time course of H2S and CH4 production and emission rates during different stages of biofilm development in relation to changes in the composition of microbial biofilm communities. The study was carried out in a laboratory sewer pilot plant that mimics a full-scale anaerobic rising sewer using a combination of process data and molecular techniques (e.g., quantitative PCR [qPCR], denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis [DGGE], and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing). After 2 weeks of biofilm growth, H2S emission was notably high (290.7 ± 72.3 mg S-H2S liter−1 day−1), whereas emissions of CH4 remained low (17.9 ± 15.9 mg COD-CH4 liter−1 day−1). This contrasting trend coincided with a stable SRB community and an archaeal community composed solely of methanogens derived from the human gut (i.e., Methanobrevibacter and Methanosphaera). In turn, CH4 emissions increased after 1 year of biofilm growth (327.6 ± 16.6 mg COD-CH4 liter−1 day−1), coinciding with the replacement of methanogenic colonizers by species more adapted to sewer conditions (i.e., Methanosaeta spp.). Our study provides data that confirm the capacity of our laboratory experimental system to mimic the functioning of full-scale sewers both microbiologically and operationally in terms of sulfide and methane production, gaining insight into the complex dynamics of key microbial groups during biofilm development. PMID:26253681

  13. [Biofilm on a metal surface as a factor of microbial corrosion].

    PubMed

    Borets'ka, M O; Kozlova, I P

    2010-01-01

    Main attention was given in the present review to the research methods, phases of biofilm's forming, exopolymer compounds of bacteria as main biofilm forming factor. A microbial corrosion as a result of interaction between the biofilm and metal surface was considered. The interaction was displayed in biomineralization. The future trends of biofilms study were bound with research of their architecture. That architecture was determined by the structure and function of biofilms compounds: biopolymers and biominerals. PMID:20695231

  14. INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF MICROBIAL GROWTH AND BIOFILM FORMATION ON SEISMIC WAVE PROPAGATION IN SEDIMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous laboratory investigations have demonstrated that the seismic methods are sensitive to microbially-induced changes in porous media through the generation of biogenic gases and biomineralization. The seismic signatures associated with microbial growth and biofilm formation...

  15. Acoustic and Electrical Property Changes Due to Microbial Growth and Biofilm Formation in Porous Media

    EPA Science Inventory

    A laboratory study was conducted to investigate the effect of microbial growth and biofilm formation on compressional waves, and complex conductivity during stimulated microbial growth. Over the 29 day duration of the experiment, compressional wave amplitudes and arrival times f...

  16. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community.

    PubMed

    Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. PMID:25115516

  17. Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    van Hoek, Monique L

    2013-01-01

    Our understanding of the virulence and pathogenesis of Francisella spp. has significantly advanced in recent years, including a new understanding that this organism can form biofilms. What is known so far about Francisella spp. biofilms is summarized here and future research questions are suggested. The molecular basis of biofilm production has begun to be studied, especially the role of extracellular carbohydrates and capsule, quorum sensing and two-component signaling systems. Further work has explored the contribution of amoebae, pili, outer-membrane vesicles, chitinases, and small molecules such as c-di-GMP to Francisella spp. biofilm formation. A role for Francisella spp. biofilm in feeding mosquito larvae has been suggested. As no strong role in virulence has been found yet, Francisella spp. biofilm formation is most likely a key mechanism for environmental survival and persistence. The significance and importance of Francisella spp.’s biofilm phenotype as a critical aspect of its microbial physiology is being developed. Areas for further studies include the potential role of Francisella spp. biofilms in the infection of mammalian hosts and virulence regulation. PMID:24225421

  18. Biofilms: an emergent form of bacterial life.

    PubMed

    Flemming, Hans-Curt; Wingender, Jost; Szewzyk, Ulrich; Steinberg, Peter; Rice, Scott A; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2016-08-11

    Bacterial biofilms are formed by communities that are embedded in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Importantly, bacteria in biofilms exhibit a set of 'emergent properties' that differ substantially from free-living bacterial cells. In this Review, we consider the fundamental role of the biofilm matrix in establishing the emergent properties of biofilms, describing how the characteristic features of biofilms - such as social cooperation, resource capture and enhanced survival of exposure to antimicrobials - all rely on the structural and functional properties of the matrix. Finally, we highlight the value of an ecological perspective in the study of the emergent properties of biofilms, which enables an appreciation of the ecological success of biofilms as habitat formers and, more generally, as a bacterial lifestyle. PMID:27510863

  19. Microbial growth and biofilm formation in geologic media is detected with complex conductivity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Caroline A.; Atekwana, Estella; Atekwana, Eliot; Slater, Lee D.; Rossbach, Silvia; Mormile, Melanie R.

    2006-09-01

    Complex conductivity measurements (0.1-1000 Hz) were obtained from biostimulated sand-packed columns to investigate the effect of microbial growth and biofilm formation on the electrical properties of porous media. Microbial growth was verified by direct microbial counts, pH measurements, and environmental scanning electron microscope imaging. Peaks in imaginary (interfacial) conductivity in the biostimulated columns were coincident with peaks in the microbial cell concentrations extracted from sands. However, the real conductivity component showed no discernible relationship to microbial cell concentration. We suggest that the observed dynamic changes in the imaginary conductivity (σ″) arise from the growth and attachment of microbial cells and biofilms to sand surfaces. We conclude that complex conductivity techniques, specifically imaginary conductivity measurements are a proxy indicator for microbial growth and biofilm formation in porous media. Our results have implications for microbial enhanced oil recovery, CO2 sequestration, bioremediation, and astrobiology studies.

  20. Probing of microbial biofilm communities for coadhesion partners.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Stefan; Eidt, Andreas; Melzl, Holger; Reischl, Udo; Cisar, John O

    2014-11-01

    Investigations of interbacterial adhesion in dental plaque development are currently limited by the lack of a convenient assay to screen the multitude of species present in oral biofilms. To overcome this limitation, we developed a solid-phase fluorescence-based screening method to detect and identify coadhesive partner organisms in mixed-species biofilms. The applicability of this method was demonstrated using coaggregating strains of type 2 fimbrial adhesin-bearing actinomyces and receptor polysaccharide (RPS)-bearing streptococci. Specific adhesin/receptor-mediated coadhesion was detected by overlaying bacterial strains immobilized to a nitrocellulose membrane with a suspended, fluorescein-labeled bacterial partner strain. Coadhesion was comparable regardless of which cell type was labeled and which was immobilized. Formaldehyde treatment of bacteria, either in suspension or immobilized on nitrocellulose, abolished actinomyces type 2 fimbrial adhesin but not streptococcal RPS function, thereby providing a simple method for assigning complementary adhesins and glycan receptors to members of a coadhering pair. The method's broader applicability was shown by overlaying colony lifts of dental plaque biofilm cultures with fluorescein-labeled strains of type 2 fimbriated Actinomyces naeslundii or RPS-bearing Streptococcus oralis. Prominent coadhesion partners included not only streptococci and actinomyces, as expected, but also other bacteria not identified in previous coaggregation studies, such as adhesin- or receptor-bearing strains of Neisseria pharyngitis, Rothia dentocariosa, and Kingella oralis. The ability to comprehensively screen complex microbial communities for coadhesion partners of specific microorganisms opens a new approach in studies of dental plaque and other mixed-species biofilms. PMID:25107971

  1. Microbial Communities in Biofilms of an Acid Mine Drainage Site Determined by Phospholipid Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, S.; Fang, J.

    2008-12-01

    Phospholipids were extracted to determine the microbial biomass and community structure of biofims from an acid mine drainage (AMD) at the Green Valley coal mine site (GVS) in western Indiana. The distribution of specific biomarkers indicated the presence of a variety of microorganisms. Phototrophic microeukaryotes, which include Euglena mutabilis, algae, and cyanobacteria were the most dominant organisms, as indicated by the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The presence of terminally methyl branched fatty acids suggests the presence of Gram-positive bacteria, and the mid-methyl branched fatty acids indicates the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Fungi appear to also be an important part of the AMD microbial communities as suggested by the presence of 18:2 fatty acid. The acidophilic microeukaryotes Euglena dominated the biofilm microbial communities. These microorganisms appear to play a prominent role in the formation and preservation of stromatolites and in releasing oxygen to the atmosphere by oxygenic photosynthesis. Thus, the AMD environment comprises a host of microorganisms spreading out within the phylogenetic tree of life. Novel insights on the roles of microbial consortia in the formation and preservation of stromatolites and the production of oxygen through photosynthesis in AMD systems may have significance in the understanding of the interaction of Precambrian microbial communities in environments that produced microbially-mediated sedimentary structures and that caused oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere.

  2. Optical Sensing of Microbial Life on Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Fischer, M; Triggs, G J; Krauss, T F

    2016-03-01

    The label-free detection of microbial cells attached to a surface is an active field of research. The field is driven by the need to understand and control the growth of biofilms in a number of applications, including basic research in natural environments, industrial facilities, and clinical devices, to name a few. Despite significant progress in the ability to monitor the growth of biofilms and related living cells, the sensitivity and selectivity of such sensors are still a challenge. We believe that among the many different technologies available for monitoring biofilm growth, optical techniques are the most promising, as they afford direct imaging and offer high sensitivity and specificity. Furthermore, as each technique offers different insights into the biofilm growth mechanism, our analysis allows us to provide an overview of the biological processes at play. In addition, we use a set of key parameters to compare state-of-the-art techniques in the field, including a critical assessment of each method, to identify the most promising types of sensors. We highlight the challenges that need to be overcome to improve the characteristics of current biofilm sensor technologies and indicate where further developments are required. In addition, we provide guidelines for selecting a suitable sensor for detecting microbial cells on a surface. PMID:26637605

  3. Optical Sensing of Microbial Life on Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Triggs, G. J.; Krauss, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    The label-free detection of microbial cells attached to a surface is an active field of research. The field is driven by the need to understand and control the growth of biofilms in a number of applications, including basic research in natural environments, industrial facilities, and clinical devices, to name a few. Despite significant progress in the ability to monitor the growth of biofilms and related living cells, the sensitivity and selectivity of such sensors are still a challenge. We believe that among the many different technologies available for monitoring biofilm growth, optical techniques are the most promising, as they afford direct imaging and offer high sensitivity and specificity. Furthermore, as each technique offers different insights into the biofilm growth mechanism, our analysis allows us to provide an overview of the biological processes at play. In addition, we use a set of key parameters to compare state-of-the-art techniques in the field, including a critical assessment of each method, to identify the most promising types of sensors. We highlight the challenges that need to be overcome to improve the characteristics of current biofilm sensor technologies and indicate where further developments are required. In addition, we provide guidelines for selecting a suitable sensor for detecting microbial cells on a surface. PMID:26637605

  4. Detection of microbial Life in the Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stan-Lotter, H.; Fendrihan, S.; Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, M.; Legat, A.; Gruber, C.; Weidler, G.; Gerbl, F.

    2007-08-01

    In recent years microbial communities were detected, which dwell in rocks, soil and caves deep below the surface of the Earth. This has led to a new view of the diversity of the terrestrial biosphere and of the physico-chemical boundaries for life. Two types of subterranean environments are Permo-Triassic salt sediments and thermal radioactive springs from igneous rocks in the Alps. Viable extremely halophilic archaea were isolated from ancient salt sediments which are estimated to be about 250 million years old (1). Chemotaxonomic and molecular characterization showed that they represent novel species, e. g. Halococcus salifodinae, Hcc. dombrowskiiand Halobacterium noricense. Simulation experiments with artificial halite suggested that these microorganisms probably survived while embedded in fluid inclusions. In the thermal springs, evidence for numerous novel microorganisms was found by 16S rDNA sequencing and probing for some metabolic genes; in addition, scanning electron microscopy of biofilms on the rock surfaces revealed great diversity of morphotypes (2). These communities appear to be active and growing, although their energy and carbon sources are entirely unknown. The characterization of subsurface inhabitants is of astrobiological relevance since extraterrestrial halite has been detected (3) and since microbial life on Mars, if existent, may have retreated into the subsurface. As a long-term goal, a thorough census of terrestrial microorganisms should be taken and their survival potential be determined in view of future missions for the search for extraterrestrial life, including planning precautions against possible forward contamination by space probes. (1) Fendrihan, S., Legat, A., Gruber, C., Pfaffenhuemer, M., Weidler, G., Gerbl, F., Stan-Lotter, H. (2006) Extremely halophilic archaea and the issue of long term microbial survival. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/technology 5, 1569-1605. (2) Weidler, G.W., Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, M., Gerbl

  5. Microscale Microbial-Geochemical Linkages Controlling Biofilm Metal Behaviour in an AMD Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haack, E. A.; Warren, L. A.

    2001-12-01

    In AMD environments, biogeochemical processes involving metal solid phase capture within microbial biofilms may play a large role in controlling overall system metal transport. Our research aims to map observed metal behaviour within natural biofilms from a metal-contaminated environment as a function of changes in microbial community structure and associated shifts in internal geochemical gradients. We have used a combined field and laboratory approach to begin characterizing biogeochemical linkages within biofilms. Biofilm and overlying water column samples were collected from May-September, 2001, from shallow surficial seepage streams at the Strathcona tailings (Falconbridge Ltd., Sudbury). In situ geochemical profiles of both the overlying water column (pH, temperature, O2, redox, conductivity) and within the biofilms (pH, O2, H2S) were recorded at the time of sampling. Biofilm oxygen profiles indicated the presence of a photosynthetic surface layer, followed by rapid oxygen depletion and anoxia deeper into the biofilm. Both the O2 and H2S profiles inferred the presence of stratified microbial communities within the biofilms. Biofilm pH profiles indicated a small relative increase in pH with depth from the biofilm-water interface (reaching values of 4.0) compared to the overlying water column (3.4). Higher biofilm pH values reflect both intense microbial activity sufficient to impact pH even at such low ambient pH, and the creation of more favourable conditions for biofilm solid-phase metal capture. Sulfate and silicate minerals were identified as the bulk mineral components of the biofilms by X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. These minerals, however, were not important metal sorbents. Rather, greater than 80 percent of the total Ni and Co content of the biofilms was shown to be associated with the manganese oxyhydroxide and organic/sulfide phases of the biofilm material, as determined by a sequential extraction scheme using microwave digestion. Mn

  6. In situ environment rather than substrate type dictates microbial community structure of biofilms in a cold seep system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, On On; Wang, Yong; Tian, Renmao; Zhang, Weipeng; Shek, Chun Shum; Bougouffa, Salim; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Batang, Zenon B.; Xu, Wei; Wang, Guang Chao; Zhang, Xixiang; Lafi, Feras F.; Bajic, Vladmir B.; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Using microscopic and molecular techniques combined with computational analysis, this study examined the structure and composition of microbial communities in biofilms that formed on different artificial substrates in a brine pool and on a seep vent of a cold seep in the Red Sea to test our hypothesis that initiation of the biofilm formation and spreading mode of microbial structures differs between the cold seep and the other aquatic environments. Biofilms on different substrates at two deployment sites differed morphologically, with the vent biofilms having higher microbial abundance and better structural features than the pool biofilms. Microbes in the pool biofilms were more taxonomically diverse and mainly composed of various sulfate-reducing bacteria whereas the vent biofilms were exclusively dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Thiomicrospira. These results suggest that the redox environments at the deployment sites might have exerted a strong selection on microbes in the biofilms at two sites whereas the types of substrates had limited effects on the biofilm development.

  7. Microbial Community Analysis of Fresh and Old Microbial Biofilms on Bayon Temple Sandstone of Angkor Thom, Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Wensheng; Li, Hui; Wang, Wei-Dong; Katayama, Yoko

    2010-01-01

    The temples of Angkor monuments including Angkor Thom and Bayon in Cambodia and surrounding countries were exclusively constructed using sandstone. They are severely threatened by biodeterioration caused by active growth of different microorganisms on the sandstone surfaces, but knowledge on the microbial community and composition of the biofilms on the sandstone is not available from this region. This study investigated the microbial community diversity by examining the fresh and old biofilms of the biodeteriorated bas-relief wall surfaces of the Bayon Temple by analysis of 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences. The results showed that the retrieved sequences were clustered in 11 bacterial, 11 eukaryotic and two archaeal divisions with disparate communities (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria; Alveolata, Fungi, Metazoa, Viridiplantae; Crenarchaeote, and Euyarchaeota). A comparison of the microbial communities between the fresh and old biofilms revealed that the bacterial community of old biofilm was very similar to the newly formed fresh biofilm in terms of bacterial composition, but the eukaryotic communities were distinctly different between these two. This information has important implications for understanding the formation process and development of the microbial diversity on the sandstone surfaces, and furthermore to the relationship between the extent of biodeterioration and succession of microbial communities on sandstone in tropic region. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00248-010-9707-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20593173

  8. Sunlight-Exposed Biofilm Microbial Communities Are Naturally Resistant to Chernobyl Ionizing-Radiation Levels

    PubMed Central

    Ragon, Marie; Restoux, Gwendal; Moreira, David; Møller, Anders Pape; López-García, Purificación

    2011-01-01

    Background The Chernobyl accident represents a long-term experiment on the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation at the ecosystem level. Though studies of these effects on plants and animals are abundant, the study of how Chernobyl radiation levels affect prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities is practically non-existent, except for a few reports on human pathogens or soil microorganisms. Environments enduring extreme desiccation and UV radiation, such as sunlight exposed biofilms could in principle select for organisms highly resistant to ionizing radiation as well. Methodology/Principal Findings To test this hypothesis, we explored the diversity of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life by cultivation-independent approaches in biofilms developing on concrete walls or pillars in the Chernobyl area exposed to different levels of radiation, and we compared them with a similar biofilm from a non-irradiated site in Northern Ireland. Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Deinococcales were the most consistently detected bacterial groups, whereas green algae (Chlorophyta) and ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota) dominated within the eukaryotes. Close relatives to the most radio-resistant organisms known, including Rubrobacter species, Deinococcales and melanized ascomycete fungi were always detected. The diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes found in the most highly irradiated samples was comparable to that of less irradiated Chernobyl sites and Northern Ireland. However, the study of mutation frequencies in non-coding ITS regions versus SSU rRNA genes in members of a same actinobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) present in Chernobyl samples and Northern Ireland showed a positive correlation between increased radiation and mutation rates. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that biofilm microbial communities in the most irradiated samples are comparable to non-irradiated samples in terms of general

  9. Microbial communities, extracellular proteomics and polysaccharides: A comparative investigation on biofilm and suspended sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Guo, Jin-Song; Shen, Yu; Yan, Peng; Chen, You-Peng; Wang, Han; Yang, Ji-Xiang; Fang, Fang; Li, Chun

    2015-08-01

    Biofilm and suspended sludge (S-sludge) floc exhibit distinct physicochemical properties and process performances in an integrated fixed-film and suspended growth sequencing batch reactor. However, the mechanisms of governing these differences between the two aggregates were unknown. Current work evaluated the diversity of morphologies, microbial communities, extracellular proteins and polysaccharides between the biofilm and S-sludge. Contrast to biofilm, the denitrification was much more extensive performed in S-sludge. Furthermore, many microbial cells in the biofilm acted as the backbone of aggregates and maintained the structure stability. An extracellular protein observed only in the biofilm can promote the cell adhesion. In contrast, more extracellular proteins related to catalytic activity in the S-sludge could decrease the compactness of floc. In addition, the monosaccharide compositions from the two aggregates were various. These results could elucidate how the diversities of architecture and biochemical process between the two aggregates occurred. PMID:25919933

  10. Microbial endolithic biofilms: a means of surviving the harsh conditions of the Antarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Los Ríos, Asunción; Wierzchos, Jacek; Sancho, Leopoldo G.; Grube, Martín; Ascaso, Carmen

    2002-11-01

    Much of the Antarctic continent's microbiota is restricted to endolithic microecosystems which harbour distinct microbial communities as biofilms. The lithic substrate and the microorganisms comprising these films are intimately linked, giving rise to complex mineral-microbe interactions. The Antarctic biofilms analysed in this study were characterised by the presence of extracellular polymer substances. Cyanobacteria appeared as key components of these biofilms in zones where there were no nearby lichen thalli. Fungal cells were the predominant organisms in areas inhabited by epilithic lichens. The combined use of microscopy and molecular techniques enabled the identification of the different biological components of biofilms found in subsurface layers of the lighic substrate. It is proposed that in this extreme environment, the structure of the biofilm may favour the formation of microsites with specific physicochemical conditions that permit the survival of microbial communities.

  11. Assessment of Heterotrophic Growth Supported by Soluble Microbial Products in Anammox Biofilm using Multidimensional Modeling.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Sun, Jing; Peng, Lai; Wang, Dongbo; Dai, Xiaohu; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is known to autotrophically convert ammonium to dinitrogen gas with nitrite as the electron acceptor, but little is known about their released microbial products and how these are relative to heterotrophic growth in anammox system. In this work, we applied a mathematical model to assess the heterotrophic growth supported by three key microbial products produced by bacteria in anammox biofilm (utilization associated products (UAP), biomass associated products (BAP), and decay released substrate). Both One-dimensional and two-dimensional numerical biofilm models were developed to describe the development of anammox biofilm as a function of the multiple bacteria-substrate interactions. Model simulations show that UAP of anammox is the main organic carbon source for heterotrophs. Heterotrophs are mainly dominant at the surface of the anammox biofilm with small fraction inside the biofilm. 1-D model is sufficient to describe the main substrate concentrations/fluxes within the anammox biofilm, while the 2-D model can give a more detailed biomass distribution. The heterotrophic growth on UAP is mainly present at the outside of anammox biofilm, their growth on BAP (HetB) are present throughout the biofilm, while the growth on decay released substrate (HetD) is mainly located in the inner layers of the biofilm. PMID:27273460

  12. Assessment of Heterotrophic Growth Supported by Soluble Microbial Products in Anammox Biofilm using Multidimensional Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Sun, Jing; Peng, Lai; Wang, Dongbo; Dai, Xiaohu; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is known to autotrophically convert ammonium to dinitrogen gas with nitrite as the electron acceptor, but little is known about their released microbial products and how these are relative to heterotrophic growth in anammox system. In this work, we applied a mathematical model to assess the heterotrophic growth supported by three key microbial products produced by bacteria in anammox biofilm (utilization associated products (UAP), biomass associated products (BAP), and decay released substrate). Both One-dimensional and two-dimensional numerical biofilm models were developed to describe the development of anammox biofilm as a function of the multiple bacteria–substrate interactions. Model simulations show that UAP of anammox is the main organic carbon source for heterotrophs. Heterotrophs are mainly dominant at the surface of the anammox biofilm with small fraction inside the biofilm. 1-D model is sufficient to describe the main substrate concentrations/fluxes within the anammox biofilm, while the 2-D model can give a more detailed biomass distribution. The heterotrophic growth on UAP is mainly present at the outside of anammox biofilm, their growth on BAP (HetB) are present throughout the biofilm, while the growth on decay released substrate (HetD) is mainly located in the inner layers of the biofilm. PMID:27273460

  13. Microbial analysis of anodic biofilm in a microbial fuel cell using slaughterhouse wastewater.

    PubMed

    Katuri, Krishna P; Enright, Ann-Marie; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Leech, Dónal

    2012-10-01

    The ability of dual-chambered microbial fuel cell, fed with slaughterhouse wastewater with an anaerobic mixed-sludge as initial source of bacteria, to generate power is investigated. MFC voltage generation across a fixed 100 Ω load indicates power generation capability, with power production correlated to changes in anolyte VFA content. A maximum MFC power density of 578 mW/m(2) is obtained for an MFC developed under 100 Ω load, compared to a maximum power density of 277 mW/m(2) for an MFC developed under higher resistance (1 MΩ) control conditions. Voltammetry of the biofilm developed under 100 Ω load displays a current-voltage signal indicative of bioelectrocatalytic oxidation of feed at a potential of -0.35 V vs. Ag/AgCl, compared to negligible signals for biofilms developed under control conditions. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments reveals that the anodic bacterial communities in reactors operated under 100 Ω load result in communities of lower diversity than for the control condition, with Geovibrio ferrireducens dominant in the anodic biofilm community. These results indicate that in MFC reactors, functionally stable electroactive bacteria are enriched under 100 Ω load compared to high resistance control conditions, and were able to sustain higher power in MFCs. PMID:22226620

  14. Subaerial biofilms on granitic historic buildings: microbial diversity and development of phototrophic multi-species cultures.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Nion, D; Rodríguez-Castro, J; López-Rodríguez, M C; Fernández-Silva, I; Prieto, B

    2016-07-01

    Microbial communities of natural subaerial biofilms developed on granitic historic buildings of a World Heritage Site (Santiago de Compostela, NW Spain) were characterized and cultured in liquid BG11 medium. Environmental barcoding through next-generation sequencing (Pacific Biosciences) revealed that the biofilms were mainly composed of species of Chlorophyta (green algae) and Ascomycota (fungi) commonly associated with rock substrata. Richness and diversity were higher for the fungal than for the algal assemblages and fungi showed higher heterogeneity among samples. Cultures derived from natural biofilms showed the establishment of stable microbial communities mainly composed of Chlorophyta and Cyanobacteria. Although most taxa found in these cultures were not common in the original biofilms, they are likely common pioneer colonizers of building stone surfaces, including granite. Stable phototrophic multi-species cultures of known microbial diversity were thus obtained and their reliability to emulate natural colonization on granite should be confirmed in further experiments. PMID:27192622

  15. Microbial diversity in biofilm infections of the urinary tract with the use of sonication techniques.

    PubMed

    Holá, Veronika; Ruzicka, Filip; Horka, Marie

    2010-08-01

    Infections of the urinary tract account for >40% of nosocomial infections; most of these are infections in catheterized patients. Bacterial colonization of the urinary tract and catheters causes not only the particular infection but also a number of complications, for example blockage of catheters with crystallic deposits of bacterial origin, generation of gravels and pyelonephritis. Infections of urinary catheters are only rarely single-species infections. The longer a patient is catheterized, the higher the diversity of biofilm microbial communities. The aims of this study were to investigate the microbial diversity on the catheters and to compare the ability to form biofilm among isolated microbial species. The next aim was to discriminate particular causative agents of infections of the urinary tract and their importance as biofilm formers in the microbial community on the urinary catheter. We examined catheters from 535 patients and isolated 1555 strains of microorganisms. Most of the catheters were infected by three or more microorganisms; only 12.5% showed monomicrobial infection. Among the microorganisms isolated from the urinary catheters, there were significant differences in biofilm-forming ability, and we therefore conclude that some microbial species have greater potential to cause a biofilm-based infection, whereas others can be only passive members of the biofilm community. PMID:20602639

  16. Conduction-based modeling of the biofilm anode of a microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Kato Marcus, Andrew; Torres, César I; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2007-12-15

    The biofilm of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) experiences biofilm-related (growth and mass transport) and electrochemical (electron conduction and charger-transfer) processes. We developed a dynamic, one-dimensional, multi-species model for the biofilm in three steps. First, we formulated the biofilm on the anode as a "biofilm anode" with the following two properties: (1) The biofilm has a conductive solid matrix characterized by the biofilm conductivity (kappa(bio)). (2) The biofilm matrix accepts electrons from biofilm bacteria and conducts the electrons to the anode. Second, we derived the Nernst-Monod expression to describe the rate of electron-donor (ED) oxidation. Third, we linked these components using the principles of mass balance and Ohm's law. We then solved the model to study dual limitation in biofilm by the ED concentration and local potential. Our model illustrates that kappa(bio) strongly influences the ED and current fluxes, the type of limitation in biofilm, and the biomass distribution. A larger kappa(bio) increases the ED and current fluxes, and, consequently, the ED mass-transfer resistance becomes significant. A significant gradient in ED concentration, local potential, or both can develop in the biofilm anode, and the biomass actively respires only where ED concentration and local potential are high. When kappa(bio) is relatively large (i.e., > or =10(-3) mS cm(-1)), active biomass can persist up to tens of micrometers away from the anode. Increases in biofilm thickness and accumulation of inert biomass accentuate dual limitation and reduce the current density. These limitations can be alleviated with increases in the specific detachment rate and biofilm density. PMID:17570714

  17. Microbial structures in an Alpine Thermal Spring - Microscopic techniques for the examination of Biofilms in a Subsurface Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer, Marion; Pierson, Elisabeth; Janssen, Geert-Jan; Stan-Lotter, Helga

    2010-05-01

    The research into extreme environments hast important implications for biology and other sciences. Many of the organisms found there provide insights into the history of Earth. Life exists in all niches where water is present in liquid form. Isolated environments such as caves and other subsurface locations are of interest for geomicrobiological studies. And because of their "extra-terrestrial" conditions such as darkness and mostly extreme physicochemical state they are also of astrobiological interest. The slightly radioactive thermal spring at Bad Gastein (Austria) was therefore examined for the occurrence of subsurface microbial communities. The surfaces of the submerged rocks in this warm spring were overgrown by microbial mats. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) performed by the late Dr. Wolfgang Heinen revealed an interesting morphological diversity in biofilms found in this environment (1, 2). Molecular analysis of the community structure of the radioactive subsurface thermal spring was performed by Weidler et al. (3). The growth of these mats was simulated using sterile glass slides which were exposed to the water stream of the spring. Those mats were analysed microscopically. Staining, using fluorescent dyes such as 4',6-Diamidino-2-phenylindol (DAPI), gave an overview of the microbial diversity of these biofilms. Additional SEM samples were prepared using different fixation protocols. Scanning confocal laser microscopy (SCLM) allowed a three dimensional view of the analysed biofilms. This work presents some electron micrographs of Dr. Heinen and additionally new microscopic studies of the biofilms formed on the glass slides. The appearances of the new SEM micrographs were compared to those of Dr. Heinen that were done several years ago. The morphology and small-scale distribution in the microbial mat was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy. The examination of natural biomats and biofilms grown on glass slides using several microscopical techniques

  18. New Methods for Analysis of Spatial Distribution and Coaggregation of Microbial Populations in Complex Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Almstrand, Robert; Daims, Holger; Persson, Frank; Sörensson, Fred

    2013-01-01

    In biofilms, microbial activities form gradients of substrates and electron acceptors, creating a complex landscape of microhabitats, often resulting in structured localization of the microbial populations present. To understand the dynamic interplay between and within these populations, quantitative measurements and statistical analysis of their localization patterns within the biofilms are necessary, and adequate automated tools for such analyses are needed. We have designed and applied new methods for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and digital image analysis of directionally dependent (anisotropic) multispecies biofilms. A sequential-FISH approach allowed multiple populations to be detected in a biofilm sample. This was combined with an automated tool for vertical-distribution analysis by generating in silico biofilm slices and the recently developed Inflate algorithm for coaggregation analysis of microbial populations in anisotropic biofilms. As a proof of principle, we show distinct stratification patterns of the ammonia oxidizers Nitrosomonas oligotropha subclusters I and II and the nitrite oxidizer Nitrospira sublineage I in three different types of wastewater biofilms, suggesting niche differentiation between the N. oligotropha subclusters, which could explain their coexistence in the same biofilms. Coaggregation analysis showed that N. oligotropha subcluster II aggregated closer to Nitrospira than did N. oligotropha subcluster I in a pilot plant nitrifying trickling filter (NTF) and a moving-bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), but not in a full-scale NTF, indicating important ecophysiological differences between these phylogenetically closely related subclusters. By using high-resolution quantitative methods applicable to any multispecies biofilm in general, the ecological interactions of these complex ecosystems can be understood in more detail. PMID:23892743

  19. How to Study Biofilms after Microbial Colonization of Materials Used in Orthopaedic Implants.

    PubMed

    Drago, Lorenzo; Agrappi, Serse; Bortolin, Monica; Toscano, Marco; Romanò, Carlo Luca; De Vecchi, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Over the years, various techniques have been proposed for the quantitative evaluation of microbial biofilms. Spectrophotometry after crystal violet staining is a widespread method for biofilm evaluation, but several data indicate that it does not guarantee a good specificity, although it is rather easy to use and cost saving. Confocal laser microscopy is one of the most sensitive and specific tools to study biofilms, and it is largely used for research. However, in some cases, no quantitative measurement of the matrix thickness or of the amount of embedded microorganisms has been performed, due to limitation in availability of dedicated software. For this reason, we have developed a protocol to evaluate the microbial biofilm formed on sandblasted titanium used for orthopaedic implants, that allows measurement of biomass volume and the amount of included cells. Results indicate good reproducibility in terms of measurement of biomass and microbial cells. Moreover, this protocol has proved to be applicable for evaluation of the efficacy of different anti-biofilm treatments used in the orthopaedic setting. Summing up, the protocol here described is a valid and inexpensive method for the study of microbial biofilm on prosthetic implant materials. PMID:26927075

  20. How to Study Biofilms after Microbial Colonization of Materials Used in Orthopaedic Implants

    PubMed Central

    Drago, Lorenzo; Agrappi, Serse; Bortolin, Monica; Toscano, Marco; Romanò, Carlo Luca; De Vecchi, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Over the years, various techniques have been proposed for the quantitative evaluation of microbial biofilms. Spectrophotometry after crystal violet staining is a widespread method for biofilm evaluation, but several data indicate that it does not guarantee a good specificity, although it is rather easy to use and cost saving. Confocal laser microscopy is one of the most sensitive and specific tools to study biofilms, and it is largely used for research. However, in some cases, no quantitative measurement of the matrix thickness or of the amount of embedded microorganisms has been performed, due to limitation in availability of dedicated software. For this reason, we have developed a protocol to evaluate the microbial biofilm formed on sandblasted titanium used for orthopaedic implants, that allows measurement of biomass volume and the amount of included cells. Results indicate good reproducibility in terms of measurement of biomass and microbial cells. Moreover, this protocol has proved to be applicable for evaluation of the efficacy of different anti-biofilm treatments used in the orthopaedic setting. Summing up, the protocol here described is a valid and inexpensive method for the study of microbial biofilm on prosthetic implant materials. PMID:26927075

  1. Microbial composition of biofilms associated with lithifying rubble of Acropora palmata branches.

    PubMed

    Beltrán, Yislem; Cerqueda-García, Daniel; Taş, Neslihan; Thomé, Patricia E; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Falcón, Luisa I

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, but are rapidly declining due to global-warming-mediated changes in the oceans. Particularly for the Caribbean region, Acropora sp. stony corals have lost ∼80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. We analyzed the microbial composition of biofilms that colonize and lithify dead Acropora palmata rubble in the Mexican Caribbean and identified the microbial assemblages that can persist under scenarios of global change, including high temperature and low pH. Lithifying biofilms have a mineral composition that includes aragonite and magnesium calcite (16 mole% MgCO(3)) and calcite, while the mineral phase corresponding to coral skeleton is basically aragonite. Microbial composition of the lithifying biofilms are different in comparison to surrounding biotopes, including a microbial mat, water column, sediments and live A. palmata microbiome. Significant shifts in biofilm composition were detected in samples incubated in mesocosms. The combined effect of low pH and increased temperature showed a strong effect after two-week incubations for biofilm composition. Findings suggest that lithifying biofilms could remain as a secondary structure on reef rubble possibly impacting the functional role of coral reefs. PMID:26705570

  2. Microbial interactions in marine water amended by eroded benthic biofilm: A case study from an intertidal mudflat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montanié, Hélène; Ory, Pascaline; Orvain, Francis; Delmas, Daniel; Dupuy, Christine; Hartmann, Hans J.

    2014-09-01

    In shallow macrotidal ecosystems with large intertidal mudflats, the sediment-water coupling plays a crucial role in structuring the pelagic microbial food web functioning, since inorganic and organic matter and microbial components (viruses and microbes) of the microphytobenthic biofilm can be suspended toward the water column. Two experimental bioassays were conducted in March and July 2008 to investigate the importance of biofilm input for the pelagic microbial and viral loops. Pelagic inocula (< 0.6 μ- and < 10 μ filtrates) were diluted either with < 30 kDa-ultrafiltered seawater or with this ultrafiltrate enriched with the respective size-fractionated benthic biofilm or with < 30 kDa-benthic compounds (BC). The kinetics of heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF), bacteria and viruses were assessed together with bacterial and viral genomic fingerprints, bacterial enzymatic activities and viral life strategies. The experimental design allowed us to evaluate the effect of BC modulated by those of benthic size-fractionated microorganisms (virus + bacteria, + HNF). BC presented (1) in March, a positive effect on viruses and bacteria weakened by pelagic HNF. Benthic microorganisms consolidated this negative effect and sustained the viral production together with a relatively diverse and uneven bacterial assemblage structure; (2) in July, no direct impact on viruses but a positive effect on bacteria modulated by HNF, which indirectly enhanced viral multiplication. Both effects were intensified by benthic microorganisms and bacterial assemblage structure became more even. HNF indirectly profited from BC more in March than in July. The microbial loop would be stimulated by biofilm during periods of high resources (March) and the viral loop during periods of depleted resources (July).

  3. Oral microbial biofilm stimulation of epithelial cell responses.

    PubMed

    Peyyala, Rebecca; Kirakodu, Sreenatha S; Novak, Karen F; Ebersole, Jeffrey L

    2012-04-01

    Oral bacterial biofilms trigger chronic inflammatory responses in the host that can result in the tissue destructive events of periodontitis. However, the characteristics of the capacity of specific host cell types to respond to these biofilms remain ill-defined. This report describes the use of a novel model of bacterial biofilms to stimulate oral epithelial cells and profile select cytokines and chemokines that contribute to the local inflammatory environment in the periodontium. Monoinfection biofilms were developed with Streptococcus sanguinis, Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus gordonii, Actinomyces naeslundii, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis on rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. Biofilms, as well as planktonic cultures of these same bacterial species, were incubated under anaerobic conditions with a human oral epithelial cell line, OKF4, for up to 24h. Gro-1α, IL1α, IL-6, IL-8, TGFα, Fractalkine, MIP-1α, and IP-10 were shown to be produced in response to a range of the planktonic or biofilm forms of these species. P. gingivalis biofilms significantly inhibited the production of all of these cytokines and chemokines, except MIP-1α. Generally, the biofilms of all species inhibited Gro-1α, TGFα, and Fractalkine production, while F. nucleatum biofilms stimulated significant increases in IL-1α, IL-6, IL-8, and IP-10. A. naeslundii biofilms induced elevated levels of IL-6, IL-8 and IP-10. The oral streptococcal species in biofilms or planktonic forms were poor stimulants for any of these mediators from the epithelial cells. The results of these studies demonstrate that oral bacteria in biofilms elicit a substantially different profile of responses compared to planktonic bacteria of the same species. Moreover, certain oral species are highly stimulatory when in biofilms and interact with host cell receptors to trigger pathways of responses that appear quite divergent from individual bacteria. PMID:22266273

  4. Microbial biofilms are able to destroy hydroxyapatite in the absence of host immunity in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Junka, Adam Feliks; Szymczyk, Patrycja; Smutnicka, Danuta; Kos, Marcin; Smolina, Iryna; Bartoszewicz, Marzenna; Chlebus, Edward; Turniak, Michal; Sedghizadeh, Parish P.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction It is widely thought that inflammation and osteoclastogenesis result in hydroxyapatite (HA) resorption and sequestra formation during osseous infections, and microbial biofilm pathogens induce the inflammatory destruction of HA. We hypothesized that biofilms associated with infectious bone disease can directly resorb HA in the absence of host inflammation or osteoclastogenesis. Therefore, we developed an in vitro model to test this hypothesis. Materials and Methods Customized HA discs were manufactured as a substrate for growing clinically relevant biofilm pathogens. Single-species biofilms of S.mutans, S.aureus, P.aeruginosa and C.albicans, and mixed-species biofilms of C.albicans + S.mutans were incubated on HA discs for 72 hours to grow mature biofilms. Three different non-biofilm control groups were also established for testing. HA discs were then evaluated by means of scanning electron microscopy, micro-CT metrotomography, x-ray spectroscopy and confocal microscopy with planimetric analysis. Additionally, quantitative cultures and pH assessment were performed. ANOVA was used to test for significance between treatment and control groups. Results All investigated biofilms were able to cause significant (P<0.05) and morphologically characteristic alterations in HA structure as compared to controls. The highest number of alterations observed was caused by mixed biofilms of C.albicans + S.mutans. S. mutans biofilm incubated in medium with additional sucrose content was the most detrimental to HA surfaces among single-species biofilms. Conclusion These findings suggest that direct microbial resorption of bone is possible in addition to immune-mediated destruction, which has important translational implications for the pathogenesis of chronic bone infections and for targeted antimicrobial therapeutics. PMID:25544303

  5. Electrochemical and microbial monitoring of multi-generational electroactive biofilms formed from mangrove sediment.

    PubMed

    Rivalland, Caroline; Madhkour, Sonia; Salvin, Paule; Robert, Florent

    2015-12-01

    Electroactive biofilms were formed from French Guiana mangrove sediments for the analysis of bacterial communities' composition. The electrochemical monitoring of three biofilm generations revealed that the bacterial selection occurring at the anode, supposedly leading microbial electrochemical systems (MESs) to be more efficient, was not the only parameter to be taken into account so as to get the best electrical performance (maximum current density). Indeed, first biofilm generations produced a stable current density reaching about 18 A/m(2) while second and third generations produced current densities of about 10 A/m(2). MES bacterial consortia were characterized thanks to molecular biology techniques: DGGE and MiSeq® sequencing (Illumina®). High-throughput sequencing data statistical analysis confirmed preliminary DGGE data analysis, showing strong similarities between electroactive biofilms of second and third generations, but also revealing both selection and stabilization of the biofilms. PMID:26055041

  6. Comparison of microbial communities of activated sludge and membrane biofilm in 10 full-scale membrane bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Jo, Sung Jun; Kwon, Hyeokpil; Jeong, So-Yeon; Lee, Chung-Hak; Kim, Tae Gwan

    2016-09-15

    Operation of membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for wastewater treatment is hampered by the membrane biofouling resulting from microbial activities. However, the knowledge of the microbial ecology of both biofilm and activated sludge in MBRs has not been sufficient. In this study, we scrutinized microbial communities of biofilm and activated sludge from 10 full-scale MBR plants. Overall, Flavobacterium, Dechloromonas and Nitrospira were abundant in order of abundance in biofilm, whereas Dechloromonas, Flavobacterium and Haliscomenobacter in activated sludge. Community structure was analyzed in either biofilm or activated sludge. Among MBRs, as expected, not only diversity of microbial community but also its composition was different from one another (p < 0.05). Between the biofilm and activated sludge, community composition made significant difference, but its diversity measures (i.e., alpha diversity, e.g., richness, diversity and evenness) did not (p > 0.05). Effects of ten environmental factors on community change were investigated using Spearman correlation. MLSS, HRT, F/M ratio and SADm explained the variation of microbial composition in the biofilm, whereas only MLSS did in the activated sludge. Microbial networks were constructed with the 10 environmental factors. The network results revealed that there were different topological characteristics between the biofilm and activated sludge networks, in which each of the 4 factors had different associations with microbial nodes. These results indicated that the different microbial associations were responsible for the variation of community composition between the biofilm and activated sludge. PMID:27262549

  7. Oral epithelial cell responses to multispecies microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Peyyala, R; Kirakodu, S S; Novak, K F; Ebersole, J L

    2013-03-01

    This report describes the use of a novel model of multispecies biofilms to stimulate profiles of cytokines/chemokines from oral epithelial cells that contribute to local inflammation in the periodontium. Streptococcus gordonii (Sg)/S. oralis (So)/S. sanguinis (Ss) and Sg/Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn)/Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) biofilms elicited significantly elevated levels of IL-1α and showed synergistic stimulatory activity compared with an additive effect of the 3 individual bacteria. Only the Sg/Actinomyces naeslundii (An)/Fn multispecies biofilms elicited IL-6 levels above those of control. IL-8 was a primary response to the Sg/An/Fn biofilms, albeit the level was not enhanced compared with a predicted composite level from the monospecies challenges. These results represent some of the first data documenting alterations in profiles of oral epithelial cell responses to multispecies biofilms. PMID:23300185

  8. Maintenance of Geobacter-dominated biofilms in microbial fuel cells treating synthetic wastewater.

    PubMed

    Commault, Audrey S; Lear, Gavin; Weld, Richard J

    2015-12-01

    Geobacter-dominated biofilms can be selected under stringent conditions that limit the growth of competing bacteria. However, in many practical applications, such stringent conditions cannot be maintained and the efficacy and stability of these artificial biofilms may be challenged. In this work, biofilms were selected on low-potential anodes (-0.36 V vs Ag/AgCl, i.e. -0.08 V vs SHE) in minimal acetate or ethanol media. Selection conditions were then relaxed by transferring the biofilms to synthetic wastewater supplemented with soil as a source of competing bacteria. We tracked community succession and functional changes in these biofilms. The Geobacter-dominated biofilms showed stability in their community composition and electrochemical properties, with Geobacter sp. being still electrically active after six weeks in synthetic wastewater with power densities of 100±19 mW·m(-2) (against 74±14 mW·m(-2) at week 0) for all treatments. After six weeks, the ethanol-selected biofilms, despite their high taxon richness and their efficiency at removing the chemical oxygen demand (0.8 g·L(-1) removed against the initial 1.3 g·L(-1) injected), were the least stable in terms of community structure. These findings have important implications for environmental microbial fuel cells based on Geobacter-dominated biofilms and suggest that they could be stable in challenging environments. PMID:25935865

  9. Mixed biofilms formed by C. albicans and non-albicans species: a study of microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Santos, Jéssica Diane dos; Piva, Elisabete; Vilela, Simone Furgeri Godinho; Jorge, Antonio Olavo Cardoso; Junqueira, Juliana Campos

    2016-01-01

    Most Candida infections are related to microbial biofilms often formed by the association of different species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the interactions between Candida albicans and non-albicans species in biofilms formed in vitro. The non-albicans species studied were:Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata and Candida krusei. Single and mixed biofilms (formed by clinical isolates of C. albicans and non-albicans species) were developed from standardized suspensions of each strain (10(7) cells/mL), on flat-bottom 96-well microtiter plates for 48 hour. These biofilms were analyzed by counting colony-forming units (CFU/mL) in Candida HiChrome agar and by determining cell viability, using the XTT 2,3-bis (2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-5-[(phenylamino) carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium hydroxide colorimetric assay. The results for both the CFU/mL count and the XTT colorimetric assay showed that all the species studied were capable of forming high levels of in vitro biofilm. The number of CFU/mL and the metabolic activity of C. albicans were reduced in mixed biofilms with non-albicans species, as compared with a single C. albicans biofilm. Among the species tested, C. krusei exerted the highest inhibitory action against C. albicans. In conclusion, C. albicans established antagonistic interactions with non-albicans Candida species in mixed biofilms. PMID:26981754

  10. An Electrochemical Strategy to Measure the Thickness of Electroactive Microbial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Millo, Diego

    2015-01-01

    The study of electroactive microbial biofilms often requires knowledge of the biofilm thickness. Unfortunately, this parameter is, nowadays, only accessible through expensive microscopic techniques. This work overcomes this limitation by presenting a new strategy, exploiting the use of chronoamperometry (CA) alone. A mixed-culture biofilm is exposed to an O2-saturated solution during anode respiration to suppress its catalytic activity. Assuming that inactivation of the electrocatalytic process is caused by O2 diffusion through the biofilm, a simple relation allows the use of the time constant extracted from the fitting of the curve of the CA trace during inactivation for the straightforward and quantitative determination of biofilm thickness. The biofilm thickness obtained with this method obeys the expected trend reported for biofilm growth and is in agreement with optical measurements. Contrary to the techniques usually employed to determine biofilm thickness, this new strategy is very rapid, nondisruptive, inexpensive, and may become a convenient alternative with respect to expensive and time-consuming microscopic techniques.

  11. EPS in Environmental Microbial Biofilms as Examined by Advanced Imaging Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neu, T. R.; Lawrence, J. R.

    2006-12-01

    Biofilm communities are highly structured associations of cellular and polymeric components which are involved in biogenic and geogenic environmental processes. Furthermore, biofilms are also important in medical (infection), industrial (biofouling) and technological (biofilm engineering) processes. The interfacial microbial communities in a specific habitat are highly dynamic and change according to the environmental parameters affecting not only the cellular but also the polymeric constituents of the system. Through their EPS biofilms interact with dissolved, colloidal and particulate compounds from the bulk water phase. For a long time the focus in biofilm research was on the cellular constituents in biofilms and the polymer matrix in biofilms has been rather neglected. The polymer matrix is produced not only by different bacteria and archaea but also by eukaryotic micro-organisms such as algae and fungi. The mostly unidentified mixture of EPS compounds is responsible for many biofilm properties and is involved in biofilm functionality. The chemistry of the EPS matrix represents a mixture of polymers including polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, neutral polymers, charged polymers, amphiphilic polymers and refractory microbial polymers. The analysis of the EPS may be done destructively by means of extraction and subsequent chemical analysis or in situ by means of specific probes in combination with advanced imaging. In the last 15 years laser scanning microscopy (LSM) has been established as an indispensable technique for studying microbial communities. LSM with 1-photon and 2-photon excitation in combination with fluorescence techniques allows 3-dimensional investigation of fully hydrated, living biofilm systems. This approach is able to reveal data on biofilm structural features as well as biofilm processes and interactions. The fluorescent probes available allow the quantitative assessment of cellular as well as polymer distribution. For this purpose

  12. Extracellular polymeric substances, microbial activity and microbial community of biofilm and suspended sludge at different divalent cadmium concentrations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zichao; Gao, Mengchun; Wei, Junfeng; Ma, Kedong; Zhang, Jing; Yang, Yusuo; Yu, Shuping

    2016-04-01

    The differences between biofilm and suspended sludge (S-sludge) in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), microbial activity, and microbial community in an anoxic-aerobic sequencing batch biofilm reactor (SBBR) at different concentrations of divalent cadmium (Cd(II)) were investigated. As the increase of Cd(II) concentration from 0 to 50mgL(-1), the specific ammonium oxidation rate (SAOR), specific nitrite oxidation rate (SNOR), and specific nitrate reduction rate (SNRR) of biofilm decreased from 4.85, 5.22 and 45mgNg(-1) VSSh(-1) to 1.54, 2.38 and 26mgNg(-1)VSSh(-1), respectively, and the SAOR, SNOR and SNRR of S-sludge decreased from 4.80, 5.02 and 34mgNg(-1)VSSh(-1) to 1.46, 2.20 and 17mgNg(-1)VSSh(-1), respectively. Biofilm had higher protein (PN) content in EPS than S-sludge. Contrast to S-sludge, biofilm could provide Nitrobacter vulgaris, beta proteobacterium INBAF015, and Pseudoxanthomonas mexicana with the favorable conditions of growth and reproduction. PMID:26829529

  13. Hypersaline Microbial Systems of Sabkhas: Examples of Life's Survival in "Extreme" Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumbein, Wolfgang Elisabeth; Gorbushina, Anna A.; Holtkamp-Tacken, Elisabeth

    2004-12-01

    Life and living systems need several important factors to establish themselves and to have a continued tradition. In this article the nature of the borderline situation for microbial life under heavy salt stress is analyzed and discussed using the example of biofilms and microbial mats of sabkha systems of the Red Sea. Important factors ruling such environments are described, and include the following: (1) Microbial life is better suited for survival in extremely changing and only sporadically water-supplied environments than are larger organisms (including humans). (2) Microbial life shows extremely poikilophilic adaptation patterns to conditions that deviate significantly from conditions normal for life processes on Earth today. (3) Microbial life adapts itself to such extremely changing and only ephemerally supportive conditions by the capacity of extreme changes (a) in morphology (pleomorphy), (b) in metabolic patterns (poikilotrophy), (c) in survival strategies (poikilophily), and (d) by trapping and enclosing all necessary sources of energy matter in an inwardly oriented diffusive cycle. All this is achieved without any serious attempt at escaping from the extreme and extremely changing conditions. Furthermore, these salt swamp systems are geophysiological generators of energy and material reservoirs recycled over a geological time scale. Neither energy nor material is wasted for propagation by spore formation. This capacity is summarized as poikilophilic and poikilotroph behavior of biofilm or microbial mat communities in salt and irradiationstressed environmental conditions of the sabkha or salt desert type. We use mainly cyanobacteria as an example, although other bacteria and even eukaryotic fungi may exhibit the same potential of living and surviving under conditions usually not suitable for life on Earth. It may, however, be postulated that such poikilophilic organisms are the true candidates for life support and survival under conditions never recorded

  14. Hypersaline microbial systems of sabkhas: examples of life's survival in "extreme" conditions.

    PubMed

    Krumbein, Wolfgang Elisabeth; Gorbushina, Anna A; Holtkamp-Tacken, Elisabeth

    2004-01-01

    Life and living systems need several important factors to establish themselves and to have a continued tradition. In this article the nature of the borderline situation for microbial life under heavy salt stress is analyzed and discussed using the example of biofilms and microbial mats of sabkha systems of the Red Sea. Important factors ruling such environments are described, and include the following: (1) Microbial life is better suited for survival in extremely changing and only sporadically water-supplied environments than are larger organisms (including humans). (2) Microbial life shows extremely poikilophilic adaptation patterns to conditions that deviate significantly from conditions normal for life processes on Earth today. (3) Microbial life adapts itself to such extremely changing and only ephemerally supportive conditions by the capacity of extreme changes (a) in morphology (pleomorphy), (b) in metabolic patterns (poikilotrophy), (c) in survival strategies (poikilophily), and (d) by trapping and enclosing all necessary sources of energy matter in an inwardly oriented diffusive cycle. All this is achieved without any serious attempt at escaping from the extreme and extremely changing conditions. Furthermore, these salt swamp systems are geophysiological generators of energy and material reservoirs recycled over a geological time scale. Neither energy nor material is wasted for propagation by spore formation. This capacity is summarized as poikilophilic and poikilotroph behavior of biofilm or microbial mat communities in salt and irradiationstressed environmental conditions of the sabkha or salt desert type. We use mainly cyanobacteria as an example, although other bacteria and even eukaryotic fungi may exhibit the same potential of living and surviving under conditions usually not suitable for life on Earth. It may, however, be postulated that such poikilophilic organisms are the true candidates for life support and survival under conditions never recorded

  15. Comparison of the microbial communities of hot springs waters and the microbial biofilms in the acidic geothermal area of Copahue (Neuquén, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Urbieta, María Sofía; González-Toril, Elena; Bazán, Ángeles Aguilera; Giaveno, María Alejandra; Donati, Edgardo

    2015-03-01

    Copahue is a natural geothermal field (Neuquén province, Argentina) dominated by the Copahue volcano. As a consequence of the sustained volcanic activity, Copahue presents many acidic pools, hot springs and solfataras with different temperature and pH conditions that influence their microbial diversity. The occurrence of microbial biofilms was observed on the surrounding rocks and the borders of the ponds, where water movements and thermal activity are less intense. Microbial biofilms are particular ecological niches within geothermal environments; they present different geochemical conditions from that found in the water of the ponds and hot springs which is reflected in different microbial community structure. The aim of this study is to compare microbial community diversity in the water of ponds and hot springs and in microbial biofilms in the Copahue geothermal field, with particular emphasis on Cyanobacteria and other photosynthetic species that have not been detected before in Copahue. In this study, we report the presence of Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi and chloroplasts of eukaryotes in the microbial biofilms not detected in the water of the ponds. On the other hand, acidophilic bacteria, the predominant species in the water of moderate temperature ponds, are almost absent in the microbial biofilms in spite of having in some cases similar temperature conditions. Species affiliated with Sulfolobales in the Archaea domain are the predominant microorganism in high temperature ponds and were also detected in the microbial biofilms. PMID:25605537

  16. Micro-fabricated polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) surfaces regulate the development of marine microbial biofilm communities.

    PubMed

    Ling, Gee Chong; Low, Min Hui; Erken, Martina; Longford, Sharon; Nielsen, Shaun; Poole, Andrew J; Steinberg, Peter; McDougald, Diane; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2014-01-01

    This study explored an antifouling (AF) concept based on deployment of microfabricated polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) surfaces with 1-10 μm periodicity corrugated topographies in temperate marine waters. The effect of the surfaces on the development of microbial biofilms over 28 days and during different seasons, including both summer and winter, was examined using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) as well as terminal restriction fragment (T-RF) analysis for phylogenetic fingerprinting. The microscale topography significantly impacted biofilm development by altering the attachment pattern and reducing microcolony formation on the 1, 2 and 4 μm PDMS surfaces. Also, field deployments over 28 days showed a significant reduction in biovolume on the 4 and 10 μm PDMS surfaces despite altered environmental conditions. The microfabricated PDMS surfaces further significantly impacted on the community composition of the biofilms, as revealed by changes in T-RF profiles, at different stages of development. Moreover, altered biofilm resistance was demonstrated by exposing pre-established biofilms on 10 μm micro-fabricated surfaces to enhanced flagellate predation by a heterotrophic protist, Rhynchomonas nasuta. Pronounced changes in the overall marine microbial biofilm development as well as community composition warrant exploring substratum modification for marine AF applications. PMID:24558964

  17. Composition of EPS fractions from suspended sludge and biofilm and their roles in microbial cell aggregation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Fang, Fang; Chen, You-Peng; Shen, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Ji-Xiang; Li, Chun; Guo, Jin-Song; Liu, Shao-Yang; Huang, Yang; Li, Shan; Gao, Xu; Yan, Peng

    2014-12-01

    The adhesion and aggregation properties of microbial cell are closely related to extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). In this work, the composition and physicochemical characteristics of EPS in biofilm and suspended sludge (S-sludge) were determined to evaluate their roles in microbial cell aggregation. Raman spectroscopy and three-dimensional fluorescence spectra have been employed to reveal each EPS fraction in different composition. The flocculating capacity of each EPS fraction in the S-sludge shows extraordinary activity, comparing its counterpart in biofilm. Microbial cell surfaces present high hydrophobicity and increased zeta potentials upon EPS extraction. In addition, the respective contribution of EPS to cell aggregating was elucidated. The contribution of combined SEPS and LB-EPS was 23% for S-sludge sample, whereas that was negligible for biofilm sample. The contribution of LB-EPS and TB-EPS were 16% and 30% for S-sludge sample, and -6% and negligible for biofilm sample, respectively. Therefore, EPS promoted the S-sludge cells to aggregate, while in contrast, they showed a negligible or negative effect on the biofilm cells aggregating. PMID:24968163

  18. Biofilm evidence and the microbial diversity of horse wounds.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Karen; Woods, Emma; Welsby, Sarah; Percival, Steven L; Cochrane, Christine A

    2009-02-01

    Evidence of biofilms in human chronic wounds are thought to be responsible for preventing healing in a timely manner. However, biofilm evidence in horse wounds has not yet been documented. Consequently, this study aimed to determine whether biofilms could be detected in wounds, and to investigate the microbiology of chronic wounds in horses. Prior to analysis, wound surfaces were irrigated with 5 mL of sterile saline to remove debris. All wounds were swabbed twice (1 cm2 area) using sterile cotton-tipped swabs. In addition to this, 2 tissue biopsies were taken to investigate evidence of biofilm and the microbiology richness of the wounds. All swabs and 1 biopsy sample were transported to the laboratory in Robertson's cooked meat broth. Traditional culturable techniques and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis with PCR were utilized to identify common bacteria isolated in all wounds. Following analysis of a number of the biopsy samples, biofilms could be clearly seen. The most common bacteria isolated from each wound analysed included Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Serratia marcescens, Enterococcus faecalis, and Providencia rettgeri. Sequencing of the 16S ribosmonal DNAs, selected on the basis of DGGE profiling, enabled identification of bacterial species not identified using culturable technology. This study is the first to identify biofilms in the chronic wounds of horses. In addition, this study also demonstrated the importance of combining DGGE-PCR with culture techniques to provide better microbiology analysis of chronic wounds. PMID:19295652

  19. Monitoring of microbial adhesion and biofilm growth using electrochemical impedancemetry.

    PubMed

    Dheilly, A; Linossier, I; Darchen, A; Hadjiev, D; Corbel, C; Alonso, V

    2008-05-01

    Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was tested to monitor the cell attachment and the biofilm proliferation in order to identify characteristic events induced on the metal surface by Gram-negative (Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1) and Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) bacteria strains. Electrochemical impedance spectra of AISI 304 electrodes during cell attachment and initial biofilm growth for both strains were obtained. It can be observed that the resistance increases gradually with the culture time and decreases with the biofilm detachment. So, the applicability of electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) for studying the attachment and spreading of cells on a metal surface has been demonstrated. The biofilm formation was also characterized by the use of scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy and COMSTAT image analysis. The electrochemical results roughly agree with the microscope image observations. The ECIS technique used in this study was used for continuous real-time monitoring of the initial bacterial adhesion and the biofilm growth. It provides a simple and non-expensive electrochemical method for in vitro assessment of the presence of biofilms on metal surfaces. PMID:18330564

  20. Effects of Current Velocity on the Nascent Architecture of Stream Microbial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Battin, Tom J.; Kaplan, Louis A.; Newbold, J. Denis; Cheng, Xianhao; Hansen, Claude

    2003-01-01

    Current velocity affected the architecture and dynamics of natural, multiphyla, and cross-trophic level biofilms from a forested piedmont stream. We monitored the development and activity of biofilms in streamside flumes operated under two flow regimes (slow [0.065 m s−1] and fast [0.23 m s−1]) by combined confocal laser scanning microscopy with cryosectioning to observe biofilm structure and composition. Biofilm growth started as bacterial microcolonies embedded in extracellular polymeric substances and transformed into ripple-like structures and ultimately conspicuous quasihexagonal networks. These structures were particularly pronounced in biofilms grown under slow current velocities and were characterized by the prominence of pennate diatoms oriented along their long axes to form the hexagons. Microstructural heterogeneity was dynamic, and biofilms that developed under slower velocities were thicker and had larger surface sinuosity and higher areal densities than their counterparts exposed to higher velocities. Surface sinuosity and biofilm fragmentation increased with thickness, and these changes likely reduced resistance to the mass transfer of solutes from the water column into the biofilms. Nevertheless, estimates of dissolved organic carbon uptake and microbial growth suggested that internal cycling of carbon was more important in thick biofilms grown in slow flow conditions. High-pressure liquid chromatography-pulsed amperometric detection analyses of exopolysaccharides documented a temporal shift in monosaccharide composition as the glucose levels decreased and the levels of rhamnose, galactose, mannose, xylose, and arabinose increased. We attribute this change in chemical composition to the accumulation of diatoms and increased incorporation of detrital particles in mature biofilms. PMID:12957933

  1. Biofilm vivacity and destruction on antimicrobial nanosurfaces assayed within a microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Sugnaux, Marc; Fischer, Fabian

    2016-08-01

    A novel method was developed to assay the antimicrobial capacity of nanostructured surfaces for medical implants in a bicathodic microbial fuel cell. Nano-structured gold surfaces with protruding nanopillars and nanorings were investigated. Escherichia coli K12 were used as a model microbe to record electronic effects caused by the interaction with nanosurfaces. The nanostructured gold surfaces enabled power density maxima up to 1910mW/m(2), indicating fair vivacity, while flat surfaces on the nanoscale provided almost no power 0.35mW/m(2). The biofilm presence on antimicrobial nanosurfaces was confirmed by the addition of ampicillin and its bactericidal effect resulted in oscillating and declining potentiometric signals. Current density experiments showed that biofilms on antimicrobial nanostructured electrodes caused low currents, indicating that E.coli biofilm remained functional before destruction. The bicathodic microbial fuel cell sensor is a novel tool for evaluating antimicrobial effects caused by nanosurfaces and antibiotics. PMID:27071334

  2. Ecological roles and biotechnological applications of marine and intertidal microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Sayani; Sana, Barindra; Mukherjee, Joydeep

    2014-01-01

    This review is a retrospective of ecological effects of bioactivities produced by biofilms of surface-dwelling marine/intertidal microbes as well as of the industrial and environmental biotechnologies developed exploiting the knowledge of biofilm formation. Some examples of significant interest pertaining to the ecological aspects of biofilm-forming species belonging to the Roseobacter clade include autochthonous bacteria from turbot larvae-rearing units with potential application as a probiotic as well as production of tropodithietic acid and indigoidine. Species of the Pseudoalteromonas genus are important examples of successful surface colonizers through elaboration of the AlpP protein and antimicrobial agents possessing broad-spectrum antagonistic activity against medical and environmental isolates. Further examples of significance comprise antiprotozoan activity of Pseudoalteromonas tunicata elicited by violacein, inhibition of fungal colonization, antifouling activities, inhibition of algal spore germination, and 2-n-pentyl-4-quinolinol production. Nitrous oxide, an important greenhouse gas, emanates from surface-attached microbial activity of marine animals. Marine and intertidal biofilms have been applied in the biotechnological production of violacein, phenylnannolones, and exopolysaccharides from marine and tropical intertidal environments. More examples of importance encompass production of protease, cellulase, and xylanase, melanin, and riboflavin. Antifouling activity of Bacillus sp. and application of anammox bacterial biofilms in bioremediation are described. Marine biofilms have been used as anodes and cathodes in microbial fuel cells. Some of the reaction vessels for biofilm cultivation reviewed are roller bottle, rotating disc bioreactor, polymethylmethacrylate conico-cylindrical flask, fixed bed reactor, artificial microbial mats, packed-bed bioreactors, and the Tanaka photobioreactor. PMID:24817086

  3. Microbial Extremophiles in Aspect of Limits of Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.; Tang, Jane

    2007-01-01

    During Earth's evolution accompanied by geophysical and climatic changes a number of ecosystems have been formed. These ecosystems differ by the broad variety of physicochemical and biological factors composing our environment. Traditionally, pH and salinity are considered as geochemical extremes, as opposed to the temperature, pressure and radiation that are referred to as physical extremes (Van den Burg, 2003). Life inhabits all possible places on Earth interacting with the environment and within itself (cross species relations). In nature it is very rare when an ecotope is inhabited by a single species. As a rule, most ecosystems contain the functionally related and evolutionarily adjusted communities (consortia and populations). In contrast to the multicellular structure of eukaryotes (tissues, organs, systems of organs, whole organism), the highest organized form of prokaryotic life in nature is the benthic colonization in biofilms and microbial mats. In these complex structures all microbial cells of different species are distributed in space and time according to their functions and to physicochemical gradients that allow more effective system support, self-protection, and energy distribution. In vitro, of course, the most primitive organized structure for bacterial and archaeal cultures is the colony, the size, shape, color, consistency, and other characteristics of which could carry varies specifics on species or subspecies levels. In table 1 all known types of microbial communities are shown (Pikuta et a]., 2005). In deep underground (lithospheric) and deep-sea ecosystems an additional factor - pressure, and irradiation - could also be included in the list of microbial communities. Currently the beststudied ecosystems are: human body (due to the medical importance), and fresh water and marine ecosystems (due to the reason of an environmental safety). For a long time, extremophiles were terra incognita, since the environments with aggressive parameters

  4. Evolution of the microbial community of the biofilm in a methane-based membrane biofilm reactor reducing multiple electron acceptors.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ran; Luo, Yi-Hao; Chen, Jia-Xian; Zhang, Yin; Wen, Li-Lian; Shi, Ling-Dong; Tang, Youneng; Rittmann, Bruce E; Zheng, Ping; Zhao, He-Ping

    2016-05-01

    Previous work documented complete perchlorate reduction in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) using methane as the sole electron donor and carbon source. This work explores how the biofilm's microbial community evolved as the biofilm stage-wise reduced different combinations of perchlorate, nitrate, and nitrite. The initial inoculum, carrying out anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (ANMO-D), was dominated by uncultured Anaerolineaceae and Ferruginibacter sp. The microbial community significantly changed after it was inoculated into the CH4-based MBfR and fed with a medium containing perchlorate and nitrite. Archaea were lost within the first 40 days, and the uncultured Anaerolineaceae and Ferruginibacter sp. also had significant losses. Replacing them were anoxic methanotrophs, especially Methylocystis, which accounted for more than 25 % of total bacteria. Once the methanotrophs became important, methanol-oxidizing denitrifying bacteria, namely, Methloversatilis and Methylophilus, became important in the biofilm, probably by utilizing organic matter generated by the metabolism of methanotrophs. When methane consumption was equal to the maximum-possible electron-donor supply, Methylomonas, also an anoxic methanotroph, accounted for >10 % of total bacteria and remained a major part of the community until the end of the experiments. We propose that aerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification and perchlorate reduction (AMO-D and AMO-PR) directly oxidized methane and reduced NO3 (-) to NO2 (-) or N2O under anoxic condition, producing organic matter for methanol-assimilating denitrification and perchlorate reduction (MA-D and MA-PR) to reduce NO3 (-). Simultaneously, bacteria capable of anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification and perchlorate reduction (ANMO-D and ANMO-PR) used methane as the electron donor to respire NO3 (-) or ClO4 (-) directly. Graphical Abstract ᅟ. PMID:26841777

  5. Microbial Characterization of Biofilms in Domestic Drains and the Establishment of Stable Biofilm Microcosms

    PubMed Central

    McBain, Andrew J.; Bartolo, Robert G.; Catrenich, Carl E.; Charbonneau, Duane; Ledder, Ruth G.; Rickard, Alexander H.; Symmons, Sharon A.; Gilbert, Peter

    2003-01-01

    We have used heterotrophic plate counts, together with live-dead direct staining and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), to characterize the eubacterial communities that had formed as biofilms within domestic sink drain outlets. Laboratory microcosms of these environments were established using excised biofilms from two separate drain biofilm samples to inoculate constant-depth film fermentors (CDFFs). Drain biofilms harbored 9.8 to 11.3 log10 cells of viable enteric species and pseudomonads/g, while CDFF-grown biofilms harbored 10.6 to 11.4 log10 cells/g. Since live-dead direct staining revealed various efficiencies of recovery by culture, samples were analyzed by DGGE, utilizing primers specific for the V2-V3 region of eubacterial 16S rDNA. These analyses showed that the major PCR amplicons from in situ material were represented in the microcosms and maintained there over extended periods. Sequencing of amplicons resolved by DGGE revealed that the biofilms were dominated by a small number of genera, which were also isolated by culture. One drain sample harbored the protozoan Colpoda maupasi, together with rhabtidid nematodes and bdelloid rotifers. The microcosm enables the maintenance of stable drain-type bacterial communities and represents a useful tool for the modeling of this ecosystem. PMID:12513993

  6. Influence of Microbial Biofilms on the Preservation of Primary Soft Tissue in Fossil and Extant Archosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Joseph E.; Lenczewski, Melissa E.; Scherer, Reed P.

    2010-01-01

    Background Mineralized and permineralized bone is the most common form of fossilization in the vertebrate record. Preservation of gross soft tissues is extremely rare, but recent studies have suggested that primary soft tissues and biomolecules are more commonly preserved within preserved bones than had been presumed. Some of these claims have been challenged, with presentation of evidence suggesting that some of the structures are microbial artifacts, not primary soft tissues. The identification of biomolecules in fossil vertebrate extracts from a specimen of Brachylophosaurus canadensis has shown the interpretation of preserved organic remains as microbial biofilm to be highly unlikely. These discussions also propose a variety of potential mechanisms that would permit the preservation of soft-tissues in vertebrate fossils over geologic time. Methodology/Principal Findings This study experimentally examines the role of microbial biofilms in soft-tissue preservation in vertebrate fossils by quantitatively establishing the growth and morphology of biofilms on extant archosaur bone. These results are microscopically and morphologically compared with soft-tissue extracts from vertebrate fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of southeastern Montana (Latest Maastrichtian) in order to investigate the potential role of microbial biofilms on the preservation of fossil bone and bound organic matter in a variety of taphonomic settings. Based on these analyses, we highlight a mechanism whereby this bound organic matter may be preserved. Conclusions/Significance Results of the study indicate that the crystallization of microbial biofilms on decomposing organic matter within vertebrate bone in early taphonomic stages may contribute to the preservation of primary soft tissues deeper in the bone structure. PMID:20967227

  7. Extraterrestrial Life in the Microbial Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gronstal, Aaron L.

    Humankind has long been fascinated with the potential for alien civilizations within the Solar System and beyond (e.g., Crowe and Dowd 2013; Sullivan 2013). Despite the early optimism for life beyond Earth, humankind has yet to make first contact with an alien race. Historical discourse on the topic of alien life can provide some useful input into questions about how the people of Earth today might respond to contact with alien life (e.g., Dick 2013). However, this discourse is primarily devoted to understanding humankind's response to intelligent life. We must recognize that the search for life's potential beyond Earth has dramatically changed since the dawn of the Space Age. We now know that advanced civilizations are not common on planets in our solar system. The search for life on nearby worlds is now limited to non-intelligent, microbial life. Any chance we have of contacting intelligent life lies in receiving transmissions from distant worlds, and contact with such cultures would be greatly limited by the vast expanse of space. This chapter discusses the need for more attention paid to the possible social, economic, and legal ramifications that the discovery of non-intelligent, alien microbial life might bring.

  8. Investigation of Hyporheic Microbial Biofilms as Indicators of Heavy Metal Toxicity in the Clark Fork Basin, Montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, E. P.; Hwang, C.; Bouskill, N.; Hornberger, M.; Fields, M. W.

    2015-12-01

    Water-saturated sediments that underlie a stream channel contain microbial biofilms that are often responsible for the majority of the metabolic activity in river and stream ecosystems. Metal contamination from mining effluent can modify the biofilm community structure, diversity, and activity. Developing a mechanistic understanding of the biofilm response to metal contamination could provide a useful bioindicator of metal toxicity due to the ease of standard biofilm sampling, environmental ubiquity of biofilms and the rapid response of biofilms to environmental perturbation and metal toxicity. Here we present data on the structure of the biofilm community (e.g., microbial population composition and diversity) and trace metal concentrations in water, bed sediment and biota (benthic insects) across 15 sites in the Clark Fork Basin. Sample sites were selected across a historically-monitored metal pollution gradient at shallow riffles with bed sediment predominantly composed of pebbles, cobbles, and sand. Bed-sediment samples (for biofilm analysis) were obtained from the top 20 centimeters of the hyporheic zone and sieved using sterile sieves to obtain homogeneous sediment samples with particle sizes ranging from 1.70 to 2.36 millimeters. Linear discriminant analysis and effect size statistical methods were used to integrate the metals concentration data (for water and benthic-insects samples) with the microbial community analysis to identify microbial biomarkers of metal toxicity. The development of rapid microbial biomarker tools could provide reproducible and quantitative insights into the effectiveness of remediation activities on metal toxicity and advances in the field of environmental biomonitoring.

  9. Stratified Microbial Structure and Activity in Sulfide- and Methane-Producing Anaerobic Sewer Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jing; Hu, Shihu; Sharma, Keshab Raj; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Simultaneous production of sulfide and methane by anaerobic sewer biofilms has recently been observed, suggesting that sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and methanogenic archaea (MA), microorganisms known to compete for the same substrates, can coexist in this environment. This study investigated the community structures and activities of SRB and MA in anaerobic sewer biofilms (average thickness of 800 μm) using a combination of microelectrode measurements, molecular techniques, and mathematical modeling. It was seen that sulfide was mainly produced in the outer layer of the biofilm, between the depths of 0 and 300 μm, which is in good agreement with the distribution of SRB population as revealed by cryosection-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). SRB had a higher relative abundance of 20% on the surface layer, which decreased gradually to below 3% at a depth of 400 μm. In contrast, MA mainly inhabited the inner layer of the biofilm. Their relative abundances increased from 10% to 75% at depths of 200 μm and 700 μm, respectively, from the biofilm surface layer. High-throughput pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons showed that SRB in the biofilm were mainly affiliated with five genera, Desulfobulbus, Desulfomicrobium, Desulfovibrio, Desulfatiferula, and Desulforegula, while about 90% of the MA population belonged to the genus Methanosaeta. The spatial organizations of SRB and MA revealed by pyrosequencing were consistent with the FISH results. A biofilm model was constructed to simulate the SRB and MA distributions in the anaerobic sewer biofilm. The good fit between model predictions and the experimental data indicate that the coexistence and spatial structure of SRB and MA in the biofilm resulted from the microbial types and their metabolic transformations and interactions with substrates. PMID:25192994

  10. Shifts in microbial community structure and function in light- and dark-grown biofilms driven by warming.

    PubMed

    Romaní, Anna M; Borrego, Carles M; Díaz-Villanueva, Verónica; Freixa, Anna; Gich, Frederic; Ylla, Irene

    2014-08-01

    Biofilms are dynamic players in biogeochemical cycling in running waters and are subjected to environmental stressors like those provoked by climate change. We investigated whether a 2°C increase in flowing water would affect prokaryotic community composition and heterotrophic metabolic activities of biofilms grown under light or dark conditions. Neither light nor temperature treatments were relevant for selecting a specific bacterial community at initial phases (7-day-old biofilms), but both variables affected the composition and function of mature biofilms (28-day-old). In dark-grown biofilms, changes in the prokaryotic community composition due to warming were mainly related to rotifer grazing, but no significant changes were observed in functional fingerprints. In light-grown biofilms, warming also affected protozoan densities, but its effect on prokaryotic density and composition was less evident. In contrast, heterotrophic metabolic activities in light-grown biofilms under warming showed a decrease in the functional diversity towards a specialized use of several carbohydrates. Results suggest that prokaryotes are functionally redundant in dark biofilms but functionally plastic in light biofilms. The more complex and self-serving light-grown biofilm determines a more buffered response to temperature than dark-grown biofilms. Despite the moderate increase in temperature of only 2°C, warming conditions drive significant changes in freshwater biofilms, which responded by finely tuning a complex network of interactions among microbial populations within the biofilm matrix. PMID:24552130

  11. Quantum dots conjugated zinc oxide nanosheets: Impeder of microbial growth and biofilm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Rajendra; Gholap, Haribhau; Warule, Sambhaji; Banpurkar, Arun; Kulkarni, Gauri; Gade, Wasudeo

    2015-01-01

    The grieving problem of the 21st century has been the antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic microorganisms to conventional antibiotics. Therefore, developments of novel antibacterial materials which effectively inhibit or kill such resistant microorganisms have become the need of the hour. In the present study, we communicate the synthesis of quantum dots conjugated zinc oxide nanostructures (ZnO/CdTe) as an impeder of microbial growth and biofilm. The as-synthesized nanostructures were characterized by X-ray diffraction, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. The growth impedance property of ZnO and ZnO/CdTe on Gram positive organism, Bacillus subtilis NCIM 2063 and Gram negative, Escherichia coli NCIM 2931 and biofilm impedance activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa O1 was found to occur due to photocatalytical action on the cell biofilm surfaces. The impedance in microbial growth and biofilm formation was further supported by ruptured appearances of cells and dettrered biofilm under field emission scanning electron and confocal laser scanning microscope. The ZnO/CdTe nanostructures array synthesized by hydrothermal method has an advantage of low growth temperature, and opportunity to fabricate inexpensive material for nano-biotechnological applications.

  12. Mini Review of Phytochemicals and Plant Taxa with Activity as Microbial Biofilm and Quorum Sensing Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ta, Chieu Anh Kim; Arnason, John Thor

    2015-01-01

    Microbial biofilms readily form on many surfaces in nature including plant surfaces. In order to coordinate the formation of these biofilms, microorganisms use a cell-to-cell communication system called quorum sensing (QS). As formation of biofilms on vascular plants may not be advantageous to the hosts, plants have developed inhibitors to interfere with these processes. In this mini review, research papers published on plant-derived molecules that have microbial biofilm or quorum sensing inhibition are reviewed with the objectives of determining the biosynthetic classes of active compounds, their biological activity in assays, and their families of occurrence and range. The main findings are the identification of plant phenolics, including benzoates, phenyl propanoids, stilbenes, flavonoids, gallotannins, proanthocyanidins and coumarins as important inhibitors with both activities. Some terpenes including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and triterpenes also have anti-QS and anti-biofilm activities. Relatively few alkaloids were reported. Quinones and organosulfur compounds, especially from garlic, were also active. A common feature is the polar nature of these compounds. Phytochemicals with these activities are widespread in Angiosperms in temperate and tropical regions, but gymnosperms, bryophytes and pteridophytes were not represented. PMID:26712734

  13. Microbial community composition and dynamics of moving bed biofilm reactor systems treating municipal sewage.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Kristi; Turner, Susan J

    2012-02-01

    Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems are increasingly used for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, yet in contrast to activated sludge (AS) systems, little is known about their constituent microbial communities. This study investigated the community composition of two municipal MBBR wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Wellington, New Zealand. Monthly samples comprising biofilm and suspended biomass were collected over a 12-month period. Bacterial and archaeal community composition was determined using a full-cycle community approach, including analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Differences in microbial community structure and abundance were observed between the two WWTPs and between biofilm and suspended biomass. Biofilms from both plants were dominated by Clostridia and sulfate-reducing members of the Deltaproteobacteria (SRBs). FISH analyses indicated morphological differences in the Deltaproteobacteria detected at the two plants and also revealed distinctive clustering between SRBs and members of the Methanosarcinales, which were the only Archaea detected and were present in low abundance (<5%). Biovolume estimates of the SRBs were higher in biofilm samples from one of the WWTPs which receives both domestic and industrial waste and is influenced by seawater infiltration. The suspended communities from both plants were diverse and dominated by aerobic members of the Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. This study represents the first detailed analysis of microbial communities in full-scale MBBR systems and indicates that this process selects for distinctive biofilm and planktonic communities, both of which differ from those found in conventional AS systems. PMID:22138984

  14. Microbial Community Composition and Dynamics of Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor Systems Treating Municipal Sewage

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Susan J.

    2012-01-01

    Moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems are increasingly used for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, yet in contrast to activated sludge (AS) systems, little is known about their constituent microbial communities. This study investigated the community composition of two municipal MBBR wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Wellington, New Zealand. Monthly samples comprising biofilm and suspended biomass were collected over a 12-month period. Bacterial and archaeal community composition was determined using a full-cycle community approach, including analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Differences in microbial community structure and abundance were observed between the two WWTPs and between biofilm and suspended biomass. Biofilms from both plants were dominated by Clostridia and sulfate-reducing members of the Deltaproteobacteria (SRBs). FISH analyses indicated morphological differences in the Deltaproteobacteria detected at the two plants and also revealed distinctive clustering between SRBs and members of the Methanosarcinales, which were the only Archaea detected and were present in low abundance (<5%). Biovolume estimates of the SRBs were higher in biofilm samples from one of the WWTPs which receives both domestic and industrial waste and is influenced by seawater infiltration. The suspended communities from both plants were diverse and dominated by aerobic members of the Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. This study represents the first detailed analysis of microbial communities in full-scale MBBR systems and indicates that this process selects for distinctive biofilm and planktonic communities, both of which differ from those found in conventional AS systems. PMID:22138984

  15. Solid and Aqueous Geochemical Controls on Phylogenetic Diversity and Abundance of Microbial Biofilms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A. A.; Bennett, P. C.

    2015-12-01

    In the subsurface, the vast majority of microorganisms are found in biofilms attached to mineral surfaces. The fickle nature of these environments (chemically and physically) likely causes dynamic ecological shifts in these microbial communities. We used laboratory biofilm reactors (inoculated with a diverse subsurface community) to explore the role of mineralogy as part of a microbe-mineral-water ecosystem under variable pressures (mineralogy, pH, carbon, phosphate). Following multivariate analyses, pH was identified as the key physicochemical property associated with variation in both phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity as well as overall community structure (P<0.05). In particular, the ability of minerals, media, or a combination of the two to buffer metabolically generated acidity impacted community structure under oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions. Additionally, we found that media phosphate limitations were significantly correlated to greater biofilm accumulation (P<0.002), but lower species richness (P<0.001) and Shannon diversity (P<0.001); while mineral-bound phosphate limitations were significantly correlated to lesser biofilm accumulation (P<0.05) but not to species richness or diversity. Carbon (as acetate, lactate, or formate) added to the media was correlated with a significant increase in biofilm accumulation (P<0.04), and overall Shannon diversity (P<0.006), but not significantly correlated with overall species richness. Although variable in magnitude, the effect of surface chemistry on microbial diversity (both phylogenetic and taxonomic) was statistically significant, in all reactors, regardless of environmental pressures. Phylogenetically, surface type (carbonate, silicate, or Al-silicate) controlled ~70-90%, meaning that organisms attached to similar surfaces were significantly more genetically similar. Taxonomy and proportional abundance was significantly sensitive to variations in media chemistry with consistent patterns emerging among

  16. Community-based interference against integration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa into human salivary microbial biofilm.

    PubMed

    He, X; Hu, W; He, J; Guo, L; Lux, R; Shi, W

    2011-12-01

    As part of the human gastrointestinal tract, the oral cavity represents a complex biological system and harbors diverse bacterial species. Unlike the gut microbiota, which is often considered a health asset, studies of the oral commensal microbiota have been largely limited to their implication in oral conditions such as dental caries and periodontal disease. Less emphasis has been given to their potential beneficial roles, especially the protective effects against oral colonization by foreign or pathogenic bacteria. In this study, we used salivary microbiota derived from healthy human subjects to investigate protective effects against colonization and integration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen, into developing or pre-formed salivary biofilms. When co-cultivated in saliva medium, P. aeruginosa persisted in the planktonic phase, but failed to integrate into the salivary microbial community during biofilm formation. Furthermore, in saliva medium supplemented with sucrose, the oral microbiota inhibited the growth of P. aeruginosa by producing lactic acid. More interestingly, while pre-formed salivary biofilms were able to prevent P. aeruginosa colonization, the same biofilms recovered from mild chlorhexidine gluconate treatment displayed a shift in microbial composition and showed a drastic reduction in protection. Our study indicates that normal oral communities with balanced microbial compositions could be important in effectively preventing the integration of foreign or pathogenic bacterial species, such as P. aeruginosa. PMID:22053962

  17. Multi-technique approach to assess the effects of microbial biofilms involved in copper plumbing corrosion.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Ignacio T; Alsina, Marco A; Pavissich, Juan P; Jeria, Gustavo A; Pastén, Pablo A; Walczak, Magdalena; Pizarro, Gonzalo E

    2014-06-01

    Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) is recognized as an unusual and severe type of corrosion that causes costly failures around the world. A microbial biofilm could enhance the copper release from copper plumbing into the water by forming a reactive interface. The biofilm increases the corrosion rate, the mobility of labile copper from its matrix and the detachment of particles enriched with copper under variable shear stress due to flow conditions. MIC is currently considered as a series of interdependent processes occurring at the metal-liquid interface. The presence of a biofilm results in the following effects: (a) the formation of localized microenvironments with distinct pH, dissolved oxygen concentrations, and redox conditions; (b) sorption and desorption of labile copper bonded to organic compounds under changing water chemistry conditions; (c) change in morphology by deposition of solid corrosion by-products; (d) diffusive transport of reactive chemical species from or towards the metal surface; and (e) detachment of scale particles under flow conditions. Using a multi-technique approach that combines pipe and coupon experiments this paper reviews the effects of microbial biofilms on the corrosion of copper plumbing systems, and proposes an integrated conceptual model for this phenomenon supported by new experimental data. PMID:24355512

  18. A Biofilm Treatment Approach for Produced Water from Hydraulic Fracturing Using Engineered Microbial Mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akyon, B.; Stachler, E.; Bibby, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing results in large volumes of wastewater, called "produced water". Treatment of produced water is challenged by its high salt, organic compound, and radionuclide concentrations. Current disposal approaches include deep well injection and physical-chemical treatment for surface disposal; however, deep well injection has been recently linked to induced seismicity and physical-chemical treatments suffer from fouling and high cost. The reuse of the produced water has emerged as a desirable management option; however, this requires pretreatment to generate a water of usable quality and limit microbial activity. Biological treatment is an underexplored area in produced water management and has the potential to remove organics and reduce overall costs for physiochemical treatment or reuse. Suspended growth biological treatment techniques are known to be limited by salinity motivating a more robust biofilm approach: 'microbial mats'. In this study, we used engineered microbial mats as a biofilm treatment for the produced water. Evaluation of the biodegradation performance of microbial mats in synthetic and real produced waters showed microbial activity at up to 100,000 mg/L TDS concentration (three times the salt concentration of the ocean). Organic removal rates reached to 1.45 mg COD/gramwet-day at 91,351 mg/L TDS in real produced water samples and initial evaluation demonstrated the potential for field-scale application. Metagenomic analyses of microbial mats demonstrated an adaptive shift in the microbial community treating different samples, suggesting the wide applicability of this treatment approach for produced waters with varying chemical composition. On-going studies focus on the evaluation of the removal of the organics and the contaminants of high concern in produced water using microbial mats as well as the effect of the biofilm growth conditions on the biodegradation in changing salt concentrations.

  19. Biofilms and biofilm reactors. (Latest citations from the Life Sciences Collection database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-05-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the formation and characterization of biofilms. Biofilms occur in fermentation, wastewater treatment, packed-bed reactors, fluidized-bed reactors, medical prostheses, fouling, biomass reactors, waste supply systems, and other aquatic systems. Topics include microorganism makeup of biofilms, controlling biofilm formation, biological and chemical properties, model studies, kinetic studies, and biofilm identification and detection. (Contains a minimum of 209 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  20. Microbial astronauts: assembling microbial communities for advanced life support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, M. S.; Garland, J. L.; Mills, A. L.

    2004-01-01

    Extension of human habitation into space requires that humans carry with them many of the microorganisms with which they coexist on Earth. The ubiquity of microorganisms in close association with all living things and biogeochemical processes on Earth predicates that they must also play a critical role in maintaining the viability of human life in space. Even though bacterial populations exist as locally adapted ecotypes, the abundance of individuals in microbial species is so large that dispersal is unlikely to be limited by geographical barriers on Earth (i.e., for most environments "everything is everywhere" given enough time). This will not be true for microbial communities in space where local species richness will be relatively low because of sterilization protocols prior to launch and physical barriers between Earth and spacecraft after launch. Although community diversity will be sufficient to sustain ecosystem function at the onset, richness and evenness may decline over time such that biological systems either lose functional potential (e.g., bioreactors may fail to reduce BOD or nitrogen load) or become susceptible to invasion by human-associated microorganisms (pathogens) over time. Research at the John F. Kennedy Space Center has evaluated fundamental properties of microbial diversity and community assembly in prototype bioregenerative systems for NASA Advanced Life Support. Successional trends related to increased niche specialization, including an apparent increase in the proportion of nonculturable types of organisms, have been consistently observed. In addition, the stability of the microbial communities, as defined by their resistance to invasion by human-associated microorganisms, has been correlated to their diversity. Overall, these results reflect the significant challenges ahead for the assembly of stable, functional communities using gnotobiotic approaches, and the need to better define the basic biological principles that define ecosystem

  1. Microbial astronauts: assembling microbial communities for advanced life support systems.

    PubMed

    Roberts, M S; Garland, J L; Mills, A L

    2004-02-01

    Extension of human habitation into space requires that humans carry with them many of the microorganisms with which they coexist on Earth. The ubiquity of microorganisms in close association with all living things and biogeochemical processes on Earth predicates that they must also play a critical role in maintaining the viability of human life in space. Even though bacterial populations exist as locally adapted ecotypes, the abundance of individuals in microbial species is so large that dispersal is unlikely to be limited by geographical barriers on Earth (i.e., for most environments "everything is everywhere" given enough time). This will not be true for microbial communities in space where local species richness will be relatively low because of sterilization protocols prior to launch and physical barriers between Earth and spacecraft after launch. Although community diversity will be sufficient to sustain ecosystem function at the onset, richness and evenness may decline over time such that biological systems either lose functional potential (e.g., bioreactors may fail to reduce BOD or nitrogen load) or become susceptible to invasion by human-associated microorganisms (pathogens) over time. Research at the John F. Kennedy Space Center has evaluated fundamental properties of microbial diversity and community assembly in prototype bioregenerative systems for NASA Advanced Life Support. Successional trends related to increased niche specialization, including an apparent increase in the proportion of nonculturable types of organisms, have been consistently observed. In addition, the stability of the microbial communities, as defined by their resistance to invasion by human-associated microorganisms, has been correlated to their diversity. Overall, these results reflect the significant challenges ahead for the assembly of stable, functional communities using gnotobiotic approaches, and the need to better define the basic biological principles that define ecosystem

  2. Power limits for microbial life.

    PubMed

    LaRowe, Douglas E; Amend, Jan P

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the origin, evolution, and extent of life, we seek to determine the minimum flux of energy needed for organisms to remain viable. Despite the difficulties associated with direct measurement of the power limits for life, it is possible to use existing data and models to constrain the minimum flux of energy required to sustain microorganisms. Here, a we apply a bioenergetic model to a well characterized marine sedimentary environment in order to quantify the amount of power organisms use in an ultralow-energy setting. In particular, we show a direct link between power consumption in this environment and the amount of biomass (cells cm(-3)) found in it. The power supply resulting from the aerobic degradation of particular organic carbon (POC) at IODP Site U1370 in the South Pacific Gyre is between ∼10(-12) and 10(-16) W cm(-3). The rates of POC degradation are calculated using a continuum model while Gibbs energies have been computed using geochemical data describing the sediment as a function of depth. Although laboratory-determined values of maintenance power do a poor job of representing the amount of biomass in U1370 sediments, the number of cells per cm(-3) can be well-captured using a maintenance power, 190 zW cell(-1), two orders of magnitude lower than the lowest value reported in the literature. In addition, we have combined cell counts and calculated power supplies to determine that, on average, the microorganisms at Site U1370 require 50-3500 zW cell(-1), with most values under ∼300 zW cell(-1). Furthermore, we carried out an analysis of the absolute minimum power requirement for a single cell to remain viable to be on the order of 1 zW cell(-1). PMID:26236299

  3. Power limits for microbial life

    PubMed Central

    LaRowe, Douglas E.; Amend, Jan P.

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the origin, evolution, and extent of life, we seek to determine the minimum flux of energy needed for organisms to remain viable. Despite the difficulties associated with direct measurement of the power limits for life, it is possible to use existing data and models to constrain the minimum flux of energy required to sustain microorganisms. Here, a we apply a bioenergetic model to a well characterized marine sedimentary environment in order to quantify the amount of power organisms use in an ultralow-energy setting. In particular, we show a direct link between power consumption in this environment and the amount of biomass (cells cm-3) found in it. The power supply resulting from the aerobic degradation of particular organic carbon (POC) at IODP Site U1370 in the South Pacific Gyre is between ∼10-12 and 10-16 W cm-3. The rates of POC degradation are calculated using a continuum model while Gibbs energies have been computed using geochemical data describing the sediment as a function of depth. Although laboratory-determined values of maintenance power do a poor job of representing the amount of biomass in U1370 sediments, the number of cells per cm-3 can be well-captured using a maintenance power, 190 zW cell-1, two orders of magnitude lower than the lowest value reported in the literature. In addition, we have combined cell counts and calculated power supplies to determine that, on average, the microorganisms at Site U1370 require 50–3500 zW cell-1, with most values under ∼300 zW cell-1. Furthermore, we carried out an analysis of the absolute minimum power requirement for a single cell to remain viable to be on the order of 1 zW cell-1. PMID:26236299

  4. Comparing the temporal colonization and microbial diversity of showerhead biofilms in Hawai'i and Colorado.

    PubMed

    Abe, Jonathan; Alop-Mabuti, Aleena; Burger, Peyton; Button, Jackson; Ellsberry, Madeline; Hitzeman, Jaycinth; Morgenstern, David; Nunies, Kasey; Strother, Mara; Darling-Munson, Jared; Chan, Yvonne L; Cassady, Robert; Vasconcellos, Sarah Maile K; Iseman, Michael D; Chan, Edward D; Honda, Jennifer R

    2016-02-01

    The household is a potential source of opportunistic pathogens to humans, a particularly critical issue for immunodeficient individuals. An important human-microbe interface is the biofilm that develops on showerhead surfaces. Once microbe-laden biofilms become aerosolized, they can potentially be inhaled into the lungs. Understanding how quickly a new showerhead becomes colonized would provide useful information to minimize exposure to potentially pathogenic environmental microbes. High school scientists sampled the inner surfaces of pre-existing and newly fitted showerheads monthly over a nine-month period and applied standard microbiologic culture techniques to qualitatively assess microbial growth. Water chemistry was also monitored using commercial test strips. Sampling was performed in households on Oahu, Hawai'i and Denver, Colorado, representing warm/humid and cold/arid environments, respectively. Pre-existing showerheads in Hawai'i showed more diverse microbial growth and significantly greater microbial numbers than a comparable showerhead from Colorado. New, chrome-plated or plastic showerheads in Hawai'i showed diverse and abundant growth one month after installment compared to new showerheads from Colorado. The pH, total chlorine and water hardness levels varied significantly between the Hawai'i and Colorado samples. Enthusiastic student and teacher participation allowed us to answer long-standing questions regarding the temporal colonization of microbial biofilms on pre-existing and new showerhead surfaces. PMID:26764424

  5. Microbial diversity in marine biofilms along a water quality gradient on the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Kriwy, Pascal; Uthicke, Sven

    2011-04-01

    Microbial communities are potential indicators for water quality as they respond rapidly to environmental changes. In the Whitsunday Islands, Australia, microbial biofilm communities from two offshore islands were compared to those from two inshore islands subjected to poor water quality. Biofilm community composition was characterized using three culture-independent molecular techniques. The clone libraries indicated high genetic diversity, with somewhat higher scores in the offshore sites (57%) compared to the inshore sites (41%). The majority of microbes in the biofilms were related to Alphaproteobacteria (39.8%), Gammaproteobacteria (14.1%), Bacteroidetes (13.2%), diatoms (8.3%) and Cyanobacteria (3.9%). Redundancy analysis (RDA) for the CARD-FISH data showed distinct microbial assemblages between offshore and inshore communities. Additionally, 5 out of 13 water quality parameters (DIN, Chla, POP, TSS and POC) explained a significant amount of variation in the microbial communities and high values of these were associated with inshore communities. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that Cyanobacteria (p=0.01), Bacteroidetes (p=0.04) and to some extent Alphaproteobacteria (p=0.07), were significantly more abundant in the offshore biofilm communities. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of DGGE data showed clear grouping of cyanobacterial communities into inshore and offshore communities. Reasons for community shifts in the bacterial lineages are currently not resolved. One possible causative factor may be that autotrophic primary producers are more dominant in offshore sites due to the higher light availability as well as the limitation by DIN. The trends found in this study are the bases for more detailed research on microbial indicator species for changes in water quality. PMID:21345635

  6. Metabolic profiling of biofilm bacteria known to cause microbial influenced corrosion.

    PubMed

    Beale, D J; Morrison, P D; Key, C; Palombo, E A

    2014-01-01

    This study builds upon previous research that demonstrated the simplicity of obtaining metabolite profiles of bacteria in urban water networks, by using the metabolic profile of bacteria extracted from a reticulation pipe biofilm, which is known to cause microbial influenced corrosion (MIC). The extracellular metabolites of the isolated bacteria, and those bacteria in consortium, were analysed in isolation, and after exposure to low levels of copper. Applying chemometric analytical methodologies to the metabolomic data, we were able to better understand the profile of the isolated biofilm bacteria, which were differentiated according to their activity and copper exposure. It was found that the metabolic activity of the isolated bacteria and the bacteria in consortium varied according to the bacterium's ability to metabolise copper. This demonstrates the power of metabolomic techniques for the discrimination of water reticulation biofilms comprising similar bacteria in consortium, but undergoing different physico-chemical activities, such as corrosion and corrosion inhibition. PMID:24434961

  7. Metagenome analyses of corroded concrete wastewater pipe biofilms reveal a complex microbial system

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Concrete corrosion of wastewater collection systems is a significant cause of deterioration and premature collapse. Failure to adequately address the deteriorating infrastructure networks threatens our environment, public health, and safety. Analysis of whole-metagenome pyrosequencing data and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries was used to determine microbial composition and functional genes associated with biomass harvested from crown (top) and invert (bottom) sections of a corroded wastewater pipe. Results Taxonomic and functional analysis demonstrated that approximately 90% of the total diversity was associated with the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The top (TP) and bottom pipe (BP) communities were different in composition, with some of the differences attributed to the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Additionally, human fecal bacteria were more abundant in the BP communities. Among the functional categories, proteins involved in sulfur and nitrogen metabolism showed the most significant differences between biofilms. There was also an enrichment of genes associated with heavy metal resistance, virulence (protein secretion systems) and stress response in the TP biofilm, while a higher number of genes related to motility and chemotaxis were identified in the BP biofilm. Both biofilms contain a high number of genes associated with resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds subsystems. Conclusions The function potential of wastewater biofilms was highly diverse with level of COG diversity similar to that described for soil. On the basis of the metagenomic data, some factors that may contribute to niche differentiation were pH, aerobic conditions and availability of substrate, such as nitrogen and sulfur. The results from this study will help us better understand the genetic network and functional capability of microbial members of wastewater concrete biofilms. PMID:22727216

  8. Successional change in microbial communities of benthic Phormidium-dominated biofilms.

    PubMed

    Brasell, Katie A; Heath, Mark W; Ryan, Ken G; Wood, Susanna A

    2015-02-01

    Benthic cyanobacterial blooms are increasing worldwide and can be harmful to human and animal health if they contain toxin-producing species. Microbial interactions are important in the formation of benthic biofilms and can lead to increased dominance and/or toxin production of one or few taxa. This study investigated how microbial interactions contribute to proliferation of benthic blooms dominated by the neurotoxin-producing Phormidium autumnale. Following a rainfall event that cleared the substrate, biofilm succession was characterised at a site on the Hutt River (New Zealand) by sampling every 2-3 days over 32 days. A combination of morphological and molecular community analyses (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and Illumina™ MiSeq sequencing) identified three distinct phases of succession in both the micro-algal and bacterial communities within P. autumnale-dominated biofilms. Bacterial composition shifted between the phases, and these changes occurred several days before those of the micro-algal community. Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria dominate in the early phase; Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Sphingobacteria and Flavobacteria in the mid-phase; and Sphingobacteria and Flavobacteria in the late phase. Collectively, the results suggest that succession is driven by bacteria in the early stages but becomes dependent on micro-algae in the mid- and late stages of biofilm formation. PMID:25467742

  9. Regional hydrology controls stream microbial biofilms: evidence from a glacial catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battin, T. J.; Wille, A.; Psenner, R.; Richter, A.

    2004-08-01

    Glaciers are highly responsive to global warming and important agents of landscape heterogeneity. While it is well established that glacial ablation and snowmelt regulate stream discharge, linkage among streams and streamwater hydrogeochemistry, the controls of these factors on stream microbial biofilms remain insufficiently understood. We investigated glacial (metakryal, hypokryal), groundwater-fed (krenal) and snow-fed (rhithral) streams - all of them representative for alpine stream networks - and present evidence that these hydrologic and hydrogeochemical factors differentially affect sediment microbial biofilms. Average microbial biomass and bacterial carbon production were low in the glacial streams, whereas bacterial cell size, biomass, and carbon production were higher in the tributaries, most notably in the krenal stream. Whole-cell in situ fluorescence hybridization revealed reduced detection rates of the Eubacteria and higher abundance of α-Proteobacteria in the glacial stream, a pattern that most probably reflects the trophic status of this ecosystem. Our data suggest low flow during the onset of snowmelt and autumn as a short period (hot moment) of favorable environmental conditions with pulsed inputs of allochthonous nitrate and dissolved organic carbon, and with disproportional high microbial growth. Krenal and rhithral streams with more constant and favorable environments serve as possible sources of microbes and organic matter to the main glacial channel during periods (e.g. snowmelt) of elevated hydrologic linkage among streams. Ice and snow dynamics have a crucial impact on microbial biofilms, and we thus need better understanding of the microbial ecology and enhanced consideration of critical hydrological episodes in future models predicting alpine stream communities.

  10. Microbial Activation of Wooden Vats Used for Traditional Cheese Production and Evolution of Neoformed Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Gaglio, Raimondo; Cruciata, Margherita; Di Gerlando, Rosalia; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Mancuso, Isabella; Sardina, Maria Teresa; Moschetti, Giancarlo; Portolano, Baldassare

    2015-01-01

    Three Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains were used to develop ad hoc biofilms on the surfaces of virgin wooden vats used for cheese production. Two vats (TZ) were tested under controlled conditions (pilot plant), and two vats (TA) were tested under uncontrolled conditions (industrial plant). In each plant, one vat (TA1 and TZ1) was used for the control, traditional production of PDO Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (Vastedda) cheese, and one (TA2 and TZ2) was used for experimental production performed after lactococcal biofilm activation and the daily addition of a natural whey starter culture (NWSC). Microbiological and scanning electron microscopy analyses showed differences in terms of microbial levels and composition of the neoformed biofilms. The levels of the microbial groups investigated during cheese production showed significant differences between the control trials and between the control and experimental trials, but the differences were not particularly marked between the TA2 and TZ2 productions, which showed the largest numbers of mesophilic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) cocci. LAB populations were characterized phenotypically and genotypically, and 44 dominant strains belonging to 10 species were identified. Direct comparison of the polymorphic profiles of the LAB collected during cheese making showed that the addition of the NWSC reduced their biodiversity. Sensory evaluation showed that the microbial activation of the wooden vats with the multistrain Lactococcus culture generated cheeses with sensory attributes comparable to those of commercial cheese. Thus, neoformed biofilms enable a reduction of microbial variability and stabilize the sensorial attributes of Vastedda cheese. PMID:26546430

  11. Implications of in situ calcification for photosynthesis in a ~ 3.3 Ga-old microbial biofilm from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, Frances; Cavalazzi, Barbara; Lemelle, Laurence; Marrocchi, Yves; Rouzaud, Jean-Noël; Simionovici, Alexandre; Salomé, Murielle; Mostefaoui, Smail; Andreazza, Caroline; Foucher, Frédéric; Toporski, Jan; Jauss, Andrea; Thiel, Volker; Southam, Gordon; MacLean, Lachlan; Wirick, Susan; Hofmann, Axel; Meibom, Anders; Robert, François; Défarge, Christian

    2011-10-01

    Timing the appearance of photosynthetic microorganisms is crucial to understanding the evolution of life on Earth. The ability of the biosphere to use sunlight as a source of energy (photoautotrophy) would have been essential for increasing biomass and for increasing the biogeochemical capacity of all prokaryotes across the range of redox reactions that support life. Typical proxies for photosynthesis in the rock record include features, such as a mat-like, laminated morphology (stratiform, domical, conical) often associated with bulk geochemical signatures, such as calcification, and a fractionated carbon isotope signature. However, to date, in situ, calcification related to photosynthesis has not been demonstrated in the oldest known microbial mats. We here use in situ nanometre-scale techniques to investigate the structural and compositional architecture in a 3.3 billion-year (Ga) old microbial biofilm from the Barberton greenstone belt, thus documenting in situ calcification that was most likely related to anoxygenic photosynthesis. The Josefsdal Chert Microbial Biofilm (JCMB) formed in a littoral (photic) environment. It is characterised by a distinct vertical structural and compositional organisation. The lower part is calcified in situ by aragonite, progressing upwards into uncalcified kerogen characterised by up to 1% sulphur, followed by an upper layer that contains intact filaments at the surface. Crystallites of pseudomorphed pyrite are also associated with the biofilm suggesting calcification related to the activity of heterotrophic sulphur reducing bacteria. In this anoxygenic, nutrient-limited environment, the carbon required by the sulphur reducing bacteria could only have been produced by photoautotrophy. We conclude that the Josfsdal Chert Microbial Biofilm was formed by a consortium of anoxygenic microorganisms, including photosynthesisers and sulphur reducing bacteria.

  12. Role of Cyanobacterial Exopolysaccharides in Phototrophic Biofilms and in Complex Microbial Mats

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Federico; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) are an important class of biopolymers with great ecological importance. In natural environments, they are a common feature of microbial biofilms, where they play key protective and structural roles. As the primary colonizers of constrained environments, such as desert soils and lithic and exposed substrates, cyanobacteria are the first contributors to the synthesis of the EPSs constituting the extracellular polymeric matrix that favors the formation of microbial associations with varying levels of complexity called biofilms. Cyanobacterial colonization represents the first step for the formation of biofilms with different levels of complexity. In all of the possible systems in which cyanobacteria are involved, the synthesis of EPSs contributes a structurally-stable and hydrated microenvironment, as well as chemical/physical protection against biotic and abiotic stress factors. Notwithstanding the important roles of cyanobacterial EPSs, many aspects related to their roles and the relative elicited biotic and abiotic factors have still to be clarified. The aim of this survey is to outline the state-of-the-art of the importance of the cyanobacterial EPS excretion, both for the producing cells and for the microbial associations in which cyanobacteria are a key component. PMID:25837843

  13. Effect of Coffea canephora aqueous extract on microbial counts in ex vivo oral biofilms: a case study.

    PubMed

    Antonio, Andréa Gonçalves; Iorio, Natália Lopes Pontes; Farah, Adriana; Netto dos Santos, Kátia Regina; Maia, Lucianne Cople

    2012-05-01

    In the present study, the ex vivo antimicrobial effect of brewed coffee was tested on oral biofilms. For this, unsweetened and sweetened (10 % sucrose) brewed light-roasted Coffea canephora at 20 % was used in biofilms formed by non-stimulated saliva from three volunteers. After 30 min contact with unsweetened and sweetened brews, the average microorganism count in the biofilms reduced by 15.2 % and 12.4 %, respectively, with no statistical difference among them. We also observed a drop of microorganisms in the biofilms after treatment with sucrose solution at 5 % compared to control (saline) and to sucrose at 1 % and 3 %. In conclusion, Coffea canephora extract reduces the microbial count in oral biofilm, and our data suggest that sucrose concentration in coffee brew can influence its antimicrobial property against the referred biofilm. PMID:22532021

  14. Community transcriptomics reveals unexpected high microbial diversity in acidophilic biofilm communities.

    PubMed

    Aliaga Goltsman, Daniela S; Comolli, Luis R; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-04-01

    A fundamental question in microbial ecology relates to community structure, and how this varies across environment types. It is widely believed that some environments, such as those at very low pH, host simple communities based on the low number of taxa, possibly due to the extreme environmental conditions. However, most analyses of species richness have relied on methods that provide relatively low ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sampling depth. Here we used community transcriptomics to analyze the microbial diversity of natural acid mine drainage biofilms from the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, California. Our analyses target deep pools of rRNA gene transcripts recovered from both natural and laboratory-grown biofilms across varying developmental stages. In all, 91.8% of the ∼ 254 million Illumina reads mapped to rRNA genes represented in the SILVA database. Up to 159 different taxa, including Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes, were identified. Diversity measures, ordination and hierarchical clustering separate environmental from laboratory-grown biofilms. In part, this is due to the much larger number of rare members in the environmental biofilms. Although Leptospirillum bacteria generally dominate biofilms, we detect a wide variety of other Nitrospira organisms present at very low abundance. Bacteria from the Chloroflexi phylum were also detected. The results indicate that the primary characteristic that has enabled prior extensive cultivation-independent 'omic' analyses is not simplicity but rather the high dominance by a few taxa. We conclude that a much larger variety of organisms than previously thought have adapted to this extreme environment, although only few are selected for at any one time. PMID:25361394

  15. Microbial Diversity in the Early In Vivo-Formed Dental Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Heller, D.; Helmerhorst, E. J.; Gower, A. C.; Siqueira, W. L.; Paster, B. J.

    2016-01-01

    Although the mature dental biofilm composition is well studied, there is very little information on the earliest phase of in vivo tooth colonization. Progress in dental biofilm collection methodologies and techniques of large-scale microbial identification have made new studies in this field of oral biology feasible. The aim of this study was to characterize the temporal changes and diversity of the cultivable and noncultivable microbes in the early dental biofilm. Samples of early dental biofilm were collected from 11 healthy subjects at 0, 2, 4, and 6 h after removal of plaque and pellicle from tooth surfaces. With the semiquantitative Human Oral Microbiome Identification Microarray (HOMIM) technique, which is based on 16S rRNA sequence hybridizations, plaque samples were analyzed with the currently available 407 HOMIM microbial probes. This led to the identification of at least 92 species, with streptococci being the most abundant bacteria across all time points in all subjects. High-frequency detection was also made with Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Gemella haemolysans, Slackia exigua, and Rothia species. Abundance changes over time were noted for Streptococcus anginosus and Streptococcus intermedius (P = 0.02), Streptococcus mitis bv. 2 (P = 0.0002), Streptococcus oralis (P = 0.0002), Streptococcus cluster I (P = 0.003), G. haemolysans (P = 0.0005), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (P = 0.02). Among the currently uncultivable microbiota, eight phylotypes were detected in the early stages of biofilm formation, one belonging to the candidate bacterial division TM7, which has attracted attention due to its potential association with periodontal disease. PMID:26746720

  16. Community transcriptomics reveals unexpected high microbial diversity in acidophilic biofilm communities

    PubMed Central

    Aliaga Goltsman, Daniela S; Comolli, Luis R; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental question in microbial ecology relates to community structure, and how this varies across environment types. It is widely believed that some environments, such as those at very low pH, host simple communities based on the low number of taxa, possibly due to the extreme environmental conditions. However, most analyses of species richness have relied on methods that provide relatively low ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sampling depth. Here we used community transcriptomics to analyze the microbial diversity of natural acid mine drainage biofilms from the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, California. Our analyses target deep pools of rRNA gene transcripts recovered from both natural and laboratory-grown biofilms across varying developmental stages. In all, 91.8% of the ∼254 million Illumina reads mapped to rRNA genes represented in the SILVA database. Up to 159 different taxa, including Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes, were identified. Diversity measures, ordination and hierarchical clustering separate environmental from laboratory-grown biofilms. In part, this is due to the much larger number of rare members in the environmental biofilms. Although Leptospirillum bacteria generally dominate biofilms, we detect a wide variety of other Nitrospira organisms present at very low abundance. Bacteria from the Chloroflexi phylum were also detected. The results indicate that the primary characteristic that has enabled prior extensive cultivation-independent ‘omic' analyses is not simplicity but rather the high dominance by a few taxa. We conclude that a much larger variety of organisms than previously thought have adapted to this extreme environment, although only few are selected for at any one time. PMID:25361394

  17. Metal Interactions with Microbial Biofilms in Acidic and Neutral pH Environments

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, F. G.; Schultze, S.; Witten, T. C.; Fyfe, W. S.; Beveridge, T. J.

    1989-01-01

    Microbial biofilms were grown on strips of epoxy-impregnated filter paper submerged at four sites in water contaminated with metals from mine wastes. At two sample stations, the water was acidic (pH 3.1); the other sites were in a lake restored to a near neutral pH level by application of a crushed limestone slurry. During a 17-week study period, planktonic bacterial counts increased from 101 to 103 CFU/ml at all sites. Biofilm counts increased rapidly over the first 5 weeks and then leveled to 104 CFU/cm2 in the neutral pH system and 103 CFU/cm2 at the acidic sites. In each case, the biofilms bound Mn, Fe, Ni, and Cu in excess of the amounts adsorbed by control strips covered with nylon filters (pore size, 0.22 μm) to exclude microbial growth; Co bound under neutral conditions but not under acidic conditions. Conditional adsorption capacity constants, obtained graphically from the data, showed that biofilm metal uptake at a neutral pH level was enhanced by up to 12 orders of magnitude over acidic conditions. Similarly, adsorption strength values were usually higher at elevated pH levels. In thin sections of the biofilms, encapsulated bacterial cells were commonly found enmeshed together in microcolonies. The extracellular polymers often contained iron oxide precipitates which generated weak electron diffraction patterns with characteristic reflections for ferrihydrite (Fe2O3 · H2O) at d equaling 0.15 and 0.25 nm. At neutral pH levels, these deposits incorporated trace amounts of Si and exhibited a granular morphology, whereas acicular crystalloids containing S developed under acidic conditions. Images PMID:16347914

  18. Microbial Diversity in the Early In Vivo-Formed Dental Biofilm.

    PubMed

    Heller, D; Helmerhorst, E J; Gower, A C; Siqueira, W L; Paster, B J; Oppenheim, F G

    2016-03-01

    Although the mature dental biofilm composition is well studied, there is very little information on the earliest phase of in vivo tooth colonization. Progress in dental biofilm collection methodologies and techniques of large-scale microbial identification have made new studies in this field of oral biology feasible. The aim of this study was to characterize the temporal changes and diversity of the cultivable and noncultivable microbes in the early dental biofilm. Samples of early dental biofilm were collected from 11 healthy subjects at 0, 2, 4, and 6 h after removal of plaque and pellicle from tooth surfaces. With the semiquantitative Human Oral Microbiome Identification Microarray (HOMIM) technique, which is based on 16S rRNA sequence hybridizations, plaque samples were analyzed with the currently available 407 HOMIM microbial probes. This led to the identification of at least 92 species, with streptococci being the most abundant bacteria across all time points in all subjects. High-frequency detection was also made with Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Gemella haemolysans, Slackia exigua, and Rothia species. Abundance changes over time were noted for Streptococcus anginosus and Streptococcus intermedius (P = 0.02), Streptococcus mitis bv. 2 (P = 0.0002), Streptococcus oralis (P = 0.0002), Streptococcus cluster I (P = 0.003), G. haemolysans (P = 0.0005), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (P = 0.02). Among the currently uncultivable microbiota, eight phylotypes were detected in the early stages of biofilm formation, one belonging to the candidate bacterial division TM7, which has attracted attention due to its potential association with periodontal disease. PMID:26746720

  19. Microbial life in ice and subglacial environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, P. B.; Bramall, N.; Tatebe, K.

    2003-04-01

    Conditions for microbial life to exist in solid ice require the presence of liquid water and sources of energy and bioelements. In ice in thermal equilibrium, liquid water will exist in a three-dimensional network of micron-sized veins and in nanometer-thick films on mineral grains in ice. Ionic impurities lower the freezing temperature in the veins to as low as -95^oC. Depending on mineral type, the film on a grain surface will remain liquid down to ˜ -40^oC. The impurities provide both energy (via microbially catalyzed redox reactions) and bioelements. The maximum sustainable microbial population depends on metabolic rate, which in turn depends on species, temperature, and type and concentration of impurities in veins and surfaces. Microbes have been imaged by epifluorescence in veins in sea and Arctic lake ice and on grains in Dry Valleys lake ice. Indirect evidence exists for metabolism of microbes in Vostok glacial ice, in Greenland basal ice, and in Sajama (Bolivia) glacial ice. We will discuss several approaches to detection of microbes: epifluorescence microscopy of glacial ice at low temperature; fluorescence spectra taken with BSL (a new borehole logging instrument); fluorescence of microbes on surfaces of silt and volcanic ash in glacial ice; and in-situ cultivation of bacterial colonies at intersections of mineral grains and liquid veins in ice held in contact with a nutrient medium at subfreezing temperature. Based on measurements in the oligotrophic Lake Tahoe, BSL is sensitive to a concentration of ˜10^3 microbes cm-3, which may be adequate to detect life in Greenland ice and in Lake Vostok. A miniaturized version could be used to search for life in Martian permafrost and in diapirs in Europan ice.

  20. Waste Water Derived Electroactive Microbial Biofilms: Growth, Maintenance, and Basic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Gimkiewicz, Carla; Harnisch, Falk

    2013-01-01

    The growth of anodic electroactive microbial biofilms from waste water inocula in a fed-batch reactor is demonstrated using a three-electrode setup controlled by a potentiostat. Thereby the use of potentiostats allows an exact adjustment of the electrode potential and ensures reproducible microbial culturing conditions. During growth the current production is monitored using chronoamperometry (CA). Based on these data the maximum current density (jmax) and the coulombic efficiency (CE) are discussed as measures for characterization of the bioelectrocatalytic performance. Cyclic voltammetry (CV), a nondestructive, i.e. noninvasive, method, is used to study the extracellular electron transfer (EET) of electroactive bacteria. CV measurements are performed on anodic biofilm electrodes in the presence of the microbial substrate, i.e. turnover conditions, and in the absence of the substrate, i.e. nonturnover conditions, using different scan rates. Subsequently, data analysis is exemplified and fundamental thermodynamic parameters of the microbial EET are derived and explained: peak potential (Ep), peak current density (jp), formal potential (Ef) and peak separation (ΔEp). Additionally the limits of the method and the state-of the art data analysis are addressed. Thereby this video-article shall provide a guide for the basic experimental steps and the fundamental data analysis. PMID:24430581

  1. Engineered bidirectional communication mediates a consensus in a microbial biofilm consortium

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Katie; Karig, David K.; Weiss, Ron; Arnold, Frances H.

    2007-01-01

    Microbial consortia form when multiple species colocalize and communally generate a function that none is capable of alone. Consortia abound in nature, and their cooperative metabolic activities influence everything from biodiversity in the global food chain to human weight gain. Here, we present an engineered consortium in which the microbial members communicate with each other and exhibit a “consensus” gene expression response. Two colocalized populations of Escherichia coli converse bidirectionally by exchanging acyl-homoserine lactone signals. The consortium generates the gene-expression response if and only if both populations are present at sufficient cell densities. Because neither population can respond without the other's signal, this consensus function can be considered a logical AND gate in which the inputs are cell populations. The microbial consensus consortium operates in diverse growth modes, including in a biofilm, where it sustains its response for several days. PMID:17959781

  2. Large-scale environmental controls on microbial biofilms in high-alpine streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battin, T. J.; Wille, A.; Psenner, R.; Richter, A.

    Glaciers are highly responsive to global warming and important agents of landscape heterogeneity. While it is well established that glacial ablation and snowmelt regulate stream discharge, linkage among streams and streamwater geochemistry, the controls of these factors on stream microbial biofilms remain insufficiently understood. We investigated glacial (metakryal, hypokryal), groundwater-fed (krenal) and snow-fed (rhithral) streams - all of them representative for alpine stream networks - and present evidence that these hydrologic and hydrogeochemical factors differentially affect sediment microbial biofilms. Average microbial biomass and bacterial carbon production were low in the glacial streams, whereas bacterial cell size, biomass, and carbon production were higher in the tributaries, most notably in the krenal stream. Whole-cell in situ fluorescence hybridization revealed reduced detection rates of the Eubacteria and higher abundance of α-Proteobacteria in the glacial stream, a pattern that most probably reflects the trophic status of this ecosystem. Our data suggest low flow during the onset of snowmelt and autumn as a short period (hot moment) of favorable environmental conditions with pulsed inputs of allochthonous nitrate and dissolved organic carbon, and with disproportionately high microbial growth. Tributaries are relatively more constant and favorable environments than kryal streams, and serve as possible sources of microbes and organic matter to the main glacial channel during periods (e.g., snowmelt) of elevated hydrologic linkage among streams. Ice and snow dynamics - and their impact on the amount and composition of dissolved organic matter - have a crucial impact on stream biofilms, and we thus need to consider microbes and critical hydrological episodes in future models of alpine stream communities.

  3. Impact of flow conditions on ammonium uptake and microbial community structure in benthic biofilms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnon, Shai; Yanuka, Keren; Nejidat, Ali

    2010-05-01

    Excess nitrogen in surface waters is widely recognized to be a major global problem that adversely affects ecosystems, human health, and the economy. Today, most efforts to understand and model nutrient dynamics at large scales relies on macro-scale parameterization, such as mean channel geometry and velocity with uniform flow assumptions, as well as gross averages of in-situ nutrient transformation rates. However, there is increasing evidence that nutrient transformations in hyporheic zone are regulated by coupling between physical, chemical, and microbiological processes. Ignoring this greatly hinders the estimation of average biochemical transformation rates under the variable flow conditions found in aquatic systems. We used a combination of macro- and micro-scale observations in laboratory flumes to show that interplay between hydrodynamic transport, redox gradients, and microbial metabolism controls ammonium utilization by hyporheic microbial communities. Biofilm structural characteristics were quantified using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real time PCR, while redox and pH gradients were measured using microelectrodes. We found that overlying velocities had profound effect on ammonium uptake due to mass transfer of ammonium from the bulk water to the benthic biofilms, but also due to the delivery of oxygen into the sediment bed. Under laminar flow conditions we didn't observe any change of ammonium uptake as a response to increase in overlying velocity. However, under non-laminar conditions we observe monotonic increase in ammonium uptake, with the greatest uptake under the fastest flow condition. We will discuss ammonium uptake rates results in the context of the different microbial communities and the micro-scale observations that were obtained using the microelectrodes. We anticipate that combined knowledge of the response of the microbial community and bulk nitrogen utilization rates to flow conditions will support the development of

  4. Assessment of microbial diversity in biofilms recovered from endotracheal tubes using culture dependent and independent approaches.

    PubMed

    Vandecandelaere, Ilse; Matthijs, Nele; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Vosters, Peter; De Bus, Liesbet; Nelis, Hans J; Depuydt, Pieter; Coenye, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients. Biofilm formation is one of the mechanisms through which the endotracheal tube (ET) facilitates bacterial contamination of the lower airways. In the present study, we analyzed the composition of the ET biofilm flora by means of culture dependent and culture independent (16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and pyrosequencing) approaches. Overall, the microbial diversity was high and members of different phylogenetic lineages were detected (Actinobacteria, beta-Proteobacteria, Candida spp., Clostridia, epsilon-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and gamma-Proteobacteria). Culture dependent analysis, based on the use of selective growth media and conventional microbiological tests, resulted in the identification of typical aerobic nosocomial pathogens which are known to play a role in the development of VAP, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Other opportunistic pathogens were also identified, including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Kocuria varians. In general, there was little correlation between the results obtained by sequencing 16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and by cultivation. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplified 16 S rRNA genes of four selected samples resulted in the identification of a much wider variety of bacteria. The results from the pyrosequencing analysis suggest that these four samples were dominated by members of the normal oral flora such as Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus spp. and lactic acid bacteria. A combination of methods is recommended to obtain a complete picture of the microbial diversity of the ET biofilm. PMID:22693635

  5. Assessment of Microbial Diversity in Biofilms Recovered from Endotracheal Tubes Using Culture Dependent and Independent Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Vandecandelaere, Ilse; Matthijs, Nele; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Vosters, Peter; De Bus, Liesbet; Nelis, Hans J.; Depuydt, Pieter; Coenye, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a common nosocomial infection in mechanically ventilated patients. Biofilm formation is one of the mechanisms through which the endotracheal tube (ET) facilitates bacterial contamination of the lower airways. In the present study, we analyzed the composition of the ET biofilm flora by means of culture dependent and culture independent (16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and pyrosequencing) approaches. Overall, the microbial diversity was high and members of different phylogenetic lineages were detected (Actinobacteria, beta-Proteobacteria, Candida spp., Clostridia, epsilon-Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and gamma-Proteobacteria). Culture dependent analysis, based on the use of selective growth media and conventional microbiological tests, resulted in the identification of typical aerobic nosocomial pathogens which are known to play a role in the development of VAP, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Other opportunistic pathogens were also identified, including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Kocuria varians. In general, there was little correlation between the results obtained by sequencing 16 S rRNA gene clone libraries and by cultivation. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplified 16 S rRNA genes of four selected samples resulted in the identification of a much wider variety of bacteria. The results from the pyrosequencing analysis suggest that these four samples were dominated by members of the normal oral flora such as Prevotella spp., Peptostreptococcus spp. and lactic acid bacteria. A combination of methods is recommended to obtain a complete picture of the microbial diversity of the ET biofilm. PMID:22693635

  6. Optically Transparent Porous Medium for Nondestructive Studies of Microbial Biofilm Architecture and Transport Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Leis, Andrew P.; Schlicher, Sven; Franke, Hilmar; Strathmann, Martin

    2005-01-01

    We describe a novel and noninvasive, microscopy-based method for visualizing the structure and dynamics of microbial biofilms, individual fluorescent microbial cells, and inorganic colloids within a model porous medium. Biofilms growing in flow cells packed with granules of an amorphous fluoropolymer could be visualized as a consequence of refractive index matching between the solid fluoropolymer grains and the aqueous immersion medium. In conjunction with the capabilities of confocal microscopy for nondestructive optical sectioning, the use of amorphous fluoropolymers as a solid matrix permits observation of organisms and dynamic processes to a depth of 2 to 3 mm, whereas sediment biofilms growing in sand-filled flow cells can only be visualized in the region adjacent to the flow cell wall. This method differs fundamentally from other refractive index-matching applications in that optical transparency was achieved by matching a solid phase to water (and not vice versa), thereby permitting real-time microscopic studies of particulate-containing, low-refractive-index media such as biological and chromatographic systems. PMID:16085878

  7. Evaluation and identification of poly-microbial biofilms on natural green Gordal table olives.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Cabello, Antonio; Romero-Gil, Verónica; Rodríguez-Gómez, Francisco; Garrido-Fernández, Antonio; Jiménez-Díaz, Rufino; Arroyo-López, Francisco Noé

    2015-09-01

    This work examines the formation of poly-microbial communities adhered to the epidermis of natural green Gordal olives and the application of different methodologies for recovery and counting of the microorganisms embedded in olive biofilms. The fermentation process was physicochemical and microbiologically monitored for 90 days, at which, formation of true biofilms on the skin of fermented fruits was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Then, samples of olives were taken and treated with sonication, enzymes, mechanical homogenization with stomacher and ultrasonic bath for biofilm disaggregation. The use of the stomacher for 1 min was the most effective treatment to release the lactic acid bacteria (6.6 log10 cfu g(-1)), whereas sonication for 5 min was the most efficient method for quantification of yeasts (up to 3.5 log10 cfu g(-1)). Molecular identification of isolates obtained from natural Gordal olive biofilms revealed that Lactobacillus pentosus was the only species found among lactic acid bacteria, while Pichia membranifaciens was the dominant yeast species, with higher counts obtained for the bacteria. PMID:26115883

  8. Sequentially aerated membrane biofilm reactors for autotrophic nitrogen removal: microbial community composition and dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Pellicer-Nàcher, Carles; Franck, Stéphanie; Gülay, Arda; Ruscalleda, Maël; Terada, Akihiko; Al-Soud, Waleed Abu; Hansen, Martin Asser; Sørensen, Søren J; Smets, Barth F

    2014-01-01

    Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors performing autotrophic nitrogen removal can be successfully applied to treat concentrated nitrogen streams. However, their process performance is seriously hampered by the growth of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In this work we document how sequential aeration can bring the rapid and long-term suppression of NOB and the onset of the activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AnAOB). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed that such shift in performance was mirrored by a change in population densities, with a very drastic reduction of the NOB Nitrospira and Nitrobacter and a 10-fold increase in AnAOB numbers. The study of biofilm sections with relevant 16S rRNA fluorescent probes revealed strongly stratified biofilm structures fostering aerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in biofilm areas close to the membrane surface (rich in oxygen) and AnAOB in regions neighbouring the liquid phase. Both communities were separated by a transition region potentially populated by denitrifying heterotrophic bacteria. AOB and AnAOB bacterial groups were more abundant and diverse than NOB, and dominated by the r-strategists Nitrosomonas europaea and Ca. Brocadia anammoxidans, respectively. Taken together, the present work presents tools to better engineer, monitor and control the microbial communities that support robust, sustainable and efficient nitrogen removal. PMID:24112350

  9. Sequentially aerated membrane biofilm reactors for autotrophic nitrogen removal: microbial community composition and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Pellicer-Nàcher, Carles; Franck, Stéphanie; Gülay, Arda; Ruscalleda, Maël; Terada, Akihiko; Al-Soud, Waleed Abu; Hansen, Martin Asser; Sørensen, Søren J; Smets, Barth F

    2014-01-01

    Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors performing autotrophic nitrogen removal can be successfully applied to treat concentrated nitrogen streams. However, their process performance is seriously hampered by the growth of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In this work we document how sequential aeration can bring the rapid and long-term suppression of NOB and the onset of the activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AnAOB). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed that such shift in performance was mirrored by a change in population densities, with a very drastic reduction of the NOB Nitrospira and Nitrobacter and a 10-fold increase in AnAOB numbers. The study of biofilm sections with relevant 16S rRNA fluorescent probes revealed strongly stratified biofilm structures fostering aerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in biofilm areas close to the membrane surface (rich in oxygen) and AnAOB in regions neighbouring the liquid phase. Both communities were separated by a transition region potentially populated by denitrifying heterotrophic bacteria. AOB and AnAOB bacterial groups were more abundant and diverse than NOB, and dominated by the r-strategists Nitrosomonas europaea and Ca. Brocadia anammoxidans, respectively. Taken together, the present work presents tools to better engineer, monitor and control the microbial communities that support robust, sustainable and efficient nitrogen removal. PMID:24112350

  10. Identification and characterization of microbial biofilm communities associated with corroded oil pipeline surfaces.

    PubMed

    Lenhart, Tiffany R; Duncan, Kathleen E; Beech, Iwona B; Sunner, Jan A; Smith, Whitney; Bonifay, Vincent; Biri, Bernadette; Suflita, Joseph M

    2014-01-01

    Microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) has long been implicated in the deterioration of carbon steel in oil and gas pipeline systems. The authors sought to identify and characterize sessile biofilm communities within a high-temperature oil production pipeline, and to compare the profiles of the biofilm community with those of the previously analyzed planktonic communities. Eubacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA sequences of DNA recovered from extracted pipeline pieces, termed 'cookies,' revealed the presence of thermophilic sulfidogenic anaerobes, as well as mesophilic aerobes. Electron microscopy and elemental analysis of cookies confirmed the presence of sessile cells and chemical constituents consistent with corrosive biofilms. Mass spectrometry of cookie acid washes identified putative hydrocarbon metabolites, while surface profiling revealed pitting and general corrosion damage. The results suggest that in an established closed system, the biofilm taxa are representative of the planktonic eubacterial and archaeal community, and that sampling and monitoring of the planktonic bacterial population can offer insight into biocorrosion activity. Additionally, hydrocarbon biodegradation is likely to sustain these communities. The importance of appropriate sample handling and storage procedures to oilfield MIC diagnostics is highlighted. PMID:25115517

  11. Wiring microbial biofilms to the electrode by osmium redox polymer for the performance enhancement of microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yong; Shin, Hyosul; Kang, Chan; Kim, Sunghyun

    2016-04-01

    An osmium redox polymer, PAA-PVI-[Os(4,4'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine)2Cl]+/2+ that has been used in enzymatic fuel cells and microbial sensors, was applied for the first time to the anode of single-chamber microbial fuel cells with the mixed culture inoculum aiming at enhancing performance. Functioning as a molecular wire connecting the biofilm to the anode, power density increased from 1479 mW m(-2) without modification to 2355 mW m(-2) after modification of the anode. Evidence from cyclic voltammetry showed that the catalytic activity of an anodic biofilm was greatly enhanced in the presence of an osmium redox polymer, indicating that electrons were more efficiently transferred to the anode via co-immobilized osmium complex tethered to wiring polymer chains at the potential range of -0.3 V-+0.1 V (vs. SCE). The optimum amount of the redox polymer was determined to be 0.163 mg cm(-2). PMID:26599210

  12. Electrochemical characterization of anodic biofilms enriched with glucose and acetate in single-chamber microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yong; Zhou, Shungui; Xu, Nan; Zhuang, Li

    2011-02-01

    This study used a simple and efficient electrochemical technique, cyclic voltammogram (CV), to quantitatively measure the electron transfer capability of anodic biofilms enriched with acetate and glucose in single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Two pairs of distinct redox peaks were observed by CV measurements in both biofilms, identical to the CV features of a pure Geobacter strain. The CVs also revealed a higher density of electroactive species in the acetate-enriched biofilm than that in the glucose-enriched biofilm. Based on the scan rate analysis, the apparent electron transfer rate constants (k(app)) in the acetate-enriched biofilm and glucose-enriched biofilm were determined to be 0.82 and 0.15s(-1), respectively, which supported the higher power output of the MFC fed with acetate. Meanwhile, the pH dependence of the biofilms was studied by monitoring the changes of the biofilm redox peak currents and potentials. It is concluded that redox reaction of the electrochemical active species in biofilms is pH dependent, and both electrons and protons are involved in the redox reactions. PMID:21050727

  13. Microbial Life of North Pacific Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, G.; Koos, R.; Manz, W.; Reitner, J.

    2003-12-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Drilling into 45-Ma oceanic basaltic crust in a deepwater environment during ODP Leg 200 provided a promising opportunity to explore the abundance, diversity and activity of micro-organisms. The combined use of culture-independent molecular phylogenetic analyses and enrichment culture techniques is an advantageous approach in investigating subsurface microbial ecosystems. Enrichment culture methods allow the evaluation of potential activities and functions. Microbiological investigations revealed few aerobic cultivable, in part hitherto unknown, micro-organisms in deep submarine sediments and basaltic lava flows. 16S rDNA sequencing of isolates from sediment revealed the next relatives to be members of the genera Halomonas, Pseudomonas, and Lactobacillus. Within the Pseudomonadaceae the closest relative is Acinetobacter sp., which was isolated from a deep subsurface environment. The next phylogenetical relatives within the Halomonadaceae are bacteria typically isolated from Soda lakes, which are considered as model of early life conditions. Interestingly, not only sediment bacteria could be obtained in pure culture. Aerobic strains could also be successfully isolated from the massive tholeiitic basalt layer at a depth of 76.16 mbsf (46 m below the sediment/basement contact). These particular isolates are gram-positive with low G+C content of DNA, phylogenetically affiliated to the phylum Firmicutes. The closest neighbors are e.g. a marine Bacillus isolated from the Gulf of Mexico and a low G+C gram-positive bacterium, which belongs to the microbial flora in the deepest sea mud of the Mariana Trench, isolated from a depth of 10,897 m. Based on the similarity values, the isolates represent hitherto undescribed species of the deep

  14. Microbial biofilms control economic metal mobility in an acid-sulfate hydrothermal system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips-Lander, C. M.; Roberts, J. A.; Hernandez, W.; Mora, M.; Fowle, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Trace metal cycling in hydrothermal systems has been the subject of a variety of geochemical and economical geology studies. Typically in these settings these elements are sequestered in sulfide and oxide mineral fractions, however in near-surface low-temperature environments organic matter and microorganisms (typically in mats) have been implicated in their mobility through sorption. Here we specifically examine the role of microbial biofilms on metal partitioning in an acid-sulfate hydrothermal system. We studied the influence of microorganisms and microbial biofilms on trace metal adsorption in Pailas de Aguas I, an acid-sulfate hot spring on the southwest flank of Rincon de la Vieja, a composite stratovolcano in the Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. Spring waters contain high suspended loads, and are characterized by high T (79.6-89.3oC), low pH (2.6-4), and high ionic strengths (I= 0.5-0.8). Waters contain high concentrations of the biogeochemically active elements Fe (4-6 mmol/l) and SO42- (38 mmol/l), but PO43- are below detection limits (bdl). Silver, Ni, and Mo concentrations are bdl; however other trace metals are present in solution in concentrations of 0.1-0.2 mg/l Cd, 0.2-0.4 mg/l Cr and V, 0.04-1 mg/l Cu,. Preliminary 16S rRNA analyses of microorganisms in sediments reveal several species of algae, including Galderia sp., Cyanidium sp, γ-proteobacteria, Acidithiobacillus caldus, Euryarcheota, and methanogens. To evaluate microbial biofilms' impact on trace metal mobility we analyzed a combination of suspended, bulk and biofilm associated sediment samples via X-ray diffraction (XRD) and trace element sequential extractions (SE). XRD analysis indicated all samples were primarily composed of Fe/Al clay minerals (nontronite, kaolinite), 2- and 6-line ferrihydrite, goethite, and hematite, quartz, and opal-α. SE showed the highest concentrations of Cu, Mo, and V were found in the suspended load. Molybdenum was found primarily in the residual and organic

  15. Identification of Biofilm Matrix-Associated Proteins from an Acid Mine Drainage Microbial Community ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Yongqin; D'haeseleer, Patrik; Dill, Brian D.; Shah, Manesh; VerBerkmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2011-01-01

    In microbial communities, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), also called the extracellular matrix, provide the spatial organization and structural stability during biofilm development. One of the major components of EPS is protein, but it is not clear what specific functions these proteins contribute to the extracellular matrix or to microbial physiology. To investigate this in biofilms from an extremely acidic environment, we used shotgun proteomics analyses to identify proteins associated with EPS in biofilms at two developmental stages, designated DS1 and DS2. The proteome composition of the EPS was significantly different from that of the cell fraction, with more than 80% of the cellular proteins underrepresented or undetectable in EPS. In contrast, predicted periplasmic, outer membrane, and extracellular proteins were overrepresented by 3- to 7-fold in EPS. Also, EPS proteins were more basic by ∼2 pH units on average and about half the length. When categorized by predicted function, proteins involved in motility, defense, cell envelope, and unknown functions were enriched in EPS. Chaperones, such as histone-like DNA binding protein and cold shock protein, were overrepresented in EPS. Enzymes, such as protein peptidases, disulfide-isomerases, and those associated with cell wall and polysaccharide metabolism, were also detected. Two of these enzymes, identified as β-N-acetylhexosaminidase and cellulase, were confirmed in the EPS fraction by enzymatic activity assays. Compared to the differences between EPS and cellular fractions, the relative differences in the EPS proteomes between DS1 and DS2 were smaller and consistent with expected physiological changes during biofilm development. PMID:21685158

  16. Identification of Biofilm Matrix-Associated Proteins from an Acid Mine Drainage Microbial Community

    SciTech Connect

    Jiao, Yongqin; D'Haeseleer, Patrik M; Dill, Brian; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2011-01-01

    In microbial communities, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), also called the extracellular matrix, provide the spatial organization and structural stability during biofilm development. One of the major components of EPS is protein, but it is not clear what specific functions these proteins contribute to the extracellular matrix or to microbial physiology. To investigate this in biofilms from an extremely acidic environment, we used shotgun proteomics analyses to identify proteins associated with EPS in biofilms at two developmental stages, designated DS1 and DS2. The proteome composition of the EPS was significantly different from that of the cell fraction, with more than 80% of the cellular proteins underrepresented or undetectable in EPS. In contrast, predicted periplasmic, outer membrane, and extracellular proteins were overrepresented by 3- to 7-fold in EPS. Also, EPS proteins were more basic by 2 pH units on average and about half the length. When categorized by predicted function, proteins involved in motility, defense, cell envelope, and unknown functions were enriched in EPS. Chaperones, such as histone-like DNA binding protein and cold shock protein, were overrepresented in EPS. Enzymes, such as protein peptidases, disulfide-isomerases, and those associated with cell wall and polysaccharide metabolism, were also detected. Two of these enzymes, identified as -N-acetylhexosaminidase and cellulase, were confirmed in the EPS fraction by enzymatic activity assays. Compared to the differences between EPS and cellular fractions, the relative differences in the EPS proteomes between DS1 and DS2 were smaller and consistent with expected physiological changes during biofilm development.

  17. [Analysis on microbial community in biofilm coating onto solid carbon source using the PCR-DGGE technique].

    PubMed

    Xu, Ying; Qiu, Tian-Leii; Han, Mei-Lin; Li, Jun; Wang, Xu-Ming

    2013-08-01

    Polylactic acid/Poly (3-Hydroxybutyrate-co-3-Hydroxyvalerate) (PLA/PHBV) granules were used as both carbon source and biofilm carrier for nitrate removal from the contaminated water. The polymerase chain reaction-denature gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) was used to investigate the dynamic change of microbial community in the biofilm coating onto PLA/PHBV granules. The results showed that a decrease in microbial diversity was observed at the initial stage of reactor operation. Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity indexes of microbial community in the biofilm slightly changed during the stable period of the reactor running. The major microorganisms in the biofilm were Gram-negative rod bacteria including the genera of Diaphorobacter, Acidovorax, Rubrivivax, Azospira, Thermomonas and Devosia, and all of them belonged to alpha-, beta- and gamma- Proteobacteria, according to the SEM photo of biofilm and 16S rDNA sequences of the DGGE profile. Moreover, the abundance of Diaphorobacter-like genera was the highest in the solid-phase-denitrification biofilm. PMID:24191577

  18. Spatial structure, cooperation and competition in biofilms.

    PubMed

    Nadell, Carey D; Drescher, Knut; Foster, Kevin R

    2016-09-01

    Bacteria often live within matrix-embedded communities, termed biofilms, which are now understood to be a major mode of microbial life. The study of biofilms has revealed their vast complexity both in terms of resident species composition and phenotypic diversity. Despite this complexity, theoretical and experimental work in the past decade has identified common principles for understanding microbial biofilms. In this Review, we discuss how the spatial arrangement of genotypes within a community influences the cooperative and competitive cell-cell interactions that define biofilm form and function. Furthermore, we argue that a perspective rooted in ecology and evolution is fundamental to progress in microbiology. PMID:27452230

  19. Fate of organo-mineral particles in streams: Microbial degradation by streamwater & biofilm assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, W. R.; Raich, M.; Wanek, W.; Battin, T. J.

    2013-12-01

    Inland waters are of global biogeochemical importance. They receive carbon inputs of ~ 4.8 Pg C/ y of which, 12 % is buried, 18 % transported to the oceans, and 70 % supports aquatic secondary production. However, the mechanisms that determine the fate of organic matter (OM) in these systems are poorly defined. One aspect of this is the formation of organo-mineral complexes in aquatic systems and their potential as a route for OM transport and burial vs. their use as carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) sources within aquatic systems. Organo-mineral particles form by sorption of dissolved OM to freshly eroded mineral surfaces and may contribute to ecosystem-scale particulate OM fluxes. We experimentally tested the availability of mineral-sorbed OM as a C & N source for streamwater microbial assemblages and streambed biofilms. Organo-mineral particles were constructed in vitro by sorption of 13C:15N-labelled amino acids to hydrated kaolin particles, and microbial degradation of these particles compared with equivalent doses of 13C:15N-labelled free amino acids. Experiments were conducted in 120 ml mesocosms over 7 days using biofilms and water sampled from the Oberer Seebach stream (Austria). Each incubation experienced a 16:8 light:dark regime, with metabolism monitored via changes in oxygen concentrations between photoperiods. The relative fate of the organo-mineral particles was quantified by tracing the mineralization of the 13C and 15N labels and their incorporation into microbial biomass. Here we present the initial results of 13C-label mineralization, incorporation and retention within dissolved organic carbon pool. The results indicate that 514 (× 219) μmol/ mmol of the 13:15N labeled free amino acids were mineralized over the 7-day incubations. By contrast, 186 (× 97) μmol/ mmol of the mineral-sorbed amino acids were mineralized over a similar period. Thus, organo-mineral complexation reduced amino acid mineralization by ~ 60 %, with no differences observed

  20. Microbial metabolic networks in a complex electrogenic biofilm recovered from a stimulus-induced metatranscriptomics approach

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Shun’ichi; Suzuki, Shino; Tenney, Aaron; Norden-Krichmar, Trina M.; Nealson, Kenneth H.; Bretschger, Orianna

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms almost always exist as mixed communities in nature. While the significance of microbial community activities is well appreciated, a thorough understanding about how microbial communities respond to environmental perturbations has not yet been achieved. Here we have used a combination of metagenomic, genome binning, and stimulus-induced metatranscriptomic approaches to estimate the metabolic network and stimuli-induced metabolic switches existing in a complex microbial biofilm that was producing electrical current via extracellular electron transfer (EET) to a solid electrode surface. Two stimuli were employed: to increase EET and to stop EET. An analysis of cell activity marker genes after stimuli exposure revealed that only two strains within eleven binned genomes had strong transcriptional responses to increased EET rates, with one responding positively and the other responding negatively. Potential metabolic switches between eleven dominant members were mainly observed for acetate, hydrogen, and ethanol metabolisms. These results have enabled the estimation of a multi-species metabolic network and the associated short-term responses to EET stimuli that induce changes to metabolic flow and cooperative or competitive microbial interactions. This systematic meta-omics approach represents a next step towards understanding complex microbial roles within a community and how community members respond to specific environmental stimuli. PMID:26443302

  1. Microbial metabolic networks in a complex electrogenic biofilm recovered from a stimulus-induced metatranscriptomics approach.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Shun'ichi; Suzuki, Shino; Tenney, Aaron; Norden-Krichmar, Trina M; Nealson, Kenneth H; Bretschger, Orianna

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms almost always exist as mixed communities in nature. While the significance of microbial community activities is well appreciated, a thorough understanding about how microbial communities respond to environmental perturbations has not yet been achieved. Here we have used a combination of metagenomic, genome binning, and stimulus-induced metatranscriptomic approaches to estimate the metabolic network and stimuli-induced metabolic switches existing in a complex microbial biofilm that was producing electrical current via extracellular electron transfer (EET) to a solid electrode surface. Two stimuli were employed: to increase EET and to stop EET. An analysis of cell activity marker genes after stimuli exposure revealed that only two strains within eleven binned genomes had strong transcriptional responses to increased EET rates, with one responding positively and the other responding negatively. Potential metabolic switches between eleven dominant members were mainly observed for acetate, hydrogen, and ethanol metabolisms. These results have enabled the estimation of a multi-species metabolic network and the associated short-term responses to EET stimuli that induce changes to metabolic flow and cooperative or competitive microbial interactions. This systematic meta-omics approach represents a next step towards understanding complex microbial roles within a community and how community members respond to specific environmental stimuli. PMID:26443302

  2. Enhanced phosphorus recovery and biofilm microbial community changes in an alternating anaerobic/aerobic biofilter.

    PubMed

    Tian, Qing; Ong, Say Kee; Xie, Xuehui; Li, Fang; Zhu, Yanbin; Wang, Feng Rui; Yang, Bo

    2016-02-01

    The operation of an alternating anaerobic/aerobic biofilter (AABF), treating synthetic wastewater, was modified to enhance recovery of phosphorus (P). The AABF was periodically fed with an additional carbon source during the anaerobic phase to force the release of biofilm-sequestered P which was then harvested and recovered. A maximum of 48% of the total influent P was found to be released in the solution for recovery. Upon implementation of periodic P bio-sequestering and P harvesting, the predominant bacterial communities changed from β-Proteobacteria to γ-Proteobacteria groups. The genus Pseudomonas of γ-Proteobacteria was found to enrich greatly with 98% dominance. Dense intracellular poly-P granules were found within the cells of the biofilm, confirming the presence of P accumulating organisms (PAOs). Periodic addition of a carbon source to the AABF coupled with intracellular P reduction during the anaerobic phase most probably exerted environmental stress in the selection of Pseudomonas PAOs over PAOs of other phylogenic types. Results of the study provided operational information on the selection of certain microbial communities for P removal and recovery. This information can be used to further advance P recovery in biofilm systems such as the AABFs. PMID:26524149

  3. Role of bacterial adhesion in the microbial ecology of biofilms in cooling tower systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Sileika, Tadas; Warta, Richard; Cianciotto, Nicholas P; Packman, Aaron

    2009-01-01

    The fate of the three heterotrophic biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. in pilot scale cooling towers was evaluated both by observing the persistence of each species in the recirculating water and the formation of biofilms on steel coupons placed in each cooling tower water reservoir. Two different cooling tower experiments were performed: a short-term study (6 days) to observe the initial bacterial colonization of the cooling tower, and a long-term study (3 months) to observe the ecological dynamics with repeated introduction of the test strains. An additional set of batch experiments (6 days) was carried out to evaluate the adhesion of each strain to steel surfaces under similar conditions to those found in the cooling tower experiments. Substantial differences were observed in the microbial communities that developed in the batch systems and cooling towers. P. aeruginosa showed a low degree of adherence to steel surfaces both in batch and in the cooling towers, but grew much faster than K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium in mixed-species biofilms and ultimately became the dominant organism in the closed batch systems. However, the low degree of adherence caused P. aeruginosa to be rapidly washed out of the open cooling tower systems, and Flavobacterium became the dominant microorganism in the cooling towers in both the short-term and long-term experiments. These results indicate that adhesion, retention and growth on solid surfaces play important roles in the bacterial community that develops in cooling tower systems. PMID:19177226

  4. Role of bacterial adhesion in the microbial ecology of biofilms in cooling tower systems

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Sileika, Tadas; Warta, Richard; Cianciotto, Nicholas P.; Packman, Aaron

    2009-01-01

    The fate of the three heterotrophic biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. in pilot scale cooling towers was evaluated both by observing the persistence of each species in the recirculating water and the formation of biofilms on steel coupons placed in each cooling tower water reservoir. Two different cooling tower experiments were performed: a short-term study (6 days) to observe the initial bacterial colonization of the cooling tower, and a long-term study (3 months) to observe the ecological dynamics with repeated introduction of the test strains. An additional set of batch experiments (6 days) was carried out to evaluate the adhesion of each strain to steel surfaces under similar conditions to those found in the cooling tower experiments. Substantial differences were observed in the microbial communities that developed in the batch systems and cooling towers. P. aeruginosa showed a low degree of adherence to steel surfaces both in batch and in the cooling towers, but grew much faster than K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium in mixed-species biofilms and ultimately became the dominant organism in the closed batch systems. However, the low degree of adherence caused P. aeruginosa to be rapidly washed out of the open cooling tower systems, and Flavobacterium became the dominant microorganism in the cooling towers in both the short-term and long-term experiments. These results indicate that adhesion, retention and growth on solid surfaces play important roles in the bacterial community that develops in cooling tower systems. PMID:19177226

  5. The ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms.

    PubMed

    Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina; Bengtsson, Mia M; Romani, Anna M; Packmann, Aaron I

    2016-03-14

    Streams and rivers form dense networks, shape the Earth's surface and, in their sediments, provide an immensely large surface area for microbial growth. Biofilms dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, drive crucial ecosystem processes and contribute substantially to global biogeochemical fluxes. In turn, water flow and related deliveries of nutrients and organic matter to biofilms constitute major constraints on microbial life. In this Review, we describe the ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms and highlight the influence of physical and ecological processes on their structure and function. Recent advances in the study of biofilm ecology may pave the way towards a mechanistic understanding of the effects of climate and environmental change on stream biofilms and the biogeochemistry of stream ecosystems. PMID:26972916

  6. Microbial biofilms on the sandstone monuments of the Angkor Wat Complex, Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Gaylarde, Christine C; Rodríguez, César Hernández; Navarro-Noya, Yendi E; Ortega-Morales, B Otto

    2012-02-01

    Discoloring biofilms from Cambodian temples Angkor Wat, Preah Khan, and the Bayon and West Prasat in Angkor Thom contained a microbial community dominated by coccoid cyanobacteria. Molecular analysis identified Chroococcidiopsis as major colonizer, but low similarity values (<95%) suggested a similar genus or species not present in the databases. In only two of the six sites sampled were filamentous cyanobacteria, Microcoleus, Leptolyngbya, and Scytonema, found; the first two detected by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene library clones from samples of a moist green biofilm on internal walls in Preah Khan, where Lyngbya (possibly synonymous with Microcoleus) was seen by direct microscopy as major colonizer. Scytonema was detected also by microscopy on an internal wall in the Bayon. This suggests that filamentous cyanobacteria are more prevalent in internal (high moisture) areas. Heterotrophic bacteria were found in all samples. DNA sequencing of bands from DGGE gels identified Proteobacteria (Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Methylobacterium radiotolerans) and Firmicutes (Bacillus sp., Bacillus niacini, Bacillus sporothermodurans, Lysinibacillus fusiformis, Paenibacillus sp., Paenibacillus panacisoli, and Paenibacillus zanthoxyli). Some of these bacteria produce organic acids, potentially degrading stone. Actinobacteria, mainly streptomycetes, were present in most samples; algae and fungi were rare. A dark-pigmented filamentous fungus was detected in internal and external Preah Khan samples, while the alga Trentepohlia was found only in samples taken from external, pink-stained stone at Preah Khan. Results show that these microbial biofilms are mature communities whose major constituents are resistant to dehydration and high levels of irradiation and can be involved in deterioration of sandstone. Such analyses are important prerequisites to the application of control strategies. PMID:22006074

  7. Microbial Diversity and Population Structure of Extremely Acidic Sulfur-Oxidizing Biofilms From Sulfidic Caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, D.; Stoffer, T.; Lyon, E. H.; Macalady, J. L.

    2005-12-01

    Extremely acidic (pH 0-1) microbial biofilms called snottites form on the walls of sulfidic caves where gypsum replacement crusts isolate sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms from the buffering action of limestone host rock. We investigated the phylogeny and population structure of snottites from sulfidic caves in central Italy using full cycle rRNA methods. A small subunit rRNA bacterial clone library from a Frasassi cave complex snottite sample contained a single sequence group (>60 clones) similar to Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. Bacterial and universal rRNA clone libraries from other Frasassi snottites were only slightly more diverse, containing a maximum of 4 bacterial species and probably 2 archaeal species. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of snottites from Frasassi and from the much warmer Rio Garrafo cave complex revealed that all of the communities are simple (low-diversity) and dominated by Acidithiobacillus and/or Ferroplasma species, with smaller populations of an Acidimicrobium species, filamentous fungi, and protists. Our results suggest that sulfidic cave snottites will be excellent model microbial ecosystems suited for ecological and metagenomic studies aimed at elucidating geochemical and ecological controls on microbial diversity, and at mapping the spatial history of microbial evolutionary events such as adaptations, recombinations and gene transfers.

  8. Deciphering the Contribution of Biofilm to the Pathogenesis of Peritoneal Dialysis Infections: Characterization and Microbial Behaviour on Dialysis Fluids

    PubMed Central

    Sampaio, Joana; Machado, Diana; Gomes, Ana Marta; Machado, Idalina; Santos, Cledir; Lima, Nelson; Carvalho, Maria João; Cabrita, António

    2016-01-01

    Infections are major complications in peritoneal dialysis (PD) with a multifactorial etiology that comprises patient, microbial and dialytic factors. This study aimed at investigating the contribution of microbial biofilms on PD catheters to recalcitrant infections and their interplay with PD related-factors. A prospective observational study was performed on 47 patients attending Centro Hospitalar of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho to whom the catheter was removed due to infectious (n = 16) and non-infectious causes (n = 31). Microbial density on the catheter was assessed by culture methods and the isolated microorganisms identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight intact cell mass spectrometry. The effect of conventional and three biocompatible PD solutions on 16 Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CNS) and 10 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains planktonic growth and biofilm formation was evaluated. Cultures were positive in 87.5% of the catheters removed due infectious and 90.3% removed due to non-infectious causes. However, microbial yields were higher on the cuffs of catheters removed due to infection vs. non-infection. Staphylococci (CNS and Staphylococcus aureus) and P. aeruginosa were the predominant species: 32% and 20% in the infection and 43.3% and 22.7% in the non-infection group, respectively. In general, PD solutions had a detrimental effect on planktonic CNS and P. aeruginosa strains growth. All strains formed biofilms in the presence of PD solutions. The solutions had a more detrimental effect on P. aeruginosa than CNS strains. No major differences were observed between conventional and biocompatible solutions, although in icodextrin solution biofilm biomass was lower than in bicarbonate/lactate solution. Overall, we show that microbial biofilm is universal in PD catheters with the subclinical menace of Staphylococci and P. aeruginosa. Cuffs colonization may significantly contribute to infection. PD solutions differentially

  9. Sulfur as a Matrix for the Development of Microbial Biofilm Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, C.; Bell, E.; Johnson, J. E.; Ma, X.; Stamps, B. W.; Rideout, J.; Johnson, H. A.; Vuono, D.; Spear, J. R.; Hanselmann, K.

    2013-12-01

    The high temperature, low oxygen, and high sulfide concentration of many hot springs select for a low diversity of organisms. The stringent requirements for growth and survival limit the types of interactions, which allow the microbial sulfur metabolism to be examined in depth. We combined geochemical, microbial and molecular data to understand mat development in the warm, oxygen-poor sulfidic Stinking Spring, Utah, USA. The upper flow zone of this spring has a variety of observable microbial biofilm structures that are linked to the activities of both sulfide-oxidizing and oxygenic bacteria. The diverse architecture of the microbial assemblages consist of bulbous ridge structures on the bottom of the streambed, floating mats that cover a large portion of the water surface area, and two morphologically different streamers; green long filaments and white shorter filaments, which both contain large amounts of elemental sulfur. We performed structural analysis using phase contrast and epifluorescence microscopy, and SEM coupled with EDS mapping. Amplicon sequenced 16S rRNA genes analyzed by QIIME and ARB indicated that the predominant organisms present were the cyanobacterial genus Leptolyngbya, and an ɛ-Proteobacteria closely related to the sulfur oxidizing genus Sulfurovum. Metagenomic analysis was conducted on six libraries from three locations using MG-RAST to analyze for genes associated with sulfur metabolism, specifically sulfur oxidation (sox) genes. The presence of sox genes and the microbial sulfur deposition strategy changes downstream as the sulfide concentration decreases. When sulfide is low, the streamers themselves become white and shorter with elemental sulfur deposited intracellularly, and diatoms seem to dominate over cyanobacteria, but do not form associations with the streamer structures. We propose that the microbial biofilms and green streamers present in the sulfide-rich section of the stream are formed in a multi-step process. Initial growth

  10. Electrical stimulation on biodegradation of phenol and responses of microbial communities in conductive carriers supported biofilms of the bioelectrochemical reactor.

    PubMed

    Ailijiang, Nuerla; Chang, Jiali; Liang, Peng; Li, Peng; Wu, Qing; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Huang, Xia

    2016-02-01

    Conductive carbon felts (Cf) were used as biofilm carriers in bioelectrochemical reactors to enhance the electrical stimulation on treatment of phenol-containing synthetic wastewater. In batch test, phenol biodegradation was accelerated under an optimum direct current (DC), which was 2mA for Cf biofilm carriers, lower than that for non-conductive white foam carriers. The stimulation effect was consistent with Adenosine Triphosphate contents in biofilms. The long-term operation further demonstrated that a high and stable phenol removal efficiency could be achieved with applied DC of 2mA, and intermittent DC application was better than continuous one, with phenol removal efficiency of over 97%. Although the quantities of whole microbial communities kept at a high level under all conditions, special microorganisms related with genera of Zoogloea and Desulfovibrio were distinctively enriched under intermittent applied DC pattern. This study shows that the electrical stimulation is potentially effective for biofilm reactors treating phenol-containing wastewater. PMID:26615496

  11. Phototrophic Biofilm Assembly in Microbial-Mat-Derived Unicyanobacterial Consortia: Model Systems for the Study of Autotroph-Heterotroph Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, Jessica K.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Kim, Young-Mo; Chrisler, William B.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Dohnalkova, Alice; Hu, Dehong; Metz, Thomas O.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Lindemann, Stephen R.

    2014-04-07

    Though microbial autotroph-heterotroph interactions influence biogeochemical cycles on a global scale, the diversity and complexity of natural systems and their intractability to in situ environmental manipulation makes elucidation of the principles governing these interactions challenging. Examination of primary succession during phototrophic biofilm assembly provides a robust means by which to elucidate the dynamics of such interactions and determine their influence upon recruitment and maintenance of phylogenetic and functional diversity in microbial communities. We isolated and characterized two unicyanobacterial consortia from the Hot Lake phototrophic mat, quantifying the structural and community composition of their assembling biofilms. The same heterotrophs were retained in both consortia and included members of Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes, taxa frequently reported as consorts of microbial photoautotrophs. Cyanobacteria led biofilm assembly, eventually giving way to a late heterotrophic bloom. The consortial biofilms exhibited similar patterns of assembly, with the relative abundances of members of Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria increasing and members of Gammaproteobacteria decreasing as colonization progressed. Despite similar trends in assembly at higher taxa, the consortia exhibited substantial differences in community structure at the species level. These similar patterns of assembly with divergent community structures suggest that, while similar niches are created by the metabolism of the cyanobacteria, the resultant webs of autotroph-heterotroph and heterotroph-heterotroph interactions driving metabolic exchange are specific to each primary producer. Altogether, our data support these Hot Lake unicyanobacterial consortia as generalizable model systems whose simplicity and tractability permit the deciphering of community assembly principles relevant to natural microbial communities.

  12. A modeling and simulation study of the role of suspended microbial populations in nitrification in a biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Mašić, Alma; Eberl, Hermann J

    2014-01-01

    Many biological wastewater treatment processes are based on bacterial biofilms, i.e. layered aggregates of microbial populations deposited on surfaces. Detachment and (re-)attachment leads to an exchange of biomass between the biofilm and the surrounding aqueous phase. Traditionally, mathematical models of biofilm processes do not take the contribution of the suspended, non-attached bacteria into account, implicitly assuming that these are negligible due to the relatively small amount of suspended biomass compared to biofilm biomass. In this paper, we present a model for a nitrifying biofilm reactor that explicitly includes both types of biomass. The model is derived by coupling a reactor mass balance for suspended populations and substrates with a full one-dimensional Wanner-Gujer type biofilm model. The complexity of this model, both with respect to mathematical structure and number of parameters, prevents a rigorous analysis of its dynamics, wherefore we study the model numerically.Our investigations show that suspended biomass needs to be considered explicitly in the model if the interests of the study are the details of the nitrification process and its intermediate steps and compounds. However, suspended biomass may be neglected if the primary interests are the overall reactor performance criteria, such as removal rates. Furthermore, it can be expected that changes in the biofilm area, attachment, detachment, and dilution rates are more likely to affect the variables primarily associated with the second step of nitrification, while the variables associated with the first step tend to be more robust. PMID:24307083

  13. Methods for Observing Microbial Biofilms Directly on Leaf Surfaces and Recovering Them for Isolation of Culturable Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Morris, C. E.; Monier, J.; Jacques, M.

    1997-01-01

    Epifluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used to observe microbial biofilms directly on leaf surfaces. Biofilms were observed on leaves of all species sampled (spinach, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, celery, leeks, basil, parsley, and broad-leaved endive), although the epifluorescent images were clearest when pale green tissue or cuticle pieces were used. With these techniques, biofilms were observed that were about 20 (mu)m in depth and up to 1 mm in length and that contained copious exopolymeric matrices, diverse morphotypes of microorganisms, and debris. The epifluorescence techniques described here can be used to rapidly determine the abundance and localization of biofilms on leaves. An additional technique was developed to recover individual biofilms or portions of single biofilms from leaves and to disintegrate them for isolation of the culturable microorganisms they contained. Nineteen biofilms from broad-leaved endive, spinach, parsley, and olive leaves were thus isolated and characterized to illustrate the applications of this technique. PMID:16535579

  14. Microbial diversity of biofilm communities in microniches associated with the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Behrendt, Lars; Larkum, Anthony W D; Trampe, Erik; Norman, Anders; Sørensen, Søren J; Kühl, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We assessed the microbial diversity and microenvironmental niche characteristics in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, microsensor and imaging techniques. L. patella harbors three distinct microbial communities spatially separated by few millimeters of tunic tissue: (i) a biofilm on its upper surface exposed to high irradiance and O2 levels, (ii) a cloacal cavity dominated by the prochlorophyte Prochloron spp. characterized by strong depletion of visible light and a dynamic chemical microenvironment ranging from hyperoxia in light to anoxia in darkness and (iii) a biofilm covering the underside of the animal, where light is depleted of visible wavelengths and enriched in near-infrared radiation (NIR). Variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging demonstrated photosynthetic activity, and hyperspectral imaging revealed a diversity of photopigments in all microhabitats. Amplicon sequencing revealed the dominance of cyanobacteria in all three layers. Sequences representing the chlorophyll d containing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina and anoxygenic phototrophs were abundant on the underside of the ascidian in shallow waters but declined in deeper waters. This depth dependency was supported by a negative correlation between A. marina abundance and collection depth, explained by the increased attenuation of NIR as a function of water depth. The combination of microenvironmental analysis and fine-scale sampling techniques used in this investigation gives valuable first insights into the distribution, abundance and diversity of bacterial communities associated with tropical ascidians. In particular, we show that microenvironments and microbial diversity can vary significantly over scales of a few millimeters in such habitats; which is information easily lost by bulk sampling. PMID:22134643

  15. Microbial analysis of in situ biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems: implications for monitoring and control of drinking water quality.

    PubMed

    Douterelo, Isabel; Jackson, M; Solomon, C; Boxall, J

    2016-04-01

    Biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) is influenced by the source water, the supply infrastructure and the operation of the system. A holistic approach was used to advance knowledge on the development of mixed species biofilms in situ, by using biofilm sampling devices installed in chlorinated networks. Key physico-chemical parameters and conventional microbial indicators for drinking water quality were analysed. Biofilm coverage on pipes was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The microbial community structure, bacteria and fungi, of water and biofilms was assessed using pyrosequencing. Conventional wisdom leads to an expectation for less microbial diversity in groundwater supplied systems. However, the analysis of bulk water showed higher microbial diversity in groundwater site samples compared with the surface water site. Conversely, higher diversity and richness were detected in biofilms from the surface water site. The average biofilm coverage was similar among sites. Disinfection residual and other key variables were similar between the two sites, other than nitrates, alkalinity and the hydraulic conditions which were extremely low at the groundwater site. Thus, the unexpected result of an exceptionally low diversity with few dominant genera (Pseudomonas and Basidiobolus) in groundwater biofilm samples, despite the more diverse community in the bulk water, is attributed to the low-flow hydraulic conditions. This finding evidences that the local environmental conditions are shaping biofilm formation, composition and amount, and hence managing these is critical for the best operation of DWDS to safeguard water quality. PMID:26637423

  16. Seasonal variations of the composition of microbial biofilms in sandy tidal flats: Focus of fatty acids, pigments and exopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passarelli, Claire; Meziane, Tarik; Thiney, Najet; Boeuf, Dominique; Jesus, Bruno; Ruivo, Mickael; Jeanthon, Christian; Hubas, Cédric

    2015-02-01

    Biofilms, or microbial mats, are common associations of microorganisms in tidal flats; they generally consist of a large diversity of organisms embedded in a matrix of Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). These molecules are mainly composed of carbohydrates and proteins, but their detailed monomer compositions and seasonal variations are currently unknown. Yet this composition determines the numerous roles of biofilms in these systems. This study investigated the changes in composition of carbohydrates in intertidal microbial mats over a year to decipher seasonal variations in biofilms and in varying hydrodynamic conditions. This work also aimed to assess how these compositions are related to microbial assemblages. In this context, natural biofilms whose development was influenced or not by artificial structures mimicking polychaete tubes were sampled monthly for over a year in intertidal flats of the Chausey archipelago. Biofilms were compared through the analysis of their fatty acid and pigment contents, and the monosaccharide composition of their EPS carbohydrates. Carbohydrates from both colloidal and bound EPS contained mainly glucose and, to a lower extent, galactose and mannose but they showed significant differences in their detailed monosaccharide compositions. These two fractions displayed different seasonal evolution, even if glucose accumulated in both fractions in summer; bound EPS only were affected by artificial biogenic structures. Sediment composition in fatty acids and pigments showed that microbial communities were dominated by diatoms and heterotrophic bacteria. Their relative proportions, as well as those of other groups like cryptophytes, changed between times and treatments. The changes in EPS composition were not fully explained by modifications of microbial assemblages but also depended on the processes taking place in sediments and on environmental conditions. These variations of EPS compositions are likely to alter different

  17. [Analysis of structure changes of microbial community in medium biofilm by ERIC-PCR fingerprinting].

    PubMed

    Li, Hua-zhi; Li, Xiu-yan; Zhao, Ya-ping; Huang, Min-sheng; Yu, Xue-zhen; Jin, Cheng-xiang; Xu, Ya-tong

    2006-12-01

    A new technique, with medium biofilms and hydrophytes as main components, with microbes, plankton, hydrophytes and aquatic animals as basic ecological elements, was adopted to deal with eutrophication water in Shanghai. A pilot-scale test was carried on, with influent as 6 m(3)/d, 7 ponds parallelly connected, and with continuous influent and effluent. Water qualities were analyzed and ERIC-PCR fingerprinting method was used to study the natures of biofilm microbes. The results show that, the device has obvious affection on eutrophication water pollution removal, COD, TN, NH4+-N and TP removal efficiencies are respectively 20.7% - 48.5%, 20.1% - 49.7%, 39.8% - 66.2 % and 60.0% - 73.9% higher than those of control experiment. Water plants contribute for N and P absorption and removal, the three ponds with plants have higher TN and TP removal efficiency than the tree ones without hydrophytes, the enhanced TN removal efficiencies are 30.1%, 24.9% and 17.6% respectively. ERIC-PCR fingerprinting indicate that the three ponds with water plants have more similar microbial community structure to each other than no hydrophyte ponds, and that mean pairwise similarity coefficient value are 71.8% , 86.9% and 91.0% respectively on 2nd, 15th and 30th day, and at the same time the population diversity indexes rang from 1.89 to 2.22, 2.17 to 2.43 and 2.28 to 2.68, respectively. The above discussions conclude that the systemic population diversity indexes and structure similarity increase, biofilm microbes have gradually abundant population and stable structure, which are in accord with pollution removal efficiencies. PMID:17304855

  18. Recalcitrant High-Molecular-Weight Material, an Inhibitor of Microbial Metabolism in River Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Christopher; Lock, Maurice A.

    1992-01-01

    Recalcitrant high (>1,000)-molecular-weight materials (>1K materials) have been proposed to inhibit the metabolic activity of river biofilms. Evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that the mode of action is through occlusion of the surface of the biofilm by recalcitrant >1K materials. The evidence includes the following. (i) The phenomenon was particularly prominent in brown-water rivers, which are rich in recalcitrant >1K material. (ii)Temporal changes in inhibition intensity were observed, which coincided with seasonal changes in the relative recalcitrance of river water >1K materials. (iii) Stores of intracellular carbon (poly-β-hydroxyalkanoates) were progressively compromised by increasing the supply of recalcitrant >1K materials. (iv) Nontoxic synthetic analogs of recalcitrant >1K materials were also demonstrated to be capable of producing an identical inhibitory effect. Finally, it was suggested that the application of recalcitrant >1K materials may represent a novel approach to the control of deleterious microbial communities. PMID:16348723

  19. Electrocatalytic activity of anodic biofilm responses to pH changes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yong; Zhao, Bo; Zhou, Shungui; Zhong, Shengkui; Zhuang, Li

    2011-07-01

    This study investigates the effects of anodic pH on electricity generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and the intrinsic reasons behind them. In a two-chamber MFC, the maximum power density is 1170 ± 58 mW m(-2) at pH 9.0, which is 29% and 89% higher than those working at pH 7.0 and 5.0, respectively. Electrochemical measurements reveal that pH affects the electron transfer kinetics of anodic biofilms. The apparent electron transfer rate constant (k(app)) and exchange current density (i(0)) are greater whereas the charge transfer resistance (R(ct)) is smaller at pH 9.0 than at other conditions. Scanning electron microscopy verifies that alkaline conditions benefit biofilm formation in MFCs. These results demonstrate that electrochemical interactions between bacteria and electrodes in MFCs are greatly enhanced under alkaline conditions, which can be one of the important reasons for the improved MFC output. PMID:21530241

  20. Functional Gene Composition, Diversity and Redundancy in Microbial Stream Biofilm Communities

    PubMed Central

    Dopheide, Andrew; Lear, Gavin; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Lewis, Gillian D.

    2015-01-01

    We surveyed the functional gene composition and diversity of microbial biofilm communities in 18 New Zealand streams affected by different types of catchment land use, using a comprehensive functional gene array, GeoChip 3.0. A total of 5,371 nutrient cycling and energy metabolism genes within 65 gene families were detected among all samples (342 to 2,666 genes per stream). Carbon cycling genes were most common, followed by nitrogen cycling genes, with smaller proportions of sulphur, phosphorus cycling and energy metabolism genes. Samples from urban and native forest streams had the most similar functional gene composition, while samples from exotic forest and rural streams exhibited the most variation. There were significant differences between nitrogen and sulphur cycling genes detected in native forest and urban samples compared to exotic forest and rural samples, attributed to contrasting proportions of nitrogen fixation, denitrification, and sulphur reduction genes. Most genes were detected only in one or a few samples, with only a small minority occurring in all samples. Nonetheless, 42 of 65 gene families occurred in every sample and overall proportions of gene families were similar among samples from contrasting streams. This suggests the existence of functional gene redundancy among different stream biofilm communities despite contrasting taxonomic composition. PMID:25849814

  1. Eukaryotic life in biofilms formed in a uranium mine

    PubMed Central

    Zirnstein, Isabel; Arnold, Thuro; Krawczyk-Bärsch, Evelyn; Jenk, Ulf; Bernhard, Gert; Röske, Isolde

    2012-01-01

    The underground uranium mine Königstein (Saxony, Germany), currently in the process of remediation, represents an underground acid mine drainage (AMD) environment, that is, low pH conditions and high concentrations of heavy metals including uranium, in which eye-catching biofilm formations were observed. During active uranium mining from 1984 to 1990, technical leaching with sulphuric acid was applied underground on-site resulting in a change of the underground mine environment and initiated the formation of AMD and also the growth of AMD-related copious biofilms. Biofilms grow underground in the mine galleries in a depth of 250 m (50 m above sea level) either as stalactite-like slime communities or as acid streamers in the drainage channels. The eukaryotic diversity of these biofilms was analyzed by microscopic investigations and by molecular methods, that is, 18S rDNA PCR, cloning, and sequencing. The biofilm communities of the Königstein environment showed a low eukaryotic biodiversity and consisted of a variety of groups belonging to nine major taxa: ciliates, flagellates, amoebae, heterolobosea, fungi, apicomplexa, stramenopiles, rotifers and arthropoda, and a large number of uncultured eukaryotes, denoted as acidotolerant eukaryotic cluster (AEC). In Königstein, the flagellates Bodo saltans, the stramenopiles Diplophrys archeri, and the phylum of rotifers, class Bdelloidea, were detected for the first time in an AMD environment characterized by high concentrations of uranium. This study shows that not only bacteria and archaea may live in radioactive contaminated environments, but also species of eukaryotes, clearly indicating their potential influence on carbon cycling and metal immobilization within AMD-affected environment. PMID:22950016

  2. Scanning Transmission X-Ray, Laser Scanning, and Transmission Electron Microscopy Mapping of the Exopolymeric Matrix of Microbial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, J. R.; Swerhone, G. D. W.; Leppard, G. G.; Araki, T.; Zhang, X.; West, M. M.; Hitchcock, A. P.

    2003-01-01

    Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and soft X-ray scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) were used to map the distribution of macromolecular subcomponents (e.g., polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids) of biofilm cells and matrix. The biofilms were developed from river water supplemented with methanol, and although they comprised a complex microbial community, the biofilms were dominated by heterotrophic bacteria. TEM provided the highest-resolution structural imaging, CLSM provided detailed compositional information when used in conjunction with molecular probes, and STXM provided compositional mapping of macromolecule distributions without the addition of probes. By examining exactly the same region of a sample with combinations of these techniques (STXM with CLSM and STXM with TEM), we demonstrate that this combination of multimicroscopy analysis can be used to create a detailed correlative map of biofilm structure and composition. We are using these correlative techniques to improve our understanding of the biochemical basis for biofilm organization and to assist studies intended to investigate and optimize biofilms for environmental remediation applications. PMID:12957944

  3. Submersible microbial fuel cell sensor for monitoring microbial activity and BOD in groundwater: focusing on impact of anodic biofilm on sensor applicability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifeng; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-10-01

    A sensor, based on a submersible microbial fuel cell (SUMFC), was developed for in situ monitoring of microbial activity and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in groundwater. Presence or absence of a biofilm on the anode was a decisive factor for the applicability of the sensor. Fresh anode was required for application of the sensor for microbial activity measurement, while biofilm-colonized anode was needed for utilizing the sensor for BOD content measurement. The current density of SUMFC sensor equipped with a biofilm-colonized anode showed linear relationship with BOD content, to up to 250 mg/L (∼233 ± 1 mA/m(2)), with a response time of <0.67 h. This sensor could, however, not measure microbial activity, as indicated by the indifferent current produced at varying active microorganisms concentration, which was expressed as microbial adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) concentration. On the contrary, the current density (0.6 ± 0.1 to 12.4 ± 0.1 mA/m(2)) of the SUMFC sensor equipped with a fresh anode showed linear relationship, with active microorganism concentrations from 0 to 6.52 nmol-ATP/L, while no correlation between the current and BOD was observed. It was found that temperature, pH, conductivity, and inorganic solid content were significantly affecting the sensitivity of the sensor. Lastly, the sensor was tested with real contaminated groundwater, where the microbial activity and BOD content could be detected in <3.1 h. The microbial activity and BOD concentration measured by SUMFC sensor fitted well with the one measured by the standard methods, with deviations ranging from 15% to 22% and 6% to 16%, respectively. The SUMFC sensor provides a new way for in situ and quantitative monitoring contaminants content and biological activity during bioremediation process in variety of anoxic aquifers. PMID:21557205

  4. Microbial biofilms associated with fluid chemistry and megafaunal colonization at post-eruptive deep-sea hydrothermal vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Charles E.; Giovannelli, Donato; Govenar, Breea; Luther, George W.; Lutz, Richard A.; Shank, Timothy M.; Vetriani, Costantino

    2015-11-01

    At deep-sea hydrothermal vents, reduced, super-heated hydrothermal fluids mix with cold, oxygenated seawater. This creates temperature and chemical gradients that support chemosynthetic primary production and a biomass-rich community of invertebrates. In late 2005/early 2006 an eruption occurred on the East Pacific Rise at 9°50‧N, 104°17‧W. Direct observations of the post-eruptive diffuse-flow vents indicated that the earliest colonizers were microbial biofilms. Two cruises in 2006 and 2007 allowed us to monitor and sample the early steps of ecosystem recovery. The main objective of this work was to characterize the composition of microbial biofilms in relation to the temperature and chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids and the observed patterns of megafaunal colonization. The area selected for this study had local seafloor habitats of active diffuse flow (in-flow) interrupted by adjacent habitats with no apparent expulsion of hydrothermal fluids (no-flow). The in-flow habitats were characterized by higher temperatures (1.6-25.2 °C) and H2S concentrations (up to 67.3 μM) than the no-flow habitats, and the microbial biofilms were dominated by chemosynthetic Epsilonproteobacteria. The no-flow habitats had much lower temperatures (1.2-5.2 °C) and H2S concentrations (0.3-2.9 μM), and Gammaproteobacteria dominated the biofilms. Siboglinid tubeworms colonized only in-flow habitats, while they were absent at the no-flow areas, suggesting a correlation between siboglinid tubeworm colonization, active hydrothermal flow, and the composition of chemosynthetic microbial biofilms.

  5. Comparative Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Pomegranate-Containing Mouthwash Against Oral-Biofilm Forming Organisms: An Invitro Microbial Study

    PubMed Central

    Dabholkar, Charuta Sadanand; Shah, Mona; Bajaj, Monika; Doshi, Yogesh

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Pomegranate is considered “A pharmacy unto itself”. Hydrolysable tannins called punicalagins which have free scavenging properties are the most abundant polyphenols found in pomegranate-containing mouthwash. Aim To evaluate antimicrobial effect of pomegranate- containing mouthwash on oral biofilm-forming bacteria. Materials and Methods The mouthwashes used were divided into three groups- Group A: Chlorhexidine mouthwash (Hexidine); Group B: Herbal Mouthwash (Hiora) and Group C: Pomegranate-containing Mouthwash (Life-extension). Each mouthwash was diluted to five different concentrations. Reference strains of Streptococcus mutans (S.mutans) (ATCC 25175), Streptococcus salivarius (S.salivarius) (ATCC 7073), and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A.a) (NCTC 9710) were selected as being colonizers in dental biofilm formation. On each culture plate, five wells of 5mm were prepared and mouthwashes with different concentrations were added, followed by incubation in a CO2 jar for 24 hours at 37°C. Inhibition zone diameters were measured using a digital caliper. Results Chlorhexidine (0.12%) presented a zone of inhibition between 38.46% to 96.15% for all the three organisms, while Hiora presented zone of inhibition ranging from 33.33% to 69.23% but was resistant at <10 ml of dilution. Pomegranate mouthwash presented a zone of inhibition ranging from 38.48 to 57.69%, but was resistant at <10ml for S.mutans, and <25ml for A.a and S.salivarius. ANOVA test was done to compare the dilution of mouthwashes for a particular organism and Tukey’s multiple comparison tests were done to find the exact difference. A significant difference was seen between all the three groups at 50ml and 75 ml of dilution. At 75 ml concentration, a statistical difference was found between Groups B & C and Groups A & B; and at 50 ml between Groups A&C. Conclusion All the three types of mouthwash exhibit anti-microbial activity against biofilm forming organisms but at varying

  6. The spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated chlorhexidine enhances anti-biofilm efficiency through an effective releasing mode and close microbial interactions

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xuan; Wong, Chi-Hin; Ng, Tsz-Wing; Zhang, Cheng-Fei; Leung, Ken Cham-Fai; Jin, Lijian

    2016-01-01

    We reported two forms (sphere and wire) of newly fabricated chlorhexidine (CHX)-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), and investigated their releasing capacities and anti-biofilm efficiencies. The interactions of the blank MSNs with planktonic oral microorganisms were assessed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. The anti-biofilm effects of the two forms of nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX were examined by 2,3-bis (2-methoxy- 4-nitro-5-sulfo-phenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide. The profiles of biofilm penetration were analyzed by fluorescent-labeled MSNs using confocal microscopy and ImageJ. The spherical MSNs with an average diameter of 265 nm exhibited a larger surface area and faster CHX-releasing rate than the MSN wires. The field emission scanning electron microscopy images showed that both shaped MSNs enabled to attach and further fuse with the surfaces of testing microbes. Meanwhile, the nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX could enhance the anti-biofilm efficiency with reference to its free form. Notably, the spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX presented with a greater anti-biofilm capacity than the wire nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX, partly due to their difference in physical property. Furthermore, the relatively even distribution and homogeneous dispersion of spherical MSNs observed in confocal images may account for the enhanced penetration of spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX into the microbial biofilms and resultant anti-biofilm effects. These findings reveal that the spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX could preferably enhance its anti-biofilm efficiency through an effective releasing mode and close interactions with microbes. PMID:27330290

  7. The spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated chlorhexidine enhances anti-biofilm efficiency through an effective releasing mode and close microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Li, Xuan; Wong, Chi-Hin; Ng, Tsz-Wing; Zhang, Cheng-Fei; Leung, Ken Cham-Fai; Jin, Lijian

    2016-01-01

    We reported two forms (sphere and wire) of newly fabricated chlorhexidine (CHX)-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), and investigated their releasing capacities and anti-biofilm efficiencies. The interactions of the blank MSNs with planktonic oral microorganisms were assessed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. The anti-biofilm effects of the two forms of nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX were examined by 2,3-bis (2-methoxy- 4-nitro-5-sulfo-phenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide. The profiles of biofilm penetration were analyzed by fluorescent-labeled MSNs using confocal microscopy and ImageJ. The spherical MSNs with an average diameter of 265 nm exhibited a larger surface area and faster CHX-releasing rate than the MSN wires. The field emission scanning electron microscopy images showed that both shaped MSNs enabled to attach and further fuse with the surfaces of testing microbes. Meanwhile, the nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX could enhance the anti-biofilm efficiency with reference to its free form. Notably, the spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX presented with a greater anti-biofilm capacity than the wire nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX, partly due to their difference in physical property. Furthermore, the relatively even distribution and homogeneous dispersion of spherical MSNs observed in confocal images may account for the enhanced penetration of spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX into the microbial biofilms and resultant anti-biofilm effects. These findings reveal that the spherical nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX could preferably enhance its anti-biofilm efficiency through an effective releasing mode and close interactions with microbes. PMID:27330290

  8. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life. PMID:14678662

  9. Monitoring of biofilm formation on different material surfaces of medical devices using hyperspectral imaging method

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Contamination of the inner surface of indwelling (implanted) medical devices by microbial biofilm is a serious problem. Some microbial bacteria such as Escherichia coli form biofilms that lead to potentially life-threatening infections. Other types of medical devices such as bronchoscopes and duod...

  10. Enrichment of anodic biofilm inoculated with anaerobic or aerobic sludge in single chambered air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chongyang; Wang, Aijie; Wu, Wei-Min; Yin, Yalin; Zhao, Yang-Guo

    2014-09-01

    Aerobic sludge after anaerobic pretreatment and anaerobic sludge were separately used as inoculum to start up air-cathode single-chamber MFCs. Aerobic sludge-inoculated MFCs arrived at 0.27 V with a maximum power density of 5.79 W m(-3), while anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFCs reached 0.21 V with 3.66 W m(-3). Microbial analysis with DGGE profiling and high-throughput sequencing indicated that aerobic sludge contained more diverse bacterial populations than anaerobic sludge. Nitrospira species dominated in aerobic sludge, while anaerobic sludge was dominated by Desulfurella and Acidithiobacillus species. Microbial community structure and composition in anodic biofilms enriched, respectively from aerobic and anaerobic sludges tended gradually to be similar. Potentially exoelectrogenic Geobacter and Anaeromusa species, biofilm-forming Zoogloea and Acinetobacter species were abundant in both anodic biofilms. This study indicated that aerobic sludge performed better for MFCs startup, and the enrichment of anodic microbial consortium with different inocula but same substrate resulted in uniformity of functional microbial communities. PMID:24973773

  11. Performance evaluation and microbial community of a sequencing batch biofilm reactor (SBBR) treating mariculture wastewater at different chlortetracycline concentrations.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Dong; Chang, Qingbo; Gao, Mengchun; She, Zonglian; Jin, Chunji; Guo, Liang; Zhao, Yangguo; Wang, Sen; Wang, Xuejiao

    2016-11-01

    The effects of chlortetracycline (CTC) on the performance, microbial activity, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and microbial community of a sequencing batch biofilm reactor (SBBR) were investigated in treating mariculture wastewater. Low CTC concentration (less than 6 mg/L) had no obvious effect on the SBBR performance, whereas high CTC concentration could inhibit the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nitrogen removal of the SBBR. The microbial activity of the biofilm in the SBBR decreased with the increase of CTC concentration from 0 to 35 mg/L. The protein (PN) contents were always higher than the PS contents in both loosely bound EPS (LB-EPS) and tightly bound EPS (TB-EPS) at different CTC concentrations. The chemical compositions of LB-EPS and TB-EPS had obvious variations with the increase of CTC concentration from 0 to 35 mg/L. The high-throughput sequencing revealed the effects of CTC on the microbial communities of the biofilm at phylum, class and genus level. The relative abundances of some genera displayed a decreasing tendency with the increase of CTC concentration from 0 to 35 mg/L, such as Nitrospira, Paracoccus, Hyphomicrobium, Azospirillum. However, the relative abundances of the genera Flavobacterium, Aequorivita, Buchnera, Azonexus and Thioalbus increased with the increase of CTC concentration. PMID:27526087

  12. Microbial Life in a Liquid Asphalt Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Haque, Shirin; de Sousa Antonio, Marina Resendes; Ali, Denzil; Hosein, Riad; Song, Young C.; Yang, Jinshu; Zaikova, Elena; Beckles, Denise M.; Guinan, Edward; Lehto, Harry J.; Hallam, Steven J.

    2011-04-01

    Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago is a natural asphalt reservoir nourished by pitch seepage, a form of petroleum that consists of mostly asphaltines, from the surrounding oil-rich region. During upward seepage, pitch mixes with mud and gases under high pressure, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a liquid asphalt residue characterized by low water activity, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and noxious chemical compounds. An active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains (particularly from the new Tar ARC groups), totaling a biomass of up to 107 cells per gram, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed diverse, novel, and deeply branching microbial lineages with the potential to mediate anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation processes in different parts of the asphalt column. In addition, we found markers for archaeal methane metabolism and specific gene sequences affiliated with facultative and obligate anaerobic sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The microbial diversity at Pitch Lake was found to be unique when compared to microbial communities analyzed at other hydrocarbon-rich environments, which included Rancho Le Brea, a natural asphalt environment in California, USA, and an oil well and a mud volcano in Trinidad and Tobago, among other sites. These results open a window into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices and establish the site as a terrestrial analogue for modeling the biotic potential of hydrocarbon lakes such as those found on Saturn's largest moon Titan.

  13. Microbial Life Under Extreme Energy Limitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehler, Tori M.; Jorgensen, Bo Barker

    2013-01-01

    A great number of the bacteria and archaea on Earth are found in subsurface environments in a physiological state that is poorly represented or explained by laboratory cultures. Microbial cells in these very stable and oligotrophic settings catabolize 104- to 106-fold more slowly than model organisms in nutrient-rich cultures, turn over biomass on timescales of centuries to millennia rather than hours to days, and subsist with energy fluxes that are 1,000-fold lower than the typical culture-based estimates of maintenance requirements. To reconcile this disparate state of being with our knowledge of microbial physiology will require a revised understanding of microbial energy requirements, including identifying the factors that comprise true basal maintenance and the adaptations that might serve to minimize these factors.

  14. Enhanced biofilm distribution and cell performance of microfluidic microbial fuel cells with multiple anolyte inlets.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Ye, Dingding; Liao, Qiang; Zhang, Pengqing; Zhu, Xun; Li, Jun; Fu, Qian

    2016-05-15

    A laminar-flow controlled microfluidic microbial fuel cell (MMFC) is considered as a promising approach to be a bio-electrochemical system (BES). But poor bacterial colonization and low power generation are two severe bottlenecks to restrict its development. In this study, we reported a MMFC with multiple anolyte inlets (MMFC-MI) to enhance the biofilm formation and promote the power density of MMFCs. Voltage profiles during the inoculation process demonstrated MMFC-MI had a faster start-up process than the conventional microfluidic microbial fuel cell with one inlet (MMFC-OI). Meanwhile, benefited from the periodical replenishment of boundary layer near the electrode, a more densely-packed bacterial aggregation was observed along the flow direction and also the substantially low internal resistance for MMFC-MI. Most importantly, the output power density of MMFC-MI was the highest value among the reported µl-scale MFCs to our best knowledge. The presented MMFC-MI appears promising for bio-chip technology and extends the scope of microfluidic energy. PMID:26735875

  15. Metagenomic discovery of novel enzymes and biosurfactants in a slaughterhouse biofilm microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Thies, Stephan; Rausch, Sonja Christina; Kovacic, Filip; Schmidt-Thaler, Alexandra; Wilhelm, Susanne; Rosenau, Frank; Daniel, Rolf; Streit, Wolfgang; Pietruszka, Jörg; Jaeger, Karl-Erich

    2016-01-01

    DNA derived from environmental samples is a rich source of novel bioactive molecules. The choice of the habitat to be sampled predefines the properties of the biomolecules to be discovered due to the physiological adaptation of the microbial community to the prevailing environmental conditions. We have constructed a metagenomic library in Escherichia coli DH10b with environmental DNA (eDNA) isolated from the microbial community of a slaughterhouse drain biofilm consisting mainly of species from the family Flavobacteriaceae. By functional screening of this library we have identified several lipases, proteases and two clones (SA343 and SA354) with biosurfactant and hemolytic activities. Sequence analysis of the respective eDNA fragments and subsequent structure homology modelling identified genes encoding putative N-acyl amino acid synthases with a unique two-domain organisation. The produced biosurfactants were identified by NMR spectroscopy as N-acyltyrosines with N-myristoyltyrosine as the predominant species. Critical micelle concentration and reduction of surface tension were similar to those of chemically synthesised N-myristoyltyrosine. Furthermore, we showed that the newly isolated N-acyltyrosines exhibit antibiotic activity against various bacteria. This is the first report describing the successful application of functional high-throughput screening assays for the identification of biosurfactant producing clones within a metagenomic library. PMID:27271534

  16. Metagenomic discovery of novel enzymes and biosurfactants in a slaughterhouse biofilm microbial community.

    PubMed

    Thies, Stephan; Rausch, Sonja Christina; Kovacic, Filip; Schmidt-Thaler, Alexandra; Wilhelm, Susanne; Rosenau, Frank; Daniel, Rolf; Streit, Wolfgang; Pietruszka, Jörg; Jaeger, Karl-Erich

    2016-01-01

    DNA derived from environmental samples is a rich source of novel bioactive molecules. The choice of the habitat to be sampled predefines the properties of the biomolecules to be discovered due to the physiological adaptation of the microbial community to the prevailing environmental conditions. We have constructed a metagenomic library in Escherichia coli DH10b with environmental DNA (eDNA) isolated from the microbial community of a slaughterhouse drain biofilm consisting mainly of species from the family Flavobacteriaceae. By functional screening of this library we have identified several lipases, proteases and two clones (SA343 and SA354) with biosurfactant and hemolytic activities. Sequence analysis of the respective eDNA fragments and subsequent structure homology modelling identified genes encoding putative N-acyl amino acid synthases with a unique two-domain organisation. The produced biosurfactants were identified by NMR spectroscopy as N-acyltyrosines with N-myristoyltyrosine as the predominant species. Critical micelle concentration and reduction of surface tension were similar to those of chemically synthesised N-myristoyltyrosine. Furthermore, we showed that the newly isolated N-acyltyrosines exhibit antibiotic activity against various bacteria. This is the first report describing the successful application of functional high-throughput screening assays for the identification of biosurfactant producing clones within a metagenomic library. PMID:27271534

  17. Microbial characterization of anode-respiring bacteria within biofilms developed from cultures previously enriched in dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Pierra, Mélanie; Carmona-Martínez, Alessandro A; Trably, Eric; Godon, Jean-Jacques; Bernet, Nicolas

    2015-11-01

    This work evaluated the use of a culture enriched in DMRB as a strategy to enrich ARB on anodes. DMRB were enriched with Fe(III) as final electron acceptor and then transferred to a potentiostatically-controlled system with an anode as sole final electron acceptor. Three successive iron-enrichment cultures were carried out. The first step of enrichment revealed a successful selection of the high current-producing ARB Geoalkalibacter subterraneus. After few successive enrichment steps, the microbial community analysis in electroactive biofilms showed a significant divergence with an impact on the biofilm electroactivity. Enrichment of ARB in electroactive biofilms through the pre-selection of DMRB should therefore be carefully considered. PMID:26182995

  18. Next-Generation Pyrosequencing Analysis of Microbial Biofilm Communities on Granular Activated Carbon in Treatment of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water

    PubMed Central

    Islam, M. Shahinoor; Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N.

    2015-01-01

    The development of biodegradation treatment processes for oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) has been progressing in recent years with the promising potential of biofilm reactors. Previously, the granular activated carbon (GAC) biofilm process was successfully employed for treatment of a large variety of recalcitrant organic compounds in domestic and industrial wastewaters. In this study, GAC biofilm microbial development and degradation efficiency were investigated for OSPW treatment by monitoring the biofilm growth on the GAC surface in raw and ozonated OSPW in batch bioreactors. The GAC biofilm community was characterized using a next-generation 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing technique that revealed that the phylum Proteobacteria was dominant in both OSPW and biofilms, with further in-depth analysis showing higher abundances of Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria sequences. Interestingly, many known polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders, namely, Burkholderiales, Pseudomonadales, Bdellovibrionales, and Sphingomonadales, were observed in the GAC biofilm. Ozonation decreased the microbial diversity in planktonic OSPW but increased the microbial diversity in the GAC biofilms. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed similar bacterial gene copy numbers (>109 gene copies/g of GAC) for both raw and ozonated OSPW GAC biofilms. The observed rates of removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) over the 2-day experiments for the GAC biofilm treatments of raw and ozonated OSPW were 31% and 66%, respectively. Overall, a relatively low ozone dose (30 mg of O3/liter utilized) combined with GAC biofilm treatment significantly increased NA removal rates. The treatment of OSPW in bioreactors using GAC biofilms is a promising technology for the reduction of recalcitrant OSPW organic compounds. PMID:25841014

  19. Next-generation pyrosequencing analysis of microbial biofilm communities on granular activated carbon in treatment of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Islam, M Shahinoor; Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-06-15

    The development of biodegradation treatment processes for oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) has been progressing in recent years with the promising potential of biofilm reactors. Previously, the granular activated carbon (GAC) biofilm process was successfully employed for treatment of a large variety of recalcitrant organic compounds in domestic and industrial wastewaters. In this study, GAC biofilm microbial development and degradation efficiency were investigated for OSPW treatment by monitoring the biofilm growth on the GAC surface in raw and ozonated OSPW in batch bioreactors. The GAC biofilm community was characterized using a next-generation 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing technique that revealed that the phylum Proteobacteria was dominant in both OSPW and biofilms, with further in-depth analysis showing higher abundances of Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria sequences. Interestingly, many known polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders, namely, Burkholderiales, Pseudomonadales, Bdellovibrionales, and Sphingomonadales, were observed in the GAC biofilm. Ozonation decreased the microbial diversity in planktonic OSPW but increased the microbial diversity in the GAC biofilms. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed similar bacterial gene copy numbers (>10(9) gene copies/g of GAC) for both raw and ozonated OSPW GAC biofilms. The observed rates of removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) over the 2-day experiments for the GAC biofilm treatments of raw and ozonated OSPW were 31% and 66%, respectively. Overall, a relatively low ozone dose (30 mg of O3/liter utilized) combined with GAC biofilm treatment significantly increased NA removal rates. The treatment of OSPW in bioreactors using GAC biofilms is a promising technology for the reduction of recalcitrant OSPW organic compounds. PMID:25841014

  20. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopic methods for microbial ecology: analysis of bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures and biofilms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, P. D.; Henson, J. M.; Guckert, J. B.; Nivens, D. E.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy has been used to rapidly and nondestructively analyze bacteria, bacteria-polymer mixtures, digester samples and microbial biofilms. Diffuse reflectance FT-IR (DRIFT) analysis of freeze-dried, powdered samples offered a means of obtaining structural information. The bacteria examined were divided into two groups. The first group was characterized by a dominant amide I band and the second group of organisms displayed an additional strong carbonyl stretch at approximately 1740 cm-1. The differences illustrated by the subtraction spectra obtained for microbes of the two groups suggest that FT-IR spectroscopy can be utilized to recognize differences in microbial community structure. Calculation of specific band ratios has enabled the composition of bacteria and extracellular or intracellular storage product polymer mixtures to be determined for bacteria-gum arabic (amide I/carbohydrate C-O approximately 1150 cm-1) and bacteria-poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (amide I/carbonyl approximately 1740 cm-1). The key band ratios correlate with the compositions of the material and provide useful information for the application of FT-IR spectroscopy to environmental biofilm samples and for distinguishing bacteria grown under differing nutrient conditions. DRIFT spectra have been obtained for biofilms produced by Vibrio natriegens on stainless steel disks. Between 48 and 144 h, an increase in bands at approximately 1440 and 1090 cm-1 was seen in FT-IR spectra of the V. natriegens biofilm. DRIFT spectra of mixed culture effluents of anaerobic digesters show differences induced by shifts in input feedstocks. The use of flow-through attenuated total reflectance has permitted in situ real-time changes in biofilm formation to be monitored and provides a powerful tool for understanding the interactions within adherent microbial consortia.

  1. Experimental evolution in biofilm populations

    PubMed Central

    Steenackers, Hans P.; Parijs, Ilse; Foster, Kevin R.; Vanderleyden, Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a major form of microbial life in which cells form dense surface associated communities that can persist for many generations. The long-life of biofilm communities means that they can be strongly shaped by evolutionary processes. Here, we review the experimental study of evolution in biofilm communities. We first provide an overview of the different experimental models used to study biofilm evolution and their associated advantages and disadvantages. We then illustrate the vast amount of diversification observed during biofilm evolution, and we discuss (i) potential ecological and evolutionary processes behind the observed diversification, (ii) recent insights into the genetics of adaptive diversification, (iii) the striking degree of parallelism between evolution experiments and real-life biofilms and (iv) potential consequences of diversification. In the second part, we discuss the insights provided by evolution experiments in how biofilm growth and structure can promote cooperative phenotypes. Overall, our analysis points to an important role of biofilm diversification and cooperation in bacterial survival and productivity. Deeper understanding of both processes is of key importance to design improved antimicrobial strategies and diagnostic techniques. PMID:26895713

  2. Experimental evolution in biofilm populations.

    PubMed

    Steenackers, Hans P; Parijs, Ilse; Foster, Kevin R; Vanderleyden, Jozef

    2016-05-01

    Biofilms are a major form of microbial life in which cells form dense surface associated communities that can persist for many generations. The long-life of biofilm communities means that they can be strongly shaped by evolutionary processes. Here, we review the experimental study of evolution in biofilm communities. We first provide an overview of the different experimental models used to study biofilm evolution and their associated advantages and disadvantages. We then illustrate the vast amount of diversification observed during biofilm evolution, and we discuss (i) potential ecological and evolutionary processes behind the observed diversification, (ii) recent insights into the genetics of adaptive diversification, (iii) the striking degree of parallelism between evolution experiments and real-life biofilms and (iv) potential consequences of diversification. In the second part, we discuss the insights provided by evolution experiments in how biofilm growth and structure can promote cooperative phenotypes. Overall, our analysis points to an important role of biofilm diversification and cooperation in bacterial survival and productivity. Deeper understanding of both processes is of key importance to design improved antimicrobial strategies and diagnostic techniques. PMID:26895713

  3. Microbial life in a liquid asphalt desert.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Haque, Shirin; de Sousa Antonio, Marina Resendes; Ali, Denzil; Hosein, Riad; Song, Young C; Yang, Jinshu; Zaikova, Elena; Beckles, Denise M; Guinan, Edward; Lehto, Harry J; Hallam, Steven J

    2011-04-01

    Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago is a natural asphalt reservoir nourished by pitch seepage, a form of petroleum that consists of mostly asphaltines, from the surrounding oil-rich region. During upward seepage, pitch mixes with mud and gases under high pressure, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a liquid asphalt residue characterized by low water activity, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and noxious chemical compounds. An active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains (particularly from the new Tar ARC groups), totaling a biomass of up to 10(7) cells per gram, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed diverse, novel, and deeply branching microbial lineages with the potential to mediate anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation processes in different parts of the asphalt column. In addition, we found markers for archaeal methane metabolism and specific gene sequences affiliated with facultative and obligate anaerobic sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The microbial diversity at Pitch Lake was found to be unique when compared to microbial communities analyzed at other hydrocarbon-rich environments, which included Rancho Le Brea, a natural asphalt environment in California, USA, and an oil well and a mud volcano in Trinidad and Tobago, among other sites. These results open a window into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices and establish the site as a terrestrial analogue for modeling the biotic potential of hydrocarbon lakes such as those found on Saturn's largest moon Titan. PMID:21480792

  4. Non-destructive monitoring of microbial biofilms at solid-liquid interfaces using on-line devices

    SciTech Connect

    Nivens, D.E. . Dept. of Chemistry Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN . Inst. for Applied Microbiology); Chambers, J.Q. . Dept. of Chemistry); White, D.C. . Inst. for Applied Microbiology Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN . Dept. of Microbiology Oak Ridge National Lab., TN )

    1990-01-01

    Corrosion, biofouling, and related problems have been an impetus for investigating interactions between microorganisms and solid surfaces. In recent years, a number of studies have been performed to assess the damages caused by microbial influenced corrosion (MIC). In a number of these studies, electrochemical techniques have monitored the performance of metal surfaces exposed to bacteria. However, most of these methods can only indirectly detect the presence of biofilms. In this paper, two non-destructive on-line monitoring devices, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FT/IR) and the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) were used to directly monitor biofilm formation. These devices have been developed to study the initial fouling process and subsequent biofilm development and not merely the effects of the living film on the host material. The ATR-FT/IR technique provides information about biomass, exopolymer production, and the nutritional status of microbial biofilms. The QCM provides a direct measure of biomass. ATR-FT/IR and QCM detect 10{sup 6} and 10{sup 4} Caulobacter crescentus cells/cm{sup 2}, respectively. Both techniques can be coupled with electrochemical methods for deeper insight into mechanisms of MIC. 20 refs., 2 figs.

  5. Prevalence of microbial biofilms on selected fresh produce and household surfaces.

    PubMed

    Rayner, Joanna; Veeh, Richard; Flood, Janine

    2004-08-15

    Investigations of biofilms in domestic environments are sparsely represented in the literature. In this study, samples of various household surfaces, including food, laundry and kitchen items, were analyzed for evidence of biofilm presence. Visualization of the surfaces was carried out using cryostage scanning electron microscopy (CSEM) and light microscopy. Qualitative evidence of the presence of biofilm formation was obtained from all of the sample groups analyzed, suggesting the widespread existence of microorganisms in biofilms on domestic surfaces. This suggests that biofilms may be important in household hygiene, and highlights the need for standardized, approved biofilm methods suitable for consumer products testing. PMID:15240072

  6. Microbial biofilm proliferation within sealer-root dentin interfaces is affected by sealer type and aging period

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Karina A; Friedman, Shimon; Lévesque, Céline M; Basrani, Bettina R; Finer, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    Background Root canal fillings are intended to prevent microbial proliferation over time in the canal after treatment. Objective To assess biofilm proliferation within the sealer-dentin interfaces of two methacrylate resin-based systems, self-etch (SE) and total-etch (TE), and an epoxy resin-based sealer (EP), aged for up to 6 months. Methods Standardized specimens (n=45) comprising the coronal 5 mm of human roots were filled with the test materials and gutta-percha. Specimens were either not pre-incubated (control; n=9), or incubated in sterile saline for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months or 6 months (n=3/group). Monospecies biofilms of Enterococcus faecalis were grown on the specimens for 7 days in a chemostat-based biofilm fermentor mimicking pathogenic oral conditions. The extent of E. faecalis proliferation within the sealer-dentin interface for each material and incubation period group was assessed using fluorescence microscopy of dihydroethidium-stained specimens. Results TE had less biofilm proliferation than both EP and SE (p<0.01). Deeper biofilm proliferation was detected in SE and EP specimens aged for 1 and 3 months than those aged for 1 week or 6 months (p<0.05). Maximum depth of biofilm penetration was recorded for SE at 1 month (p<0.05). Conclusion Within the test model used, the self-etch and epoxy resin-based sealers were more susceptible to interfacial biofilm proliferation than the total-etch restorative material. This susceptibility diminished after aging the materials’ interfaces for 6 months. PMID:22892745

  7. Microbial geomorphology: A neglected link between life and landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viles, Heather A.

    2012-07-01

    Whilst recognition is increasing that life and landscapes are intimately related, as evidenced by growing research into ecosystem engineering, biogeomorphology and allied topics, the microbial contribution to such interactions has been relatively neglected. A revolution in environmental microbiology, based on molecular techniques, is now driving a reconsideration of the role of microbial processes in geomorphology at all scales. Recent research illustrates the hitherto unknown microbial diversity present in many extreme geomorphic environments, such as hyperarid deserts, subglacial lakes, hot springs, and much richer microbial life than previously suspected within the soils and sediments that blanket most other landscapes. Such microbial communities have been found to play important geomorphic roles across a wide range of environments, notably in weathering, precipitation of minerals and protecting surfaces from erosion. These geomorphic roles can also be conceptualised as examples of ecosystem engineering, and can pave the way for further plant-geomorphology and zoogeomorphology processes. Three key aspects which emerge from a review of microbial influences on Earth surface processes are a) that microbes play roles on a continuum from full control to passive involvement, b) that complex and widespread communities of microorganisms are involved and c) that microbial activity usually affects several Earth surface processes at once. Examples of the contribution of microbial life to geomorphology over long, medium and short timescales suggest that microorganisms play key geomorphological roles in two major situations; on the cusp between stable states, and in extreme environments where higher plant and animal life is limited and many abiotic processes are also constrained. The dominant link between microbial life and geomorphology appears to take on different forms depending on the timescale under consideration, with a stabilising microbial role apparent over short

  8. Microbial communities in bulk fluids and biofilms of an oil facility have similar composition but different structure.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Bradley S; Drilling, Heather S; Lawson, Paul A; Duncan, Kathleen E; Parisi, Victoria A; Suflita, Joseph M

    2011-04-01

    The oil-water-gas environments of oil production facilities harbour abundant and diverse microbial communities that can participate in deleterious processes such as biocorrosion. Several molecular methods, including pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA libraries, were used to characterize the microbial communities from an oil production facility on the Alaskan North Slope. The communities in produced water and a sample from a 'pig envelope' were compared in order to identify specific populations or communities associated with biocorrosion. The 'pigs' are used for physical mitigation of pipeline corrosion and fouling and the samples are enriched in surface-associated solids (i.e. paraffins, minerals and biofilm) and coincidentally, microorganisms (over 10(5) -fold). Throughout the oil production facility, bacteria were more abundant (10- to 150-fold) than archaea, with thermophilic members of the phyla Firmicutes (Thermoanaerobacter and Thermacetogenium) and Synergistes (Thermovirga) dominating the community. However, the structure (relative abundances of taxa) of the microbial community in the pig envelope was distinct due to the increased relative abundances of the genera Thermacetogenium and Thermovirga. The data presented here suggest that bulk fluid is representative of the biofilm communities associated with biocorrosion but that certain populations are more abundant in biofilms, which should be the focus of monitoring and mitigation strategies. PMID:21261797

  9. Microbial life in the deep terrestrial subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Fliermans, C.B.; Balkwill, D.L.; Beeman, R.E.

    1988-12-31

    The distribution and function of microorganisms is a vital issue in microbial ecology. The US Department of Energy`s Program, ``Microbiology of the Deep Subsurface,`` concentrates on establishing fundamental scientific information about organisms at depth, and the use of these organisms for remediation of contaminants in deep vadose zone and groundwater environments. This investigation effectively extends the Biosphere hundreds of meters into the Geosphere and has implications to a variety of subsurface activities.

  10. Molecular characterization of microbial communities and quantification of Mycobacterium immunogenum in metal removal fluids and their associated biofilms.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianfeng; Franzblau, Alfred; Xi, Chuanwu

    2016-03-01

    A number of human health effects have been associated with exposure to metal removal fluids (MRFs). Multiple lines of research suggest that a newly identified organism, Mycobacterium immunogenum (MI), appears to have an etiologic role in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in case of MRFs exposed workers. However, our knowledge of this organism, other possible causative agents (e.g., Pseudomonads), and the microbial ecology of MRFs in general, is limited. In this study, culture-based methods and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene clone library approach were used to characterize microbial communities in MRF bulk fluid and associated biofilm samples collected from fluid systems in an automobile engine plant. PCR amplification data using universal primers indicate that all samples had bacterial and fungal contaminated. Five among 15 samples formed colonies on the Mycobacteria agar 7H9 suggesting the likely presence of Mycobacteria in these five samples. This observation was confirmed with PCR amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragment using Mycobacteria specific primers. Two additional samples, Biofilm-1 and Biofilm-3, were positive in PCR amplification for Mycobacteria, yet no colonies formed on the 7H9 cultivation agar plates. Real-time PCR was used to quantify the abundance of M. immunogenum in these samples, and the data showed that the copies of M. immunogenum 16S rRNA gene in the samples ranges from 4.33 × 10(4) copy/ml to 4.61 × 10(7) copy/ml. Clone library analysis revealed that Paecilomyces sp. and Acremonium sp. and Acremonium-like were dominant fungi in MRF samples. Various bacterial species from the major phylum of proteobacteria were found and Pseudomonas is the dominant bacterial genus in these samples. Mycobacteria (more specifically MI) were found in all biofilm samples, including biofilms collected from inside the MRF systems and from adjacent environmental surfaces, suggesting that biofilms may play an important role in microbial ecology in MRFs

  11. Regenerable Microbial Check Valve - Life cycle tests results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atwater, James E.; Wheeler, Richard R., Jr.; Olivadoti, J. T.; Sauer, Richard L.; Flanagan, David T.

    1992-01-01

    Life cycle regeneration testing of the Microbial Check Valve (MCV) that is used on the Shuttle Orbiter to provide microbial control of potable water is currently in progress. Four beds are being challenged with simulated reclaimed waters and repeatedly regenerated. Preliminary results indicate that contaminant systems exhibit unique regeneration periodicities. Cyclic throughput diminishes with increasing cumulative flow. It is considered to be feasible to design a regenerable MCV system which will function without human intervention and with minimal resupply penalty for the 30 year life of the Space Station.

  12. Analysis of Microbial Communities in Biofilms from CSTR-Type Hollow Fiber Membrane Biofilm Reactors for Autotrophic Nitrification and Hydrogenotrophic Denitrification.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jung-Hun; Kim, Byung-Chun; Choi, Okkyoung; Kim, Hyunook; Sang, Byoung-In

    2015-10-28

    Two hollow fiber membrane biofilm reactors (HF-MBfRs) were operated for autotrophic nitrification and hydrogenotrophic denitrification for over 300 days. Oxygen and hydrogen were supplied through the hollow fiber membrane for nitrification and denitrification, respectively. During the period, the nitrogen was removed with the efficiency of 82-97% for ammonium and 87-97% for nitrate and with the nitrogen removal load of 0.09-0.26 kg NH4(+)-N/m(3)/d and 0.10-0.21 kg NO3(-)-N/m(3)/d, depending on hydraulic retention time variation by the two HF-MBfRs for autotrophic nitrification and hydrogenotrophic denitrification, respectively. Biofilms were collected from diverse topological positions in the reactors, each at different nitrogen loading rates, and the microbial communities were analyzed with partial 16S rRNA gene sequences in denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Detected DGGE band sequences in the reactors were correlated with nitrification or denitrification. The profile of the DGGE bands depended on the NH4(+) or NO3(-) loading rate, but it was hard to find a major strain affecting the nitrogen removal efficiency. Nitrospira-related phylum was detected in all biofilm samples from the nitrification reactors. Paracoccus sp. and Aquaspirillum sp., which are an autohydrogenotrophic bacterium and an oligotrophic denitrifier, respectively, were observed in the denitrification reactors. The distribution of microbial communities was relatively stable at different nitrogen loading rates, and DGGE analysis based on 16S rRNA (341f /534r) could successfully detect nitrate-oxidizing and hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria but not ammonium-oxidizing bacteria in the HF-MBfRs. PMID:26095385

  13. [Effect of the biofilm biopolymers on the microbial corrosion rate of the low-carbon steel].

    PubMed

    Borets'ka, M O; Kozlova, I P

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between exopolymer's specific production, relative carbohydrate and protein content in the biofilm exopolymers of the pure and mixed Thiobacillus thioparus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia cultures and their corrosion activity was studied. Change of growth model of investigated cultures from plankton to biofilm led to an increase of specific exopolymer's production. In the biofilm formed by T. thioparus and S. maltophilia biofilm on the low-carbon steel surface one could observe an increase of relative protein content in the exopolymer complex in comparison with those in the pure culture. The development of such biofilms stimulatied the 7-fold corrosion activity. PMID:17977451

  14. Mechanical signatures of microbial biofilms in micropillar-embedded growth chambers.

    PubMed

    Chew, S C; Kundukad, B; Teh, W K; Doyle, P; Yang, L; Rice, S A; Kjelleberg, S

    2016-06-21

    Biofilms are surface-attached communities of microorganisms embedded in an extracellular matrix and are essential for the cycling of organic matter in natural and engineered environments. They are also the leading cause of many infections, for example, those associated with chronic wounds and implanted medical devices. The extracellular matrix is a key biofilm component that determines its architecture and defines its physical properties. Herein, we used growth chambers embedded with micropillars to study the net mechanical forces (differential pressure) exerted during biofilm formation in situ. Pressure from the biofilm is transferred to the micropillars via the extracellular matrix, and reduction of major matrix components decreases the magnitude of micropillar deflections. The spatial arrangement of micropillar deflections caused by pressure differences in the different biofilm strains may potentially be used as mechanical signatures for biofilm characterization. Hence, we submit that micropillar-embedded growth chambers provide insights into the mechanical properties and dynamics of the biofilm and its matrix. PMID:27191395

  15. Atmospheres and evolution. [of microbial life on earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Lovelock, J. E.

    1981-01-01

    Studies concerning the regulation of the earth atmosphere and the relation of atmospheric changes to the evolution of microbial life are reviewed. The improbable nature of the composition of the earth atmosphere in light of the atmospheric compositions of Mars and Venus and equilibrium considerations is pointed out, and evidence for the existence of microbial (procaryotic) life on earth as far back as 3.5 billion years ago is presented. The emergence of eucaryotic life in the Phanerozoic due to evolving symbioses between different procaryotic species is discussed with examples given of present-day symbiotic relationships between bacteria and eucaryotes. The idea that atmospheric gases are kept in balance mainly by the actions of bacterial cells is then considered, and it is argued that species diversity is necessary for the maintenance and origin of life on earth in its present form.

  16. Slow Microbial Life in the Seabed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Marshall, Ian P. G.

    2016-01-01

    Global microbial cell numbers in the seabed exceed those in the overlying water column, yet these organisms receive less than 1% of the energy fixed as organic matter in the ocean. The microorganisms of this marine deep biosphere subsist as stable and diverse communities with extremely low energy availability. Growth is exceedingly slow, possibly regulated by virus-induced mortality, and the mean generation times are tens to thousands of years. Intermediate substrates such as acetate are maintained at low micromolar concentrations, yet their turnover time may be several hundred years. Owing to slow growth, a cell community may go through only 10,000 generations from the time it is buried beneath the mixed surface layer until it reaches a depth of tens of meters several million years later. We discuss the efficiency of the energy-conserving machinery of subsurface microorganisms and how they may minimize energy consumption through necessary maintenance, repair, and growth.

  17. Slow Microbial Life in the Seabed.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Marshall, Ian P G

    2016-01-01

    Global microbial cell numbers in the seabed exceed those in the overlying water column, yet these organisms receive less than 1% of the energy fixed as organic matter in the ocean. The microorganisms of this marine deep biosphere subsist as stable and diverse communities with extremely low energy availability. Growth is exceedingly slow, possibly regulated by virus-induced mortality, and the mean generation times are tens to thousands of years. Intermediate substrates such as acetate are maintained at low micromolar concentrations, yet their turnover time may be several hundred years. Owing to slow growth, a cell community may go through only 10,000 generations from the time it is buried beneath the mixed surface layer until it reaches a depth of tens of meters several million years later. We discuss the efficiency of the energy-conserving machinery of subsurface microorganisms and how they may minimize energy consumption through necessary maintenance, repair, and growth. PMID:26209150

  18. Microbial Life in Soil - Linking Biophysical Models with Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Or, D.; Tecon, R.; Ebrahimi, A.; Kleyer, H.; Ilie, O.; Wang, G.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial life in soil occurs within fragmented aquatic habitats in complex pore spaces where motility is restricted to short hydration windows (e.g., following rainfall). The limited range of self-dispersion and physical confinement promote spatial association among trophically interdepended microbial species. Competition and preferences for different nutrient resources and byproducts and their diffusion require high level of spatial organization to sustain the functioning of multispecies communities. We report mechanistic modeling studies of competing multispecies microbial communities grown on hydrated surfaces and within artificial soil aggregates (represented by 3-D pore network). Results show how trophic dependencies and cell-level interactions within patchy diffusion fields promote spatial self-organization of motile microbial cells. The spontaneously forming patterns of segregated, yet coexisting species were robust to spatial heterogeneities and to temporal perturbations (hydration dynamics), and respond primarily to the type of trophic dependencies. Such spatially self-organized consortia may reflect ecological templates that optimize substrate utilization and could form the basic architecture for more permanent surface-attached microbial colonies. Hydration dynamics affect structure and spatial arrangement of aerobic and anaerobic microbial communities and their biogeochemical functions. Experiments with well-characterized artificial soil microbial assemblies grown on porous surfaces provide access to community dynamics during wetting and drying cycles detected through genetic fingerprinting. Experiments for visual observations of spatial associations of tagged bacterial species with known trophic dependencies on model porous surfaces are underway. Biophysical modeling provide a means for predicting hydration-mediated critical separation distances for activation of spatial self-organization. The study provides new modeling and observational tools that

  19. Microbial Life in Soil - Linking Biophysical Models with Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Or, Dani; Tecon, Robin; Ebrahimi, Ali; Kleyer, Hannah; Ilie, Olga; Wang, Gang

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil occurs within fragmented aquatic habitats formed in complex pore spaces where motility is restricted to short hydration windows (e.g., following rainfall). The limited range of self-dispersion and physical confinement promote spatial association among trophically interdepended microbial species. Competition and preferences for different nutrient resources and byproducts and their diffusion require high level of spatial organization to sustain the functioning of multispecies communities. We report mechanistic modeling studies of competing multispecies microbial communities grown on hydrated surfaces and within artificial soil aggregates (represented by 3-D pore network). Results show how trophic dependencies and cell-level interactions within patchy diffusion fields promote spatial self-organization of motile microbial cells. The spontaneously forming patterns of segregated, yet coexisting species were robust to spatial heterogeneities and to temporal perturbations (hydration dynamics), and respond primarily to the type of trophic dependencies. Such spatially self-organized consortia may reflect ecological templates that optimize substrate utilization and could form the basic architecture for more permanent surface-attached microbial colonies. Hydration dynamics affect structure and spatial arrangement of aerobic and anaerobic microbial communities and their biogeochemical functions. Experiments with well-characterized artificial soil microbial assemblies grown on porous surfaces provide access to community dynamics during wetting and drying cycles detected through genetic fingerprinting. Experiments for visual observations of spatial associations of tagged bacterial species with known trophic dependencies on model porous surfaces are underway. Biophysical modeling provide a means for predicting hydration-mediated critical separation distances for activation of spatial self-organization. The study provides new modeling and observational tools

  20. Sub-Optimal Treatment of Bacterial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Song, Tianyan; Duperthuy, Marylise; Wai, Sun Nyunt

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial biofilm is an emerging clinical problem recognized in the treatment of infectious diseases within the last two decades. The appearance of microbial biofilm in clinical settings is steadily increasing due to several reasons including the increased use of quality of life-improving artificial devices. In contrast to infections caused by planktonic bacteria that respond relatively well to standard antibiotic therapy, biofilm-forming bacteria tend to cause chronic infections whereby infections persist despite seemingly adequate antibiotic therapy. This review briefly describes the responses of biofilm matrix components and biofilm-associated bacteria towards sub-lethal concentrations of antimicrobial agents, which may include the generation of genetic and phenotypic variabilities. Clinical implications of bacterial biofilms in relation to antibiotic treatments are also discussed. PMID:27338489

  1. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ou, Shiqi; Zhao, Yi; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-08-15

    This work describes experiments and computational simulations to analyze single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance and cathodic limitations in terms of current generation, power output, mass transport, biomass competition, and biofilm growth. Steady-state and transient cathode models were developed and experimentally validated. Two cathode gas mixtures were used to explore oxygen transport in the cathode: the MFCs exposed to a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) produced higher current and power output than the group of MFCs exposed to air or a nitrogen-oxygen mixture (nitrox), indicating a dependence on gas-phase transport in the cathode. Multi-substance transport, biological reactions, and electrochemical reactions inmore » a multi-layer and multi-biomass cathode biofilm were also simulated in a transient model. The transient model described biofilm growth over 15 days while providing insight into mass transport and cathodic dissolved species concentration profiles during biofilm growth. Lastly, simulation results predict that the dissolved oxygen content and diffusion in the cathode are key parameters affecting the power output of the air-cathode MFC system, with greater oxygen content in the cathode resulting in increased power output and fully-matured biomass.« less

  2. Microbial life detection with minimal assumptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Noll, Rebecca A.; Buehler, Martin G.; Hecht, Michael H.; Lankford, Kurt; West, Steven J.

    2002-02-01

    To produce definitive and unambiguous results, any life detection experiment must make minimal assumptions about the nature of extraterrestrial life. The only criteria that fits this definition is the ability to reproduce and in the process create a disequilibrium in the chemical and redox environment. The Life Detection Array (LIDA), an instrument proposed for the 2007 NASA Mars Scout Mission, and in the future for the Jovian moons, enables such an experiment. LIDA responds to minute biogenic chemical and physical changes in two identical 'growth' chambers. The sensitivity is provided by two differentially monitored electrochemical sensor arrays. Growth in one of the chambers alters the chemistry and ionic properties and results in a signal. This life detection system makes minimal assumptions; that after addition of water the microorganism replicates and in the process will produce small changes in its immediate surroundings by consuming, metabolizing, and excreting a number of molecules and/or ionic species. The experiment begins by placing an homogenized split-sample of soil or water into each chamber, adding water if soil, sterilizing via high temperature, and equilibrating. In the absence of any microorganism in either chamber, no signal will be detected. The inoculation of one chamber with even a few microorganisms which reproduce, will create a sufficient disequilibrium in the system (compared to the control) to be detectable. Replication of the experiment and positive results would lead to a definitive conclusion of biologically induced changes. The split sample and the nanogram inoculation eliminates chemistry as a causal agent.

  3. Microbial composition and ecological features of phototrophic biofilms proliferating in the Moidons Caves (France): investigation at the single-cell level.

    PubMed

    Borderie, Fabien; Denis, Michel; Barani, Aude; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr; Aleya, Lotfi

    2016-06-01

    The authors investigated the microbial composition of phototrophic biofilms proliferating in a show cave using flow cytometry for the first time in such a context. Results are based on several biofilms sampled in the Moidons Caves (France) and concern both heterotrophic prokaryotes and autotrophic microorganisms. Heterotrophic microorganisms with low nucleic acid content were dominant in biofilms, as can be expected from the oligotrophic conditions prevailing within the cave. Analysis of the biofilm autotrophic components revealed the presence of several taxa, particularly the unicellular green algae Chlorella minutissima, specifically well adapted to this cave. Relationships between flow cytometry results and environmental variables determined in the cave were established and discussed so as to better understand biofilm proliferation processes in caves. PMID:26961535

  4. Surface-to-surface biofilm transfer: a quick and reliable startup strategy for mixed culture microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Andreas; Bischof, Franz; Wichern, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The startup of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is known to be prone to failure or result in erratic performance impeding the research. The aim of this study was to advise a quick launch strategy for laboratory-scale MFCs that ensures steady operation performance in a short period of time. Different startup strategies were investigated and compared with membraneless single chamber MFCs. A direct surface-to-surface biofilm transfer (BFT) in an operating MFC proved to be the most efficient method. It provided steady power densities of 163 ± 13 mWm(-2) 4 days after inoculation compared to 58 ± 15 mWm(-2) after 30 days following a conventional inoculation approach. The in situ BFT eliminates the need for microbial acclimation during startup and reduces performance fluctuations caused by shifts in microbial biodiversity. Anaerobic pretreatment of the substrate and addition of suspended enzymes from an operating MFC into the new MFC proved to have a beneficial effect on startup and subsequent operation. Polarization methods were applied to characterize the startup phase and the steady state operation in terms of power densities, internal resistance and power overshoot during biofilm maturation. Applying this method a well-working MFC can be multiplied into an array of identically performing MFCs. PMID:27120629

  5. Influence of process dynamics on the microbial diversity in a nitrifying biofilm reactor: Correlation analysis and simulation study.

    PubMed

    Vannecke, Thomas P W; Bernet, Nicolas; Winkler, Mari K H; Santa-Catalina, Gaelle; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Volcke, Eveline I P

    2016-09-01

    For engineers, it is interesting to gain insight in the effect of control strategies on microbial communities, on their turn influencing the process behavior and its stability. This contribution assesses the influence of process dynamics on the microbial community in a biofilm reactor for nitrogen removal, which was controlled according to several strategies aiming at nitrite accumulation. The process dataset, combining conventional chemical and physical data with molecular information, was analyzed through a correlation analysis and in a simulation study. During nitrate formation, an increased nitrogen loading rate (NLR) resulted in a drop of the bulk liquid oxygen concentration without resulting in nitrite accumulation. A biofilm model was able to reproduce the bulk liquid nitrogen concentrations in two periods before and after this increased NLR. As the microbial parameters calibrated for the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in both periods were different, it was concluded that the increased NLR governed an AOB and NOB population shift. Based on the molecular data, it was assumed that each period was typified by one dominant AOB and probably several subdominant NOB populations. The control strategies for nitrite accumulation influenced the bulk liquid composition by controlling the competition between AOB and NOB. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1962-1974. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26887287

  6. Sensitive characterization of microbial ubiquinones from biofilms by electrospray/mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Lytle, C A; Gan, Y D; Salone, K; White, D C

    2001-04-01

    Utilizing high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray/tandem mass spectrometric analysis of the neutral lipid extract of microbial cells and biofilm communities, respiratory ubiquinone (UQ) (1-methyl-2-isoprenyl-3,4-dimethoxyparabenzoquinone) isoprenologues can be separated isocratically in minutes and assayed with a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 9 p.p.b. (11.1 fmol UQ9 microL(-1)). This corresponds to about 1.29 x 10(7) cells of Pseudomonas putida. Highest sensitivity is achieved using flow-injection analysis with multiple reaction monitoring wherein ammoniated molecular ions of specific isoprenologues pass through quadrupole one, are collisionally dissociated in quadrupole two and identified from the product ion fragment at m/z 197.1 in quadrupole three. This assay has a repeatability of between 6% and 10% over three orders of magnitude (r2 = 0.996). Quinone profiling based on dominant isoprenologue patterns provides taxonomic insights. Detection of prominent UQ isoprenologues indicates presence of microeukaryotes and alpha Proteobacteria with UQ10, obligatory aerobic Gram-negative bacteria with UQ4-14, facultative Gram-negative (and some gamma Proteobacteria growing in microniches with oxygen or to a much lesser extent nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor with UQ8, and other gamma Proteobacteria with UQ9. High sensitivity is essential as the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) to UQ molar ratios are 130 or greater. Previous studies have established that recovery of sediment communities with high PLFA/UQ ratios corresponded to areas of aerobic metabolism, an important consideration in bioremediation or nuclide mobilization. PMID:11359512

  7. Microbial programming of health and disease starts during fetal life.

    PubMed

    Koleva, Petya T; Kim, Ji-Sun; Scott, James A; Kozyrskyj, Anita L

    2015-12-01

    The pioneer microbiota of the neonatal gut are essential for gut maturation, and metabolic and immunologic programming. Recent research has shown that early bacterial colonization may impact the occurrence of disease later in life (microbial programming). Despite early conflicting evidence, it has long been considered that the womb is a sterile environment and human microbial colonization begins at birth. In the last few years, several findings have reiterated the presence of microbes in infant first stool (meconium) and pointed to the existence of in utero microbial colonization of the infant gut. The dominant bacterial taxa detected in meconium specimens belong to the Enterobacteriaceae family (Escherichia genus) and lactic acid bacteria (notably members of the genera Leuconostoc, Enterococcus, and Lactococcus). Maternal atopy promotes dominance of Enterobacteriaceae in newborn meconium, which in turn may lead to respiratory problems in the infant. This microbial interaction with the host immune system may in fact, originate during fetal life. Our review evaluates the evidence for an intrauterine origin of meconium microbiota, their composition and influences, and potential clinical implications on infant health. PMID:26663884

  8. The universe: a cryogenic habitat for microbial life.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    2004-04-01

    Panspermia, an ancient idea, posits that microbial life is ubiquitous in the Universe. After several decades of almost irrational rejection, panspermia is at last coming to be regarded as a serious contender for the beginnings of life on our planet. Astronomical data is shown to be consistent with the widespread distribution of complex organic molecules and dust particles that may have a biological provenance. A minuscule (10(-21)) survival rate of freeze-dried bacteria in space is all that is needed to ensure the continual re-cycling of cosmic microbial life in the galaxy. Evidence that terrestrial life may have come from elsewhere in the solar system has accumulated over the past decade. Mars is seen by some as a possible source of terrestrial life, but some hundreds of billions of comets that enveloped the entire solar system, are a far more likely primordial reservoir of life. Comets would then have seeded Earth, Mars, and indeed all other habitable planetary bodies in the inner regions of the solar system. The implications of this point of view, which was developed in conjunction with the late Sir Fred Hoyle since the 1970s, are now becoming amenable to direct empirical test by studies of pristine organic material in the stratosphere. The ancient theory of panspermia may be on the verge of vindication, in which case the entire universe would be a grand crucible of cryomicrobiology. PMID:15094088

  9. Hydraulic continuity and biological effects of low strength very low frequency electromagnetic waves: Case of microbial biofilm growth in water treatment.

    PubMed

    Gérard, Merlin; Noamen, Omri; Evelyne, Gonze; Eric, Valette; Gilles, Cauffet; Marc, Henry

    2015-10-15

    This study aims to elucidate the interactions between water, subjected to electromagnetic waves of very low frequency (VLF) (kHz) with low strength electromagnetic fields (3.5 mT inside the coils), and the development of microbial biofilms in this exposed water. Experimental results demonstrate that in water exposed to VLF electromagnetic waves, the biomass of biofilm is limited if hydraulic continuity is achieved between the electromagnetic generator and the biofilm media. The measured amount of the biofilm's biomass is approximately a factor two lower for exposed biofilm than the non-exposed biofilm. Measurements of electromagnetic fields in the air and simulations exhibit very low intensities of fields (<10 nT and 2 V/m) in the biofilm-exposed region at a distance of 1 m from the electromagnetic generator. Exposure to electric and magnetic fields of the quoted intensities cannot explain thermal and ionizing effects on the biofilm. A variable electrical potential with a magnitude close to 20 mV was detected in the tank in hydraulic continuity with the electromagnetic generator. The application of quantum field theory may help to explain the observed effects in this case. PMID:26150067

  10. Characterisation of the Physical Composition and Microbial Community Structure of Biofilms within a Model Full-Scale Drinking Water Distribution System

    PubMed Central

    Fish, Katherine E.; Collins, Richard; Green, Nicola H.; Sharpe, Rebecca L.; Douterelo, Isabel; Osborn, A. Mark; Boxall, Joby B.

    2015-01-01

    Within drinking water distribution systems (DWDS), microorganisms form multi-species biofilms on internal pipe surfaces. A matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) is produced by the attached community and provides structure and stability for the biofilm. If the EPS adhesive strength deteriorates or is overcome by external shear forces, biofilm is mobilised into the water potentially leading to degradation of water quality. However, little is known about the EPS within DWDS biofilms or how this is influenced by community composition or environmental parameters, because of the complications in obtaining biofilm samples and the difficulties in analysing EPS. Additionally, although biofilms may contain various microbial groups, research commonly focuses solely upon bacteria. This research applies an EPS analysis method based upon fluorescent confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) in combination with digital image analysis (DIA), to concurrently characterize cells and EPS (carbohydrates and proteins) within drinking water biofilms from a full-scale DWDS experimental pipe loop facility with representative hydraulic conditions. Application of the EPS analysis method, alongside DNA fingerprinting of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities, was demonstrated for biofilms sampled from different positions around the pipeline, after 28 days growth within the DWDS experimental facility. The volume of EPS was 4.9 times greater than that of the cells within biofilms, with carbohydrates present as the dominant component. Additionally, the greatest proportion of EPS was located above that of the cells. Fungi and archaea were established as important components of the biofilm community, although bacteria were more diverse. Moreover, biofilms from different positions were similar with respect to community structure and the quantity, composition and three-dimensional distribution of cells and EPS, indicating that active colonisation of the pipe wall is an important

  11. Innovative biofilm inhibition and anti-microbial behavior of molybdenum sulfide nanostructures generated by microwave-assisted solvothermal route

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qureshi, Nilam; Patil, Rajendra; Shinde, Manish; Umarji, Govind; Causin, Valerio; Gade, Wasudev; Mulik, Uttam; Bhalerao, Anand; Amalnerkar, Dinesh P.

    2015-03-01

    The incessant use of antibiotics against infectious diseases has translated into a vicious circle of developing new antibiotic drug and its resistant strains in short period of time due to inherent nature of micro-organisms to alter their genes. Many researchers have been trying to formulate inorganic nanoparticles-based antiseptics that may be linked to broad-spectrum activity and far lower propensity to induce microbial resistance than antibiotics. The way-out approaches in this direction are nanomaterials based (1) bactericidal and (2) bacteriostatic activities. We, herein, present hitherto unreported observations on microbial abatement using non-cytotoxic molybdenum disulfide nanostructures (MSNs) which are synthesized using microwave assisted solvothermal route. Inhibition of biofilm formation using MSNs is a unique feature of our study. Furthermore, this study evinces antimicrobial mechanism of MSNs by reactive oxygen species (ROS) dependent generation of superoxide anion radical via disruption of cellular functions.

  12. Evolution of cooperation in microbial biofilms - A stochastic model for the growth and survival of bacterial mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knebel, Johannes; Cremer, Jonas; Melbinger, Anna; Frey, Erwin

    2012-02-01

    Cooperative behavior is essential for microbial biofilms. The structure and composition of a biofilm change over time and thereby influence the evolution of cooperation within the system. In turn, the level of cooperation affects the growth dynamics of the biofilm. Here, we investigate this coupling for an experimentally well-defined situation in which mutants of the Pseudomonas fluorescens strain form a mat at the liquid-air interface by the production of an extra-cellular matrix [1]. We model the occurrence of cooperation in this bacterial population by taking into account the formation of the mat. The presence of cooperators enhances the growth of the mat, but at the same time cheaters can infiltrate the population and put the viability of the mat at risk. We find that the survival time of the mat crucially depends on its initial dynamics which is subject to demographic fluctuations [2]. More generally, our work provides conceptual insights into the requirements and mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation.[1] P. Rainey et al., Nature 425, 72 (2003).[2] A. Melbinger et al., PRL 105, 178101 (2010).

  13. Biofilm feeding: Microbial colonization of food promotes the growth of a detritivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Horváthová, Terézia; Babik, Wiesław; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Feeding on plant material is common among animals, but how different animals overcome the dietary deficiencies imposed by this feeding strategy is not well understood. Microorganisms are generally considered to play a vital role in the nutritional ecology of plant feeding animals. Commonly microbes living inside animal bodies are considered more important, but recent studies suggest external microbes significantly shape plant-feeding strategies in invertebrates. Here we investigate how external microbes that typically form biofilm on primary plant material affect growth rates in a terrestrial isopod species Porcellio scaber. We experimentally manipulated the amount of biofilm on three different primary diet sources and quantified growth and survival of individuals that fed on food with either a small or large amount of biofilm. In addition, we tested how dietary manipulation shapes the composition of bacterial communities in the gut. The presence of visible biofilm significantly affected the growth of isopods: individuals that fed on the primary diet source with a large amount of biofilm gained more mass than individuals feeding on a diet with marginal biofilm. Diet also significantly affected the bacterial gut community. The primary diet source mainly determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterial community in the isopod gut, whereas the amount of biofilm affected the relative abundance of bacterial taxa. Our study suggests that terrestrial isopods may cope with low-quality plant matter by feeding on biofilm, with decomposition of plant material by organisms outside of the feeding organism (here a terrestrial isopod) probably playing a major role. Future investigations may be directed towards the primary diet source, plant matter, and the secondary diet source, biofilm, and should assess if both components are indeed uptaken in detritivorous species. PMID:27110187

  14. Biofilm feeding: Microbial colonization of food promotes the growth of a detritivorous arthropod

    PubMed Central

    Horváthová, Terézia; Babik, Wiesław; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Feeding on plant material is common among animals, but how different animals overcome the dietary deficiencies imposed by this feeding strategy is not well understood. Microorganisms are generally considered to play a vital role in the nutritional ecology of plant feeding animals. Commonly microbes living inside animal bodies are considered more important, but recent studies suggest external microbes significantly shape plant-feeding strategies in invertebrates. Here we investigate how external microbes that typically form biofilm on primary plant material affect growth rates in a terrestrial isopod species Porcellio scaber. We experimentally manipulated the amount of biofilm on three different primary diet sources and quantified growth and survival of individuals that fed on food with either a small or large amount of biofilm. In addition, we tested how dietary manipulation shapes the composition of bacterial communities in the gut. The presence of visible biofilm significantly affected the growth of isopods: individuals that fed on the primary diet source with a large amount of biofilm gained more mass than individuals feeding on a diet with marginal biofilm. Diet also significantly affected the bacterial gut community. The primary diet source mainly determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterial community in the isopod gut, whereas the amount of biofilm affected the relative abundance of bacterial taxa. Our study suggests that terrestrial isopods may cope with low-quality plant matter by feeding on biofilm, with decomposition of plant material by organisms outside of the feeding organism (here a terrestrial isopod) probably playing a major role. Future investigations may be directed towards the primary diet source, plant matter, and the secondary diet source, biofilm, and should assess if both components are indeed uptaken in detritivorous species. PMID:27110187

  15. Spatial distributions of copper in microbial biofilms by scanning electrochemical microscopy.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhiqiang; Jin, Jing; Abruña, Héctor D; Houston, Paul L; Hay, Anthony G; Ghiorse, William C; Shuler, Michael L; Hidalgo, Gabriela; Lion, Leonard W

    2007-02-01

    The spatial distribution of Cu was determined in Escherichia coli PHL628 biofilms using a scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM) consisting of a microelectrode in conjunction with a piezoelectric micropositioning system. Aqueous labile copper species were determined using voltametric stripping after reductive deposition of Cu for 4 min on the microelectrode at -0.7 V (vs Ag/AgCl). The position of the bulk solution-biofilm interface was determined from the change in current produced by 0.4 mM hydroxymethyl ferrocene that was added as a redox indicator. After a 2 h exposure to 0.2 mM copper, Cu was located in the upper region of the biofilm with a penetration depth less than 150 microm. A one-dimensional diffusive transport model adequately described the spatial distribution of copper in the biofilm, but the Cu retardation factor in the biofilm was more than 6-fold larger than that calculated from the isotherm for Cu binding to suspensions of E. coli PHL628 cells. There are several possible reasons for this difference, including an increase in the amount of extracellular polymer per cell within the biofilm and/or tortuosity that might hinder Cu transport into biofilms. The SECM technique in combination with model calculations provides direct evidence in support of the concept that formation of a biofilm may confer resistance to transient spikes in the bulk solution concentration of toxic metal species by retarding metal diffusion and reducing the metal exposure of cells within the biofilm. PMID:17328206

  16. Life cycle assessment of high-rate anaerobic treatment, microbial fuel cells, and microbial electrolysis cells.

    PubMed

    Foley, Jeffrey M; Rozendal, René A; Hertle, Christopher K; Lant, Paul A; Rabaey, Korneel

    2010-05-01

    Existing wastewater treatment options are generally perceived as energy intensive and environmentally unfriendly. Much attention has been focused on two new approaches in the past years, (i) microbial fuel cells and (ii) microbial electrolysis cells, which directly generate electrical current or chemical products, respectively, during wastewater treatment. These systems are commonly denominated as bioelectrochemical systems, and a multitude of claims have been made in the past regarding the environmental impact of these treatment options. However, an in-depth study backing these claims has not been performed. Here, we have conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) to compare the environmental impact of three industrial wastewater treatment options, (i) anaerobic treatment with biogas generation, (ii) a microbial fuel cell treatment, with direct electricity generation, and (iii) a microbial electrolysis cell, with hydrogen peroxide production. Our analysis showed that a microbial fuel cell does not provide a significant environmental benefit relative to the "conventional" anaerobic treatment option. However, a microbial electrolysis cell provides significant environmental benefits through the displacement of chemical production by conventional means. Provided that the target conversion level of 1000 A.m(-3) can be met, the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmentally harmful emissions (e.g., aromatic hydrocarbons) of the microbial electrolysis cell will be a key driver for the development of an industrial standard for this technology. Evidently, this assessment is highly dependent on the underlying assumptions, such as the used reactor materials and target performance. This provides a challenge and an opportunity for researchers in the field to select and develop appropriate and environmentally benign materials of construction, as well as demonstrate the required 1000 A.m(-3) performance at pilot and full scale. PMID:20356090

  17. Disruption of Microbial Biofilms by an Extracellular Protein Isolated from Epibiotic Tropical Marine Strain of Bacillus licheniformis

    PubMed Central

    Dusane, Devendra H.; Damare, Samir R.; Nancharaiah, Yarlagadda V.; Ramaiah, N.; Venugopalan, Vayalam P.; Kumar, Ameeta Ravi; Zinjarde, Smita S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Marine epibiotic bacteria produce bioactive compounds effective against microbial biofilms. The study examines antibiofilm ability of a protein obtained from a tropical marine strain of Bacillus licheniformis D1. Methodology/Principal Findings B. licheniformis strain D1 isolated from the surface of green mussel, Perna viridis showed antimicrobial activity against pathogenic Candida albicans BH, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and biofouling Bacillus pumilus TiO1 cultures. The antimicrobial activity was lost after treatment with trypsin and proteinase K. The protein was purified by ultrafiltration and size-exclusion chromatography. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) analysis revealed the antimicrobial agent to be a 14 kDa protein designated as BL-DZ1. The protein was stable at 75°C for 30 min and over a pH range of 3.0 to 11.0. The sequence alignment of the MALDI-fingerprint showed homology with the NCBI entry for a hypothetical protein (BL00275) derived from B. licheniformis ATCC 14580 with the accession number gi52082584. The protein showed minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 1.6 µg/ml against C. albicans. Against both P. aeruginosa and B. pumilus the MIC was 3.12 µg/ml. The protein inhibited microbial growth, decreased biofilm formation and dispersed pre-formed biofilms of the representative cultures in polystyrene microtiter plates and on glass surfaces. Conclusion/Significance We isolated a protein from a tropical marine strain of B. licheniformis, assigned a function to the hypothetical protein entry in the NCBI database and described its application as a potential antibiofilm agent. PMID:23691235

  18. Inhibitory effects of Lactobacillus fermentum on microbial growth and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Rybalchenko, Oxana V; Bondarenko, Viktor M; Orlova, Olga G; Markov, Alexander G; Amasheh, S

    2015-10-01

    Beneficial effects of Lactobacilli have been reported, and lactic bacteria are employed for conservation of foods. Therefore, the effects of a Lactobacillus fermentum strain were analyzed regarding inhibitory effects on staphylococci, Candida albicans and enterotoxigenic enterobacteria by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM of bacterial biofilms was performed using cocultures of bacteriocin-producing L. fermentum 97 with different enterotoxigenic strains: Staphylococcus epidermidis expressing the ica gene responsible for biofilm formation, Staphylococcus aureus producing enterotoxin type A, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloaceae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Proteus mirabilis producing thermolabile and thermostable enterotoxins determined by elt or est genes, and Candida albicans. L. fermentum 97 changed morphological features and suppressed biofilm formation of staphylococci, enterotoxigenic enterobacteria and Candida albicans; a marked transition to resting states, a degradation of the cell walls and cytoplasm, and a disruption of mature bacterial biofilms were observed, the latter indicating efficiency even in the phase of higher cell density. PMID:26267163

  19. Microbial biofilm detection on food contact surfaces by macro-scale fluorescence imaging

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hyperspectral fluorescence imaging methods were utilized to evaluate the potential of multispectral fluorescence methods for detection of pathogenic biofilm formations on four types of food contact surface materials: stainless steel, high density polyethylene (HDPE) commonly used for cutting boards,...

  20. Microbial Life and Shock Compression - Life or Death?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burchell, Mark

    2005-07-01

    Extreme shock compressions represent a threat to organisms that inhabit planetary surfaces such as rocks. For example, a giant impact on a planetary surface can sterilise the surrounding region by passage of the resulting shock wave. Modelling of the limit of the zone of lethality depends on a knowledge of the response of micro-organisms to extreme shock. Similarly high speed ejecta can be launched into space from an impact site and may carry viable micro-organisms if they can survive the shock of the launch. Or potentially a rocky body arriving from space may introduce life to the Earth, provided the putative organisms can survive the shock of the impact (amongst other hazards). The results of a variety of laboratory experiments on shock compression of micro-organisms will be presented and discussed (with some data from the author and some from the literature). Some of the experiments involved firing spore and microbe laden projectiles at speeds of up to 6 or 7 km s-1 into a variety of targets. Other experiments used flying plate techniques to subject layers of spores to extreme shocks. The conclusion is that micro-organisms can survive extreme shock pressures (10's of GPa) in short duration events, albeit with a very small, but measurable, survival rate. These pressures cover the range likely to be found in giant impacts from space for example.

  1. On microbial contaminants, micropseudofossils, and the oldest records of life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloud, P.; Morrison, K.

    1979-01-01

    Microbial contaminants may be introduced on outcrop as well as en route to or in the laboratory. Micropseudofossils may be natural or man-made. It is possible to recognize such misleading objects and important that they are not allowed to dilute the growing record of authentic pre-Phanerozoic life. Filamentous microbial contaminants from minute cracks in samples of ancient carbonate rocks from Brazil (perhaps 1 Ga old) and South Africa (???2.3 Ga old) are similar to occurrences previously described as fossils. Published records of supposedly Archean microbial life also include microcontaminants and laboratory artifacts. Although microstructures from sedimentary rocks of the Swaziland system could be fossils, they are not demonstrably so. The oldest structurally preserved fossils yet known seem to be the filaments described by Lois Nagy from stromatolitic limestone in the ???2.3 Ga old Malmani Dolomite of South Africa. It will be difficult to establish unequivocal older records in the absence of definitive ultrastructural or micro-chemical evidence. ?? 1979.

  2. Uranium removal and microbial community in a H2-based membrane biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chen; Ontiveros-Valencia, Aura; Cornette de Saint Cyr, Louis; Zevin, Alexander S; Carey, Sara E; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2014-11-01

    We evaluated a hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) for its capacity to reduce and remove hexavalent uranium [U(VI)] from water. After a startup period that allowed slow-growing U(VI) reducers to form biofilms, the MBfR successfully achieved and maintained 94-95% U(VI) removal over 8 months when the U surface loading was 6-11 e(-) mEq/m(2)-day. The MBfR biofilm was capable of self-recovery after a disturbance due to oxygen exposure. Nanocrystalline UO2 aggregates and amorphous U precipitates were associated with vegetative cells and apparently mature spores that accumulated in the biofilm matrix. Despite inoculation with a concentrated suspension of Desulfovibrio vulgaris, this bacterium was not present in the U(VI)-reducing biofilm. Instead, the most abundant group in the biofilm community contained U(VI) reducers in the Rhodocyclaceae family when U(VI) was the only electron acceptor. When sulfate was present, the community dramatically shifted to the Clostridiaceae family, which included spores that were potentially involved in U(VI) reduction. PMID:25073000

  3. Unravelling the interactions among microbial populations found in activated sludge during biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Liébana, Raquel; Arregui, Lucía; Santos, Antonio; Murciano, Antonio; Marquina, Domingo; Serrano, Susana

    2016-09-01

    Microorganisms colonize surfaces and develop biofilms through interactions that are not yet thoroughly understood, with important implications for water and wastewater systems. This study investigated the interactions between N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL)-producing bacteria, yeasts and protists, and their contribution to biofilm development. Sixty-one bacterial strains were isolated from activated sludge and screened for AHL production, with Aeromonas sp. found to be the dominant AHL producer. Shewanella xiamenensis, Aeromonas allosaccharophila, Acinetobacter junii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa recorded the highest adherence capabilities, with S. xiamenensis being the most effective in surface colonization. Additionally, highly significant interactions (i.e. synergic or antagonistic) were described for dual and multistrain mixtures of bacterial strains (P. aeruginosa, S. xiamenensis, A. junii and Pseudomonas stutzeri), as well as for strongly adherent bacteria co-cultured with yeasts. In this last case, the adhered biomass in co-cultures was lower than the monospecific biofilms of bacteria and yeast, with biofilm observations by microscopy suggesting that bacteria had an antagonist effect on the whole or part of the yeast population. Finally, protist predation by Euplotes sp. and Paramecium sp. on Aeromonas hydrophila biofilms not only failed to reduce biofilm formation, but also recorded unexpected results leading to the development of aggregates of high density and complexity. PMID:27306553

  4. Bidirectional microbial electron transfer: Switching an acetate oxidizing biofilm to nitrate reducing conditions.

    PubMed

    Pous, Narcís; Carmona-Martínez, Alessandro A; Vilajeliu-Pons, Anna; Fiset, Erika; Bañeras, Lluis; Trably, Eric; Balaguer, M Dolors; Colprim, Jesús; Bernet, Nicolas; Puig, Sebastià

    2016-01-15

    Up to date a few electroactive bacteria embedded in biofilms are described to catalyze both anodic and cathodic reactions in bioelectrochemical systems (i.e. bidirectional electron transfer). How these bacteria transfer electrons to or from the electrode is still uncertain. In this study the extracellular electron transfer mechanism of bacteria within an electroactive biofilm was investigated by using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). First, a mature anodic electroactive biofilm was developed from an activated sludge sample (inoculum), acetate as electron donor and a poised electrode (+397mV vs. SHE). Later, this biofilm was "switched" to biocathodic conditions by feeding it with a medium containing nitrates and poising the electrode at -303mV vs. SHE. The electrochemical characterization indicated that both, acetate oxidation and nitrate reduction took place at a similar formal potential of -175±05 and -175±34mV vs. SHE, respectively. The biofilm was predominantly composed by Geobacter sp. at both experimental conditions. Taken together, the results indicated that both processes could be catalyzed by using the same electron conduit, and most likely by the same bacterial consortium. Hence, this study suggests that electroactive bacteria within biofilms could use the same electron transfer conduit for catalyzing anodic and cathodic reactions. PMID:26339932

  5. Aggregation and removal of copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles in wastewater environment and their effects on the microbial activities of wastewater biofilms.

    PubMed

    Miao, Lingzhan; Wang, Chao; Hou, Jun; Wang, Peifang; Ao, Yanhui; Li, Yi; Geng, Nan; Yao, Yu; Lv, Bowen; Yang, Yangyang; You, Guoxiang; Xu, Yi

    2016-09-01

    The transport behaviors of copper oxide (CuO) NPs in wastewater matrix and their possible impacts on microbial activities of stable wastewater biofilms cultivated in a lab scale rotating biological contactor (RBC) were investigated. Significant aggregation of CuO NPs was observed in the wastewater samples, depending on their mass concentrations. Extracellular polymeric substance (EPS)-adsorbed copper accounted for a large proportion of the total copper accumulated in biofilms. The microelectrode profiles showed that a single pulse exposure to 50mg/L CuO resulted in a deeper penetration depth of oxygen in biofilms compared to the CuO NP free biofilms. The maximum oxygen consumption rate shifted to the deeper parts of biofilms, indicating that the respiration activities of bacteria in the top region of the biofilms was significantly inhibited by CuO NPs. Biofilms secreted more EPS in response to the nano-CuO stress, with higher production of proteins compared to polysaccharides. PMID:27281432

  6. Microbial Community Structure and Physiological Status of Different Types of Biofilms in an Acid Mine Drainage Site Determined by Phospholipid Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, J.

    2009-12-01

    A unique aspect of the acid mine drainage (AMD) system at the Green Valley coal mine site (GVS) in western Indiana is the abundance of biofims and biolaminates - stromatolites. Three major types of biofilms have been observed from the AMD site: bright green biofilm dominated by the acidophilic, oxygenic photosynthetic protozoan Euglena mutabilis, olive green biofilm of photosynthetic diatom belonging to the genus Nitzschia, and an olive-green to brownish-green filamentous algae-dominated community. These biofilms are either attached to hard substrata of the effluent channel, or floating at the surface of the effluent with abundant oxygen bubbles, with or without encrusted Fe precipitates. We analyzed lipids (hydrocarbons, wax esters, phospholipids, glycolipids, and neutral lipids) to determine the microbial biomass, community structure and physiological status of biofims collected from the GVS site. Distinctive lipid compositions were observed. The attached, red-crusted biofilms were characterized by abundant wax esters, monounsaturated fatty acids, whereas the floating biofilms by phytadienes, phytanol, polyunsaturated n-alkenes, polyunsaturated fatty acids. The accumulation of abundant wax esters probably reflects the readily available carbon and limitation of nutrients to the biofilm. Alternatively, the wax esters may be the biochemical relics of the anaerobic past of the Earth and the detection of these compounds has important implications for the evolution of eukaryotes and the paleo-environmental conditions on early Earth. This type of biochemical machine may have allowed early eukaryotes to survive recurrent anoxic conditions on early Earth.

  7. Focus on the physics of biofilms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecuyer, Sigolene; Stocker, Roman; Rusconi, Roberto

    2015-03-01

    Bacteria are the smallest and most abundant form of life. They have traditionally been considered as primarily planktonic organisms, swimming or floating in a liquid medium, and this view has shaped many of the approaches to microbial processes, including for example the design of most antibiotics. However, over the last few decades it has become clear that many bacteria often adopt a sessile, surface-associated lifestyle, forming complex multicellular communities called biofilms. Bacterial biofilms are found in a vast range of environments and have major consequences on human health and industrial processes, from biofouling of surfaces to the spread of diseases. Although the study of biofilms has been biologists’ territory for a long time, a multitude of phenomena in the formation and development of biofilms hinges on physical processes. We are pleased to present a collection of research papers that discuss some of the latest developments in many of the areas to which physicists can contribute a deeper understanding of biofilms, both experimentally and theoretically. The topics covered range from the influence of physical environmental parameters on cell attachment and subsequent biofilm growth, to the use of local probes and imaging techniques to investigate biofilm structure, to the development of biofilms in complex environments and the modeling of colony morphogenesis. The results presented contribute to addressing some of the major challenges in microbiology today, including the prevention of surface contamination, the optimization of biofilm disruption methods and the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments.

  8. Biofilm-based central line-associated bloodstream infections.

    PubMed

    Yousif, Ammar; Jamal, Mohamed A; Raad, Issam

    2015-01-01

    Different types of central venous catheters (CVCs) have been used in clinical practice to improve the quality of life of chronically and critically ill patients. Unfortunately, indwelling devices are usually associated with microbial biofilms and eventually lead to catheter-related bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).An estimated 250,000-400,000 CLABSIs occur every year in the United States, at a rate of 1.5 per 1,000 CVC days and a mortality rate of 12-25 %. The annual cost of caring for patients with CLABSIs ranges from 296 million to 2.3 billion dollars.Biofilm formation occurs on biotic and abiotic surfaces in the clinical setting. Extensive studies have been conducted to understand biofilm formation, including different biofilm developmental stages, biofilm matrix compositions, quorum-sensing regulated biofilm formation, biofilm dispersal (and its clinical implications), and multi-species biofilms that are relevant to polymicrobial infections.When microbes form a matured biofilm within human hosts through medical devices such as CVCs, the infection becomes resistant to antibiotic treatment and can develop into a chronic condition. For that reason, many techniques have been used to prevent the formation of biofilm by targeting different stages of biofilm maturation. Other methods have been used to diagnose and treat established cases of CLABSI.Catheter removal is the conventional management of catheter associated bacteremia; however, the procedure itself carries a relatively high risk of mechanical complications. Salvaging the catheter can help to minimize these complications.In this article, we provide an overview of microbial biofilm formation; describe the involvement of various genetic determinants, adhesion proteins, organelles, mechanism(s) of biofilm formation, polymicrobial infections, and biofilm-associated infections on indwelling intravascular catheters; and describe the diagnosis, management, and prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infections

  9. How do changes in dissolved oxygen concentration influence microbially-controlled phosphorus cycling in stream biofilms?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saia, S. M.; Locke, N. A.; Regan, J. M.; Carrick, H. J.; Buda, A. R.; Walter, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Advances in molecular microbiology techniques (e.g. epi-fluorescent microscopy and PCR) are making it easier to study the influence of specific microorganisms on nutrient transport. Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) are commonly used in wastewater treatment plants to remove excess phosphorus (P) from effluent water. PAOs have also been identified in natural settings but their ecological function is not well known. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that PAOs in natural environments would release and accumulate P during anaerobic and aerobic conditions, respectively. We placed stream biofilms in sealed, covered tubs and subjected them to alternating air (aerobic conditions) and N2 gas (anaerobic condition) bubbling for 12 hours each. Four treatments investigated the influence of changing dissolved oxygen on micribially-controlled P cycling: (1) biofilms bubbled continuously with air, (2) biofilms bubbled alternatively with air and N2, (3) biocide treated biofilms bubbled continuously with air, and (4) biocide treated biofilms bubbled alternatively with air and N2. Treatments 3 and 4 serve as abiotic controls to treatments 1 and 2. We analyzed samples every 12 hours for soluble reactive P (SRP), temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH. We also used fluorescent microscopy (i.e. DAPI staining) and PCR to verify the presence of PAOs in the stream biofilms. SRP results over the course of the experiment support our hypothesis that anaerobic and aerobic stream conditions may impact PAO mediated P release and uptake, respectively in natural environments. The results of these experiments draw attention to the importance of microbiological controls on P mobility in freshwater ecosystems.

  10. 3D Imaging of Microbial Biofilms: Integration of Synchrotron Imaging and an Interactive Visualization Interface

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Mathew; Marshall, Matthew J.; Miller, Erin A.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Kleese van Dam, Kerstin; Carson, James P.

    2014-08-26

    Understanding the interactions of structured communities known as “biofilms” and other complex matrixes is possible through the X-ray micro tomography imaging of the biofilms. Feature detection and image processing for this type of data focuses on efficiently identifying and segmenting biofilms and bacteria in the datasets. The datasets are very large and often require manual interventions due to low contrast between objects and high noise levels. Thus new software is required for the effectual interpretation and analysis of the data. This work specifies the evolution and application of the ability to analyze and visualize high resolution X-ray micro tomography datasets.

  11. Biofilm establishment and heavy metal removal capacity of an indigenous mining algal-microbial consortium in a photo-rotating biological contactor.

    PubMed

    Orandi, S; Lewis, D M; Moheimani, N R

    2012-09-01

    An indigenous mining algal-microbial consortium was immobilised within a laboratory-scale photo-rotating biological contactor (PRBC) that was used to investigate the potential for heavy metal removal from acid mine drainage (AMD). The microbial consortium, dominated by Ulothrix sp., was collected from the AMD at the Sar Cheshmeh copper mine in Iran. This paper discusses the parameters required to establish an algal-microbial biofilm used for heavy metal removal, including nutrient requirements and rotational speed. The PRBC was tested using synthesised AMD with the multi-ion and acidic composition of wastewater (containing 18 elements, and with a pH of 3.5 ± 0.5), from which the microbial consortium was collected. The biofilm was successfully developed on the PRBC's disc consortium over 60 days of batch-mode operation. The PRBC was then run continuously with a 24 h hydraulic residence time (HRT) over a ten-week period. Water analysis, performed on a weekly basis, demonstrated the ability of the algal-microbial biofilm to remove 20-50 % of the various metals in the order Cu > Ni > Mn > Zn > Sb > Se > Co > Al. These results clearly indicate the significant potential for indigenous AMD microorganisms to be exploited within a PRBC for AMD treatment. PMID:22644382

  12. Microsensor Measurements of Sulfate Reduction and Sulfide Oxidation in Compact Microbial Communities of Aerobic Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Kühl, Michael; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    1992-01-01

    The microzonation of O2 respiration, H2S oxidation, and SO42- reduction in aerobic trickling-filter biofilms was studied by measuring concentration profiles at high spatial resolution (25 to 100 μm) with microsensors for O2, S2-, and pH. Specific reaction rates were calculated from measured concentration profiles by using a simple one-dimensional diffusion reaction model. The importance of electron acceptor and electron donor availability for the microzonation of respiratory processes and their reaction rates was investigated. Oxygen respiration was found in the upper 0.2 to 0.4 mm of the biofilm, whereas sulfate reduction occurred in deeper, anoxic parts of the biofilm. Sulfate reduction accounted for up to 50% of the total mineralization of organic carbon in the biofilms. All H2S produced from sulfate reduction was reoxidized by O2 in a narrow reaction zone, and no H2S escaped to the overlying water. Turnover times of H2S and O2 in the reaction zone were only a few seconds owing to rapid bacterial H2S oxidation. Anaerobic H2S oxidation with NO3- could be induced by addition of nitrate to the medium. Total sulfate reduction rates increased when the availability of SO42- or organic substrate increased as a result of deepening of the sulfate reduction zone or an increase in the sulfate reduction intensity, respectively. PMID:16348687

  13. Bovine mastitis disease/pathogenicity: evidence of the potential role of microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Fernanda; Saavedra, Maria José; Henriques, Mariana

    2016-04-01

    Bovine mastitis (BM) is a disease with high incidence worldwide and one of the most relevant bovine pathologies and the most costly to the dairy industry. BM is an inflammation of the udder and represents one of the most difficult veterinary diseases to control. Biofilm formation is considered a selective advantage for pathogens causing mastitis, facilitating bacterial persistence in the udder. In fact, recently some authors drew attention to the biofilm formation ability presented by several mastitis causing pathogens and to its possible relation with recurrent mastitis infections and with the increased resistance to antimicrobial agents and host immune defence system. Actually, up to now, several researchers reported the potential role of cells in this mode of growth in the previous facts mentioned. As a consequence of the presence of biofilms, the infection here focused is more difficult to treat and eradicate, making this problem a more relevant pressing issue. Thus, we believe that a deeper knowledge of these structures in mastitis can help to determine the best control strategy to be used in veterinary practice in order to reduce losses in the dairy industry and to ensure milk safety and quality. The aim of this paper was to review the existing research and consequently to provide an overview of the role of biofilms in BM infections. PMID:26772653

  14. Stabilization of Plutonium in Subsursface Environments via Microbial Reduction and Biofilm Formation

    SciTech Connect

    Holden, Patricia

    2006-06-01

    Our work is towards mechanistically understanding interactions of unsaturated bacterial biofilms and their extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) with actinide metals and metal surrogates under vadose zone conditions. Because metal contaminants in the vadose zone co-occur with organic pollutants, some of our work has included experiments with organic pollutants.

  15. Stabilization of Plutonium in Subsursface Environments via Microbial Reduction and Biofilm Formation

    SciTech Connect

    Holden, Patricia; Neu, Mary P.

    2005-06-01

    Our work is towards mechanistically understanding interactions of unsaturated bacterial biofilms and their extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) with actinide metals and metal surrogates under vadose zone conditions. Because metal contaminants in the vadose zone co-occur with organic pollutants, some of our work has included experiments with organic pollutants.

  16. ADAPTATION OF SUBSURFACE MICROBIAL BIOFILM COMMUNITIES IN RESPONSE TO CHEMICAL STRESSORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The impact of this work will help improve our understanding of how subsurface biofilm communities respond to chemical stressors that are likely to be present at hazardous waste sites. Ultimately, these results can be used to determine more effective ways to insure proper envir...

  17. Detection of microbial biofilms on food processing surfaces: Hyperspectral fluorescence imaging study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We used a portable hyperspectral fluorescence imaging system to evaluate biofilm formations on four types of food processing surface materials including stainless steel, polypropylene used for cutting boards, and household counter top materials such as formica and granite. The objective of this inve...

  18. Purification of high ammonia wastewater in a biofilm airlift loop bioreactor with microbial communities analysis.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Dandan; Sun, Liping; Wen, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    A 70 m(3) gas-liquid-solid three-phase flow airlift loop bioreactor, in which biofilm attached on granular active carbon carriers, was used for purification of the high ammonia wastewater from bioethanol production. Under the optimum operating conditions, COD and NH4 (+)-N average removal rate of 89.0 and 98.6 % were obtained at hydraulic retention time of 10 h. Scanning electron microscopy was applied for observation of the biofilm formation. High contaminants removal efficiency was achieved by holding high biomass concentration in the reactor due to the attached biofilm over the carriers. The 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis indicated that 68.6 % of the clones were affiliated with the two phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, and residual clones clustered with various sequences from uncultured bacteria. The presence of various anoxic/anaerobic bacteria indicated that the oxygen gradient inside the biofilm could provide appropriate micro-environment for nitrogen removal through simultaneous nitrification and denitrification. PMID:25344088

  19. Effect of different disinfection protocols on microbial and biofilm contamination of dental unit waterlines in community dental practices.

    PubMed

    Dallolio, Laura; Scuderi, Amalia; Rini, Maria S; Valente, Sabrina; Farruggia, Patrizia; Sabattini, Maria A Bucci; Pasquinelli, Gianandrea; Acacci, Anna; Roncarati, Greta; Leoni, Erica

    2014-02-01

    Output water from dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) may be a potential source of infection for both dental healthcare staff and patients. This study compared the efficacy of different disinfection methods with regard to the water quality and the presence of biofilm in DUWLs. Five dental units operating in a public dental health care setting were selected. The control dental unit had no disinfection system; two were disinfected intermittently with peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide 0.26% and two underwent continuous disinfection with hydrogen peroxide/silver ions (0.02%) and stabilized chlorine dioxide (0.22%), respectively. After three months of applying the disinfection protocols, continuous disinfection systems were more effective than intermittent systems in reducing the microbial contamination of the water, allowing compliance with the CDC guidelines and the European Council regulatory thresholds for drinking water. P. aeruginosa, Legionella spp, sulphite-reducing Clostridium spores, S. aureus and β-haemolytic streptococci were also absent from units treated with continuous disinfection. The biofilm covering the DUWLs was more extensive, thicker and more friable in the intermittent disinfection dental units than in those with continuous disinfection. Overall, the findings showed that the products used for continuous disinfection of dental unit waterlines showed statistically better results than the intermittent treatment products under the study conditions. PMID:24552789

  20. Effect of Different Disinfection Protocols on Microbial and Biofilm Contamination of Dental Unit Waterlines in Community Dental Practices

    PubMed Central

    Dallolio, Laura; Scuderi, Amalia; Rini, Maria S.; Valente, Sabrina; Farruggia, Patrizia; Bucci Sabattini, Maria A.; Pasquinelli, Gianandrea; Acacci, Anna; Roncarati, Greta; Leoni, Erica

    2014-01-01

    Output water from dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) may be a potential source of infection for both dental healthcare staff and patients. This study compared the efficacy of different disinfection methods with regard to the water quality and the presence of biofilm in DUWLs. Five dental units operating in a public dental health care setting were selected. The control dental unit had no disinfection system; two were disinfected intermittently with peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide 0.26% and two underwent continuous disinfection with hydrogen peroxide/silver ions (0.02%) and stabilized chlorine dioxide (0.22%), respectively. After three months of applying the disinfection protocols, continuous disinfection systems were more effective than intermittent systems in reducing the microbial contamination of the water, allowing compliance with the CDC guidelines and the European Council regulatory thresholds for drinking water. P. aeruginosa, Legionella spp, sulphite-reducing Clostridium spores, S. aureus and β-haemolytic streptococci were also absent from units treated with continuous disinfection. The biofilm covering the DUWLs was more extensive, thicker and more friable in the intermittent disinfection dental units than in those with continuous disinfection. Overall, the findings showed that the products used for continuous disinfection of dental unit waterlines showed statistically better results than the intermittent treatment products under the study conditions. PMID:24552789

  1. Electrochemical response of a biofilm community to changes in electron-acceptor redox potential elucidated using microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arbour, T.; Wrighton, K. C.; Mullin, S. W.; Luef, B.; Gilbert, B.; Banfield, J. F.

    2012-12-01

    Currently, we have limited insight into how mineral properties affect dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria (DMRB) or the microbial communities that contain them. Advances in our understanding of DMRB metabolism have been achieved using microbial fuel cells (MFCs), which exploit the ability of these organisms to transfer electrons extracellularly. By replacing the mineral electron acceptor with a conductive electrode under potentiostat control, the activity of microorganisms capable of interfacial electron transfer can be quantified by the current flowing through the electrode and related to the thermodynamics of respiration. We seek to understand how communities and their individual members respond to changes in mineralogy, and expect mineral redox potential to be a primary control. The ability to precisely control the redox potential of the electron-accepting anodic electrode is our primary motivation for using MFCs. We inoculated duplicate MFCs containing 10 mM acetate in phosphate buffered media with a slurry of subsurface sediment and groundwater obtained from the Integrated Field-Scale Research Challenge Site at Rifle, CO. Electroactive biofilms were established on graphite anodes poised at a favorable potential (0.0 V vs. SHE) before poising at -0.2 V—a potential representative of natural iron reduction. The current was stable across both anodes over more than 100 days of operation, and the percentage of the electrons in acetate recovered as current ("Coulombic efficiency") was typically 70 to >90%. Current density reached 0.4 A/m2 at -0.2 V, to a max of over 1.0 A/m2 at or above ~0.0 V (based on geometric electrode surface area). Media exchanges and biofilm cyclic voltammetry (CV) experiments indicate that electrode-attached microbial communities were responsible for primary electron transfer. Cryo-electron and confocal fluorescence microscopies of the biofilm reveal numerous morphologies of viable microorganisms that are currently being characterized

  2. Spatially Oscillating Activity and Microbial Succession of Mercury-Reducing Biofilms in a Technical-Scale Bioremediation System

    PubMed Central

    von Canstein, Harald; Li, Ying; Leonhäuser, Johannes; Haase, Elke; Felske, Andreas; Deckwer, Wolf-Dieter; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2002-01-01

    Mercury-contaminated chemical wastewater of a mercury cell chloralkali plant was cleaned on site by a technical-scale bioremediation system. Microbial mercury reduction of soluble Hg(II) to precipitating Hg(0) decreased the mercury load of the wastewater during its flow through the bioremediation system by up to 99%. The system consisted of a packed-bed bioreactor, where most of the wastewater's mercury load was retained, and an activated carbon filter, where residual mercury was removed from the bioreactor effluent by both physical adsorption and biological reduction. In response to the oscillation of the mercury concentration in the bioreactor inflow, the zone of maximum mercury reduction oscillated regularly between the lower and the upper bioreactor horizons or the carbon filter. At low mercury concentrations, maximum mercury reduction occurred near the inflow at the bottom of the bioreactor. At high concentrations, the zone of maximum activity moved to the upper horizons. The composition of the bioreactor and carbon filter biofilms was investigated by 16S-23S ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer polymorphism analysis. Analysis of spatial biofilm variation showed an increasing microbial diversity along a gradient of decreasing mercury concentrations. Temporal analysis of the bioreactor community revealed a stable abundance of two prevalent strains and a succession of several invading mercury-resistant strains which was driven by the selection pressure of high mercury concentrations. In the activated carbon filter, a lower selection pressure permitted a steady increase in diversity during 240 days of operation and the establishment of one mercury-sensitive invader. PMID:11916716

  3. A life detection problem in a High Arctic microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, J. D.; Perreault, N. N.; Niederberger, T. D.; Lichten, C.; Whyte, L. G.; Nadeau, J. L.

    2010-03-01

    Fluorescent labeling of bacterial cell walls, DNA, and metabolic processes demonstrates high (potentially single molecule) sensitivity, is non-invasive, and in some cases can differentiate strains and species. Robust microscopes such as the custom instruments presented here can provide good image quality in the field and are potentially suitable for flight. However, ambiguous or false-positive results with bacterial stains can occur and can create difficulties in interpretation even on Earth. We present a "real" life detection problem in a sample of biofilms taken from the Canadian High Arctic. The samples consisted of numerous small sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and larger structures resembling fungi or diatoms. The identity of these latter structures remained ambiguous until electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy were performed, indicating that they were unusual sulfur minerals probably precipitated by the bacterial communities. While such mineral structures may possibly serve as biosignatures after the cells have disappeared, it is important that they not be mistaken for cells themselves. It is also possible that unusual mineral structures will be performed under extraterrestrial conditions, so great care is needed to differentiate cell structures from minerals.

  4. Microbial diversities (16S and 18S rDNA gene pyrosequencing) and environmental pathogens within drinking water biofilms grown on the common premise plumbing materials unplasticized polyvinylchloride and copper

    EPA Science Inventory

    Drinking water (DW) biofilm communities influence the survival of opportunistic pathogens, e.g. Legionella pneumophila, via parasitization of free-living amoebae such as Acanthamoebae. Yet knowledge about the microbial composition of DW biofilms developed on common in-premise pl...

  5. The pulsed light inactivation of veterinary relevant microbial biofilms and the use of a RTPCR assay to detect parasite species within biofilm structures

    PubMed Central

    Garvey, M.; Coughlan, G.; Murphy, N.; Rowan, N.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of pathogenic organisms namely parasite species and bacteria in biofilms in veterinary settings, is a public health concern in relation to human and animal exposure. Veterinary clinics represent a significant risk factor for the transfer of pathogens from housed animals to humans, especially in cases of wound infection and the shedding of faecal matter. This study aims to provide a means of detecting veterinary relevant parasite species in bacterial biofilms, and to provide a means of disinfecting these biofilms. A real time PCR assay was utilized to detect parasite DNA in Bacillus cereus biofilms on stainless steel and PVC surfaces. Results show that both Cryptosporidium and Giardia attach to biofilms in large numbers (100-1000 oo/cysts) in as little as 72 hours. Pulsed light successfully inactivated all test species (Listeria, Salmonella, Bacillus, Escherichia) in planktonic and biofilm form with an increase in inactivation for every increase in UV dose. PMID:26862516

  6. Biogeochemical signals from deep microbial life in terrestrial crust.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Yohey; Konno, Uta; Fukuda, Akari; Komatsu, Daisuke D; Hirota, Akinari; Watanabe, Katsuaki; Togo, Yoko; Morikawa, Noritoshi; Hagiwara, Hiroki; Aosai, Daisuke; Iwatsuki, Teruki; Tsunogai, Urumu; Nagao, Seiya; Ito, Kazumasa; Mizuno, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the deep subseafloor biosphere, a volumetrically vast and stable habitat for microbial life in the terrestrial crust remains poorly explored. For the long-term sustainability of a crustal biome, high-energy fluxes derived from hydrothermal circulation and water radiolysis in uranium-enriched rocks are seemingly essential. However, the crustal habitability depending on a low supply of energy is unknown. We present multi-isotopic evidence of microbially mediated sulfate reduction in a granitic aquifer, a representative of the terrestrial crust habitat. Deep meteoric groundwater was collected from underground boreholes drilled into Cretaceous Toki granite (central Japan). A large sulfur isotopic fractionation of 20-60‰ diagnostic to microbial sulfate reduction is associated with the investigated groundwater containing sulfate below 0.2 mM. In contrast, a small carbon isotopic fractionation (<30‰) is not indicative of methanogenesis. Except for 2011, the concentrations of H2 ranged mostly from 1 to 5 nM, which is also consistent with an aquifer where a terminal electron accepting process is dominantly controlled by ongoing sulfate reduction. High isotopic ratios of mantle-derived 3He relative to radiogenic 4He in groundwater and the flux of H2 along adjacent faults suggest that, in addition to low concentrations of organic matter (<70 µM), H2 from deeper sources might partly fuel metabolic activities. Our results demonstrate that the deep biosphere in the terrestrial crust is metabolically active and playing a crucial role in the formation of reducing groundwater even under low-energy fluxes. PMID:25517230

  7. Biogeochemical Signals from Deep Microbial Life in Terrestrial Crust

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, Akari; Komatsu, Daisuke D.; Hirota, Akinari; Watanabe, Katsuaki; Togo, Yoko; Morikawa, Noritoshi; Hagiwara, Hiroki; Aosai, Daisuke; Iwatsuki, Teruki; Tsunogai, Urumu; Nagao, Seiya; Ito, Kazumasa; Mizuno, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the deep subseafloor biosphere, a volumetrically vast and stable habitat for microbial life in the terrestrial crust remains poorly explored. For the long-term sustainability of a crustal biome, high-energy fluxes derived from hydrothermal circulation and water radiolysis in uranium-enriched rocks are seemingly essential. However, the crustal habitability depending on a low supply of energy is unknown. We present multi-isotopic evidence of microbially mediated sulfate reduction in a granitic aquifer, a representative of the terrestrial crust habitat. Deep meteoric groundwater was collected from underground boreholes drilled into Cretaceous Toki granite (central Japan). A large sulfur isotopic fractionation of 20–60‰ diagnostic to microbial sulfate reduction is associated with the investigated groundwater containing sulfate below 0.2 mM. In contrast, a small carbon isotopic fractionation (<30‰) is not indicative of methanogenesis. Except for 2011, the concentrations of H2 ranged mostly from 1 to 5 nM, which is also consistent with an aquifer where a terminal electron accepting process is dominantly controlled by ongoing sulfate reduction. High isotopic ratios of mantle-derived 3He relative to radiogenic 4He in groundwater and the flux of H2 along adjacent faults suggest that, in addition to low concentrations of organic matter (<70 µM), H2 from deeper sources might partly fuel metabolic activities. Our results demonstrate that the deep biosphere in the terrestrial crust is metabolically active and playing a crucial role in the formation of reducing groundwater even under low-energy fluxes. PMID:25517230

  8. Methanogenic Activity and Structural Characteristics of the Microbial Biofilm On a Needle-Punched Polyester Support

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Martin; Forsberg, Cecil W.; Beveridge, Terry J.; Pos, Jack; Ogilvie, John R.

    1984-01-01

    In a downflow stationary fixed-film anaerobic reactor receiving a swine waste influent, few bacteria were observed to be tightly adherent to the surfaces of the needle-punched polyester support material. However, there was a morphologically complex, dense population of bacteria trapped within the matrix. Frequently large microcolonies of a uniform morphological type of bacteria were observed. These were particularly evident for methanosarcina-like bacteria which grew forming large aggregates of unseparated cells. Leafy deposits of electron-dense, calcium- and phosphorus-enriched material coated the polyester matrix and some cells. As the biofilm matured there was more extensive mineral deposition which completely entrapped cells. The entrapped cells appeared to autolyze, and many were partially degraded. Further impregnation of the matrix with minerals and apparent cell death may eventually have a deleterious effect on the methanogenic activity of the biofilm. Images PMID:16346629

  9. Comparison of the microbial composition of voice prosthesis biofilms from patients requiring frequent versus infrequent replacement.

    PubMed

    Elving, G Jolanda; van der Mei, Henny C; Busscher, Henk J; van Weissenbruch, Ranny; Albers, Frans W J

    2002-03-01

    This study was performed to establish a possible difference in biofilm composition in patients who require frequent versus infrequent prosthesis replacement. Only Groningen button voice prostheses that were removed because of increased airflow resistance or leakage of food or liquids through the prosthesis were considered for this study. These prostheses were selected from a total of 692 failed voice prostheses over a 2-year evaluation period. The failed voice prostheses were subdivided into a short-lifetime group, corresponding to an implantation period of less than 4 months (20 voice prostheses), and an extended-lifetime group, corresponding to an implantation period of greater than 9 months (18 voice prostheses). The biofilm was removed from the valve sides of the prostheses. The bacterial strain Rothia dentocariosa and the yeast strains Candida albicans I and Candida tropicalis were the predominant strains isolated from the biofilms on the voice prostheses in the short-lifetime group, whereas in the extended-lifetime group, R dentocariosa was found with a fourfold lower isolation frequency and C albicans I was found with a twofold lower isolation frequency. Candida tropicalis was absent from the extended-lifetime group. PMID:11915880

  10. Reproducible analyses of microbial food for advanced life support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, Gene R.

    1988-01-01

    The use of yeasts in controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS) for microbial food regeneration in space required the accurate and reproducible analysis of intracellular carbohydrate and protein levels. The reproducible analysis of glycogen was a key element in estimating overall content of edibles in candidate yeast strains. Typical analytical methods for estimating glycogen in Saccharomyces were not found to be entirely aplicable to other candidate strains. Rigorous cell lysis coupled with acid/base fractionation followed by specific enzymatic glycogen analyses were required to obtain accurate results in two strains of Candida. A profile of edible fractions of these strains was then determined. The suitability of yeasts as food sources in CELSS food production processes is discussed.

  11. Microbial mats and the early evolution of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    1990-01-01

    Microbial mats have descended from perhaps the oldest and most widespread biological communities known. Mats harbor microbes that are crucial for studies of bacterial phylogeny and physiology. They illustrate how several oxygen-sensitive biochemical processes have adapted to oxygen, and they show how life adapted to dry land long before the rise of plants. The search for the earliest grazing protists and metazoa in stromatolites is aided by observations of mats: in them, organic compounds characteristic of ancient photosynthetic protists can be identified. Recent mat studies suggest that the 13C/12C increase observed over geological time in stromatolitic organic matter was driven at least in part by a long-term decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

  12. Graphene/biofilm composites for enhancement of hexavalent chromium reduction and electricity production in a biocathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Song, Tian-Shun; Jin, Yuejuan; Bao, Jingjing; Kang, Dongzhou; Xie, Jingjing

    2016-11-01

    In this study, a simple method of biocathode fabrication in a Cr(VI)-reducing microbial fuel cell (MFC) is demonstrated. A self-assembling graphene was decorated onto the biocathode microbially, constructing a graphene/biofilm, in situ. The maximum power density of the MFC with a graphene biocathode is 5.7 times that of the MFC with a graphite felt biocathode. Cr(VI) reduction was also enhanced, resulting in 100% removal of Cr(VI) within 48h, at 40mg/L Cr(VI), compared with only 58.3% removal of Cr(VI) in the MFC with a graphite felt biocathode. Cyclic voltammogram analyses showed that the graphene biocathode had faster electron transfer kinetics than the graphite felt version. Energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) analysis revealed a possible adsorption-reduction mechanism for Cr(VI) reduction via the graphene biocathode. This study attempts to improve the efficiency of the biocathode in the Cr(VI)-reducing MFC, and provides a useful candidate method for the treatment of Cr(VI) contaminated wastewater, under neutral conditions. PMID:27262274

  13. Effects of packing rates of cubic-shaped polyurethane foam carriers on the microbial community and the removal of organics and nitrogen in moving bed biofilm reactors.

    PubMed

    Feng, Quan; Wang, Yuxiao; Wang, Tianmin; Zheng, Hao; Chu, Libing; Zhang, Chong; Chen, Hongzhang; Kong, Xiuqin; Xing, Xin-Hui

    2012-08-01

    The effects of packing rates (20%, 30%, and 40%) of polyurethane foam (PUF) to the removal of organics and nitrogen were investigated by continuously feeding artificial sewage in three aerobic moving bed biofilm reactors. The results indicated that the packing rate of the PUF carriers had little influence on the COD removal efficiency (81% on average). However, ammonium removal was affected by the packing rates, which was presumably due to the different relative abundances of nitrifying bacteria. A high ammonium removal efficiency of 96.3% at a hydraulic retention time of 5h was achieved in 40% packing rate reactor, compared with 37.4% in 20% packing rate. Microprofiles of dissolved oxygen and nitrate revealed that dense biofilm limits the DO transfer distance and nitrate diffusion. Pyrosequencing analysis of the biofilm showed that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia were the three most abundant phyla, but the proportions of the microbial community varied with the packing rate of the PUF carriers. PMID:22621807

  14. Biophysics of Biofilm Infection

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Philip S.

    2014-01-01

    This article examines a likely basis of the tenacity of biofilm infections that has received relatively little attention: the resistance of biofilms to mechanical clearance. One way that a biofilm infection persists is by withstanding the flow of fluid or other mechanical forces that work to wash or sweep microorganisms out of the body. The fundamental criterion for mechanical persistence is that the biofilm failure strength exceeds the external applied stress. Mechanical failure of the biofilm and release of planktonic microbial cells is also important in vivo because it can result in dissemination of infection. The fundamental criterion for detachment and dissemination is that the applied stress exceeds the biofilm failure strength. The apparent contradiction for a biofilm to both persist and disseminate is resolved by recognizing that biofilm material properties are inherently heterogeneous. There are also mechanical aspects to the ways that infectious biofilms evade leukocyte phagocytosis. The possibility of alternative therapies for treating biofilm infections that work by reducing biofilm cohesion could: 1) allow prevailing hydrodynamic shear to remove biofilm, 2) increase the efficacy of designed interventions for removing biofilms, 3) enable phagocytic engulfment of softened biofilm aggregates, and 4) improve phagocyte mobility and access to biofilm. PMID:24376149

  15. Biophysics of biofilm infection.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Philip S

    2014-04-01

    This article examines a likely basis of the tenacity of biofilm infections that has received relatively little attention: the resistance of biofilms to mechanical clearance. One way that a biofilm infection persists is by withstanding the flow of fluid or other mechanical forces that work to wash or sweep microorganisms out of the body. The fundamental criterion for mechanical persistence is that the biofilm failure strength exceeds the external applied stress. Mechanical failure of the biofilm and release of planktonic microbial cells is also important in vivo because it can result in dissemination of infection. The fundamental criterion for detachment and dissemination is that the applied stress exceeds the biofilm failure strength. The apparent contradiction for a biofilm to both persist and disseminate is resolved by recognizing that biofilm material properties are inherently heterogeneous. There are also mechanical aspects to the ways that infectious biofilms evade leukocyte phagocytosis. The possibility of alternative therapies for treating biofilm infections that work by reducing biofilm cohesion could (1) allow prevailing hydrodynamic shear to remove biofilm, (2) increase the efficacy of designed interventions for removing biofilms, (3) enable phagocytic engulfment of softened biofilm aggregates, and (4) improve phagocyte mobility and access to biofilm. PMID:24376149

  16. Microbial Life in an Underground Gas Storage Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bombach, Petra; van Almsick, Tobias; Richnow, Hans H.; Zenner, Matthias; Krüger, Martin

    2015-04-01

    While underground gas storage is technically well established for decades, the presence and activity of microorganisms in underground gas reservoirs have still hardly been explored today. Microbial life in underground gas reservoirs is controlled by moderate to high temperatures, elevated pressures, the availability of essential inorganic nutrients, and the availability of appropriate chemical energy sources. Microbial activity may affect the geochemical conditions and the gas composition in an underground reservoir by selective removal of anorganic and organic components from the stored gas and the formation water as well as by generation of metabolic products. From an economic point of view, microbial activities can lead to a loss of stored gas accompanied by a pressure decline in the reservoir, damage of technical equipment by biocorrosion, clogging processes through precipitates and biomass accumulation, and reservoir souring due to a deterioration of the gas quality. We present here results from molecular and cultivation-based methods to characterize microbial communities inhabiting a porous rock gas storage reservoir located in Southern Germany. Four reservoir water samples were obtained from three different geological horizons characterized by an ambient reservoir temperature of about 45 °C and an ambient reservoir pressure of about 92 bar at the time of sampling. A complementary water sample was taken at a water production well completed in a respective horizon but located outside the gas storage reservoir. Microbial community analysis by Illumina Sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes indicated the presence of phylogenetically diverse microbial communities of high compositional heterogeneity. In three out of four samples originating from the reservoir, the majority of bacterial sequences affiliated with members of the genera Eubacterium, Acetobacterium and Sporobacterium within Clostridiales, known for their fermenting capabilities. In

  17. Three-dimensional X-ray microcomputed tomography of carbonates and biofilm on operated cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Santini, Maurizio; Guilizzoni, Manfredo; Lorenzi, Massimo; Atanassov, Plamen; Marsili, Enrico; Fest-Santini, Stephanie; Cristiani, Pierangela; Santoro, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Power output limitation is one of the main concerns that need to be addressed for full-scale applications of the microbial fuel cell technology. Fouling and biofilm growth on the cathode of single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFC) affects their performance in long-term operation with wastewater. In this study, the authors report the power output and cathode polarization curves of a membraneless SCMFC, fed with raw primary wastewater and sodium acetate for over 6 months. At the end of the experiment, the whole cathode surface is analyzed through X-ray microcomputed tomography (microCT), scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) to characterize the fouling layer and the biofilm. EDX shows the distribution of Ca, Na, K, P, S, and other elements on the two faces of the cathode. Na-carbonates and Ca-carbonates are predominant on the air (outer) side and the water (inner) side, respectively. The three-dimensional reconstruction by X-ray microCT shows biofilm spots unevenly distributed above the Ca-carbonate layer on the inner (water) side of the cathode. These results indicate that carbonates layer, rather than biofilm, might lower the oxygen reduction reaction rate at the cathode during long-term SCMFC operation. PMID:26357848

  18. Novel Approaches to Manipulating Bacterial Pathogen Biofilms: Whole-Systems Design Philosophy and Steering Microbial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Penn, Alexandra S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and manipulating bacterial biofilms is crucial in medicine, ecology and agriculture and has potential applications in bioproduction, bioremediation and bioenergy. Biofilms often resist standard therapies and the need to develop new means of intervention provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink our strategies. Conventional approaches to working with biological systems are, for the most part, "brute force", attempting to effect control in an input and effort intensive manner and are often insufficient when dealing with the inherent non-linearity and complexity of living systems. Biological systems, by their very nature, are dynamic, adaptive and resilient and require management tools that interact with dynamic processes rather than inert artefacts. I present an overview of a novel engineering philosophy which aims to exploit rather than fight those properties, and hence provide a more efficient and robust alternative. Based on a combination of evolutionary theory and whole-systems design, its essence is what I will call systems aikido; the basic principle of aikido being to interact with the momentum of an attacker and redirect it with minimal energy expenditure, using the opponent's energy rather than one's own. In more conventional terms, this translates to a philosophy of equilibrium engineering, manipulating systems' own self-organisation and evolution so that the evolutionarily or dynamically stable state corresponds to a function which we require. I illustrate these ideas with a description of a proposed manipulation of environmental conditions to alter the stability of co-operation in the context of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infection of the cystic fibrosis lung. PMID:27193553

  19. Quantification and characterization of microbial biofilm community attached on the surface of fermentation vessels used in green table olive processing.

    PubMed

    Grounta, Athena; Doulgeraki, Agapi I; Panagou, Efstathios Z

    2015-06-16

    The aim of the present study was the quantification of biofilm formed on the surface of plastic vessels used in Spanish-style green olive fermentation and the characterization of the biofilm community by means of molecular fingerprinting. Fermentation vessels previously used in green olive processing were subjected to sampling at three different locations, two on the side and one on the bottom of the vessel. Prior to sampling, two cleaning treatments were applied to the containers, including (a) washing with hot tap water (60 °C) and household detergent (treatment A) and (b) washing with hot tap water, household detergent and bleach (treatment B). Population (expressed as log CFU/cm(2)) of total viable counts (TVC), lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts were enumerated by standard plating. Bulk cells (whole colonies) from agar plates were isolated for further characterization by PCR-DGGE. Results showed that regardless of the cleaning treatment no significant differences were observed between the different sampling locations in the vessel. The initial microbial population before cleaning ranged between 3.0-4.5 log CFU/cm(2) for LAB and 4.0-4.6 log CFU/cm(2) for yeasts. Cleaning treatments exhibited the highest effect on LAB that were recovered at 1.5 log CFU/cm(2) after treatment A and 0.2 log CFU/cm(2) after treatment B, whereas yeasts were recovered at approximately 1.9 log CFU/cm(2) even after treatment B. High diversity of yeasts was observed between the different treatments and sampling spots. The most abundant species recovered belonged to Candida genus, while Wickerhamomyces anomalus, Debaryomyces hansenii and Pichia guilliermondii were frequently detected. Among LAB, Lactobacillus pentosus was the most abundant species present on the abiotic surface of the vessels. PMID:25770432

  20. Microbial Biofilm Voltammetry: Direct Electrochemical Characterization of Catalytic Electrode-Attached Biofilms▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Marsili, Enrico; Rollefson, Janet B.; Baron, Daniel B.; Hozalski, Raymond M.; Bond, Daniel R.

    2008-01-01

    While electrochemical characterization of enzymes immobilized on electrodes has become common, there is still a need for reliable quantitative methods for study of electron transfer between living cells and conductive surfaces. This work describes growth of thin (<20 μm) Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms on polished glassy carbon electrodes, using stirred three-electrode anaerobic bioreactors controlled by potentiostats and nondestructive voltammetry techniques for characterization of viable biofilms. Routine in vivo analysis of electron transfer between bacterial cells and electrodes was performed, providing insight into the main redox-active species participating in electron transfer to electrodes. At low scan rates, cyclic voltammetry revealed catalytic electron transfer between cells and the electrode, similar to what has been observed for pure enzymes attached to electrodes under continuous turnover conditions. Differential pulse voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy also revealed features that were consistent with electron transfer being mediated by an adsorbed catalyst. Multiple redox-active species were detected, revealing complexity at the outer surfaces of this bacterium. These techniques provide the basis for cataloging quantifiable, defined electron transfer phenotypes as a function of potential, electrode material, growth phase, and culture conditions and provide a framework for comparisons with other species or communities. PMID:18849456

  1. Exploring Microbial Life in Oxic Sediments Underlying Oligotrophic Ocean Gyres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziebis, W.; Orcutt, B.; Wankel, S. D.; D'Hondt, S.; Szubin, R.; Kim, J. N.; Zengler, K.

    2015-12-01

    Oxygen, carbon and nutrient availability are defining parameters for microbial life. In contrast to organic-rich sediments of the continental margins, where high respiration rates lead to a depletion of O2 within a thin layer at the sediment surface, it was discovered that O2 penetrates several tens of meters into organic-poor sediments underlying oligotrophic ocean gyres. In addition, nitrate, another important oxidant, which usually disappears rapidly with depth in anoxic sediments, tends to accumulate above seawater concentrations in the oxic subsurface, reflecting the importance of nitrogen cycling processes, including both nitrification and denitrification. Two IODP drilling expeditions were vital for exploring the nature of the deep subsurface beneath oligotrophic ocean gyres, expedition 329 to the South Pacific Gyre (SPG) and expedition 336 to North Pond, located on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic ridge beneath the North Atlantic Gyre. Within the ultra-oligotrophic SPG O2 penetrates the entire sediment column from the sediment-water interface to the underlying basement to depths of > 75 m. At North Pond, a topographic depression filled with sediment and surrounded by steep basaltic outcrops, O2 penetrates deeply into the sediment (~ 30 m) until it eventually becomes depleted. O2 also diffuses upward into the sediment from seawater circulating within the young crust underlying the sediment, resulting in a deep oxic layer several meters above the basalt. Despite low organic carbon contents microbial cells persist throughout the entire sediment column within the SPG (> 75 m) and at North Pond, albeit at low abundances. We explored the nature of the subsurface microbial communities by extracting intact cells from large volumes of sediment obtained from drill cores of the two expeditions. By using CARD-FiSH, amplicon (16s rRNA) and metagenome sequencing we shed light on the phylogenetic and functional diversity of the elusive communities residing in the

  2. Influence of Disinfectant Residual on Biofilm Development, Microbial Ecology, and Pathogen Fate and Transport in Drinking Water Infrastructure

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project focuses on providing basic data to bound risk estimates resulting from pathogens associated with pipe biofilms. Researchers will compare biofilm pathogen effects under two different disinfection scenarios (free chlorine or chloramines) for a conventionally treated s...

  3. Comparison of microbial community assays for the assessment of stream biofilm ecology.

    PubMed

    Vinten, A J A; Artz, R R E; Thomas, N; Potts, J M; Avery, L; Langan, S J; Watson, H; Cook, Y; Taylor, C; Abel, C; Reid, E; Singh, B K

    2011-06-01

    We investigated a range of microbiological community assays performed on scrapes of biofilms formed on artificial diffusing substrates deployed in 8 streams in eastern Scotland, with a view to using them to characterize ecological response to stream water quality. The assays considered were: Multiplex Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism or M-TRFLP (a molecular method), Phospholipid Fatty Acid or PLFA analysis (a biochemical method) and MICRORESP™ (a physiological method) alongside TDI, diatom species, and chlorophyll a content. Four of the streams were classified as of excellent status (3-6μg/L Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP)) with respect to soluble P content under the EU Water Framework Directive and four were of borderline good/moderate or moderate status (43-577μg/L SRP). At each site, 3 replicates of 3 solute diffusion treatments were deployed in a Latin square design. Solute diffusion treatments were: KCl (as a control solute), N and P (to investigate the effect of nutrient enrichment), or the herbicide isoproturon (as a "high impact" control, which aimed to affect biofilm growth in a way detectable by all assays). Biofilms were sampled after 4weeks deployment in a low flow period of early summer 2006. The chlorophyll a content of biofilms after 4weeks was 2.0±0.29mg/m(2) (mean±se). Dry matter content was 16.0±13.1g/m(2). The M-TRFLP was successfully used for generating community profiles of cyanobacteria, algae and bacteria and was much faster than diatom identification. The PFLA and TDI were successful after an increase in the sample size, due to low counts. The MICRORESP(™) assays were often below or near detection limit. We estimated the per-sample times for the successful assays as follows: M-TRFLP: 20min, PLFA 40min, TDI 90min. Using MANOVA on the first 5 principal co-ordinates, all the assays except MICRORESP(™) showed significant differences between sites, but none of the assays showed a significant effect of either initial

  4. Effect of biofilm in irrigation pipes on the microbial quality of irrigation water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aim: To test the hypothesis that microbial quality of irrigation water can be substantially altered by the association of E. coli with pipe lining in irrigation systems. Methods and Results: The sprinkler irrigation system was outfitted with coupons that were extracted before four 2-hour long irri...

  5. Metagenome Analyses of Corroded Concrete Wastewater Pipe Biofilms Reveals a Complex Microbial System

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analysis of whole-metagenome pyrosequencing data and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries was used to determine microbial composition and functional genes associated with biomass harvested from crown (top) and invert (bottom) sections of a corroded wastewater pipe. Taxonomic and functio...

  6. The numerous microbial species in oral biofilms: how could antibacterial therapy be effective?

    PubMed

    ten Cate, J M; Zaura, E

    2012-09-01

    Hundreds of bacterial species inhabit the oral cavity. Many of these have never been cultivated and can be assessed only with DNA-based techniques. This new understanding has changed the paradigm of the etiology of oral disease from that associated with 'traditional pathogens' as being primarily responsible for all diseases. Increasingly, associations between oral bacteria and systemic diseases are being reported. The emergence of antibiotic resistance is alarming and calls for in-depth studies of biofilms, bacterial physiology, and a body-wide approach to infectious diseases. We propose that the borderline between commensal bacteria and pathogens is no longer discrete. In a field of science where so many of the established paradigms are being undermined, a thorough analysis of threats and opportunities is required. This article addresses some of the questions that can be raised and serves to identify research opportunities and needs to leverage the prevention of oral diseases through novel antimicrobial strategies. PMID:22899691

  7. Antifungal therapy with an emphasis on biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Christopher G.; Srinivasan, Anand; Uppuluri, Priya; Ramasubramanian, Anand K.; López-Ribot, José Luis

    2013-01-01

    Fungal infections are on the rise as advances in modern medicine prolong the lives of severely ill patients. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms and there are a limited number of targets for antifungal drug development; as a result the antifungal arsenal is exceedingly limited. Azoles, polyenes and echinocandins, constitute the mainstay of antifungal therapy for patients with life-threatening mycoses. One of the main factors complicating antifungal therapy is the formation of fungal biofilms, microbial communities displaying resistance to most antifungal agents. A better understanding of fungal biofilms provides for new opportunities for the development of urgently needed novel antifungal agents and strategies. PMID:24011516

  8. Anti-microbial, anti-biofilm activities and cell selectivity of the NRC-16 peptide derived from witch flounder, Glyptocephalus cynoglossus.

    PubMed

    Gopal, Ramamourthy; Lee, Jun Ho; Kim, Young Gwon; Kim, Myeong-Sun; Seo, Chang Ho; Park, Yoonkyung

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies had identified novel antimicrobial peptides derived from witch flounder. In this work, we extended the search for the activity of peptide that showed antibacterial activity on clinically isolated bacterial cells and bacterial biofilm. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was obtained from otitis media and cholelithiasis patients, while Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from otitis media patients. We found that synthetic peptide NRC-16 displays antimicrobial activity and is not sensitive to salt during its bactericidal activity. Interestingly, this peptide also led to significant inhibition of biofilm formation at a concentration of 4-16 μM. NRC-16 peptide is able to block biofilm formation at concentrations just above its minimum inhibitory concentration while conventional antibiotics did not inhibit the biofilm formation except ciprofloxacin and piperacillin. It did not cause significant lysis of human RBC, and is not cytotoxic to HaCaT cells and RAW264.7 cells, thereby indicating its selective antimicrobial activity. In addition, the peptide's binding and permeation activities were assessed by tryptophan fluorescence, calcein leakage and circular dichroism using model mammalian membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine (PC), PC/cholesterol (CH) and PC/sphingomyelin (SM). These experiments confirmed that NRC-16 does not interact with any of the liposomes but the control peptide melittin did. Taken together, we found that NRC-16 has potent antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities with less cytotoxicity, and thus can be considered for treatment of microbial infection in the future. PMID:23760014

  9. A dual-species microbial model for studying the dynamics between oral streptococci and periodontal pathogens during biofilm development on titanium surfaces by flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Manti, Anita; Ciandrini, Eleonora; Campana, Raffaella; Dominici, Sabrina; Ciacci, Caterina; Federici, Sara; Sisti, Davide; Rocchi, Marco B L; Papa, Stefano; Baffone, Wally

    2016-06-01

    The association of the pioneer organisms Streptococcus mutans ATCC 25175 or Streptococcus oralis ATCC 9811 with secondary colonizers Fusobacterium nucleatum ATCC 25586 or Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC 33277 during biofilm development on titanium surfaces was evaluated by flow cytometry (FCM) using specific polyclonal antibodies. ELISA and FCM were employed, revealing high antibody sensitivity and specificity. Biofilm formation of four dual-species combinations was analyzed by crystal violet staining, while the association between streptococci and periodontal pathogens was assessed using FCM. Dual-species association between S. oralis and P. gingivalis or F. nucleatum showed a proportional decrease in S. oralis during biofilm development, with a concomitant increase in P. gingivalis or F. nucleatum. This trend was not observed in either of the dual-species associations of S. mutans with the periodontal pathogens. Our dual-species microbial model, which employed FCM, proved to be useful in the study of partnerships between bacteria in oral associations, showing that the presence of primary colonizers is required for the establishment of secondary colonizers in biofilms. The proposed experimental approach is technically simple to prepare and analyze, and also proved to be reproducible; hence, it is well-suited for investigating the development and dynamics of oral communities. PMID:27032997

  10. Microbial biofilms for the removal of Cu²⁺ from CMP wastewater.

    PubMed

    Mosier, Aaron P; Behnke, Jason; Jin, Eileen T; Cady, Nathaniel C

    2015-09-01

    The modern semiconductor industry relies heavily on a process known as chemical mechanical planarization, which uses physical and chemical processes to remove excess material from the surface of silicon wafers during microchip fabrication. This process results in large volumes of wastewater containing dissolved metals including copper (Cu(2+)), which must then be filtered and treated before release into municipal waste systems. We have investigated the potential use of bacterial and fungal biomass as an alternative to the currently used ion-exchange resins for the adsorption of dissolved Cu(2+) from high-throughput industrial waste streams. A library of candidate microorganisms, including Lactobacillus casei and Pichia pastoris, was screened for ability to bind Cu(2+) from solution and to form static biofilm communities within packed-bed adsorption columns. The binding efficiency of these biomass-based adsorption columns was assessed under various flow conditions and compared to that of industrially used ion-exchange resins. We demonstrated the potential to regenerate the biomass within the adsorption columns through the use of a hydrochloric acid wash, and subsequently reuse the columns for additional copper binding. While the binding efficiency and capacity of the developed L. casei/P. pastoris biomass filters was inferior to ion-exchange resin, the potential for repeated reuse of these filters, coupled with the advantages of a more sustainable "green" adsorption process, make this technique an attractive candidate for use in industrial-scale CMP wastewater treatment. PMID:26093466

  11. Cometabolic degradation of lincomycin in a Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor (SBBR) and its microbial community.

    PubMed

    Li, Yancheng; Zhou, Jian; Gong, Benzhou; Wang, Yingmu; He, Qiang

    2016-08-01

    Cometabolism technology was employed to degrade lincomycin wastewater in Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor (SBBR). In contrast with the control group, the average removal rate of lincomycin increased by 56.0% and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) increased by 52.5% in the cometabolic system with glucose as growth substrate. Under the same condition, Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) was 85.1±7.3mV in cometabolic system and 198.2±8.4mV in the control group, indicating that glucose changed the bulk ORP and created an appropriate growing environment for function bacteria. Functional groups of lincomycin were effectively degraded in cometabolic system proved by FTIR and GC-MS. Meanwhile, results of DGGE and 16S rDNA showed great difference in dominant populations between cometabolic system and the control group. In cometabolic system, Roseovarius (3.35%), Thiothrix (2.74%), Halomonas (2.49%), Ignavibacterium (2.02%), and TM7_genus_incertae_sedis (1.93%) were verified as dominant populations at genus level. Cometabolism may be synergistically caused by different functional dominant bacteria. PMID:27183234

  12. Electrical spiking in bacterial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Masi, Elisa; Ciszak, Marzena; Santopolo, Luisa; Frascella, Arcangela; Giovannetti, Luciana; Marchi, Emmanuela; Viti, Carlo; Mancuso, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    In nature, biofilms are the most common form of bacterial growth. In biofilms, bacteria display coordinated behaviour to perform specific functions. Here, we investigated electrical signalling as a possible driver in biofilm sociobiology. Using a multi-electrode array system that enables high spatio-temporal resolution, we studied the electrical activity in two biofilm-forming strains and one non-biofilm-forming strain. The action potential rates monitored during biofilm-forming bacterial growth exhibited a one-peak maximum with a long tail, corresponding to the highest biofilm development. This peak was not observed for the non-biofilm-forming strain, demonstrating that the intensity of the electrical activity was not linearly related to the bacterial density, but was instead correlated with biofilm formation. Results obtained indicate that the analysis of the spatio-temporal electrical activity of bacteria during biofilm formation can open a new frontier in the study of the emergence of collective microbial behaviour. PMID:25392401

  13. Streptococcus thermophilus Biofilm Formation: A Remnant Trait of Ancestral Commensal Life?

    PubMed Central

    Gautier, Céline; Renault, Pierre; Briandet, Romain; Guédon, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms have a long history of use in food production and preservation. Their adaptation to food environments has profoundly modified their features, mainly through genomic flux. Streptococcus thermophilus, one of the most frequent starter culture organisms consumed daily by humans emerged recently from a commensal ancestor. As such, it is a useful model for genomic studies of bacterial domestication processes. Many streptococcal species form biofilms, a key feature of the major lifestyle of these bacteria in nature. However, few descriptions of S. thermophilus biofilms have been reported. An analysis of the ability of a representative collection of natural isolates to form biofilms revealed that S. thermophilus was a poor biofilm producer and that this characteristic was associated with an inability to attach firmly to surfaces. The identification of three biofilm-associated genes in the strain producing the most biofilms shed light on the reasons for the rarity of this trait in this species. These genes encode proteins involved in crucial stages of biofilm formation and are heterogeneously distributed between strains. One of the biofilm genes appears to have been acquired by horizontal transfer. The other two are located in loci presenting features of reductive evolution, and are absent from most of the strains analyzed. Their orthologs in commensal bacteria are involved in adhesion to host cells, suggesting that they are remnants of ancestral functions. The biofilm phenotype appears to be a commensal trait that has been lost during the genetic domestication of S. thermophilus, consistent with its adaptation to the milk environment and the selection of starter strains for dairy fermentations. PMID:26035177

  14. Chronic Wound Biofilm Model

    PubMed Central

    Ganesh, Kasturi; Sinha, Mithun; Mathew-Steiner, Shomita S.; Das, Amitava; Roy, Sashwati; Sen, Chandan K.

    2015-01-01

    Significance: Multispecies microbial biofilms may contribute to wound chronicity by derailing the inherent reparative process of the host tissue. In the biofilm form, bacteria are encased within an extracellular polymeric substance and become recalcitrant to antimicrobials and host defenses. For biofilms of relevance to human health, there are two primary contributing factors: the microbial species involved and host response which, in turn, shapes microbial processes over time. This progressive interaction between microbial species and the host is an iterative process that helps evolve an acute-phase infection to a pathogenic chronic biofilm. Thus, long-term wound infection studies are needed to understand the longitudinal cascade of events that culminate into a pathogenic wound biofilm. Recent Advances: Our laboratory has recently published the first long-term (2 month) study of polymicrobial wound biofilm infection in a translationally valuable porcine wound model. Critical Issues: It is widely recognized that the porcine system represents the most translationally valuable approach to experimentally model human skin wounds. A meaningful experimental biofilm model must be in vivo, include mixed species of clinically relevant microbes, and be studied longitudinally long term. Cross-validation of such experimental findings with findings from biofilm-infected patient wounds is critically important. Future Directions: Additional value may be added to the experimental system described above by studying pigs with underlying health complications (e.g., metabolic syndrome), as is typically seen in patient populations. PMID:26155380

  15. Microbial life in volcanic/geothermal areas: how soil geochemistry shapes microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagliano, Antonina Lisa; D'Alessandro, Walter; Franzetti, Andrea; Parello, Francesco; Tagliavia, Marcello; Quatrini, Paola

    2015-04-01

    Extreme environments, such as volcanic/geothermal areas, are sites of complex interactions between geosphere and biosphere. Although biotic and abiotic components are strictly related, they were separately studied for long time. Nowadays, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches are available to explore microbial life thriving in these environments. Pantelleria island (Italy) hosts a high enthalpy geothermal system characterized by high CH4 and low H2S fluxes. Two selected sites, FAV1 and FAV2, located at Favara Grande, the main exhalative area of the island, show similar physical conditions with a surface temperature close to 60° C and a soil gas composition enriched in CH4, H2 and CO2. FAV1 soil is characterized by harsher conditions (pH 3.4 and 12% of H2O content); conversely, milder conditions were recorded at site FAV2 (pH 5.8 and 4% of H2O content). High methanotrophic activity (59.2 nmol g-1 h-1) and wide diversity of methanotrophic bacteria were preliminary detected at FAV2, while no activity was detected at FAV1(1). Our aim was to investigate how the soil microbial communities of these two close geothermal sites at Pantelleria island respond to different geochemical conditions. Bacterial and Archaeal communities of the sites were investigated by MiSeq Illumina sequencing of hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. More than 33,000 reads were obtained for Bacteria and Archaea from soil samples of the two sites. At FAV1 99% of the bacterial sequences were assigned to four main phyla (Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi). FAV2 sequences were distributed in the same phyla with the exception of Chloroflexi that was represented below 1%. Results indicate a high abundance of thermo-acidophilic chemolithotrophs in site FAV1 dominated by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (25%), Nitrosococcus halophilus (10%), Alicyclobacillus spp. (7%) and the rare species Ktedonobacter racemifer (11%). The bacterial community at FAV2 soil is dominated by

  16. Microbial biofilms on needleless connectors for central venous catheters: comparison of standard and silver-coated devices collected from patients in an acute care hospital.

    PubMed

    Perez, Elizabeth; Williams, Margaret; Jacob, Jesse T; Reyes, Mary Dent; Chernetsky Tejedor, Sheri; Steinberg, James P; Rowe, Lori; Ganakammal, Satishkumar Ranganathan; Changayil, Shankar; Weil, M Ryan; Donlan, Rodney M

    2014-03-01

    Microorganisms may colonize needleless connectors (NCs) on intravascular catheters, forming biofilms and predisposing patients to catheter-associated infection (CAI). Standard and silver-coated NCs were collected from catheterized intensive care unit patients to characterize biofilm formation using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods and to investigate the associations between NC usage and biofilm characteristics. Viable microorganisms were detected by plate counts from 46% of standard NCs and 59% of silver-coated NCs (P=0.11). There were no significant associations (P>0.05, chi-square test) between catheter type, side of catheter placement, number of catheter lumens, site of catheter placement, or NC placement duration and positive NC findings. There was an association (P=0.04, chi-square test) between infusion type and positive findings for standard NCs. Viable microorganisms exhibiting intracellular esterase activity were detected on >90% of both NC types (P=0.751), suggesting that a large percentage of organisms were not culturable using the conditions provided in this study. Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene from selected NCs provided a substantially larger number of operational taxonomic units per NC than did plate counts (26 to 43 versus 1 to 4 operational taxonomic units/NC, respectively), suggesting that culture-dependent methods may substantially underestimate microbial diversity on NCs. NC bacterial communities were clustered by patient and venous access type and may reflect the composition of the patient's local microbiome but also may contain organisms from the health care environment. NCs provide a portal of entry for a wide diversity of opportunistic pathogens to colonize the catheter lumen, forming a biofilm and increasing the potential for CAI, highlighting the importance of catheter maintenance practices to reduce microbial contamination. PMID:24371233

  17. Microbial Biofilms on Needleless Connectors for Central Venous Catheters: Comparison of Standard and Silver-Coated Devices Collected from Patients in an Acute Care Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Elizabeth; Williams, Margaret; Jacob, Jesse T.; Reyes, Mary Dent; Chernetsky Tejedor, Sheri; Steinberg, James P.; Rowe, Lori; Ganakammal, Satishkumar Ranganathan; Changayil, Shankar; Weil, M. Ryan

    2014-01-01

    Microorganisms may colonize needleless connectors (NCs) on intravascular catheters, forming biofilms and predisposing patients to catheter-associated infection (CAI). Standard and silver-coated NCs were collected from catheterized intensive care unit patients to characterize biofilm formation using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods and to investigate the associations between NC usage and biofilm characteristics. Viable microorganisms were detected by plate counts from 46% of standard NCs and 59% of silver-coated NCs (P = 0.11). There were no significant associations (P > 0.05, chi-square test) between catheter type, side of catheter placement, number of catheter lumens, site of catheter placement, or NC placement duration and positive NC findings. There was an association (P = 0.04, chi-square test) between infusion type and positive findings for standard NCs. Viable microorganisms exhibiting intracellular esterase activity were detected on >90% of both NC types (P = 0.751), suggesting that a large percentage of organisms were not culturable using the conditions provided in this study. Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene from selected NCs provided a substantially larger number of operational taxonomic units per NC than did plate counts (26 to 43 versus 1 to 4 operational taxonomic units/NC, respectively), suggesting that culture-dependent methods may substantially underestimate microbial diversity on NCs. NC bacterial communities were clustered by patient and venous access type and may reflect the composition of the patient's local microbiome but also may contain organisms from the health care environment. NCs provide a portal of entry for a wide diversity of opportunistic pathogens to colonize the catheter lumen, forming a biofilm and increasing the potential for CAI, highlighting the importance of catheter maintenance practices to reduce microbial contamination. PMID:24371233

  18. Community living long before man: fossil and living microbial mats and early life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Lopez Baluja, L.; Awramik, S. M.; Sagan, D.

    1986-01-01

    Microbial mats are layered communities of bacteria that form cohesive structures, some of which are preserved in sedimentary rocks as stromatolites. Certain rocks, approximately three and a half thousand million years old and representing the oldest known fossils, are interpreted to derive from microbial mats and to contain fossils of microorganisms. Modern microbial mats (such as the one described here from Matanzas, Cuba) and their fossil counterparts are of great interest in the interpretation of early life on Earth. Since examination of microbial mats and stromatolites increases our understanding of long-term stability and change, within the global environment, such structures should be protected wherever possible as natural science preserves. Furthermore, since they have existed virtually from the time of life's origin, microbial mats have developed exemplary mechanisms of local community persistence and may even play roles in the larger global environment that we do not understand.

  19. Multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms in seawater cathodic biofilms operating in sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Babauta, Jerome T; Hsu, Lewis; Atci, Erhan; Kagan, Jeff; Chadwick, Bart; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-10-01

    In this study, multiple reaction mechanisms in cathodes of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were characterized by using cyclic voltammetry and microelectrode measurements of dissolved oxygen and pH. The cathodes were acclimated in SMFCs with sediment and seawater from San Diego Bay. Two limiting current regions were observed with onset potentials of approximately +400 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current I and -120 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current II. The appearance of two catalytic waves suggests that multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms influence cathodic performance. Microscale oxygen concentration measurements showed a zero surface concentration at the electrode surface for limiting current II but not for limiting current I, which allowed us to distinguish limiting current II as the conventional oxygen reduction reaction and limiting current I as a currently unidentified cathodic reaction mechanism. Microscale pH measurements further confirmed these results. PMID:25154833

  20. Development of Electroactive and Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing (Anammox) Biofilms from Digestate in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Enea Gino; Petroni, Gianluca; Mancini, Daniele; Geri, Alberto; Di Palma, Luca; Ascenzioni, Fiorentina

    2015-01-01

    Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) have been proposed for nutrient removal and energy recovery from different wastes. In this study the anaerobic digestate was used to feed H-type MFC reactors, one with a graphite anode preconditioned with Geobacter sulfurreducens and the other with an unconditioned graphite anode. The data demonstrate that the digestate acts as a carbon source, and even in the absence of anode preconditioning, electroactive bacteria colonise the anodic chamber, producing a maximum power density of 172.2 mW/m(2). The carbon content was also reduced by up to 60%, while anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria, which were found in the anodic compartment of the reactors, contributed to nitrogen removal from the digestate. Overall, these results demonstrate that MFCs can be used to recover anammox bacteria from natural sources, and it may represent a promising bioremediation unit in anaerobic digestor plants for the simultaneous nitrogen removal and electricity generation using digestate as substrate. PMID:26273609

  1. Development of Electroactive and Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing (Anammox) Biofilms from Digestate in Microbial Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Di Domenico, Enea Gino; Petroni, Gianluca; Mancini, Daniele; Geri, Alberto; Palma, Luca Di; Ascenzioni, Fiorentina

    2015-01-01

    Microbial Fuel cells (MFCs) have been proposed for nutrient removal and energy recovery from different wastes. In this study the anaerobic digestate was used to feed H-type MFC reactors, one with a graphite anode preconditioned with Geobacter sulfurreducens and the other with an unconditioned graphite anode. The data demonstrate that the digestate acts as a carbon source, and even in the absence of anode preconditioning, electroactive bacteria colonise the anodic chamber, producing a maximum power density of 172.2 mW/m2. The carbon content was also reduced by up to 60%, while anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria, which were found in the anodic compartment of the reactors, contributed to nitrogen removal from the digestate. Overall, these results demonstrate that MFCs can be used to recover anammox bacteria from natural sources, and it may represent a promising bioremediation unit in anaerobic digestor plants for the simultaneous nitrogen removal and electricity generation using digestate as substrate. PMID:26273609

  2. Mucosal biofilms of Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Shantanu; Mitchell, Aaron P

    2011-08-01

    Biofilms are microbial communities that form on surfaces and are embedded in an extracellular matrix. C. albicans forms pathogenic mucosal biofilms that are evoked by changes in host immunity or mucosal ecology. Mucosal surfaces are inhabited by many microbial species; hence these biofilms are polymicrobial. Several recent studies have applied paradigms of biofilm analysis to study mucosal C. albicans infections. These studies reveal that the Bcr1 transcription factor is a master regulator of C. albicans biofilm formation under diverse conditions, though the most relevant Bcr1 target genes can vary with the biofilm niche. An important determinant of mucosal biofilm formation is the interaction with host defenses. Finally, studies of interactions between bacterial species and C. albicans provide insight into the communication mechanisms that endow polymicrobial biofilms with unique properties. PMID:21741878

  3. Energy, ecology and the distribution of microbial life

    PubMed Central

    Macalady, Jennifer L.; Hamilton, Trinity L.; Grettenberger, Christen L.; Jones, Daniel S.; Tsao, Leah E.; Burgos, William D.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms that govern the coexistence of multiple biological species have been studied intensively by ecologists since the turn of the nineteenth century. Microbial ecologists in the meantime have faced many fundamental challenges, such as the lack of an ecologically coherent species definition, lack of adequate methods for evaluating population sizes and community composition in nature, and enormous taxonomic and functional diversity. The accessibility of powerful, culture-independent molecular microbiology methods offers an opportunity to close the gap between microbial science and the main stream of ecological theory, with the promise of new insights and tools needed to meet the grand challenges humans face as planetary engineers and galactic explorers. We focus specifically on resources related to energy metabolism because of their direct links to elemental cycling in the Earth's history, engineering applications and astrobiology. To what extent does the availability of energy resources structure microbial communities in nature? Our recent work on sulfur- and iron-oxidizing autotrophs suggests that apparently subtle variations in the concentration ratios of external electron donors and acceptors select for different microbial populations. We show that quantitative knowledge of microbial energy niches (population-specific patterns of energy resource use) can be used to predict variations in the abundance of specific taxa in microbial communities. Furthermore, we propose that resource ratio theory applied to micro-organisms will provide a useful framework for identifying how environmental communities are organized in space and time. PMID:23754819

  4. Biofilm-associated persistence of food-borne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bridier, A; Sanchez-Vizuete, P; Guilbaud, M; Piard, J-C; Naïtali, M; Briandet, R

    2015-02-01

    Microbial life abounds on surfaces in both natural and industrial environments, one of which is the food industry. A solid substrate, water and some nutrients are sufficient to allow the construction of a microbial fortress, a so-called biofilm. Survival strategies developed by these surface-associated ecosystems are beginning to be deciphered in the context of rudimentary laboratory biofilms. Gelatinous organic matrices consisting of complex mixtures of self-produced biopolymers ensure the cohesion of these biological structures and contribute to their resistance and persistence. Moreover, far from being just simple three-dimensional assemblies of identical cells, biofilms are composed of heterogeneous sub-populations with distinctive behaviours that contribute to their global ecological success. In the clinical field, biofilm-associated infections (BAI) are known to trigger chronic infections that require dedicated therapies. A similar belief emerging in the food industry, where biofilm tolerance to environmental stresses, including cleaning and disinfection/sanitation, can result in the persistence of bacterial pathogens and the recurrent cross-contamination of food products. The present review focuses on the principal mechanisms involved in the formation of biofilms of food-borne pathogens, where biofilm behaviour is driven by its three-dimensional heterogeneity and by species interactions within these biostructures, and we look at some emergent control strategies. PMID:25500382

  5. Individual-Based Model of Microbial Life on Hydrated Rough Soil Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Minsu; Or, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Microbial life in soil is perceived as one of the most interesting ecological systems, with microbial communities exhibiting remarkable adaptability to vast dynamic environmental conditions. At the same time, it is a notoriously challenging system to understand due to its complexity including physical, chemical, and biological factors in synchrony. This study presents a spatially-resolved model of microbial dynamics on idealised rough soil surfaces represented as patches with different (roughness) properties that preserve the salient hydration physics of real surfaces. Cell level microbial interactions are considered within an individual-based formulation including dispersion and various forms of trophic dependencies (competition, mutualism). The model provides new insights into mechanisms affecting microbial community dynamics and gives rise to spontaneous formation of microbial community spatial patterns. The framework is capable of representing many interacting species and provides diversity metrics reflecting surface conditions and their evolution over time. A key feature of the model is its spatial scalability that permits representation of microbial processes from cell-level (micro-metric scales) to soil representative volumes at sub-metre scales. Several illustrative examples of microbial trophic interactions and population dynamics highlight the potential of the proposed modelling framework to quantitatively study soil microbial processes. The model is highly applicable in a wide range spanning from quantifying spatial organisation of multiple species under various hydration conditions to predicting microbial diversity residing in different soils. PMID:26807803

  6. Individual-Based Model of Microbial Life on Hydrated Rough Soil Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kim, Minsu; Or, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Microbial life in soil is perceived as one of the most interesting ecological systems, with microbial communities exhibiting remarkable adaptability to vast dynamic environmental conditions. At the same time, it is a notoriously challenging system to understand due to its complexity including physical, chemical, and biological factors in synchrony. This study presents a spatially-resolved model of microbial dynamics on idealised rough soil surfaces represented as patches with different (roughness) properties that preserve the salient hydration physics of real surfaces. Cell level microbial interactions are considered within an individual-based formulation including dispersion and various forms of trophic dependencies (competition, mutualism). The model provides new insights into mechanisms affecting microbial community dynamics and gives rise to spontaneous formation of microbial community spatial patterns. The framework is capable of representing many interacting species and provides diversity metrics reflecting surface conditions and their evolution over time. A key feature of the model is its spatial scalability that permits representation of microbial processes from cell-level (micro-metric scales) to soil representative volumes at sub-metre scales. Several illustrative examples of microbial trophic interactions and population dynamics highlight the potential of the proposed modelling framework to quantitatively study soil microbial processes. The model is highly applicable in a wide range spanning from quantifying spatial organisation of multiple species under various hydration conditions to predicting microbial diversity residing in different soils. PMID:26807803

  7. Bifunctional Ag/Fe/N/C Catalysts for Enhancing Oxygen Reduction via Cathodic Biofilm Inhibition in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ying; Chan, Yingzi; Jiang, Baojiang; Wang, Lei; Zou, Jinlong; Pan, Kai; Fu, Honggang

    2016-03-23

    Limitation of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in single-chamber microbial fuel cells (SC-MFCs) is considered an important hurdle in achieving their practical application. The cathodic catalysts faced with a liquid phase are easily primed with the electrolyte, which provides more surface area for bacterial overgrowth, resulting in the difficulty in transporting protons to active sites. Ag/Fe/N/C composites prepared from Ag and Fe-chelated melamine are used as antibacterial ORR catalysts for SC-MFCs. The structure-activity correlations for Ag/Fe/N/C are investigated by tuning the carbonization temperature (600-900 °C) to clarify how the active-constituents of Ag/Fe and N-species influence the antibacterial and ORR activities. A maximum power density of 1791 mW m(-2) is obtained by Ag/Fe/N/C (630 °C), which is far higher than that of Pt/C (1192 mW m(-2)), only having a decline of 16.14% after 90 days of running. The Fe-bonded N and the cooperation of pyridinic N and pyrrolic N in Ag/Fe/N/C contribute equally to the highly catalytic activity toward ORR. The ·OH or O2(-) species originating from the catalysis of O2 can suppress the biofilm growth on Ag/Fe/N/C cathodes. The synergistic effects between the Ag/Fe heterojunction and N-species substantially contribute to the high power output and Coulombic efficiency of Ag/Fe/N/C catalysts. These new antibacterial ORR catalysts show promise for application in MFCs. PMID:26938657

  8. Pressure as an environmental parameter for microbial life--a review.

    PubMed

    Picard, Aude; Daniel, Isabelle

    2013-12-15

    Microbial life has been prevailing in the biosphere for the last 3.8 Ga at least. Throughout most of the Earth's history it has experienced a range of pressures; both dynamic pressure when the young Earth was heavily bombarded, and static pressure in subsurface environments that could have served as a refuge and where microbial life nowadays flourishes. In this review, we discuss the extent of high-pressure habitats in early and modern times and provide a short overview of microbial survival under dynamic pressures. We summarize the current knowledge about the impact of microbial activity on biogeochemical cycles under pressures characteristic of the deep subsurface. We evaluate the possibility that pressure can be a limiting parameter for life at depth. Finally, we discuss the open questions and knowledge gaps that exist in the field of high-pressure geomicrobiology. PMID:23891571

  9. Bacterial cellulose may provide the microbial-life biosignature in the rock records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaets, I.; Podolich, O.; Kukharenko, O.; Reshetnyak, G.; Shpylova, S.; Sosnin, M.; Khirunenko, L.; Kozyrovska, N.; de Vera, J.-P.

    2014-03-01

    Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a matrix for a biofilm formation, which is critical for survival and persistence of microbes in harsh environments. BC could play a significant role in the formation of microbial mats in pristine ecosystems on Earth. The prime objective of this study was to measure to what extent spectral and other characteristics of BC were changed under the performance of BC interaction with the earthly rock - anorthosite - via microorganisms. The spectral analyses (Fourier Transform Infrared FT-IR, spectroscopy, and atomic absorption spectroscopy) showed unprecedented accumulation of chemical elements in the BC-based biofilm. The absorption capacity of IR by BC was shielded a little by mineral crust formed by microorganisms on the BC-based biofilm surface, especially clearly seen in the range of 1200-900 cm-1 in FT-IR spectra. Confocal scanning laser microscopy analysis revealed that elements bioleached from anorthosite created surface coats on the BC nanofibril web. At the same time, the vibrational spectra bands showed the presence of the characteristic region of anomeric carbons (960-730 cm-1), wherein a band at 897 cm-1 confirmed the presence of β-1, 4-linkages, which may serve as the cellulose fingerprint region. Results show that BC may be a biosignature for search signs of living organisms in rock records.

  10. A miniature microbial fuel cell with conducting nanofibers-based 3D porous biofilm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Huawei; Halverson, Larry J.; Dong, Liang

    2015-12-01

    Miniature microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology has received growing interest due to its potential applications in high-throughput screening of bacteria and mutants to elucidate mechanisms of electricity generation. This paper reports a novel miniature MFC with an improved output power density and short startup time, utilizing electrospun conducting poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanofibers as a 3D porous anode within a 12 μl anolyte chamber. This device results in 423 μW cm-3 power density based on the volume of the anolyte chamber, using Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 as a model biocatalyst without any optimization of bacterial culture. The device also excels in a startup time of only 1hr. The high conductivity of the electrospun nanofibers makes them suitable for efficient electron transfer. The mean pore size of the conducting nanofibers is several micrometers, which is favorable for bacterial penetration and colonization of surfaces of the nanofibers. We demonstrate that S. oneidensis can fully colonize the interior region of this nanofibers-based porous anode. This work represents a new attempt to explore the use of electrospun PEDOT nanofibers as a 3D anode material for MFCs. The presented miniature MFC potentially will provide a high-sensitivity, high-throughput tool to screen suitable bacterial species and mutant strains for use in large-size MFCs.

  11. Assessing microbial competition in a hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) using multidimensional modeling.

    PubMed

    Martin, Kelly J; Picioreanu, Cristian; Nerenberg, Robert

    2015-09-01

    The membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) is a novel technology that safely delivers hydrogen to the base of a denitrifying biofilm via gas-supplying membranes. While hydrogen is an effective electron donor for denitrifying bacteria (DNB), it also supports sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and methanogens (MET), which consume hydrogen and create undesirable by-products. SRB and MET are only competitive for hydrogen when local nitrate concentrations are low, therefore SRB and MET primarily grow near the base of the biofilm. In an MBfR, hydrogen concentrations are greatest at the base of the biofilm, making SRB and MET more likely to proliferate in an MBfR system than a conventional biofilm reactor. Modeling results showed that because of this, control of the hydrogen concentration via the intramembrane pressure was a key tool for limiting SRB and MET development. Another means is biofilm management, which supported both sloughing and erosive detachment. For the conditions simulated, maintaining thinner biofilms promoted higher denitrification fluxes and limited the presence of SRB and MET. The 2-d modeling showed that periodic biofilm sloughing helped control slow-growing SRB and MET. Moreover, the rough (non-flat) membrane assembly in the 2-d model provided a special niche for SRB and MET that was not represented in the 1-d model. This study compared 1-d and 2-d biofilm model applicability for simulating competition in counter-diffusional biofilms. Although more computationally expensive, the 2-d model captured important mechanisms unseen in the 1-d model. PMID:25854894

  12. A prospective study on evaluation of pathogenesis, biofilm formation, antibiotic susceptibility of microbial community in urinary catheter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Younis, Khansa Mohammed; Usup, Gires; Ahmad, Asmat

    2015-09-01

    This study is aimed to isolate, detect biofilm formation ability and antibiotic susceptibility of urinary catheter adherent microorganisms from elderly hospitalized patient at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center. Microorganisms were isolated from three samples of urinary catheters (UC) surface; one of the acute vascular rejection patient (UCB) and two from benign prostate hyperplasia patients (UCC and UCD). A total of 100 isolates was isolated with 35 from UCB, 38 (UCC) and 28 (UCD). Ninety six were identified as Gram-negative bacilli, one Gram-positive bacilli and three yeasts. Results of biofilm forming on sterile foley catheter showed that all the isolates can form biofilm at different degrees; strong biofilm forming: 32% from the 35 isolates (UCB), 25% out of 38 isolates (UCC), 26% out of 28 isolates (UCD). As for moderate biofilm forming; 3% from UCB, 10% from UCC and 2% from UCD. Weak biofilm forming in UCC (3%). The antibiotic susceptibility for (UCB) isolates showed highly resistant to ampicillin, novobiocin and penicillin 100 (%), kanamycin (97%), tetracycline (94%), chloramphenicol (91%), streptomycin (77%) and showed low level of resistance to gentamycin (17%), while all the isolates from (UCC-D) showed high resistant towards ampicillin and penicillin, novobiocin (94%), tetracycline (61%), streptomycin (53%), gentamycin (50%) and low level of resistance to kanamycin (48%), chloramphenicol (47%). The findings indicate that these isolates can spread within the community on urinary catheters surface and produce strong biofilm, therefore, monitoring antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria isolated in the aggregation is recommended.

  13. Microbial community structure during nitrate and perchlorate reduction in ion-exchange brine using the hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR).

    PubMed

    Van Ginkel, Steven W; Lamendella, Regina; Kovacik, William P; Santo Domingo, Jorge W; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2010-05-01

    Detoxification of perchlorate by microbial communities under denitrifying conditions has been recently reported, although the identity of the mixed populations involved in perchlorate reduction is not well understood. In order to address this, the bacterial diversity of membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR) set up under autotrophic denitrifying and perchlorate-reducing conditions were examined by analyses of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of clone libraries. Inocula from diverse locations were tested for their ability to reduce nitrate and perchlorate in synthetic ion exchange spent brine (45g/l NaCl) using H(2)-based MBfRs. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that proteobacterial species dominated the biofilm communities, particularly nitrate-reducing gamma-proteobacteria. Even though the inocula to the MBfRs came from different sources, clones closely related to Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus represented 53% of all clones in the MBfR biofilms. The clone libraries contained no known perchlorate-reducing bacteria, which suggest that denitrifiers carried out perchlorate reduction, probably by secondary-utilization. PMID:20093013

  14. Microbial Life in the Deep Subsurface: Deep, Hot and Radioactive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeStefano, Andrea L.; Ford, Jill C.; Winsor, Seana K.; Allen, Carlton C.; Miller, Judith; McNamara, Karen M.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    2000-01-01

    Recent studies, motivated in part by the search for extraterrestrial life, continue to expand the recognized limits of Earth's biosphere. This work explored evidence for life a high-temperature, radioactive environment in the deep subsurface.

  15. Stabilization of Plutonium in Subsurface Environments via Microbial Reduction and Biofilm Formation

    SciTech Connect

    Hakim Boukhalfa; Gary A. Icopini; Sean D. Reilly; Mary P. Neu

    2007-04-19

    Plutonium has a long half-life (2.4 x 104 years) and is of concern because of its chemical and radiological toxicity, high-energy alpha radioactive decay. A full understanding of its speciation and interactions with environmental processes is required in order to predict, contain, or remediate contaminated sites. Under aerobic conditions Pu is sparingly soluble, existing primarily in its tetravalent oxidation state. To the extent that pentavalent and hexavalent complexes and small colloidal species form they will increase the solubility and resultant mobility from contamination sources. There is evidence that in both marine environments and brines substantial fractions of the plutonium in solution is present as hexavalent plutonyl, PuO2 2+.

  16. Influences of metal ions on microcystin-LR degradation capacity and dynamics in microbial distribution of biofilm collected from water treatment plant nearby Kasumigaura Lake.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Utsumi, Motoo; Gao, Yu; Li, Qintong; Tian, Xiaowei; Shimizu, Kazuya; Sugiura, Norio

    2016-03-01

    Microcystins-LR (MC-LR) which is a kind of potent hepatotoxin for humans and wildlife can be biodegraded by microbial community. In this study, the capacity of biofilm in degrading MC-LR was investigated with and without additional metal ions (Mn(2+), Zn(2+) and Cu(2+)) at the concentration of 1 mg L(-1). The results indicated that the degradation rate of MC-LR by biofilm was inhibited by introduced Mn(2+) and Cu(2+) during the whole culture period. MC-LR cannot be degraded until a period of culture time passed both in the cases with Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) (2 and 8 days for Zn(2+) and Cu(2+), respectively). The results of mlrA gene analysis showed that the abundance of MC-LR degradation bacteria (MCLDB) in the microbial community under Mn(2+) condition was generally lower than that under no additional metal ion condition. Meanwhile, a two days lag phase for the proliferation of MCLDB occurred after introducing Zn(2+). And a dynamic change of MCLDB from Cu(2+) inhibited species to Cu(2+) promoted species was observed under Cu(2+) condition. The maximum ratio of MCLDB to overall bacteria under various conditions during culture process was found to follow the tendency as: Cu(2+) > Zn(2+) ≈ no additional metal ion (Control) > Mn(2+), suggesting the adverse effect of Mn(2+), no obvious effect of Zn(2+) and positive effect of Cu(2+) on the distribution ratio of MCLDB over the biofilm. PMID:26766360

  17. Microbial diversity of the supra- and subgingival biofilm of healthy individuals after brushing with chlorhexidine- or silver-coated toothbrush bristles.

    PubMed

    do Nascimento, Cássio; Paulo, Diana Ferreira; Pita, Murillo Sucena; Pedrazzi, Vinícius; de Albuquerque Junior, Rubens Ferreira

    2015-02-01

    Nanoparticulate silver has recently been reported as an effective antimicrobial agent. The aim of this clinical study was to investigate the potential changes on the oral microbiota of healthy individuals after controlled brushing with chlorhexidine- or silver-coated toothbrush bristles. Twenty-four healthy participants were enrolled in this investigation and randomly submitted to 3 interventions. All the participants received, in a crossover format, the following toothbrushing interventions: (i) chlorhexidine-coated bristles, (ii) silver-coated bristles, and (iii) conventional toothbrush (Control). All the interventions had a duration of 30 days. The DNA checkerboard hybridization method was used to identify and quantify up to 43 microbial species colonizing the supra- and subgingival biofilm. The supragingival samples presented higher genome counts than the subgingival samples (p < 0.0001). The total genome counts from the Control group showed the highest values, followed by the silver and chlorhexidine groups (p < 0.0001). After 4 weeks of brushing, the silver-coated and chlorhexidine-coated bristles were capable of reducing or maintaining lower levels of the bacterial counts of the putative periodontal pathogens Tanerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Other major periodontal pathogens, such as Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella nigrescens, and Parvimonas micra, were also detected at lower levels. The toothbrush bristles impregnated with silver nanoparticles reduced the total and individual genome count in the supra- and subgingival biofilm after 4 weeks of brushing. Chlorhexidine was not effective in reducing the total genome counts in both supra- or subgingival biofilm after 4 weeks of brushing. Chlorhexidine reduced the individual genome counts in the supragingival biofilm for most of the target species, including putative periodontal pathogens. PMID:25581046

  18. Flow cytometry combined with viSNE for the analysis of microbial biofilms and detection of microplastics

    PubMed Central

    Sgier, Linn; Freimann, Remo; Zupanic, Anze; Kroll, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms serve essential ecosystem functions and are used in different technical applications. Studies from stream ecology and waste-water treatment have shown that biofilm functionality depends to a great extent on community structure. Here we present a fast and easy-to-use method for individual cell-based analysis of stream biofilms, based on stain-free flow cytometry and visualization of the high-dimensional data by viSNE. The method allows the combined assessment of community structure, decay of phototrophic organisms and presence of abiotic particles. In laboratory experiments, it allows quantification of cellular decay and detection of survival of larger cells after temperature stress, while in the field it enables detection of community structure changes that correlate with known environmental drivers (flow conditions, dissolved organic carbon, calcium) and detection of microplastic contamination. The method can potentially be applied to other biofilm types, for example, for inferring community structure for environmental and industrial research and monitoring. PMID:27188265

  19. Flow cytometry combined with viSNE for the analysis of microbial biofilms and detection of microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sgier, Linn; Freimann, Remo; Zupanic, Anze; Kroll, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms serve essential ecosystem functions and are used in different technical applications. Studies from stream ecology and waste-water treatment have shown that biofilm functionality depends to a great extent on community structure. Here we present a fast and easy-to-use method for individual cell-based analysis of stream biofilms, based on stain-free flow cytometry and visualization of the high-dimensional data by viSNE. The method allows the combined assessment of community structure, decay of phototrophic organisms and presence of abiotic particles. In laboratory experiments, it allows quantification of cellular decay and detection of survival of larger cells after temperature stress, while in the field it enables detection of community structure changes that correlate with known environmental drivers (flow conditions, dissolved organic carbon, calcium) and detection of microplastic contamination. The method can potentially be applied to other biofilm types, for example, for inferring community structure for environmental and industrial research and monitoring. PMID:27188265

  20. IMPACTS OF BIOFILM FORMATION ON CELLULOSE FERMENTATION

    SciTech Connect

    Leschine, Susan

    2009-10-31

    colonizes and degrades insoluble substrates. Major accomplishments of the project include: • Development of media containing dialysis tubing (described by the manufacturer as “regenerated cellulose”) as sole carbon and energy source and a nutritive surface for the growth of cellulolytic bacteria, and development of various microscopic methods to image biofilms on dialysis tubing. • Demonstration that cultures of C. phytofermentans, an obligate anaerobe, C. uda, a facultative aerobe, and T. fusca, a filamentous aerobe, formed microbial communities on the surface of dialysis tubing, which possessed architectural features and functional characteristics typical of biofilms. • Demonstration that biofilm formation on the nutritive surface, cellulose, involves a complex developmental processes, including colonization of dialysis tubing, formation of cell clusters attached to the nutritive surface, cell morphological changes, formation of complex structures embedded in extracellular polymeric matrices, and dispersal of biofilm communities as the nutritive surface is degraded. • Determination of surface specificity and regulatory aspects of biofilm formation by C. phytofermentans, C. uda, and T. fusca. • Demonstration that biofilm formation by T. fusca forms an integral part of the life cycle of this filamentous cellulolytic bacterium, including studies on the role of mycelial pellet formation in the T. fusca life cycle and a comparison of mycelial pellets to surface-attached T. fusca biofilms. • Characterization of T. fusca biofilm EPS, including demonstration of a functional role for EPS constituents. • Correlation of T. fusca developmental life cycle and cellulase gene expression.

  1. Functional Tomographic Fluorescence Imaging of pH Microenvironments in Microbial Biofilms by Use of Silica Nanoparticle Sensors▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Hidalgo, Gabriela; Burns, Andrew; Herz, Erik; Hay, Anthony G.; Houston, Paul L.; Wiesner, Ulrich; Lion, Leonard W.

    2009-01-01

    Attached bacterial communities can generate three-dimensional (3D) physicochemical gradients that create microenvironments where local conditions are substantially different from those in the surrounding solution. Given their ubiquity in nature and their impacts on issues ranging from water quality to human health, better tools for understanding biofilms and the gradients they create are needed. Here we demonstrate the use of functional tomographic imaging via confocal fluorescence microscopy of ratiometric core-shell silica nanoparticle sensors (C dot sensors) to study the morphology and temporal evolution of pH microenvironments in axenic Escherichia coli PHL628 and mixed-culture wastewater biofilms. Testing of 70-, 30-, and 10-nm-diameter sensor particles reveals a critical size for homogeneous biofilm staining, with only the 10-nm-diameter particles capable of successfully generating high-resolution maps of biofilm pH and distinct local heterogeneities. Our measurements revealed pH values that ranged from 5 to >7, confirming the heterogeneity of the pH profiles within these biofilms. pH was also analyzed following glucose addition to both suspended and attached cultures. In both cases, the pH became more acidic, likely due to glucose metabolism causing the release of tricarboxylic acid cycle acids and CO2. These studies demonstrate that the combination of 3D functional fluorescence imaging with well-designed nanoparticle sensors provides a powerful tool for in situ characterization of chemical microenvironments in complex biofilms. PMID:19801466

  2. Microbial life in a fjord: metagenomic analysis of a microbial mat in Chilean patagonia.

    PubMed

    Ugalde, Juan A; Gallardo, Maria J; Belmar, Camila; Muñoz, Práxedes; Ruiz-Tagle, Nathaly; Ferrada-Fuentes, Sandra; Espinoza, Carola; Allen, Eric E; Gallardo, Victor A

    2013-01-01

    The current study describes the taxonomic and functional composition of metagenomic sequences obtained from a filamentous microbial mat isolated from the Comau fjord, located in the northernmost part of the Chilean Patagonia. The taxonomic composition of the microbial community showed a high proportion of members of the Gammaproteobacteria, including a high number of sequences that were recruited to the genomes of Moritella marina MP-1 and Colwelliapsycherythraea 34H, suggesting the presence of populations related to these two psychrophilic bacterial species. Functional analysis of the community indicated a high proportion of genes coding for the transport and metabolism of amino acids, as well as in energy production. Among the energy production functions, we found protein-coding genes for sulfate and nitrate reduction, both processes associated with Gammaproteobacteria-related sequences. This report provides the first examination of the taxonomic composition and genetic diversity associated with these conspicuous microbial mat communities and provides a framework for future microbial studies in the Comau fjord. PMID:24015199

  3. Microbial Life in a Fjord: Metagenomic Analysis of a Microbial Mat in Chilean Patagonia

    PubMed Central

    Ugalde, Juan A.; Gallardo, Maria J.; Belmar, Camila; Muñoz, Práxedes; Ruiz-Tagle, Nathaly; Ferrada-Fuentes, Sandra; Espinoza, Carola; Allen, Eric E.; Gallardo, Victor A.

    2013-01-01

    The current study describes the taxonomic and functional composition of metagenomic sequences obtained from a filamentous microbial mat isolated from the Comau fjord, located in the northernmost part of the Chilean Patagonia. The taxonomic composition of the microbial community showed a high proportion of members of the Gammaproteobacteria, including a high number of sequences that were recruited to the genomes of Moritella marina MP-1 and Colwelliapsycherythraea 34H, suggesting the presence of populations related to these two psychrophilic bacterial species. Functional analysis of the community indicated a high proportion of genes coding for the transport and metabolism of amino acids, as well as in energy production. Among the energy production functions, we found protein-coding genes for sulfate and nitrate reduction, both processes associated with Gammaproteobacteria-related sequences. This report provides the first examination of the taxonomic composition and genetic diversity associated with these conspicuous microbial mat communities and provides a framework for future microbial studies in the Comau fjord. PMID:24015199

  4. Antimicrobial Tolerance in Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Philip S

    2015-06-01

    The tolerance of microorganisms in biofilms to antimicrobial agents is examined through a meta-analysis of literature data. A numerical tolerance factor comparing the rates of killing in the planktonic and biofilm states is defined to provide a quantitative basis for the analysis. Tolerance factors for biocides and antibiotics range over three orders of magnitude. This variation is not explained by taking into account the molecular weight of the agent, the chemistry of the agent, the substratum material, or the speciation of the microorganisms. Tolerance factors do depend on the areal cell density of the biofilm at the time of treatment and on the age of the biofilm as grown in a particular experimental system. This suggests that there is something that happens during biofilm maturation, either physical or physiological, that is essential for full biofilm tolerance. Experimental measurements of antimicrobial penetration times in biofilms range over orders of magnitude, with slower penetration (>12 min) observed for reactive oxidants and cationic molecules. These agents are retarded through the interaction of reaction, sorption, and diffusion. The specific physiological status of microbial cells in a biofilm contributes to antimicrobial tolerance. A conceptual framework for categorizing physiological cell states is discussed in the context of antimicrobial susceptibility. It is likely that biofilms harbor cells in multiple states simultaneously (e.g., growing, stress-adapted, dormant, inactive) and that this physiological heterogeneity is an important factor in the tolerance of the biofilm state. PMID:26185072

  5. Antimicrobial Tolerance in Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Philip S.

    2015-01-01

    The tolerance of microorganisms in biofilms to antimicrobial agents is examined through a meta-analysis of literature data. A numerical tolerance factor comparing the rates of killing in the planktonic and biofilm states is defined to provide a quantitative basis for the analysis. Tolerance factors for biocides and antibiotics range over three orders of magnitude. This variation is not explained by taking into account the molecular weight of the agent, the chemistry of the agent, the substratum material, or the speciation of the microorganisms. Tolerance factors do depend on the areal cell density of the biofilm at the time of treatment and on the age of the biofilm as grown in a particular experimental system. This suggests that there is something that happens during biofilm maturation, either physical or physiological, that is essential for full biofilm tolerance. Experimental measurements of antimicrobial penetration times in biofilms range over orders of magnitude, with slower penetration (>12 min) observed for reactive oxidants and cationic molecules. These agents are retarded through the interaction of reaction, sorption, and diffusion. The specific physiological status of microbial cells in a biofilm contributes to antimicrobial tolerance. A conceptual framework for categorizing physiological cell states is discussed in the context of antimicrobial susceptibility. It is likely that biofilms harbor cells in multiple states simultaneously (e.g., growing, stress-adapted, dormant, inactive) and that this physiological heterogeneity is an important factor in the tolerance of the biofilm state. PMID:26185072

  6. Understanding Biofilms in Chronic Sinusitis.

    PubMed

    Tajudeen, Bobby A; Schwartz, Joseph S; Palmer, James N

    2016-02-01

    Chronic sinusitis is a burdensome disease that has substantial individual and societal impact. Although great advances in medical and surgical therapies have been made, some patients continue to have recalcitrant infections. Microbial biofilms have been implicated as a cause of recalcitrant chronic sinusitis, and recent studies have tried to better understand the pathogenesis of chronic sinusitis as it relates to microbial biofilms. Here, we provide an overview of biofilms in chronic sinusitis with emphasis on pathogenesis, treatment, and future directions. In addition, recent evidence is presented, elucidating the role of bitter taste receptors as a possible key factor leading to biofilm formation. PMID:26758863

  7. Limestone Corrosion and Sulfur Cycling by Biofilms in the Frasassi Caves, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, D. S.; Macalady, J. L.; Druschel, G. K.; Eastman, D. D.; Albertson, L. K.

    2006-12-01

    In the Frasassi cave system, central Italy, a microbial-based ecosystem thrives on chemolithoautotrophic energy derived from hydrogen sulfide oxidation. Microbial life is prolific near the watertable, and biofilms cover nearly all subaerial and subaqueous surfaces. Subaerial biofilms are dominated by acidophilic members of the archaeal lineage Thermoplasmales and bacterial genus Acidithiobacillus. Subaqueous biofilms are diverse and are dominated by sulfide oxidizing, sulfate reducing, and sulfur disproportionating Proteobacteria. The morphology, abundance, and distribution of biofilms is controlled by physical and chemical factors such as seasonal changes in the cave hydrologic regime. In situ microelectrode voltammetry has revealed that stream biofilms speciate sulfur in diverse ways, with implications for acid production and limestone dissolution rates. Hydrogen sulfide loss from the streams cannot be accounted for solely by volatilization. Based on degassing measurements and abiotic sulfide oxidation rate calculations, stream biofilms are responsible for the majority of sulfide disappearance in streams. Rates of limestone corrosion are comparable in subaerial and subaqueous cave regions, indicating that subaerial microbial communities also have an important role in speleogenesis. Metagenomic studies targeting subaerial biofilms have confirmed that they have extremely low diversity, and offer glimpses into the physiology and biogeochemistry of extreme acidophiles in sulfidic cave communities.

  8. Antibacterial activity of graphene-modified anode on Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 biofilm in microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Deng, Feng; Hu, Yongyou; Sun, Jian; Yang, Yonggang

    2015-09-01

    To clearly illustrate the antibacterial activity of graphene on anodic exoelectrogen, the growth of a Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 biofilm on graphene-modified anodes (GMAs) and bare graphite anodes (BGs) were compared. The GMAs with different amounts of graphene were obtained by the cyclic voltammetric electrodeposition of 5, 20 and 40 potential cycles (5-G, 20-G and 40-G). Confocal scanning laser microscopy and cyclic voltammetry results demonstrated that graphene exhibited an obvious antibacterial effect for initial Shewanella MR biofilm growth. After 5 h of inoculation, 40-G, 20-G and 5-G had 6.3, 8.8 and 13.9% lower levels of biofilm viability, respectively, compared to BG, and all three exhibited approximately 70% lower electrochemical activity compared to BG. However, 18 h later, the biofilm on the GMAs exhibited much higher viability than that of the BG, and the electrochemical activity increased to a similar level. This study revealed the dual effect of graphene, including the antibacterial activity on biofilms and the enhancement of bacterial attachment and electron transfer.

  9. Life under flow: A novel microfluidic device for the assessment of anti-biofilm technologies

    PubMed Central

    Salta, Maria; Capretto, Lorenzo; Carugo, Dario; Wharton, Julian A.; Stokes, Keith R.

    2013-01-01

    In the current study, we have developed and fabricated a novel lab-on-a-chip device for the investigation of biofilm responses, such as attachment kinetics and initial biofilm formation, to different hydrodynamic conditions. The microfluidic flow channels are designed using computational fluid dynamic simulations so as to have a pre-defined, homogeneous wall shear stress in the channels, ranging from 0.03 to 4.30 Pa, which are relevant to in-service conditions on a ship hull, as well as other man-made marine platforms. Temporal variations of biofilm formation in the microfluidic device were assessed using time-lapse microscopy, nucleic acid staining, and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Differences in attachment kinetics were observed with increasing shear stress, i.e., with increasing shear stress there appeared to be a delay in bacterial attachment, i.e., at 55, 120, 150, and 155 min for 0.03, 0.60, 2.15, and 4.30 Pa, respectively. CLSM confirmed marked variations in colony architecture, i.e.,: (i) lower shear stresses resulted in biofilms with distinctive morphologies mainly characterised by mushroom-like structures, interstitial channels, and internal voids, and (ii) for the higher shear stresses compact clusters with large interspaces between them were formed. The key advantage of the developed microfluidic device is the combination of three architectural features in one device, i.e., an open-system design, channel replication, and multiple fully developed shear stresses. PMID:24454610

  10. Marine Microbial Mats and the Search for Evidence of Life in Deep Time and Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats in extensive seawater evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico, have been excellent subjects for microbial ecology research. The studies reviewed here have documented the steep and rapidly changing environmental gradients experienced by mat microorganisms and the very high rates of biogeochemical processes that they maintained. Recent genetic studies have revealed an enormous diversity of bacteria as well as the spatial distribution of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. These findings, together with emerging insights into the intimate interactions between these diverse populations, have contributed substantially to our understanding of the origins, environmental impacts, and biosignatures of photosynthetic microbial mats. The biosignatures (preservable cells, sedimentary fabrics, organic compounds, minerals, stable isotope patterns, etc.) potentially can serve as indicators of past life on early Earth. They also can inform our search for evidence of any life on Mars. Mars exploration has revealed evidence of evaporite deposits and thermal spring deposits; similar deposits on Earth once hosted ancient microbial mat ecosystems.

  11. Endolithic microbial life in hot and cold deserts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. I.

    1980-01-01

    Endolithic microorganisms (those living inside rocks) occur in hot and cold deserts and exist under extreme environmental conditions. These conditions are discussed on a comparative basis. Quantitative estimates of biomass are comparable in hot and cold deserts. Despite the obvious differences between the hot and cold desert environment, survival strategies show some common features. These endolithic organisms are able to 'switch' rapidly their metabolic activities on and off in response to changes in the environment. Conditions in hot deserts impose a more severe environmental stress on the organisms than in the cold Antarctic desert. This is reflected in the composition of the microbial flora which in hot desert rocks consist entirely of prokaryotic microorganisms, while under cold desert conditions eukaryotes predominate.

  12. Analysis of the Microbial Community in an Acidic Hollow-Fiber Membrane Biofilm Reactor (Hf-MBfR) Used for the Biological Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methane

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Byoung Seung; Choi, Okkyoung; Kim, Hyun Wook; Um, Youngsoon; Lee, Dong-Hoon; Sang, Byoung-In

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogenotrophic methanogens can use gaseous substrates, such as H2 and CO2, in CH4 production. H2 gas is used to reduce CO2. We have successfully operated a hollow-fiber membrane biofilm reactor (Hf-MBfR) for stable and continuous CH4 production from CO2 and H2. CO2 and H2 were diffused into the culture medium through the membrane without bubble formation in the Hf-MBfR, which was operated at pH 4.5–5.5 over 70 days. Focusing on the presence of hydrogenotrophic methanogens, we analyzed the structure of the microbial community in the reactor. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was conducted with bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA primers. Real-time qPCR was used to track changes in the community composition of methanogens over the course of operation. Finally, the microbial community and its diversity at the time of maximum CH4 production were analyzed by pyrosequencing methods. Genus Methanobacterium, related to hydrogenotrophic methanogens, dominated the microbial community, but acetate consumption by bacteria, such as unclassified Clostridium sp., restricted the development of acetoclastic methanogens in the acidic CH4 production process. The results show that acidic operation of a CH4 production reactor without any pH adjustment inhibited acetogenic growth and enriched the hydrogenotrophic methanogens, decreasing the growth of acetoclastic methanogens. PMID:26694756

  13. Analysis of the Microbial Community in an Acidic Hollow-Fiber Membrane Biofilm Reactor (Hf-MBfR) Used for the Biological Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methane.

    PubMed

    Shin, Hyun Chul; Ju, Dong-Hun; Jeon, Byoung Seung; Choi, Okkyoung; Kim, Hyun Wook; Um, Youngsoon; Lee, Dong-Hoon; Sang, Byoung-In

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogenotrophic methanogens can use gaseous substrates, such as H2 and CO2, in CH4 production. H2 gas is used to reduce CO2. We have successfully operated a hollow-fiber membrane biofilm reactor (Hf-MBfR) for stable and continuous CH4 production from CO2 and H2. CO2 and H2 were diffused into the culture medium through the membrane without bubble formation in the Hf-MBfR, which was operated at pH 4.5-5.5 over 70 days. Focusing on the presence of hydrogenotrophic methanogens, we analyzed the structure of the microbial community in the reactor. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was conducted with bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA primers. Real-time qPCR was used to track changes in the community composition of methanogens over the course of operation. Finally, the microbial community and its diversity at the time of maximum CH4 production were analyzed by pyrosequencing methods. Genus Methanobacterium, related to hydrogenotrophic methanogens, dominated the microbial community, but acetate consumption by bacteria, such as unclassified Clostridium sp., restricted the development of acetoclastic methanogens in the acidic CH4 production process. The results show that acidic operation of a CH4 production reactor without any pH adjustment inhibited acetogenic growth and enriched the hydrogenotrophic methanogens, decreasing the growth of acetoclastic methanogens. PMID:26694756

  14. Searching for microbial life remotely: Satellite-to-rover habitat mapping in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Weinstein, S.; Dohm, J.; Piatek, J.; Minkley, E.; Hock, A.; Cockell, C.; Pane, D.; Ernst, L. A.; Fisher, G.; Emani, S.; Waggoner, A. S.; Cabrol, N. A.; Wettergreen, D. S.; Apostolopoulos, D.; Coppin, P.; Grin, E.; Diaz, Chong; Moersch, J.; Oril, G. G.; Smith, T.; Stubbs, K.; Thomas, G.; Wagner, M.; Wyatt, M.

    2007-12-01

    The Atacama Desert, one of the most arid landscapes on Earth, serves as an analog for the dry conditions on Mars and as a test bed in the search for life on other planets. During the Life in the Atacama (LITA) 2004 field experiment, satellite imagery and ground-based rover data were used in concert with a `follow-the-water' exploration strategy to target regions of biological interest in two (1 coastal, 1 inland) desert study sites. Within these regions, environments were located, studied and mapped with spectroscopic and fluorescence imaging (FI) for habitats and microbial life. Habitats included aqueous sedimentary deposits (e.g., evaporites), igneous materials (e.g., basalt, ash deposits), rock outcrops, drainage channels and basins, and alluvial fans. Positive biological signatures (chlorophyll, DNA, protein) were detected at 81% of the 21 locales surveyed with the FI during the long-range, autonomous traverses totaling 30 km. FI sensitivity in detecting microbial life in extreme deserts explains the high percentage of positives despite the low actual abundance of heterotrophic soil bacteria in coastal (<1-104 CFU/g-soil) and interior (<1-102 CFU/g-soil) desert soils. Remote habitat, microbial and climate observations agreed well with ground-truth, indicating a drier and less microbially rich interior compared to the relatively wetter and abundant biology of the coastal site where rover sensors detected the presence of fog and abundant surface lichens. LITA project results underscore the importance of an explicit focus by all engineering and science disciplines on microbially relevant scales (mm to nm), and highlight the success of satellite-based and `follow-the-water' strategies for locating diverse habitats of biological promise and detecting the microbial hotspots within them.

  15. Microbial Fuel Cells Applied to the Metabolically Based Detection of Extraterrestrial Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrevaya, Ximena C.; Mauas, Pablo J. D.; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-12-01

    Since the 1970s, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments to detect microbial metabolism on the surface of Mars, the search for nonspecific methods to detect life in situ has been one of the goals of astrobiology. It is usually required that a methodology detect life independently from its composition or form and that the chosen biological signature point to a feature common to all living systems, such as the presence of metabolism. In this paper, we evaluate the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for the detection of microbial life in situ. MFCs are electrochemical devices originally developed as power electrical sources and can be described as fuel cells in which the anode is submerged in a medium that contains microorganisms. These microorganisms, as part of their metabolic process, oxidize organic material, releasing electrons that contribute to the electric current, which is therefore proportional to metabolic and other redox processes. We show that power and current density values measured in MFCs that use microorganism cultures or soil samples in the anode are much larger than those obtained with a medium free of microorganisms or sterilized soil samples, respectively. In particular, we found that this is true for extremophiles, which have been proposed as potential inhabitants of extraterrestrial environments. Therefore, our results show that MFCs have the potential to be used for in situ detection of microbial life.

  16. Microbial fuel cells applied to the metabolically based detection of extraterrestrial life.

    PubMed

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Mauas, Pablo J D; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-12-01

    Since the 1970s, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments to detect microbial metabolism on the surface of Mars, the search for nonspecific methods to detect life in situ has been one of the goals of astrobiology. It is usually required that a methodology detect life independently from its composition or form and that the chosen biological signature point to a feature common to all living systems, such as the presence of metabolism. In this paper, we evaluate the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for the detection of microbial life in situ. MFCs are electrochemical devices originally developed as power electrical sources and can be described as fuel cells in which the anode is submerged in a medium that contains microorganisms. These microorganisms, as part of their metabolic process, oxidize organic material, releasing electrons that contribute to the electric current, which is therefore proportional to metabolic and other redox processes. We show that power and current density values measured in MFCs that use microorganism cultures or soil samples in the anode are much larger than those obtained with a medium free of microorganisms or sterilized soil samples, respectively. In particular, we found that this is true for extremophiles, which have been proposed as potential inhabitants of extraterrestrial environments. Therefore, our results show that MFCs have the potential to be used for in situ detection of microbial life. PMID:21162676

  17. Candida biofilm formation on voice prostheses.

    PubMed

    Talpaert, Moira J; Balfour, Alistair; Stevens, Sarah; Baker, Mark; Muhlschlegel, Fritz A; Gourlay, Campbell W

    2015-03-01

    Laryngopharyngeal malignancy is treated with radiotherapy and/or surgery. When total laryngectomy is required, major laryngeal functions (phonation, airway control, swallowing and coughing) are affected. The insertion of a silicone rubber voice prosthesis in a surgically created tracheoesophageal puncture is the most effective method for voice rehabilitation. Silicone, as is the case with other synthetic materials such as polymethylmethacrylate, polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and polystyrene, has the propensity to become rapidly colonized by micro-organisms (mainly Candida albicans) forming a biofilm, which leads to the failure of the devices. Silicone is used within voice prosthetic devices because of its flexible properties, which are essential for valve function. Valve failure, as well as compromising speech, may result in aspiration pneumonia, and repeated valve replacement may lead to either tract stenosis or insufficiency. Prevention and control of biofilm formation are therefore crucial for the lifespan of the prosthesis and promotion of tracheoesophageal tissue and lung health. To date, the mechanisms of biofilm formation on voice prostheses are not fully understood. Further studies are therefore required to identify factors influencing Candida biofilm formation. This review describes the factors known to influence biofilm formation on voice prostheses and current strategies employed to prolong their life by interfering with microbial colonization. PMID:25106862

  18. Intelligibility in microbial complex systems: Wittgenstein and the score of life

    PubMed Central

    Baquero, Fernando; Moya, Andrés

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge in microbiology is reaching an extreme level of diversification and complexity, which paradoxically results in a strong reduction in the intelligibility of microbial life. In our days, the “score of life” metaphor is more accurate to express the complexity of living systems than the classic “book of life.” Music and life can be represented at lower hierarchical levels by music scores and genomic sequences, and such representations have a generational influence in the reproduction of music and life. If music can be considered as a representation of life, such representation remains as unthinkable as life itself. The analysis of scores and genomic sequences might provide mechanistic, phylogenetic, and evolutionary insights into music and life, but not about their real dynamics and nature, which is still maintained unthinkable, as was proposed by Wittgenstein. As complex systems, life or music is composed by thinkable and only showable parts, and a strategy of half-thinking, half-seeing is needed to expand knowledge. Complex models for complex systems, based on experiences on trans-hierarchical integrations, should be developed in order to provide a mixture of legibility and imageability of biological processes, which should lead to higher levels of intelligibility of microbial life. PMID:22919679

  19. A 3.8 b.y. History of Bacterial Biofilms and Their Significance in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, Frances; Steele, Andrew; Toporski, Jan; Walsh, Maud; Allen, Carlton; Guidry, Sean; McKay, David; Gibson, Everett; Chafetz, Henry

    2000-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms are almost ubiquitous in terrestrial environments, many similar to past or present Martian environments. Together with ToF-SIMS analysis of the in situ organics, fossil biofilms constitute reliable biomarkers.

  20. Microbial life in cold, hydrologically active oceanic crustal fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, J. L.; Jaekel, U.; Girguis, P. R.; Glazer, B. T.; Huber, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    It is estimated that at least half of Earth's microbial biomass is found in the deep subsurface, yet very little is known about the diversity and functional roles of these microbial communities due to the limited accessibility of subseafloor samples. Ocean crustal fluids, which may have a profound impact on global nutrient cycles given the large volumes of water moving through the crustal aquifer, are particularly difficult to sample. Access to uncontaminated ocean crustal fluids is possible with CORK (Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit) observatories, installed through the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Here we present the first microbiological characterization of the formation fluids from cold, oxygenated igneous crust at North Pond on the western flank of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Fluids were collected from two CORKs installed at IODP boreholes 1382A and 1383C and include fluids from three different depth horizons within oceanic crust. Collection of borehole fluids was monitored in situ using an oxygen optode and solid-state voltammetric electrodes. In addition, discrete samples were analyzed on deck using a comparable lab-based system as well as a membrane-inlet mass spectrometer to quantify all dissolved volatiles up to 200 daltons. The instruments were operated in parallel and both in situ and shipboard geochemical measurements point to a highly oxidized fluid, revealing an apparent slight depletion of oxygen in subsurface fluids (~215μM) relative to bottom seawater (~245μM). We were unable to detect reduced hydrocarbons, e.g. methane. Cell counts indicated the presence of roughly 2 x 10^4 cells per ml in all fluid samples, and DNA was extracted and amplified for the identification of both bacterial and archaeal community members. The utilization of ammonia, nitrate, dissolved inorganic carbon, and acetate was measured using stable isotopes, and oxygen consumption was monitored to provide an estimate of the rate of respiration per cell per day

  1. 3.45 b.y.-old microbial associations in cherts from the Pilbara: lessons for potential Martian life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westall, F.

    2003-04-01

    3.45 b.y.-old cherts from the Kitty's Gap locality in the Pilbara contain superbly preserved microbial biofilms that formed on an early Earth characterised by extreme conditions. They therefore represent good analogues for potential early Martian life. Volcaniclastic sediments influenced by hydrothermal activity were deposited in very shallow water to exposed conditions, as evidenced by interstratified cross-bedded and evaporite units. Two microbial layers with different characteristics, occurring within 2 cm of each other, have been closely studied in the field, by optical microscopy, and by high resolution SEM (+ light element EDS) of carefully etched, cut surfaces. Both layers can be traced laterally for at least a couple of meters before being broken up by a chert vein. The lower microbialite is a 2--3 mm thick stromatolite-thrombolite association. The stromatolites consist of tiny columns, 250 μm wide and about 2 mm high, whereas the thrombolitic zones present a simple, clotted texture. They were formed by microbial colonies consisting of consortia of mostly coccoidal bacteria (two species, one <0.5 μm and one ˜1 μm in diameter). Most of the organisms present a turgid condition and large numbers of them exhibit cell division (fission and budding). Filamentous bacteria occur but are rare. The deflated and lysed filaments are small, 4--5 μm and about 100 nm in width. Small amounts of EPS are associated with the colonies. The second microbialite is a fine microbial mat (tabular stromatolite) that occurs at the surface of an evaporite horizon 2 cm above the first microbialite. The 0.5 cm thick evaporite horizon consists of ghosts of carbonate and possibly halite crystals. It is coated by a <50 μm thick microbial mat, formed by consortia of 0.5 μm coccoidal bacteria and filaments, 0.2--0.4 μm wide and 10--20 μm long. Some EPS is associated with the bacteria and the sedimentary particle surfaces are coated with a nm-thick polymer layer. The filaments are

  2. Hexacyanoferrate-adapted biofilm enables the development of a microbial fuel cell biosensor to detect trace levels of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) in oxygenated seawater.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Liang; Quek, Soon Bee; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf

    2014-12-01

    A marine microbial fuel cell (MFC) type biosensor was developed for the detection of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) in ocean water for the purpose of online water quality monitoring for seawater desalination plants prone to biofouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. The anodophilic biofilm that developed on the graphite tissue anode could detect acetate as the model AOC to concentrations as low as 5 µM (120 µg/L of AOC), which is sufficiently sensitive as an online biofouling risk sensor. Although the sensor was operated at a higher (+200 ± 10 mV) than the usual (-300 mV) anodic potential, the presence of oxygen completely suppressed the electrical signal. In order to overcome this outcompeting effect of oxygen over the anode as electron acceptor by the bacteria, hexacyanoferrate (HCF(III)) was found to enable the development of an adapted biofilm that transferred electrons to HCF(III) rather than oxygen. As the resultant of the reduced HCF(II) could readily transfer electrons to the anode while being re-oxidised to HCF(III), the marine MFC biosensor developed could be demonstrated to work in the presence of oxygen unlike traditional MFC. The possibility of operating the marine MFC in batch or continuous (in-line) mode has been explored by using coulombic or potentiometric interpretation of the signal. PMID:24942462

  3. Treatment of seafood processing wastewater using upflow microbial fuel cell for power generation and identification of bacterial community in anodic biofilm.

    PubMed

    Jayashree, C; Tamilarasan, K; Rajkumar, M; Arulazhagan, P; Yogalakshmi, K N; Srikanth, M; Banu, J Rajesh

    2016-09-15

    Tubular upflow microbial fuel cell (MFC) utilizing sea food processing wastewater was evaluated for wastewater treatment efficiency and power generation. At an organic loading rate (OLR) of 0.6 g d(-1), the MFC accomplished total and soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal of 83 and 95%, respectively. A maximum power density of 105 mW m(-2) (2.21 W m(-3)) was achieved at an OLR of 2.57 g d(-1). The predominant bacterial communities of anode biofilm were identified as RB1A (LC035455), RB1B (LC035456), RB1C (LC035457) and RB1E (LC035458). All the four strains belonged to genera Stenotrophomonas. The results of the study reaffirms that the seafood processing wastewater can be treated in an upflow MFC for simultaneous power generation and wastewater treatment. PMID:27254294

  4. Spatial Patterns of Carbonate Biomineralization in Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaobao; Chopp, David L.; Russin, William A.; Brannon, Paul T.; Parsek, Matthew R.

    2015-01-01

    Microbially catalyzed precipitation of carbonate minerals is an important process in diverse biological, geological, and engineered systems. However, the processes that regulate carbonate biomineralization and their impacts on biofilms are largely unexplored, mainly because of the inability of current methods to directly observe biomineralization within biofilms. Here, we present a method for in situ, real-time imaging of biomineralization in biofilms and use it to show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms produce morphologically distinct carbonate deposits that substantially modify biofilm structures. The patterns of carbonate biomineralization produced in situ were substantially different from those caused by accumulation of particles produced by abiotic precipitation. Contrary to the common expectation that mineral precipitation should occur at the biofilm surface, we found that biomineralization started at the base of the biofilm. The carbonate deposits grew over time, detaching biofilm-resident cells and deforming the biofilm morphology. These findings indicate that biomineralization is a general regulator of biofilm architecture and properties. PMID:26276112

  5. Spatial patterns of carbonate biomineralization in biofilms.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaobao; Chopp, David L; Russin, William A; Brannon, Paul T; Parsek, Matthew R; Packman, Aaron I

    2015-11-01

    Microbially catalyzed precipitation of carbonate minerals is an important process in diverse biological, geological, and engineered systems. However, the processes that regulate carbonate biomineralization and their impacts on biofilms are largely unexplored, mainly because of the inability of current methods to directly observe biomineralization within biofilms. Here, we present a method for in situ, real-time imaging of biomineralization in biofilms and use it to show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms produce morphologically distinct carbonate deposits that substantially modify biofilm structures. The patterns of carbonate biomineralization produced in situ were substantially different from those caused by accumulation of particles produced by abiotic precipitation. Contrary to the common expectation that mineral precipitation should occur at the biofilm surface, we found that biomineralization started at the base of the biofilm. The carbonate deposits grew over time, detaching biofilm-resident cells and deforming the biofilm morphology. These findings indicate that biomineralization is a general regulator of biofilm architecture and properties. PMID:26276112

  6. Epistemological issues in the study of microbial life: alternative terran biospheres?

    PubMed

    Cleland, Carol E

    2007-12-01

    The assumption that all life on Earth today shares the same basic molecular architecture and biochemistry is part of the paradigm of modern biology. This paper argues that there is little theoretical or empirical support for this widely held assumption. Scientists know that life could have been at least modestly different at the molecular level and it is clear that alternative molecular building blocks for life were available on the early Earth. If the emergence of life is, like other natural phenomena, highly probable given the right chemical and physical conditions then it seems likely that the early Earth hosted multiple origins of life, some of which produced chemical variations on life as we know it. While these points are often conceded, it is nevertheless maintained that any primitive alternatives to familiar life would have been eliminated long ago, either amalgamated into a single form of life through lateral gene transfer (LGT) or alternatively out-competed by our putatively more evolutionarily robust form of life. Besides, the argument continues, if such life forms still existed, we surely would have encountered telling signs of them by now. These arguments do not hold up well under close scrutiny. They reflect a host of assumptions that are grounded in our experience with large multicellular organisms and, most importantly, do not apply to microbial forms of life, which cannot be easily studied without the aid of sophisticated technologies. Significantly, the most powerful molecular biology techniques available-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of rRNA genes augmented by metagenomic analysis-could not detect such microbes if they existed. Given the profound philosophical and scientific importance that such a discovery would represent, a dedicated search for 'shadow microbes' (heretofore unrecognized 'alien' forms of terran microbial life) seems in order. The best place to start such a search is with puzzling (anomalous) phenomena, such as

  7. In situ biofilm coupon device

    SciTech Connect

    Peyton, Brent M.; Truex, Michael J.

    1997-01-01

    An apparatus for characterization of in-situ microbial biofilm populations in subsurface groundwater. The device permits biofilm-forming microorganisms to adhere to packing material while emplaced in a groundwater strata, so that the packing material can be later analyzed for quantity and type of microorganisms, growth rate, and nutrient requirements.

  8. In situ biofilm coupon device

    DOEpatents

    Peyton, B.M.; Truex, M.J.

    1997-06-24

    An apparatus is disclosed for characterization of in-situ microbial biofilm populations in subsurface groundwater. The device permits biofilm-forming microorganisms to adhere to packing material while emplaced in a groundwater strata, so that the packing material can be later analyzed for quantity and type of microorganisms, growth rate, and nutrient requirements. 3 figs.

  9. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust

    PubMed Central

    Salas, Everett C.; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F.; Reid, Ray D.; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 105 cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities. PMID:26617595

  10. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust.

    PubMed

    Salas, Everett C; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F; Reid, Ray D; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 10(5) cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities. PMID:26617595

  11. Biogenic selenium and tellurium nanoparticles synthesized by environmental microbial isolates efficaciously inhibit bacterial planktonic cultures and biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Zonaro, Emanuele; Lampis, Silvia; Turner, Raymond J.; Qazi, S. Junaid S.; Vallini, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    The present study deals with Se0- and Te0-based nanoparticles bio-synthesized by two selenite- and tellurite-reducing bacterial strains, namely Stenotrophomonas maltophilia SeITE02 and Ochrobactrum sp. MPV1, isolated from polluted sites. We evidenced that, by regulating culture conditions and exposure time to the selenite and tellurite oxyanions, differently sized zero-valent Se and Te nanoparticles were produced. The results revealed that these Se0 and Te0 nanoparticles possess antimicrobial and biofilm eradication activity against Escherichia coli JM109, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. In particular, Se0 nanoparticles exhibited antimicrobial activity at quite low concentrations, below that of selenite. Toxic effects of both Se0 and Te0 nanoparticles can be related to the production of reactive oxygen species upon exposure of the bacterial cultures. Evidence so far achieved suggests that the antimicrobial activity seems to be strictly linked to the dimensions of the nanoparticles: indeed, the highest activity was shown by nanoparticles of smaller sizes. In particular, it is worth noting how the bacteria tested in biofilm mode responded to the treatment by Se0 and Te0 nanoparticles with a susceptibility similar to that observed in planktonic cultures. This suggests a possible exploitation of both Se0 and Te0 nanoparticles as efficacious antimicrobial agents with a remarkable biofilm eradication capacity. PMID:26136728

  12. Differentiation of Microbial Species and Strains in Coculture Biofilms by Multivariate Analysis of Laser Desorption Postionization Mass Spectra

    PubMed Central

    Bhardwaj, Chhavi; Cui, Yang; Hofstetter, Theresa; Liu, Suet Yi; Bernstein, Hans C.; Carlson, Ross P.; Ahmed, Musahid; Hanley, Luke

    2013-01-01

    7.87 to 10.5 eV vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photon energies were used in laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry (LDPI-MS) to analyze biofilms comprised of binary cultures of interacting microorganisms. The effect of photon energy was examined using both tunable synchrotron and laser sources of VUV radiation. Principal components analysis (PCA) was applied to the MS data to differentiate species in Escherichia coli-Saccharomyces cerevisiae coculture biofilms. PCA of LDPI-MS also differentiated individual E. coli strains in a biofilm comprised of two interacting gene deletion strains, even though these strains differed from the wild type K-12 strain by no more than four gene deletions each out of approximately 2000 genes. PCA treatment of 7.87 eV LDPI-MS data separated the E. coli strains into three distinct groups, two “pure” groups, and a mixed region. Furthermore, the “pure” regions of the E. coli cocultures showed greater variance by PCA at 7.87 eV photon energies compared to 10.5 eV radiation. This is consistent with the expectation that the 7.87 eV photoionization selects a subset of low ionization energy analytes while 10.5 eV is more inclusive, detecting a wider range of analytes. These two VUV photon energies therefore give different spreads via PCA and their respective use in LDPI-MS constitute an additional experimental parameter to differentiate strains and species. PMID:24067765

  13. Discovering Biofilms: Inquiry-Based Activities for the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redelman, Carly V.; Marrs, Kathleen; Anderson, Gregory G.

    2012-01-01

    In nature, bacteria exist in and adapt to different environments by forming microbial communities called "biofilms." We propose simple, inquiry-based laboratory exercises utilizing a biofilm formation assay, which allows controlled biofilm growth. Students will be able to qualitatively assess biofilm growth via staining. Recently, we developed a…

  14. The microbial environment and its influence on asthma prevention in early life.

    PubMed

    von Mutius, Erika

    2016-03-01

    There is accumulating evidence to suggest that the environmental microbiome plays a significant role in asthma development. The very low prevalence of asthma in populations highly exposed to microbial environments (farm children and Amish populations) highlights its preventive potential. This microbial diversity might be necessary to instruct a well-adapted immune response and regulated inflammatory responses to other inhaled and ingested environmental elements, such as allergens, particles, and viruses. Like the internal gut microbiome, which is increasingly recognized as an important instructor of immune maturation, the external environmental microbiome might shape immune responses on the skin, airway mucosal surfaces, and potentially also the gut early in life. The diversity of the external microbial world will ensure that of the many maladapted pathways leading to asthma development, most, if not all, will be counterbalanced. Likewise, important contributors to asthma, such as allergen sensitization and allergic manifestations early in life, are being suppressed. Thus the facets of innate immunity targeted by microbes and their compounds and metabolites might be the master switch to asthma and allergy protection, which has been found in environments rich in microbial exposures. PMID:26806048

  15. Anti-Biofilm Activities from Marine Cold Adapted Bacteria Against Staphylococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Papa, Rosanna; Selan, Laura; Parrilli, Ermenegilda; Tilotta, Marco; Sannino, Filomena; Feller, Georges; Tutino, Maria L.; Artini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Microbial biofilms have great negative impacts on the world’s economy and pose serious problems to industry, public health and medicine. The interest in the development of new approaches for the prevention and treatment of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation has increased. Since, bacterial pathogens living in biofilm induce persistent chronic infections due to the resistance to antibiotics and host immune system. A viable approach should target adhesive properties without affecting bacterial vitality in order to avoid the appearance of resistant mutants. Many bacteria secrete anti-biofilm molecules that function in regulating biofilm architecture or mediating the release of cells from it during the dispersal stage of biofilm life cycle. Cold-adapted marine bacteria represent an untapped reservoir of biodiversity able to synthesize a broad range of bioactive compounds, including anti-biofilm molecules. The anti-biofilm activity of cell-free supernatants derived from sessile and planktonic cultures of cold-adapted bacteria belonging to Pseudoalteromonas, Psychrobacter, and Psychromonas species were tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. Reported results demonstrate that we have selected supernatants, from cold-adapted marine bacteria, containing non-biocidal agents able to destabilize biofilm matrix of all tested pathogens without killing cells. A preliminary physico-chemical characterization of supernatants was also performed, and these analyses highlighted the presence of molecules of different nature that act by inhibiting biofilm formation. Some of them are also able to impair the initial attachment of the bacterial cells to the surface, thus likely containing molecules acting as anti-biofilm surfactant molecules. The described ability of cold-adapted bacteria to produce effective anti-biofilm molecules paves the way to further characterization of the most promising molecules and to test their

  16. Metagenomic and ecophysiological analysis of biofilms colonizing coral substrates: "Life after death of coral"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, A., Sr.; Cerqueda-Garcia, D.; Falcón, L. I.; Iglesias-Prieto, R., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    Coral reefs are the most productive ecosystems on the planet and are the most important carbonated structures of biological origin. However, global warming is affecting the health and functionality of these ecosystems. Specifically, most of the Acropora sp. stony corals have declined their population all over the Mexican Caribbean in more than ~80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. When the coral dies, the skeleton begins to be colonized by algae, sponges, bacteria and others, forming a highly diverse biofilm. We analyzed the metagenomes of the dead A. palmata rubbles from Puerto Morelos, in the Mexican Caribbean. Also, we quantified the elemental composition of biomass and measured nitrogen fixation and emission of greenhouse gases over 24 hrs. This works provides information on how the community is composed and functions after the death of the coral, visualizing a possible picture for a world without coral reefs.

  17. Extremes of Survival Achieved by the Radiophile Deinococcus Radiodurans: A Model for Microbial Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daly, M.; Sridhar, R.; Richmond, R.

    1999-01-01

    Deinococcus radiodurans is an extremophile in more than one defined way. First it is extreme in its resistance to freeze drying. Second it is probably uniquely extreme on Earth in its resistance to ionizing radiation. The polyextremophilic capacity of D. radiodurans will be considered. The selection pressures on Mars will then be considered in relation to D. radiodurans in order to support a hypothesis that if microbial life exists on Mars, then it likely includes polyextremophiles.

  18. Microbial life at high salt concentrations: phylogenetic and metabolic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Oren, Aharon

    2008-01-01

    Halophiles are found in all three domains of life. Within the Bacteria we know halophiles within the phyla Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Spirochaetes, and Bacteroidetes. Within the Archaea the most salt-requiring microorganisms are found in the class Halobacteria. Halobacterium and most of its relatives require over 100–150 g/l salt for growth and structural stability. Also within the order Methanococci we encounter halophilic species. Halophiles and non-halophilic relatives are often found together in the phylogenetic tree, and many genera, families and orders have representatives with greatly different salt requirement and tolerance. A few phylogenetically coherent groups consist of halophiles only: the order Halobacteriales, family Halobacteriaceae (Euryarchaeota) and the anaerobic fermentative bacteria of the order Halanaerobiales (Firmicutes). The family Halomonadaceae (Gammaproteobacteria) almost exclusively contains halophiles. Halophilic microorganisms use two strategies to balance their cytoplasm osmotically with their medium. The first involves accumulation of molar concentrations of KCl. This strategy requires adaptation of the intracellular enzymatic machinery, as proteins should maintain their proper conformation and activity at near-saturating salt concentrations. The proteome of such organisms is highly acidic, and most proteins denature when suspended in low salt. Such microorganisms generally cannot survive in low salt media. The second strategy is to exclude salt from the cytoplasm and to synthesize and/or accumulate organic 'compatible' solutes that do not interfere with enzymatic activity. Few adaptations of the cells' proteome are needed, and organisms using the 'organic-solutes-in strategy' often adapt to a surprisingly broad salt concentration range. Most halophilic Bacteria, but also the halophilic methanogenic Archaea use such organic solutes. A variety of such solutes are known, including glycine betaine

  19. Microbial life at high salt concentrations: phylogenetic and metabolic diversity.

    PubMed

    Oren, Aharon

    2008-01-01

    Halophiles are found in all three domains of life. Within the Bacteria we know halophiles within the phyla Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Spirochaetes, and Bacteroidetes. Within the Archaea the most salt-requiring microorganisms are found in the class Halobacteria. Halobacterium and most of its relatives require over 100-150 g/l salt for growth and structural stability. Also within the order Methanococci we encounter halophilic species. Halophiles and non-halophilic relatives are often found together in the phylogenetic tree, and many genera, families and orders have representatives with greatly different salt requirement and tolerance. A few phylogenetically coherent groups consist of halophiles only: the order Halobacteriales, family Halobacteriaceae (Euryarchaeota) and the anaerobic fermentative bacteria of the order Halanaerobiales (Firmicutes). The family Halomonadaceae (Gammaproteobacteria) almost exclusively contains halophiles. Halophilic microorganisms use two strategies to balance their cytoplasm osmotically with their medium. The first involves accumulation of molar concentrations of KCl. This strategy requires adaptation of the intracellular enzymatic machinery, as proteins should maintain their proper conformation and activity at near-saturating salt concentrations. The proteome of such organisms is highly acidic, and most proteins denature when suspended in low salt. Such microorganisms generally cannot survive in low salt media. The second strategy is to exclude salt from the cytoplasm and to synthesize and/or accumulate organic 'compatible' solutes that do not interfere with enzymatic activity. Few adaptations of the cells' proteome are needed, and organisms using the 'organic-solutes-in strategy' often adapt to a surprisingly broad salt concentration range. Most halophilic Bacteria, but also the halophilic methanogenic Archaea use such organic solutes. A variety of such solutes are known, including glycine betaine

  20. "Primers" on Research Techniques Used in Geomicrobiology for Students and Novices from Microbial Life Educational Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruckner, M. Z.; Rice, G.; Mogk, D. W.

    2007-12-01

    Microbial Life Educational Resources (MLER) provides web-based resources and services that support learning about the diversity, ecology and evolution of the (geo)microbial world for students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, as well as for the general public. One of the main goals of MLER is to facilitate integration of modern research techniques and results and effective instructional practices. Two new collections of on-line resources include 1) TechniqueSheets which are 'primers' on analytical techniques commonly used in field and laboratory studies, and 2) focused case studies that demonstrate the use of these techniques in research projects supported by NSF's Microbial Observatory program. TechniqueSheets provide educators and students with essential information about common field and laboratory techniques with image-rich contemporary examples of the employment of these methods in the biogeosciences and microbial life realms. A wide variety of techniques are described including environmental sampling, biogeochemical methods, genomic methods, and microscopy. Every technique includes a general description of what the technique is and how it works, background theory, instrumentation, typical applications and limitations, sampling and sample preparation protocols, data collection, reduction, and representation; interpretations, links to the scientific literature, and collections of related teaching activities. Web-based profiles of the Microbial Observatory projects provide students with case-based learning environments that a) define the "big scientific questions," b) introduce the research teams, c) demonstrate modern research strategies and methodologies, and d) present the key scientific findings. These case studies span a variety of locations from microbial life in the extreme environments of Yellowstone National Park to the diversity of marine sponges in Florida to microbial diversity in Antarctic lakes. The goal of these websites is to help students and

  1. Life in a drop of Ocean: microfluidic insights into microbial ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stocker, Roman

    2008-03-01

    Bacteria are the most abundant and successful form of life on Earth. Their physico-chemical interactions with their fluid environment are surprisingly complex and have enormous implications, which we can only hope to grasp if we learn to study microorganisms within realistic microenvironments. Microfluidics for the first time enables us to create microhabitats, including chemical and fluid mechanical landscapes, while visualizing bacterial behavior at a single-cell resolution. Here I focus on the application of microfluidics to gain insight in the life of marine bacteria. In their quest for nturients, marine bacteria often experience the Ocean as a desert, where rare and ephemeral nutrient patches represent transient resource oases. In this patchy seascape, swimming and chemotaxis represent critical assets, but effective patch utilization is constrained by energetic requirements. And then there are predators and viruses... These interactions form the basis of the 'microbial loop', the ensemble of microbial processes known to directly impact the productivity of marine ecosystems and the rates of carbon turnover in the Ocean. I will show how fundamental new insight on selected aspects of microbial life in a drop of Ocean can be achieved by a combination of microfluidic experiments and theoretical modeling.

  2. Towards Determining the Upper Temperature Limits to Life on Earth: An In-situ Sulfide-Microbial Incubator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, D.; Baross, J.; Delaney, J.; Girguis, P.; Schrenk, M.

    2004-12-01

    Determining the maximum conditions under which life thrives, survives, and expires is critical to understanding how and where life might have evolved on our planet and for investigation of life in extraterrestrial environments. Submarine black smoker systems are optimal sites to study such questions because thermal gradients are extreme and accessible within the chimney walls under high-pressure conditions. Intact cells containing DNA and ribosomes have been observed even within the most extreme environments of sulfide structure walls bounded by 300\\deg C fluids. Membrane lipids from archaea have been detected in sulfide flanges and chimneys where temperatures are believed to be 200-300\\deg C. However, a balanced inquiry into the limits of life must focus on characterization of the actual conditions in a given system that favor reactions necessary to initiate and/or sustain life. At present, in-situ instrumentation of sulfide deposits is the only effective way to gain direct access to these natural high-temperature environments for documentation and experimentation. With this goal in mind, three prototype microbial incubators were developed with funding from the NSF, University of Washington, and the W.M. Keck Foundation. The incubators were deployed in 2003 in the walls of active black smoker chimneys in the Mothra Hydrothermal Field, Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. All instruments were successfully recovered in 2004, and one was redeployed for a short time-series experiment. Each 53-cm-long titanium assembly houses 27 temperature sensors that record temperatures from 0 to 500\\deg C within three discrete incubation chambers. Data are logged in a separate housing and inductively coupled links provide access to the data loggers without removal of the instruments. During the initial deployment, data were collected from 189 to 245 days, with up to ˜478° K temperature measurements completed for an individual instrument. Temperatures within the chimney

  3. Biogeophysical interactions control the formation of iron oxide microbial biofilms in acidic geothermal outflow channels of Yellowstone National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beam, J.; Berstein, H. C.; Jay, Z.; Kozubal, M. A.; Jennings, R. D.; Inskeep, W. P.

    2012-12-01

    Amorphous iron oxyhydroxide microbial mats in acidic (pH ~ 3) geothermal outflow channels of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are habitats for diverse populations of autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms from the domains Archaea and Bacteria. These systems have been extensively characterized with regards to geochemical, physical, and microbiological (e.g., metagenomics) analyses; however, there is minimal data describing the formation of these iron oxide microbial mats. A conceptual model of Fe(III)-oxide microbial mat development was created, which includes four distinct stages. Autotrophic archaea (Metallosphaera yellowstonensis) and bacteria (Hydrogenobaculum spp.) are the first colonizers (Stage I) that provide pools of organic carbon for heterotrophic thermophiles (Stage II). M. yellowstonensis is an autotrophic Sulfolobales that is responsible for the oxidation of Fe(II) and can thus be defined as the mat 'architect' creating suitable habitats for microbial niches (e.g., anaerobic microorganisms) (Stage III). The last phase of mat formation (Stage IV) represents a pseudo-steady state mature microbial mat, which has been the subject of all previous microbial surveys of these systems. The conceptual model for Fe(III)-oxide microbial mat development was tested by inserting glass (SiO2) microscope slides into the main flow channels of two acidic geothermal springs in YNP. Slides were removed at various time intervals and analyzed for total iron accretion, microbial community structure (i.e., 16S rRNA gene abundance), and mRNA expression of community members. Routine geochemical and physical (e.g., flow) parameters were also measured to decipher their relative contribution to mat development. Initial and previous results show that autotrophic microorganisms (e.g, M. yellowstonensis) are often the first to colonize the glass slides and their activity was confirmed by mRNA expression of genes related to iron oxidation and carbon fixation. Heterotrophs are rare

  4. Long-term evaluation of the antimicrobial susceptibility and microbial profile of subgingival biofilms in individuals with aggressive periodontitis

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Talita Gomes Baêta; Heller, Débora; do Souto, Renata Martins; Silva-Senem, Mayra Xavier e; Varela, Victor Macedo; Torres, Maria Cynesia Barros; Feres-Filho, Eduardo Jorge; Colombo, Ana Paula Vieira

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluates the antimicrobial susceptibility and composition of subgingival biofilms in generalized aggressive periodontitis (GAP) patients treated using mechanical/antimicrobial therapies, including chlorhexidine (CHX), amoxicillin (AMX) and metronidazole (MET). GAP patients allocated to the placebo (C, n = 15) or test group (T, n = 16) received full-mouth disinfection with CHX, scaling and root planning, and systemic AMX (500 mg)/MET (250 mg) or placebos. Subgingival plaque samples were obtained at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-therapy from 3–4 periodontal pockets, and the samples were pooled and cultivated under anaerobic conditions. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of AMX, MET and CHX were assessed using the microdilution method. Bacterial species present in the cultivated biofilm were identified by checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization. At baseline, no differences in the MICs between groups were observed for the 3 antimicrobials. In the T group, significant increases in the MICs of CHX (p < 0.05) and AMX (p < 0.01) were detected during the first 3 months; however, the MIC of MET decreased at 12 months (p < 0.05). For several species, the MICs significantly changed over time in both groups, i.e., Streptococci MICs tended to increase, while for several periodontal pathogens, the MICs diminished. A transitory increase in the MIC of the subgingival biofilm to AMX and CHX was observed in GAP patients treated using enhanced mechanical therapy with topical CHX and systemic AMX/MET. Both protocols presented limited effects on the cultivable subgingival microbiota. PMID:26273264

  5. Long-term evaluation of the antimicrobial susceptibility and microbial profile of subgingival biofilms in individuals with aggressive periodontitis.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Talita Gomes Baêta; Heller, Débora; do Souto, Renata Martins; Silva-Senem, Mayra Xavier E; Varela, Victor Macedo; Torres, Maria Cynesia Barros; Feres-Filho, Eduardo Jorge; Colombo, Ana Paula Vieira

    2015-06-01

    This study evaluates the antimicrobial susceptibility and composition of subgingival biofilms in generalized aggressive periodontitis (GAP) patients treated using mechanical/antimicrobial therapies, including chlorhexidine (CHX), amoxicillin (AMX) and metronidazole (MET). GAP patients allocated to the placebo (C, n = 15) or test group (T, n = 16) received full-mouth disinfection with CHX, scaling and root planning, and systemic AMX (500 mg)/MET (250 mg) or placebos. Subgingival plaque samples were obtained at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-therapy from 3-4 periodontal pockets, and the samples were pooled and cultivated under anaerobic conditions. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of AMX, MET and CHX were assessed using the microdilution method. Bacterial species present in the cultivated biofilm were identified by checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization. At baseline, no differences in the MICs between groups were observed for the 3 antimicrobials. In the T group, significant increases in the MICs of CHX (p < 0.05) and AMX (p < 0.01) were detected during the first 3 months; however, the MIC of MET decreased at 12 months (p < 0.05). For several species, the MICs significantly changed over time in both groups, i.e., Streptococci MICs tended to increase, while for several periodontal pathogens, the MICs diminished. A transitory increase in the MIC of the subgingival biofilm to AMX and CHX was observed in GAP patients treated using enhanced mechanical therapy with topical CHX and systemic AMX/MET. Both protocols presented limited effects on the cultivable subgingival microbiota. PMID:26273264

  6. Differentiation of Microbial Species and Strains in Coculture Biofilms by Multivariate Analysis of Laser Desorption Postionization Mass Spectra

    SciTech Connect

    University of Illinois at Chicago; Montana State University; Bhardwaj, Chhavi; Cui, Yang; Hofstetter, Theresa; Liu, Suet Yi; Bernstein, Hans C.; Carlson, Ross P.; Ahmed, Musahid; Hanley, Luke

    2013-04-01

    7.87 to 10.5 eV vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photon energies were used in laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry (LDPI-MS) to analyze biofilms comprised of binary cultures of interacting microorganisms. The effect of photon energy was examined using both tunable synchrotron and laser sources of VUV radiation. Principal components analysis (PCA) was applied to the MS data to differentiate species in Escherichia coli-Saccharomyces cerevisiae coculture biofilms. PCA of LDPI-MS also differentiated individual E. coli strains in a biofilm comprised of two interacting gene deletion strains, even though these strains differed from the wild type K-12 strain by no more than four gene deletions each out of approximately 2000 genes. PCA treatment of 7.87 eV LDPI-MS data separated the E. coli strains into three distinct groups two ?pure? groups and a mixed region. Furthermore, the ?pure? regions of the E. coli cocultures showed greater variance by PCA when analyzed by 7.87 eV photon energies than by 10.5 eV radiation. Comparison of the 7.87 and 10.5 eV data is consistent with the expectation that the lower photon energy selects a subset of low ionization energy analytes while 10.5 eV is more inclusive, detecting a wider range of analytes. These two VUV photon energies therefore give different spreads via PCA and their respective use in LDPI-MS constitute an additional experimental parameter to differentiate strains and species.

  7. Towards a Miniaturized System for Microbial Monitoring of Life Support Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abaibou, Hafid; Storrs, Michele; Broyer, Patrick; Drevet, Christophe; Guy, Michel; Mabilat, Claude; Lasseur, Christophe

    Russian astronauts and associated research organisations have demonstrated the risks associ-ated with microbial contamination for long term manned missions. These risks concern both crew health through the contamination of metabolic consumables (water, air) and also degra-dation of hardware. Over the last 10 years, ESA and bioMérieux S.A. (F, I, NL) have been developing an automated instrument for rapid microbial detection for air and surface samples based on molecular detection. Rapid molecular biology techniques are perceived as an attractive alternative to traditional culture-based methods for the detection of microbial contamination allowing fast time to results and permitting fast implementation of appropriate corrective action if needed. To date, there are no commercially-available fully automated systems allowing such tests due to the technical challenges required for test development and the need for full automation. This presentation will first explain the life support requirements for long term manned space missions and then describe the rapid molecular tools which have been developed in collaboration between ESA and bioMérieux. These tools allow the detection of nucleic acids of all bacteria and all fungi (microbial load) in a sample, that is a molecular total count of all microbes present in a sample. We will also describe a prototype instrument which can simultaneously perform nucleic acid extraction from environmental samples (air, surfaces and water) and amplification/detection of their purified nucleic acids, enabling a molecular microbial load count in less than 3 hours. It is currently being adapted to life support context with the help of an European space industry (NTE, Spain). This system was presented at Cospar 2008 from a planetary protection viewpoint. Here we update on the development concentrating on crew health aspects.

  8. The Efficacy of Umbelliferone, Arbutin, and N-Acetylcysteine to Prevent Microbial Colonization and Biofilm Development on Urinary Catheter Surface: Results from a Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Tommaso; Gallelli, Luca; Meacci, Francesca; Brugnolli, Anna; Prosperi, Letizia; Roberta, Stefani; Eccher, Cristina; Mazzoli, Sandra; Lanzafame, Paolo; Caciagli, Patrizio; Malossini, Gianni; Bartoletti, Riccardo

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated, in a preliminary study, the efficacy of umbelliferone, arbutin, and N-acetylcysteine to inhibit biofilm formation on urinary catheter. We used 20 urinary catheters: 5 catheters were incubated with Enterococcus faecalis (control group); 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (150 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (150 mg) (group 1); 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (150 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (400 mg) (group 2); and 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (300 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (150 mg) (group 3). After 72 hours, planktonic microbial growth and microorganisms on catheter surface were assessed. In the control group, we found a planktonic load of ≥105 CFU/mL in the inoculation medium and retrieved 3.69 × 106 CFU/cm from the sessile cells adherent to the catheter surface. A significantly lower amount in planktonic (p < 0.001) and sessile (p = 0.004) bacterial load was found in group 3, showing <100 CFU/mL and 0.12 × 106 CFU/cm in the incubation medium and on the catheter surface, respectively. In groups 1 and 2, 1.67 × 106 CFU/cm and 1.77 × 106 CFU/cm were found on catheter surface. Our results document that umbelliferone, arbutin, and N-acetylcysteine are able to reduce E. faecalis biofilm development on the surface of urinary catheters. PMID:27127655

  9. The Efficacy of Umbelliferone, Arbutin, and N-Acetylcysteine to Prevent Microbial Colonization and Biofilm Development on Urinary Catheter Surface: Results from a Preliminary Study.

    PubMed

    Cai, Tommaso; Gallelli, Luca; Meacci, Francesca; Brugnolli, Anna; Prosperi, Letizia; Roberta, Stefani; Eccher, Cristina; Mazzoli, Sandra; Lanzafame, Paolo; Caciagli, Patrizio; Malossini, Gianni; Bartoletti, Riccardo

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated, in a preliminary study, the efficacy of umbelliferone, arbutin, and N-acetylcysteine to inhibit biofilm formation on urinary catheter. We used 20 urinary catheters: 5 catheters were incubated with Enterococcus faecalis (control group); 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (150 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (150 mg) (group 1); 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (150 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (400 mg) (group 2); and 5 catheters were incubated with E. faecalis in presence of umbelliferone (300 mg), arbutin (60 mg), and N-acetylcysteine (150 mg) (group 3). After 72 hours, planktonic microbial growth and microorganisms on catheter surface were assessed. In the control group, we found a planktonic load of ≥10(5) CFU/mL in the inoculation medium and retrieved 3.69 × 10(6) CFU/cm from the sessile cells adherent to the catheter surface. A significantly lower amount in planktonic (p < 0.001) and sessile (p = 0.004) bacterial load was found in group 3, showing <100 CFU/mL and 0.12 × 10(6) CFU/cm in the incubation medium and on the catheter surface, respectively. In groups 1 and 2, 1.67 × 10(6) CFU/cm and 1.77 × 10(6) CFU/cm were found on catheter surface. Our results document that umbelliferone, arbutin, and N-acetylcysteine are able to reduce E. faecalis biofilm development on the surface of urinary catheters. PMID:27127655

  10. Biofilm in endodontics: A review.

    PubMed

    Jhajharia, Kapil; Parolia, Abhishek; Shetty, K Vikram; Mehta, Lata Kiran

    2015-01-01

    Endodontic disease is a biofilm-mediated infection, and primary aim in the management of endodontic disease is the elimination of bacterial biofilm from the root canal system. The most common endodontic infection is caused by the surface-associated growth of microorganisms. It is important to apply the biofilm concept to endodontic microbiology to understand the pathogenic potential of the root canal microbiota as well as to form the basis for new approaches for disinfection. It is foremost to understand how the biofilm formed by root canal bacteria resists endodontic treatment measures. Bacterial etiology has been confirmed for common oral diseases such as caries and periodontal and endodontic infections. Bacteria causing these diseases are organized in biofilm structures, which are complex microbial communities composed of a great variety of bacteria with different ecological requirements and pathogenic potential. The biofilm community not only gives bacteria effective protection against the host's defense system but also makes them more resistant to a variety of disinfecting agents used as oral hygiene products or in the treatment of infections. Successful treatment of these diseases depends on biofilm removal as well as effective killing of biofilm bacteria. So, the fundamental to maintain oral health and prevent dental caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis is to control the oral biofilms. From these aspects, the formation of biofilms carries particular clinical significance because not only host defense mechanisms but also therapeutic efforts including chemical and mechanical antimicrobial treatment measures have the most difficult task of dealing with organisms that are gathered in a biofilm. The aim of this article was to review the mechanisms of biofilms' formation, their roles in pulpal and periapical pathosis, the different types of biofilms, the factors influencing biofilm formation, the mechanisms of their antimicrobial resistance, techniques to

  11. Metagenomic Analysis of Showerhead Biofilms from a Hospital in Ohio

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: The National Institute of Health estimated that 80% of human microbial infections are associated with biofilms. Although water supplies and hospital equipments are constantly treated with disinfectants, the presence of biofilms in these areas has been frequently obser...

  12. Viscoelastic properties of levan-DNA mixtures important in microbial biofilm formation as determined by micro- and macrorheology.

    PubMed

    Stojković, Biljana; Sretenovic, Simon; Dogsa, Iztok; Poberaj, Igor; Stopar, David

    2015-02-01

    We studied the viscoelastic properties of homogeneous and inhomogeneous levan-DNA mixtures using optical tweezers and a rotational rheometer. Levan and DNA are important components of the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms. Their viscoelastic properties influence the mechanical as well as molecular-transport properties of biofilm. Both macro- and microrheology measurements in homogeneous levan-DNA mixtures revealed pseudoplastic behavior. When the concentration of DNA reached a critical value, levan started to aggregate, forming clusters of a few microns in size. Microrheology using optical tweezers enabled us to measure local viscoelastic properties within the clusters as well as in the DNA phase surrounding the levan aggregates. In phase-separated levan-DNA mixtures, the results of macro- and microrheology differed significantly. The local viscosity and elasticity of levan increased, whereas the local viscosity of DNA decreased. On the other hand, the results of bulk viscosity measurements suggest that levan clusters do not interact strongly with DNA. Upon treatment with DNase, levan aggregates dispersed. These results demonstrate the advantages of microrheological measurements compared to bulk viscoelastic measurements when the materials under investigation are complex and inhomogeneous, as is often the case in biological samples. PMID:25650942

  13. Viscoelastic Properties of Levan-DNA Mixtures Important in Microbial Biofilm Formation as Determined by Micro- and Macrorheology

    PubMed Central

    Stojković, Biljana; Sretenovic, Simon; Dogsa, Iztok; Poberaj, Igor; Stopar, David

    2015-01-01

    We studied the viscoelastic properties of homogeneous and inhomogeneous levan-DNA mixtures using optical tweezers and a rotational rheometer. Levan and DNA are important components of the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms. Their viscoelastic properties influence the mechanical as well as molecular-transport properties of biofilm. Both macro- and microrheology measurements in homogeneous levan-DNA mixtures revealed pseudoplastic behavior. When the concentration of DNA reached a critical value, levan started to aggregate, forming clusters of a few microns in size. Microrheology using optical tweezers enabled us to measure local viscoelastic properties within the clusters as well as in the DNA phase surrounding the levan aggregates. In phase-separated levan-DNA mixtures, the results of macro- and microrheology differed significantly. The local viscosity and elasticity of levan increased, whereas the local viscosity of DNA decreased. On the other hand, the results of bulk viscosity measurements suggest that levan clusters do not interact strongly with DNA. Upon treatment with DNase, levan aggregates dispersed. These results demonstrate the advantages of microrheological measurements compared to bulk viscoelastic measurements when the materials under investigation are complex and inhomogeneous, as is often the case in biological samples. PMID:25650942

  14. Deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir: baseline characterization prior CO2 injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Daria; Shaheed, Mina; Vieth, Andrea; Krüger, Martin; Kock, Dagmar; Würdemann, Hilke

    2010-05-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of about 3500m, is characterised by high salinity fluid and temperatures up to 127° C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that

  15. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. PMID:25105587

  16. Microbial trace fossils in Antarctica and the search for evidence of early life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Friedmann, Roseli O.

    1989-01-01

    It is possible to hypothesize that, if microbial life evolved on early Mars, fossil remnants of these organisms may be preserved on the surface. However, the cooling and drying of Mars probably resembled a cold desert and such an environment is not suitable for the process of fossilization. The frigid Ross Desert of Antarctica is probably the closest terrestrial analog to conditions that may have prevailed on the surface of the cooling and drying Mars. In this desert, cryptoendolithic microbial communities live in the airspaces of porous rocks, the last habitable niche in a hostile outside environment. The organisms produce characteristic chemical and physical changes in the rock substrate. Environmental changes (deterioration of conditions) may result in the death of the community. Although no cellular structures are fossilized, the conspicuous changes in the rock substrate are preserved as trace fossils. Likewise, microbial trace fossils (without cellular structures) may also be preserved on Mars: Discontinuities in structure or chemistry of the rock that are independent of physical or chemical gradients may be of biological origin. Ross Desert trace fossils can be used as a model for planning search strategies and for instrument design to find evidence of past Martian life.

  17. Impact of drinking water conditions and copper materials on downstream biofilm microbial communities and legionella pneumophila colonization

    EPA Science Inventory

    Legionella pneumophila, the medically important species within the genus Legionella, is a concern in engineered water systems. Its ability to amplify within free-living amoebae is well documented, but its interactions/ecology within the microbial community of drinking water biofi...

  18. Biofilm in endodontics: A review

    PubMed Central

    Jhajharia, Kapil; Parolia, Abhishek; Shetty, K Vikram; Mehta, Lata Kiran

    2015-01-01

    Endodontic disease is a biofilm-mediated infection, and primary aim in the management of endodontic disease is the elimination of bacterial biofilm from the root canal system. The most common endodontic infection is caused by the surface-associated growth of microorganisms. It is important to apply the biofilm concept to endodontic microbiology to understand the pathogenic potential of the root canal microbiota as well as to form the basis for new approaches for disinfection. It is foremost to understand how the biofilm formed by root canal bacteria resists endodontic treatment measures. Bacterial etiology has been confirmed for common oral diseases such as caries and periodontal and endodontic infections. Bacteria causing these diseases are organized in biofilm structures, which are complex microbial communities composed of a great variety of bacteria with different ecological requirements and pathogenic potential. The biofilm community not only gives bacteria effective protection against the host's defense system but also makes them more resistant to a variety of disinfecting agents used as oral hygiene products or in the treatment of infections. Successful treatment of these diseases depends on biofilm removal as well as effective killing of biofilm bacteria. So, the fundamental to maintain oral health and prevent dental caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis is to control the oral biofilms. From these aspects, the formation of biofilms carries particular clinical significance because not only host defense mechanisms but also therapeutic efforts including chemical and mechanical antimicrobial treatment measures have the most difficult task of dealing with organisms that are gathered in a biofilm. The aim of this article was to review the mechanisms of biofilms’ formation, their roles in pulpal and periapical pathosis, the different types of biofilms, the factors influencing biofilm formation, the mechanisms of their antimicrobial resistance, techniques to

  19. In Situ Identification and Stratification of Monochloramine Inhibition Effects on Nitrifying Biofilms as Determined by the Use of Microelectrodes

    EPA Science Inventory

    The nitrifying biofilm grown in an annular biofilm reactor and the microbial deactivation achieved after monochloramine treatment were investigated using microelectrodes. The nitrifying biofilm ammonium microprofile was measured and the effect of monochloramine on nitrifying bio...

  20. Microbial Life in Brines, Evaporites and Saline Sediments: The Search for Life on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancinelli, Rocco L.

    When water on a planet begins to evaporate the dissolved minerals become more concentrated, form a brine, eventually precipitating out of solution and forming evaporite deposits. The brines and evaporites form a highly saline environment that is hostile to most life forms, but provides an ideal habitat for organisms that are osmophilic, or halophilic. Halophiles are salt "loving" organisms that inhabit environments with salt concentrations ranging from 15 % to saturation. On Earth, representatives of halophiles occur in all three domains of life, the Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya.

  1. Bifunctional quaternary ammonium compounds to inhibit biofilm growth and enhance performance for activated carbon air-cathode in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Liu, Yinan; An, Jingkun; Feng, Cuijuan; Wang, Xin

    2014-12-01

    The slow diffusion of hydroxyl out of the catalyst layer as well as the biofouling on the surface of cathode are two problems affecting power for membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In order to solve both of them simultaneously, here we simply modify activated carbon air-cathode using a bifunctional quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) by forced evaporation. The maximum power density reaches 1041 ± 12 mW m-2 in an unbuffered medium (0.5 g L-1 NaCl), which is 17% higher than the control, probably due to the accelerated anion transport in the catalyst layer. After 2 months, the protein content reduced by a factor of 26 and the power density increases by 33%, indicating that the QAC modification can effectively inhibit the growth of cathodic biofilm and improve the stability of performance. The addition of NaOH and QAC epoxy have a negative effect on power production due to the clogging of pores in catalyst layer.

  2. Microbial Safety and Shelf Life of UV-C Treated Freshly Squeezed White Grape Juice.

    PubMed

    Unluturk, Sevcan; Atilgan, Mehmet R

    2015-08-01

    The effects of UV-C irradiation on the inactivation of Escherichia coli K-12 (ATCC 25253), a surrogate of E. coli O157:H7, and on the shelf life of freshly squeezed turbid white grape juice (FSWGJ) were investigated. FSWGJ samples were processed at 0.90 mL/s for 32 min by circulating 8 times in an annular flow UV system. The UV exposure time was 244 s per cycle. The population of E. coli K-12 was reduced by 5.34 log cycles after exposure to a total UV dosage of 9.92 J/cm(2) (1.24 J/cm(2) per cycle) at 0.90 mL/s flow rate. The microbial shelf life of UV-C treated FSWGJ was extended up to 14 d at 4 °C. UV exposure was not found to alter pH, total soluble solid, and titratable acidity of juice. There was a significant effect (P < 0.05) on turbidity, absorbance coefficient, color, and ascorbic acid content. Furthermore, all physicochemical properties were altered during refrigerated storage. The microbial shelf life of FSWGJ was doubled after UV-C treatment, whereas the quality of juice was adversely affected similarly observed in the control samples. PMID:26177986

  3. Candida Biofilms: Development, Architecture, and Resistance

    PubMed Central

    CHANDRA, JYOTSNA; MUKHERJEE, PRANAB K.

    2015-01-01

    Intravascular device–related infections are often associated with biofilms (microbial communities encased within a polysaccharide-rich extracellular matrix) formed by pathogens on the surfaces of these devices. Candida species are the most common fungi isolated from catheter-, denture-, and voice prosthesis–associated infections and also are commonly isolated from contact lens–related infections (e.g., fungal keratitis). These biofilms exhibit decreased susceptibility to most antimicrobial agents, which contributes to the persistence of infection. Recent technological advances have facilitated the development of novel approaches to investigate the formation of biofilms and identify specific markers for biofilms. These studies have provided extensive knowledge of the effect of different variables, including growth time, nutrients, and physiological conditions, on biofilm formation, morphology, and architecture. In this article, we will focus on fungal biofilms (mainly Candida biofilms) and provide an update on the development, architecture, and resistance mechanisms of biofilms. PMID:26350306

  4. Life on the outside: role of biofilms in environmental persistence of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Vogeleer, Philippe; Tremblay, Yannick D. N.; Mafu, Akier A.; Jacques, Mario; Harel, Josée

    2014-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a heterogeneous species that can be part of the normal flora of humans but also include strains of medical importance. Among pathogenic members, Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) are some of the more prominent pathogenic E. coli within the public sphere. STEC disease outbreaks are typically associated with contaminated beef, contaminated drinking water, and contaminated fresh produce. These water- and food-borne pathogens usually colonize cattle asymptomatically; cows will shed STEC in their feces and the subsequent fecal contamination of the environment and processing plants is a major concern for food and public safety. This is especially important because STEC can survive for prolonged periods of time outside its host in environments such as water, produce, and farm soil. Biofilms are hypothesized to be important for survival in the environment especially on produce, in rivers, and in processing plants. Several factors involved in biofilm formation such as curli, cellulose, poly-N-acetyl glucosamine, and colanic acid are involved in plant colonization and adherence to different surfaces often found in meat processing plants. In food processing plants, contamination of beef carcasses occurs at different stages of processing and this is often caused by the formation of STEC biofilms on the surface of several pieces of equipment associated with slaughtering and processing. Biofilms protect bacteria against several challenges, including biocides used in industrial processes. STEC biofilms are less sensitive than planktonic cells to several chemical sanitizers such as quaternary ammonium compounds, peroxyacetic acid, and chlorine compounds. Increased resistance to sanitizers by STEC growing in a biofilm is likely to be a source of contamination in the processing plant. This review focuses on the role of biofilm formation by STEC as a means of persistence outside their animal host and factors associated with biofilm formation. PMID:25071733

  5. Synthetic networks in microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suel, Gurol

    2015-03-01

    While bacteria are single celled organisms, they predominantly reside in structured communities known as biofilms. Cells in biofilms are encapsulated and protected by the extracellular matrix (ECM), which also confines cells in space. During biofilm development, microbial cells are organized in space and over time. Little is known regarding the processes that drive the spatio-temporal organization of microbial communities. Here I will present our latest efforts that utilize synthetic biology approaches to uncover the organizational principles that drive biofilm development. I will also discuss the possible implications of our recent findings in terms of the cost and benefit to biofilm cells.

  6. Microbial life in the Lake Medee, the largest deep-sea salt-saturated formation.

    PubMed

    Yakimov, Michail M; La Cono, Violetta; Slepak, Vladlen Z; La Spada, Gina; Arcadi, Erika; Messina, Enzo; Borghini, Mireno; Monticelli, Luis S; Rojo, David; Barbas, Coral; Golyshina, Olga V; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N; Giuliano, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Deep-sea hypersaline anoxic lakes (DHALs) of the Eastern Mediterranean represent some of the most hostile environments on our planet. We investigated microbial life in the recently discovered Lake Medee, the largest DHAL found to-date. Medee has two unique features: a complex geobiochemical stratification and an absence of chemolithoautotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria, which usually play the primary role in dark bicarbonate assimilation in DHALs interfaces. Presumably because of these features, Medee is less productive and exhibits reduced diversity of autochthonous prokaryotes in its interior. Indeed, the brine community almost exclusively consists of the members of euryarchaeal MSBL1 and bacterial KB1 candidate divisions. Our experiments utilizing cultivation and [(14)C]-assimilation, showed that these organisms at least partially rely on reductive cleavage of osmoprotectant glycine betaine and are engaged in trophic cooperation. These findings provide novel insights into how prokaryotic communities can adapt to salt-saturated conditions and sustain active metabolism at the thermodynamic edge of life. PMID:24352146

  7. Microbial life in the Lake Medee, the largest deep-sea salt-saturated formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakimov, Michail M.; La Cono, Violetta; Slepak, Vladlen Z.; La Spada, Gina; Arcadi, Erika; Messina, Enzo; Borghini, Mireno; Monticelli, Luis S.; Rojo, David; Barbas, Coral; Golyshina, Olga V.; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N.; Giuliano, Laura

    2013-12-01

    Deep-sea hypersaline anoxic lakes (DHALs) of the Eastern Mediterranean represent some of the most hostile environments on our planet. We investigated microbial life in the recently discovered Lake Medee, the largest DHAL found to-date. Medee has two unique features: a complex geobiochemical stratification and an absence of chemolithoautotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria, which usually play the primary role in dark bicarbonate assimilation in DHALs interfaces. Presumably because of these features, Medee is less productive and exhibits reduced diversity of autochthonous prokaryotes in its interior. Indeed, the brine community almost exclusively consists of the members of euryarchaeal MSBL1 and bacterial KB1 candidate divisions. Our experiments utilizing cultivation and [14C]-assimilation, showed that these organisms at least partially rely on reductive cleavage of osmoprotectant glycine betaine and are engaged in trophic cooperation. These findings provide novel insights into how prokaryotic communities can adapt to salt-saturated conditions and sustain active metabolism at the thermodynamic edge of life.

  8. Microbial life in the Lake Medee, the largest deep-sea salt-saturated formation

    PubMed Central

    Yakimov, Michail M.; La Cono, Violetta; Slepak, Vladlen Z.; La Spada, Gina; Arcadi, Erika; Messina, Enzo; Borghini, Mireno; Monticelli, Luis S.; Rojo, David; Barbas, Coral; Golyshina, Olga V.; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N.; Giuliano, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Deep-sea hypersaline anoxic lakes (DHALs) of the Eastern Mediterranean represent some of the most hostile environments on our planet. We investigated microbial life in the recently discovered Lake Medee, the largest DHAL found to-date. Medee has two unique features: a complex geobiochemical stratification and an absence of chemolithoautotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria, which usually play the primary role in dark bicarbonate assimilation in DHALs interfaces. Presumably because of these features, Medee is less productive and exhibits reduced diversity of autochthonous prokaryotes in its interior. Indeed, the brine community almost exclusively consists of the members of euryarchaeal MSBL1 and bacterial KB1 candidate divisions. Our experiments utilizing cultivation and [14C]-assimilation, showed that these organisms at least partially rely on reductive cleavage of osmoprotectant glycine betaine and are engaged in trophic cooperation. These findings provide novel insights into how prokaryotic communities can adapt to salt-saturated conditions and sustain active metabolism at the thermodynamic edge of life. PMID:24352146

  9. Associations between gut microbial colonization in early life and respiratory outcomes in cystic fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Hoen, Anne G.; Li, Jing; Moulton, Lisa A.; O’Toole, George A.; Housman, Molly L.; Koestler, Devin C.; Guill, Margaret F.; Moore, Jason H.; Hibberd, Patricia L.; Morrison, Hilary G.; Sogin, Mitchell L.; Karagas, Margaret R.; Madan, Juliette C.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To examine patterns of microbial colonization of the respiratory and intestinal tracts in early life in infants with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their associations with breastfeeding and clinical outcomes. Study design A comprehensive, prospective longitudinal analysis of the upper respiratory and intestinal microbiota in a cohort of infants and young children with CF followed from birth was performed. Genus-level microbial community composition was characterized using 16S-targeted pyrosequencing, and relationships with exposures and outcomes were assessed using linear mixed-effects models, time-to-event analysis and principal components analysis. Results Sequencing of 120 samples from 13 subjects collected from birth to 34 months revealed relationships between breastfeeding, microbial diversity in the respiratory and intestinal tracts and the timing of onset of respiratory complications, including exacerbations and colonization with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Fluctuations in the abundance of specific bacterial taxa preceeded clinical outcomes, including a significant decrease in bacteria of the genus Parabacteroides within the intestinal tract prior to the onset of chronic P. aeruginosa colonization. Specific assemblages of bacteria in intestinal samples, but not respiratory samples, were associated with CF exacerbation in early life, indicating that the intestinal microbiome may play a role in lung health. Conclusion Our findings relating breastfeeding to respiratory outcomes, gut diversity to prolonged periods of health, and specific bacterial communities in the gut prior to respiratory complications in CF highlight a connection between the intestinal microbiome and health and point to potential opportunities for antibiotic or probiotic interventions. Further studies in larger cohorts validating these findings are needed. PMID:25818499

  10. An Update on the Management of Endodontic Biofilms Using Root Canal Irrigants and Medicaments

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Zahed; Soltani, Mohammad Karim; Shalavi, Sousan

    2014-01-01

    Microbial biofilm is defined as a sessile multicellular microbial community characterized by cells that are firmly attached to a surface and enmeshed in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. Biofilms play a very important role in pulp and periradicular pathosis. The aim of this article was to review the role of endodontic biofilms and the effects of root canal irrigants, medicaments as well as lasers on biofilms A Medline search was performed on the English articles published from 1982 to 2013 and was limited to papers published in English. The searched keywords were “Biofilms AND endodontics”, “Biofilms AND sodium hypochlorite”, "Biofilms AND chlorhexidine", "Biofilms AND MTAD", "Biofilms AND calcium hydroxide", “Biofilms AND ozone”, “Biofilms AND lasers” and "Biofilms AND nanoparticles". The reference list of each article was manually searched to find other suitable sources of information. PMID:24688576

  11. Terrestrial Biomarkers for Early Life on Earth as Analogs for Possible Martian Life Forms: Examples of Minerally Replaced Bacteria and Biofilms From the 3.5 - 3.3-Ga Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westall, F.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; deWit, M. J.; Dann, J.; Gerneke, D.; deRonde, C. E. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for extraterrestrial life and especially martian life hinges on a variety of methods used to identify vestiges of what we could recognize as life, including chemical signatures, morphological fossils, and biogenic precipitates. Although the possibility of extant life on Mars (subsurface) is being considered, most exploration efforts may be directed toward the search for fossil life. Geomorphological evidence points to a warmer and wetter Mars early on in its history, a scenario that encourages comparison with the early Earth. For this reason, study of the early terrestrial life forms and environment in which they lived may provide clues as to how to search for extinct martian life. As a contribution to the early Archean database of terrestrial microfossils, we present new data on morphological fossils from the 3.5-3.3-Ga Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa. This study underlines the variety of fossil types already present in some of the oldest, best-preserved terrestrial sediments, ranging from minerally replaced bacteria and bacteria molds of vaRious morphologies (coccoid, coccobacillus, bacillus) to minerally replaced biofilm. Biofilm or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) is produced by bacteria and appears to be more readily fossilisable than bacteria themselves. The BGB fossils occur in shallow water to subaerial sediments interbedded with volcanic lavas, the whole being deposited on oceanic crust. Penecontemporaneous silicification of sediments and volcanics resulted in the chertification of the rocks, which were later subjected to low-grade metamorphism (lower greenschist).

  12. Strategies for combating bacterial biofilm infections

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hong; Moser, Claus; Wang, Heng-Zhuang; Høiby, Niels; Song, Zhi-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Formation of biofilm is a survival strategy for bacteria and fungi to adapt to their living environment, especially in the hostile environment. Under the protection of biofilm, microbial cells in biofilm become tolerant and resistant to antibiotics and the immune responses, which increases the difficulties for the clinical treatment of biofilm infections. Clinical and laboratory investigations demonstrated a perspicuous correlation between biofilm infection and medical foreign bodies or indwelling devices. Clinical observations and experimental studies indicated clearly that antibiotic treatment alone is in most cases insufficient to eradicate biofilm infections. Therefore, to effectively treat biofilm infections with currently available antibiotics and evaluate the outcomes become important and urgent for clinicians. The review summarizes the latest progress in treatment of clinical biofilm infections and scientific investigations, discusses the diagnosis and treatment of different biofilm infections and introduces the promising laboratory progress, which may contribute to prevention or cure of biofilm infections. We conclude that, an efficient treatment of biofilm infections needs a well-established multidisciplinary collaboration, which includes removal of the infected foreign bodies, selection of biofilm-active, sensitive and well-penetrating antibiotics, systemic or topical antibiotic administration in high dosage and combinations, and administration of anti-quorum sensing or biofilm dispersal agents. PMID:25504208

  13. Characterization of the deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, D.; Alawi, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Kock, D.; Krüger, M.; Wuerdemann, H.; Shaheed, M.

    2010-12-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of approximately 3500 m, is characterised by high salinity (420 g/l) and temperatures up to 127°C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery), the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism), DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and 16S rRNA cloning. First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other deep environments. The sequence analyses revealed the presence of several H2-oxidising bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp

  14. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ruijie; Li, Mingyun; Gregory, Richard L

    2011-01-01

    Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria. PMID:21778817

  15. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ruijie; Li, Mingyun

    2011-01-01

    Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free-floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria. PMID:21778817

  16. Evaluation of the Microbial Population in the Multibiological Life Support System Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Yuming; Tong, Ling; Li, Ming; Hu, Enzhu; Hu, Dawei; He, Wenting; Liu, Hong

    In order to develop and evaluate a ground-based bioregenerative life support system satisfying half of one crew member's requirement towards O2 , Multibiological Life Support System Exper-iments (MLSSE) have been conducted. The MLSSE involved humans participating in the gas exchange with the closed equipment simulating the future extraterrestrial life support systems, which included three phases. The Phase I test involved one person participating in the gas exchange with lettuce in plant chamber as the primary means of air revitalization for 3 months. The Phase II test involved one person participating in the gas exchange with lettuce in plant chamber and micoalgae in bioreactor as the means of air revitalization for 1 month. In the Phase III test, silkworm was introduced into animal chamber for 2 months based on Phase II. The microbial dynamics in the closed chambers were evaluated during the whole experiments. The surfaces, water, and air of closed equipment were sampled for microbial content during the whole experiments. In general, the numbers of microbes in the chambers slowly increased with length of occupation. Compared with Phase I, the numbers of microbes of Phase II ob-viously increased, however, the numbers of microbes of Phase III did not increase relative to Phase II. The types of microbes found on the surfaces and in the air in all the experimental phases were similar. The most common bacteria were Bacillus sp., Pseudomonas sp., as well as Sphingomonas sp., with Pencillium sp. and Cladosporium sp. the most common fungi. A few opportunistic pathogens were also determined, but neither phase had levels of microbes that would be considered an occupational health threat.

  17. Innovative Strategies to Overcome Biofilm Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Taraszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Fila, Grzegorz; Grinholc, Mariusz; Nakonieczna, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    We review the recent literature concerning the efficiency of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation toward various microbial species in planktonic and biofilm cultures. The review is mainly focused on biofilm-growing microrganisms because this form of growth poses a threat to chronically infected or immunocompromised patients and is difficult to eradicate from medical devices. We discuss the biofilm formation process and mechanisms of its increased resistance to various antimicrobials. We present, based on data in the literature, strategies for overcoming the problem of biofilm resistance. Factors that have potential for use in increasing the efficiency of the killing of biofilm-forming bacteria include plant extracts, enzymes that disturb the biofilm structure, and other nonenzymatic molecules. We propose combining antimicrobial photodynamic therapy with various antimicrobial and antibiofilm approaches to obtain a synergistic effect to permit efficient microbial growth control at low photosensitizer doses. PMID:23509680

  18. Permeabilizing biofilms

    DOEpatents

    Soukos, Nikolaos S.; Lee, Shun; Doukas, Apostolos G.

    2008-02-19

    Methods for permeabilizing biofilms using stress waves are described. The methods involve applying one or more stress waves to a biofilm, e.g., on a surface of a device or food item, or on a tissue surface in a patient, and then inducing stress waves to create transient increases in the permeability of the biofilm. The increased permeability facilitates delivery of compounds, such as antimicrobial or therapeutic agents into and through the biofilm.

  19. GENETIC CONTROL OF CANDIDA ALBICANS BIOFILM DEVELOPMENT

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Jonathan S.; Mitchell, Aaron P.

    2014-01-01

    Preface Candida species cause frequent infections due to their ability to form biofilms – surface-associated microbial communities – primarily on implanted medical devices. Increasingly, mechanistic studies have identified the gene products that participate directly in Candida albicans biofilm formation, as well as the regulatory circuitry and networks that control their expression and activity. These studies have revealed new mechanisms and signals that govern C. albicans biofilm formation and associated drug resistance, thus providing biological insight and therapeutic foresight. PMID:21189476

  20. Detection of in-situ derivatized peptides in microbial biofilms by laser desorption 7.87 eV postionizaton mass spectrometry.

    SciTech Connect

    Edirisinghe, P. D.; Moore, J. F.; Skinner-Nemec, K. A.; Lindberg, C.; Giometti, C. S.; Veryovkin, I. V.; Hunt, J. E.; Pellin, M. J.; Hanley, L.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; MassThink

    2007-01-01

    A novel analytical method based on laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry (LDPI-MS) was developed to investigate the competence and sporulation factor-a pentapeptide of amino acid sequence ERGMT-within intact Bacillus subtilis biofilms. Derivatization of the neat ERGMT peptide with quinoline- and anthracene-based tags was separately used to lower the peptide ionization potential and permit direct ionization by 7.87-eV vacuum ultraviolet radiation. The techniques of mass shifting and selective ionization of the derivatized peptide were combined here to permit detection of ERGMT peptide within intact biofilms by LDPI-MS, without any prior extraction or chromatographic separation. Finally, imaging MS specific to the derivatized peptide was demonstrated on an intact biofilm using LDPI-MS. The presence of ERGMT in the biofilms was verified by bulk extraction/LC-MS. However, MALDI imaging MS analyses were unable to detect ERGMT within intact biofilms.

  1. Dynamic interactions of neutrophils and biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Hirschfeld, Josefine

    2014-01-01

    Background The majority of microbial infections in humans are biofilm-associated and difficult to treat, as biofilms are highly resistant to antimicrobial agents and protect themselves from external threats in various ways. Biofilms are tenaciously attached to surfaces and impede the ability of host defense molecules and cells to penetrate them. On the other hand, some biofilms are beneficial for the host and contain protective microorganisms. Microbes in biofilms express pathogen-associated molecular patterns and epitopes that can be recognized by innate immune cells and opsonins, leading to activation of neutrophils and other leukocytes. Neutrophils are part of the first line of defense and have multiple antimicrobial strategies allowing them to attack pathogenic biofilms. Objective/design In this paper, interaction modes of neutrophils with biofilms are reviewed. Antimicrobial strategies of neutrophils and the counteractions of the biofilm communities, with special attention to oral biofilms, are presented. Moreover, possible adverse effects of neutrophil activity and their biofilm-promoting side effects are discussed. Results/conclusion Biofilms are partially, but not entirely, protected against neutrophil assault, which include the processes of phagocytosis, degranulation, and formation of neutrophil extracellular traps. However, virulence factors of microorganisms, microbial composition, and properties of the extracellular matrix determine whether a biofilm and subsequent microbial spread can be controlled by neutrophils and other host defense factors. Besides, neutrophils may inadvertently contribute to the physical and ecological stability of biofilms by promoting selection of more resistant strains. Moreover, neutrophil enzymes can degrade collagen and other proteins and, as a result, cause harm to the host tissues. These parameters could be crucial factors in the onset of periodontal inflammation and the subsequent tissue breakdown. PMID:25523872

  2. [Urinary catheter biofilm infections].

    PubMed

    Holá, V; Růzicka, F

    2008-04-01

    Urinary tract infections, most of which are biofilm infections in catheterized patients, account for more than 40% of hospital infections. Bacterial colonization of the urinary tract and catheters causes not only infection but also other complications such as catheter blockage by bacterial encrustation, urolithiasis and pyelonephritis. About 50% of long-term catheterized patients face urinary flow obstruction due to catheter encrustation, but no measure is currently available to prevent it. Encrustation has been known either to result from metabolic dysfunction or to be of microbial origin, with urease positive bacterial species implicated most often. Infectious calculi account for about 15-20% of all cases of urolithiasis and are often associated with biofilm colonization of a long-term indwelling urinary catheter or urethral stent. The use of closed catheter systems is helpful in reducing such problems; nevertheless, such a system only delays the inevitable, with infections emerging a little later. Various coatings intended to prevent the bacterial adhesion to the surface of catheters and implants and thus also the emergence of biofilm infections, unfortunately, do not inhibit the microbial adhesion completely and permanently and the only reliable method for biofilm eradication remains the removal of the foreign body from the patient. PMID:18578409

  3. BIOFILMS IN DRINKING WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Virtually anywhere a surface comes into contact with the water in a distribution system, one can find biofilms. Biofilms are formed in distribution system pipelines when microbial cells attach to pipe surfaces and multiply to form a film or slime layer on the pipe. Probably withi...

  4. Biofilms in fresh fruit and vegetables

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacteria can attach to surfaces and form biofilms, which have a characteristic structure consisting of microcolonies enclosed in a hydrated matrix of microbially-produced proteins and polysaccharides. In this complex biofilm network, the cells act less as individual entities and more as a collectiv...

  5. A novel role for maternal stress and microbial transmission in early life programming and neurodevelopment

    PubMed Central

    Jašarević, Eldin; Rodgers, Ali B.; Bale, Tracy L.

    2014-01-01

    Perturbations in the prenatal and early life environment can contribute to the development of offspring stress dysregulation, a pervasive symptom in neuropsychiatric disease. Interestingly, the vertical transmission of maternal microbes to offspring and the subsequent bacterial colonization of the neonatal gut overlap with a critical period of brain development. Therefore, environmental factors such as maternal stress that are able to alter microbial populations and their transmission can thereby shape offspring neurodevelopment. As the neonatal gastrointestinal tract is primarily inoculated at parturition through the ingestion of maternal vaginal microflora, disruption in the vaginal ecosystem may have important implications for offspring neurodevelopment and disease risk. Here, we discuss alterations that occur in the vaginal microbiome following maternal insult and the subsequent effects on bacterial assembly of the neonate gut, the production of neuromodulatory metabolites, and the developmental course of stress regulation. PMID:25530984

  6. Biofilms On Orbit and On Earth: Current Methods, Future Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vega, Leticia

    2013-01-01

    Biofilms have played a significant role on the effectiveness of life support hardware on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS). This presentation will discuss how biofilms impact flight hardware, how on orbit biofilms are analyzed from an engineering and research perspective, and future needs to analyze and utilize biofilms for long duration, deep space missions.

  7. Biofilms and Inflammation in Chronic Wounds

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Ge; Usui, Marcia L.; Lippman, Soyeon I.; James, Garth A.; Stewart, Philip S.; Fleckman, Philip; Olerud, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Significance The incidence, cost, morbidity, and mortality associated with non-healing of chronic skin wounds are dramatic. With the increasing numbers of people with obesity, chronic medical conditions, and an increasing life expectancy, the healthcare cost of non-healing ulcers has recently been estimated at $25 billion annually in the United States. The role played by bacterial biofilm in chronic wounds has been emphasized in recent years, particularly in the context of the prolongation of the inflammatory phase of repair. Recent Advances Rapid high-throughput genomic approaches have revolutionized the ability to identify and quantify microbial organisms from wounds. Defining bacterial genomes and using genetic approaches to knock out specific bacterial functions, then studying bacterial survival on cutaneous wounds is a promising strategy for understanding which genes are essential for pathogenicity. Critical Issues When an animal sustains a cutaneous wound, understanding mechanisms involved in adaptations by bacteria and adaptations by the host in the struggle for survival is central to development of interventions that favor the host. Future Directions Characterization of microbiomes of clinically well characterized chronic human wounds is now under way. The use of in vivo models of biofilm-infected cutaneous wounds will permit the study of the mechanisms needed for biofilm formation, persistence, and potential synergistic interactions among bacteria. A more complete understanding of bacterial survival mechanisms and how microbes influence host repair mechanisms are likely to provide targets for chronic wound therapy. PMID:24527355

  8. Rhizome of life, catastrophes, sequence exchanges, gene creations, and giant viruses: how microbial genomics challenges Darwin

    PubMed Central

    Merhej, Vicky; Raoult, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's theory about the evolution of species has been the object of considerable dispute. In this review, we have described seven key principles in Darwin's book The Origin of Species and tried to present how genomics challenge each of these concepts and improve our knowledge about evolution. Darwin believed that species evolution consists on a positive directional selection ensuring the “survival of the fittest.” The most developed state of the species is characterized by increasing complexity. Darwin proposed the theory of “descent with modification” according to which all species evolve from a single common ancestor through a gradual process of small modification of their vertical inheritance. Finally, the process of evolution can be depicted in the form of a tree. However, microbial genomics showed that evolution is better described as the “biological changes over time.” The mode of change is not unidirectional and does not necessarily favors advantageous mutations to increase fitness it is rather subject to random selection as a result of catastrophic stochastic processes. Complexity is not necessarily the completion of development: several complex organisms have gone extinct and many microbes including bacteria with intracellular lifestyle have streamlined highly effective genomes. Genomes evolve through large events of gene deletions, duplications, insertions, and genomes rearrangements rather than a gradual adaptative process. Genomes are dynamic and chimeric entities with gene repertoires that result from vertical and horizontal acquisitions as well as de novo gene creation. The chimeric character of microbial genomes excludes the possibility of finding a single common ancestor for all the genes recorded currently. Genomes are collections of genes with different evolutionary histories that cannot be represented by a single tree of life (TOL). A forest, a network or a rhizome of life may be more accurate to represent evolutionary relationships

  9. Rhizome of life, catastrophes, sequence exchanges, gene creations, and giant viruses: how microbial genomics challenges Darwin.

    PubMed

    Merhej, Vicky; Raoult, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's theory about the evolution of species has been the object of considerable dispute. In this review, we have described seven key principles in Darwin's book The Origin of Species and tried to present how genomics challenge each of these concepts and improve our knowledge about evolution. Darwin believed that species evolution consists on a positive directional selection ensuring the "survival of the fittest." The most developed state of the species is characterized by increasing complexity. Darwin proposed the theory of "descent with modification" according to which all species evolve from a single common ancestor through a gradual process of small modification of their vertical inheritance. Finally, the process of evolution can be depicted in the form of a tree. However, microbial genomics showed that evolution is better described as the "biological changes over time." The mode of change is not unidirectional and does not necessarily favors advantageous mutations to increase fitness it is rather subject to random selection as a result of catastrophic stochastic processes. Complexity is not necessarily the completion of development: several complex organisms have gone extinct and many microbes including bacteria with intracellular lifestyle have streamlined highly effective genomes. Genomes evolve through large events of gene deletions, duplications, insertions, and genomes rearrangements rather than a gradual adaptative process. Genomes are dynamic and chimeric entities with gene repertoires that result from vertical and horizontal acquisitions as well as de novo gene creation. The chimeric character of microbial genomes excludes the possibility of finding a single common ancestor for all the genes recorded currently. Genomes are collections of genes with different evolutionary histories that cannot be represented by a single tree of life (TOL). A forest, a network or a rhizome of life may be more accurate to represent evolutionary relationships among

  10. Biofilms: Survival Mechanisms of Clinically Relevant Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Donlan, Rodney M.; Costerton, J. William

    2002-01-01

    Though biofilms were first described by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the theory describing the biofilm process was not developed until 1978. We now understand that biofilms are universal, occurring in aquatic and industrial water systems as well as a large number of environments and medical devices relevant for public health. Using tools such as the scanning electron microscope and, more recently, the confocal laser scanning microscope, biofilm researchers now understand that biofilms are not unstructured, homogeneous deposits of cells and accumulated slime, but complex communities of surface-associated cells enclosed in a polymer matrix containing open water channels. Further studies have shown that the biofilm phenotype can be described in terms of the genes expressed by biofilm-associated cells. Microorganisms growing in a biofilm are highly resistant to antimicrobial agents by one or more mechanisms. Biofilm-associated microorganisms have been shown to be associated with several human diseases, such as native valve endocarditis and cystic fibrosis, and to colonize a wide variety of medical devices. Though epidemiologic evidence points to biofilms as a source of several infectious diseases, the exact mechanisms by which biofilm-associated microorganisms elicit disease are poorly understood. Detachment of cells or cell aggregates, production of endotoxin, increased resistance to the host immune system, and provision of a niche for the generation of resistant organisms are all biofilm processes which could initiate the disease process. Effective strategies to prevent or control biofilms on medical devices must take into consideration the unique and tenacious nature of biofilms. Current intervention strategies are designed to prevent initial device colonization, minimize microbial cell attachment to the device, penetrate the biofilm matrix and kill the associated cells, or remove the device from the patient. In the future, treatments may be based on inhibition of genes

  11. Spatial Arrangement of Legionella Colonies in Intact Biofilms from a Model Cooling Water System

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Bentham, Richard

    2013-01-01

    There is disagreement among microbiologists about whether Legionella requires a protozoan host in order to replicate. This research sought to determine where in biofilm Legionellae are found and whether all biofilm associated Legionella would be located within protozoan hosts. While it is accepted that Legionella colonizes biofilm, its life cycle and nutritional fastidiousness suggest that Legionella employs multiple survival strategies to persist within microbial systems. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) demonstrated an undulating biofilm surface architecture and a roughly homogenous distribution of heterotrophic bacteria with clusters of protozoa. Legionella displayed 3 distinct spatial arrangements either contained within or directly associated with protozoa, or dispersed in loosely associated clusters or in tightly packed aggregations of cells forming dense colonial clusters. The formation of discreet clusters of tightly packed Legionella suggests that colony formation is influenced by specific environmental conditions allowing for limited extracellular replication. This work represents the first time that an environmentally representative, multispecies biofilm containing Legionella has been fluorescently tagged and Legionella colony morphology noted within a complex microbial system. PMID:24826074

  12. Spatial arrangement of legionella colonies in intact biofilms from a model cooling water system.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Michael; Ross, Kirstin; Bentham, Richard

    2013-01-01

    There is disagreement among microbiologists about whether Legionella requires a protozoan host in order to replicate. This research sought to determine where in biofilm Legionellae are found and whether all biofilm associated Legionella would be located within protozoan hosts. While it is accepted that Legionella colonizes biofilm, its life cycle and nutritional fastidiousness suggest that Legionella employs multiple survival strategies to persist within microbial systems. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) demonstrated an undulating biofilm surface architecture and a roughly homogenous distribution of heterotrophic bacteria with clusters of protozoa. Legionella displayed 3 distinct spatial arrangements either contained within or directly associated with protozoa, or dispersed in loosely associated clusters or in tightly packed aggregations of cells forming dense colonial clusters. The formation of discreet clusters of tightly packed Legionella suggests that colony formation is influenced by specific environmental conditions allowing for limited extracellular replication. This work represents the first time that an environmentally representative, multispecies biofilm containing Legionella has been fluorescently tagged and Legionella colony morphology noted within a complex microbial system. PMID:24826074

  13. Raman microspectroscopy for species identification and mapping within bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Beier, Brooke D; Quivey, Robert G; Berger, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    : A new method of mapping multiple species of oral bacteria in intact biofilms has been developed, using the optical technique of confocal Raman microscopy. A species classification algorithm, developed on dried biofilms, was used to analyze spectra of hydrated biofilms containing two microbial species central to dental health: Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus mutans. The algorithm transferred successfully to the hydrated environment, correctly identifying the species of origin of single-species biofilms. We then used the algorithm successfully both to detect the presence of two species in mixed biofilms and to create spatial maps within these biofilms. PMID:22794329

  14. Microbial life in cold, sulfur-rich environments: Investigations of an Arctic ecosystem and implications for life detection at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleeson, Damhnait Fagan

    2009-12-01

    Exobiological investigations require a detailed understanding of life's interactions with its environment here on Earth before we can confidently recognize signs of these interactions at other worlds such as Europa. Using a cold, sulfur-based ecosystem at Borup Fiord pass in the Canadian High Arctic as a study site, I investigated how the supraglacial non-ice materials are represented across different scales in spectral data, how microbiology is influencing the mineralogy of the site, and whether the products of microbial sulfide oxidation preserve indications of their biogenic origin. A systematic scale-integrated approach was applied to query orbital (Hyperion), field, and laboratory spectra to identify sulfur-rich materials precipitated on a glacier. While sulfur, the main constituent of the deposits, is well represented in Hyperion data, minor constituents such as calcite and gypsum are partially or entirely masked. Absorption features of sulfates, where present, are shifted in wavelength due to the effects of mixing or temperature. Autonomous detection methods were successfully applied to monitor the generation and extent of the deposits, which show spectral similarities to Europa's non-ice materials. Geomicrobiological cultivation of sulfide oxidizing bacteria succeeded in demonstrating that the microbiological community present at the site has the potential to catalyze the generation of sulfur deposits. Sulfur generated in culture is present as biomineralized structures comprised of microbial filaments and sheaths along which sulfur globules are deposited. Consortia producing these structures are dominated by gamma-Proteobacteria closely related to Marinobacter, not previously known to oxidize sulfide. The sulfur structures produced by these consortia are not observed in abiotic controls and have the potential to serve as morphological biosignatures. Investigations into the biogenicity of field deposits reveal mineral assemblages with similar morphologies to

  15. Deliberations on Microbial Life in the Subglacial Lake Vostok, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulat, S.; Alekhina, I.; Lipenkov, V.; Lukin, V.; Marie, D.; Petit, J.

    2004-12-01

    The objective was to estimate microbial contents of accretion (lake originating) ice from the Lake Vostok buried beneath 4-km thick East Antarctic ice sheet with the ultimate goal to discover microbial life in this extreme icy environment featured by no light, close to freezing point temperature, ultra-low DOC contents, and an excess of oxygen. The PCR based bacterial and archaeal 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing constrained by Forensic Biology and Ancient DNA research criteria was used as a main approach. Epifluorescent and confocal microscopies as well as flow cytometry were implemented. DNA study showed that the accretion ice is essentially bacteria- and archaea-free. Up to now, the only accretion ice type 1 featured by mica-clay sediments presence and namely one horizon of four studied (3607m) allowed the recovery a few bacterial phylotypes. This unexpectedly included the chemolithoautotrophic thermophile Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus and two more unclassified phylotypes all passing numerous contaminant controls. In contrast, the deeper and cleaner accretion ice 2 (three cores) with no sediments presence and near detection limit gas contents gave no reliable signals. The microbes detected in accretion ice 1 are unbelievable to resist an excess of oxygen in the lake water body (700 - 1300 mg O2/l). They are supposed to be thriving in rather warm anoxic sediments in deep faults at the lake bottom and sporadically flushing out along with sediments to the lake veins in a shallow depth bay due to a seismotectonic activity likely operating in the lake environment. A few geophysical and geological evidences support this scenario. In the bay the presence of mica-clay sediments, higher accretion rate due to relief rise and likely oxygen-depleted upper layer of water can provide microbes with a chance to escape the high oxygen tension by the rapid entrapment into accretion ice 1. Sediment-free accretion ice 2, which forms above a deeper part of the lake, shows no

  16. Spatial and temporal variability of biomarkers and microbial diversity reveal metabolic and community flexibility in Streamer Biofilm Communities in the Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Schubotz, F; Meyer-Dombard, D R; Bradley, A S; Fredricks, H F; Hinrichs, K-U; Shock, E L; Summons, R E

    2013-11-01

    Detailed analysis of 16S rRNA and intact polar lipids (IPLs) from streamer biofilm communities (SBCs), collected from geochemically similar hot springs in the Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, shows good agreement and affirm that IPLs can be used as reliable markers for the microbial constituents of SBCs. Uncultured Crenarchaea are prominent in SBS, and their IPLs contain both glycosidic and mixed glyco-phospho head groups with tetraether cores, having 0-4 rings. Archaeal IPL contributions increase with increasing temperature and comprise up to one-fourth of the total IPL inventory at >84 °C. At elevated temperatures, bacterial IPLs contain abundant glycosidic glycerol diether lipids. Diether and diacylglycerol (DAG) lipids with aminopentanetetrol and phosphatidylinositol head groups were identified as lipids diagnostic of Aquificales, while DAG glycolipids and glyco-phospholipids containing N-acetylgycosamine as head group were assigned to members of the Thermales. With decreasing temperature and concomitant changes in water chemistry, IPLs typical of phototrophic bacteria, such as mono-, diglycosyl, and sulfoquinovosyl DAG, which are specific for cyanobacteria, increase in abundance, consistent with genomic data from the same samples. Compound-specific stable carbon isotope analysis of IPL breakdown products reveals a large isotopic diversity among SBCs in different hot springs. At two of the hot springs, 'Bison Pool' and Flat Cone, lipids derived from Aquificales are enriched in (13) C relative to biomass and approach values close to dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (approximately 0‰), consistent with fractionation during autotrophic carbon fixation via the reversed tricarboxylic acid pathway. At a third site, Octopus Spring, the same Aquificales-diagnostic lipids are 10‰ depleted relative to biomass and resemble stable carbon isotope values of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), indicative of heterotrophy. Other bacterial and archaeal lipids show

  17. Photo-catalytic inactivation of an Enterococcus biofilm: the anti-microbial effect of sulphated and europium-doped titanium dioxide nanopowders.

    PubMed

    Dworniczek, Ewa; Plesch, Gustav; Seniuk, Alicja; Adamski, Ryszard; Michal, Róbert; Čaplovičová, Mária

    2016-04-01

    The control and prevention of biofilm-related infections is an important public healthcare issue. Given the increasing antibiotic resistance among bacteria and fungi that cause serious infections in humans, promotion of new strategies combating microorganisms has been essential. One attractive approach to inactivate microorganisms is the use of semiconductor photo-catalysis, which has become the subject of extensive research. In this study, the bactericidal properties of four photo-catalysts, TiO2, TiO2-S, TiO2-Eu and TiO2-Eu-S, were investigated against established 24, 48, 72 and 96 h biofilms ofEnterococcus The exposure of biofilms to the catalysts induced the production of superoxide radical anions. The best photo-catalytic inactivation was achieved with the TiO2-Eu-S and TiO2-S nanopowders and 24 h biofilms. Transmission electron microscopy images showed significant changes in the structure of the biofilm cells following photo-inactivation. The results suggest that doping with europium and modifying the surface with sulphate groups enhanced the bactericidal activity of the TiO2nanoparticles against enterococcal biofilms. PMID:26940291

  18. 3.5 billion years of glass bioalteration: Volcanic rocks as a basis for microbial life?

    SciTech Connect

    Staudigel, H.; Furnes, H.; McLoughlin, N.; Banerjee, N.R.; Connell, L.B.; Templeton, A.

    2009-04-07

    Alteration textures in volcanic glass from the seafloor fall into two classes, one suggestive of abiotic/diffusive hydration and chemical exchange, and another likely to be caused by microbial, cavity-forming, congruent dissolution. Glass bioalteration is common in submarine lavas throughout the world's ocean, dominant in the upper 300 m of the oceanic crust, and found in all well-preserved ophiolites and greenstone belts dating back to 3.5 Ga. It may yield a significant fraction of the global biomass and geochemical fluxes and is relevant to the development of the earliest life on Earth. We present a critical review concerning these glass bioalteration textures and present new data on their microchemical environment. We explore arguments for their biogenicity and further develop the prevalent model for their formation by relating corrosion morphology to the mechanism of microbial dissolution. Biological alteration produces conspicuous micron-scale granular and tubular textures. Granular glass alteration is well explained by colonizing microbes that selectively dissolve the glass in their contact area, forming a sponge-like interconnected network of micron-sized cavities along glass surfaces. Tubular alteration meanwhile, is more likely to be caused by filamentous cell extensions in a process similar to fungal tunneling of soil feldspars and marine carbonates. While we see clear functional similarities to fungal dissolution behavior, we do not know whether fungal or prokaryotic organisms are involved. However, this functional constraint may eventually help to identify potential microbes responsible for these features, potentially including eukaryotic or prokaryotic organisms. Yet, we caution that these organisms may be difficult to identify and to study, because they are likely to be sparsely distributed, slow growing, and difficult to cultivate.

  19. 3.5 billion years of glass bioalteration: Volcanic rocks as a basis for microbial life?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; McLoughlin, Nicola; Banerjee, Neil R.; Connell, Laurie B.; Templeton, Alexis

    2008-08-01

    Alteration textures in volcanic glass from the seafloor fall into two classes, one suggestive of abiotic/diffusive hydration and chemical exchange, and another likely to be caused by microbial, cavity-forming, congruent dissolution. Glass bioalteration is common in submarine lavas throughout the world's ocean, dominant in the upper 300 m of the oceanic crust, and found in all well-preserved ophiolites and greenstone belts dating back to 3.5 Ga. It may yield a significant fraction of the global biomass and geochemical fluxes and is relevant to the development of the earliest life on Earth. We present a critical review concerning these glass bioalteration textures and present new data on their microchemical environment. We explore arguments for their biogenicity and further develop the prevalent model for their formation by relating corrosion morphology to the mechanism of microbial dissolution. Biological alteration produces conspicuous micron-scale granular and tubular textures. Granular glass alteration is well explained by colonizing microbes that selectively dissolve the glass in their contact area, forming a sponge-like interconnected network of micron-sized cavities along glass surfaces. Tubular alteration meanwhile, is more likely to be caused by filamentous cell extensions in a process similar to fungal tunneling of soil feldspars and marine carbonates. While we see clear functional similarities to fungal dissolution behavior, we do not know whether fungal or prokaryotic organisms are involved. However, this functional constraint may eventually help to identify potential microbes responsible for these features, potentially including eukaryotic or prokaryotic organisms. Yet, we caution that these organisms may be difficult to identify and to study, because they are likely to be sparsely distributed, slow growing, and difficult to cultivate.

  20. Microbial Fuel Cell as Life Detector: Arsenic Cycling in Hypersaline Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, L. G.; Blum, J. S.; Oremland, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Detection of extant life on Mars or Europa is a future goal of exobiology. For the present, biosignatures arising from life in extreme environments on Earth suggest how to search for life elsewhere. One such biosignature is the electrical current derived from the metabolic activity of microorganisms, which may be measured using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). MFCs generate electricity by coupling bacterially mediated redox transformations to electrochemical reactions through a circuit. Our laboratory fuel cell employs solid graphite electrodes and uses a proton exchange membrane to separate anode (anaerobic) and cathode (aerobic) chambers. Mineral salts media are circulated by peristaltic pump through the chambers and through temperature-controlled reservoirs that are sparged with nitrogen (anode) or oxygen (cathode). In experiments with pure cultures, bacteria reduced arsenate to arsenite in the anode chamber, and produced electrical power in the process. Power production was sustained in the MFC only while bacteria were active. An arsenate respiring bacterium, Bacillus selenitireducens, isolated from moderately-hypersaline Mono Lake, CA grew on lactate using arsenate as the electron acceptor and also grew without arsenate, using the anode as the electron acceptor. Power densities (per unit area of anode surface) of 60 μW m-2 were achieved during growth without arsenate. Less power (3 μW m-2) was produced when arsenate was available because arsenate acted as an alternate electron acceptor to the anode. Another arsenate respiring bacterium, strain SLAS-1, isolated from extremely-hypersaline Searles Lake, CA respired lactate and reduced arsenate in the MFC, albeit more slowly. An arsenite oxidizing bacterium, Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii, isolated from Mono Lake will also be tested for its ability to generate electricity before proceeding to an examination of biocurrent production using natural sediments and waters from Mono Lake and Searles Lake.

  1. Lava Cave Microbial Communities Within Mats and Secondary Mineral Deposits: Implications for Life Detection on Other Planets

    PubMed Central

    Melim, L.A.; Spilde, M.N.; Hathaway, J.J.M.; Garcia, M.G.; Moya, M.; Stone, F.D.; Boston, P.J.; Dapkevicius, M.L.N.E.; Riquelme, C.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai‘i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai‘i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai‘i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies. Key Words: Biosignatures—Astrobiology—Bacteria—Caves—Life detection—Microbial mats. Astrobiology 11, 601–618. PMID:21879833

  2. DIFFUSION IN BIOFILMS RESPIRING ON ELECTRODES.

    PubMed

    Renslow, Rs; Babauta, Jt; Majors, Pd; Beyenal, H

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this study was to measure spatially and temporally resolved effective diffusion coefficients (D(e)) in biofilms respiring on electrodes. Two model electrochemically active biofilms, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, were investigated. A novel nuclear magnetic resonance microimaging perfusion probe capable of simultaneous electrochemical and pulsed-field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG-NMR) techniques was used. PFG-NMR allowed noninvasive, nondestructive, high spatial resolution in situ D(e) measurements in living biofilms respiring on electrodes. The electrodes were polarized so that they would act as the sole terminal electron acceptor for microbial metabolism. We present our results as both two-dimensional D(e) heat maps and surface-averaged relative effective diffusion coefficient (D(rs)) depth profiles. We found that 1) D(rs) decreases with depth in G. sulfurreducens biofilms, following a sigmoid shape; 2) D(rs) at a given location decreases with G. sulfurreducens biofilm age; 3) average D(e) and D(rs) profiles in G. sulfurreducens biofilms are lower than those in S. oneidensis biofilms-the G. sulfurreducens biofilms studied here were on average 10 times denser than the S. oneidensis biofilms; and 4) halting the respiration of a G. sulfurreducens biofilm decreases the D(e) values. Density, reflected by D(e), plays a major role in the extracellular electron transfer strategies of electrochemically active biofilms. PMID:23420623

  3. Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Fluorescence nanoanalyses of the metallome of a ~3.3 Ga-old microbial biofilm from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, A.; Lemelle, L.; Salome, M.; Cloetens, P.; Westall, F.; Simionovici, A.

    2012-04-01

    Combining in situ nanometer-scale techniques on the fossilized Josefsdal Chert Microbial Biofilm (JCMB) reveals a distinct vertical structural and compositional organisation: the lower part is calcified as aragonite, while the upper non-calcified kerogenous layer is characterised by up to 1% sulphur [1]. The in situ analysis of all the metals as a group represents a useful microbial fingerprint [2] and we will continue to explore it. Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Fluorescence maps of high spatial resolution (< 0.3 µm) were recorded on a unique FIB section (15 x 10 x 3 µm3) of the JCMB. A 300 nm resolution was reached at 2500 eV on the ID21 scanning X-ray microscope (SXM) and a 120x165 (horizontal x vertical) nm at 17450 eV on ID22NI at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). All maps reveal chemical heterogeneities not previously discernible by scanning the same FIB cut using micron resolution. The feasibility of high-resolution analyses with high flux on rock samples was first shown for samples that had in this respect an ideal hotspot geometry in a uniform silica matrix [3, 4]. Our FIB sample preparation ensures negligible thickness variations so quantitation of all the metals in the JCMB is presently only limited by the important intrinsic heterogeneity of the sample. Methods to deal with micrometer bulk heterogeneity have just been developed by performing redundant volumetric scans in fluorescence tomography to counterbalance the complex sample geometry [5]. An alternative methodology more adapted to the thin slice geometry is tested here. A relationship between the ratio of the Compton to Rayleigh (C-R) scatterings and the average atomic number (Zave), only established with unpolarized X-rays [6], was measured using fully polarized synchrotron beams [7]. C-R peaks measured on thick Astimex standards (1 mm) and those calculated from Monte-Carlo simulations of thick and thin (100 µm and 1 µm) samples having the same compositions were analyzed using

  4. Identification of ypqP as a New Bacillus subtilis Biofilm Determinant That Mediates the Protection of Staphylococcus aureus against Antimicrobial Agents in Mixed-Species Communities

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Vizuete, Pilar; Le Coq, Dominique; Bridier, Arnaud; Herry, Jean-Marie; Aymerich, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    In most habitats, microbial life is organized in biofilms, three-dimensional edifices sustained by extracellular polymeric substances that enable bacteria to resist harsh and changing environments. Under multispecies conditions, bacteria can benefit from the polymers produced by other species (“public goods”), thus improving their survival under toxic conditions. A recent study showed that a Bacillus subtilis hospital isolate (NDmed) was able to protect Staphylococcus aureus from biocide action in multispecies biofilms. In this work, we identified ypqP, a gene whose product is required in NDmed for thick-biofilm formation on submerged surfaces and for resistance to two biocides widely used in hospitals. NDmed and S. aureus formed mixed biofilms, and both their spatial arrangement and pathogen protection were mediated by YpqP. Functional ypqP is present in other natural B. subtilis biofilm-forming isolates. However, the gene is disrupted by the SPβ prophage in the weak submerged-biofilm-forming strains NCIB3610 and 168, which are both less resistant than NDmed to the biocides tested. Furthermore, in a 168 laboratory strain cured of the SPβ prophage, the reestablishment of a functional ypqP gene led to increased thickness and resistance to biocides of the associated biofilms. We therefore propose that YpqP is a new and important determinant of B. subtilis surface biofilm architecture, protection against exposure to toxic compounds, and social behavior in bacterial communities. PMID:25326298

  5. Identification of ypqP as a New Bacillus subtilis biofilm determinant that mediates the protection of Staphylococcus aureus against antimicrobial agents in mixed-species communities.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Vizuete, Pilar; Le Coq, Dominique; Bridier, Arnaud; Herry, Jean-Marie; Aymerich, Stéphane; Briandet, Romain

    2015-01-01

    In most habitats, microbial life is organized in biofilms, three-dimensional edifices sustained by extracellular polymeric substances that enable bacteria to resist harsh and changing environments. Under multispecies conditions, bacteria can benefit from the polymers produced by other species ("public goods"), thus improving their survival under toxic conditions. A recent study showed that a Bacillus subtilis hospital isolate (NDmed) was able to protect Staphylococcus aureus from biocide action in multispecies biofilms. In this work, we identified ypqP, a gene whose product is required in NDmed for thick-biofilm formation on submerged surfaces and for resistance to two biocides widely used in hospitals. NDmed and S. aureus formed mixed biofilms, and both their spatial arrangement and pathogen protection were mediated by YpqP. Functional ypqP is present in other natural B. subtilis biofilm-forming isolates. However, the gene is disrupted by the SPβ prophage in the weak submerged-biofilm-forming strains NCIB3610 and 168, which are both less resistant than NDmed to the biocides tested. Furthermore, in a 168 laboratory strain cured of the SPβ prophage, the reestablishment of a functional ypqP gene led to increased thickness and resistance to biocides of the associated biofilms. We therefore propose that YpqP is a new and important determinant of B. subtilis surface biofilm architecture, protection against exposure to toxic compounds, and social behavior in bacterial communities. PMID:25326298

  6. Methods for Characterizing the Co-development of Biofilm and Habitat Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaobao; Song, Jisun L.; Culotti, Alessandro; Zhang, Wei; Chopp, David L.; Lu, Nanxi; Packman, Aaron I.

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are surface-attached microbial communities that have complex structures and produce significant spatial heterogeneities. Biofilm development is strongly regulated by the surrounding flow and nutritional environment. Biofilm growth also increases the heterogeneity of the local microenvironment by generating complex flow fields and solute transport patterns. To investigate the development of heterogeneity in biofilms and interactions between biofilms and their local micro-habitat, we grew mono-species biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and dual-species biofilms of P. aeruginosa and Escherichia coli under nutritional gradients in a microfluidic flow cell. We provide detailed protocols for creating nutrient gradients within the flow cell and for growing and visualizing biofilm development under these conditions. We also present protocols for a series of optical methods to quantify spatial patterns in biofilm structure, flow distributions over biofilms, and mass transport around and within biofilm colonies. These methods support comprehensive investigations of the co-development of biofilm and habitat heterogeneity. PMID:25866914

  7. Methods for characterizing the co-development of biofilm and habitat heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaobao; Song, Jisun L; Culotti, Alessandro; Zhang, Wei; Chopp, David L; Lu, Nanxi; Packman, Aaron I

    2015-01-01

    Biofilms are surface-attached microbial communities that have complex structures and produce significant spatial heterogeneities. Biofilm development is strongly regulated by the surrounding flow and nutritional environment. Biofilm growth also increases the heterogeneity of the local microenvironment by generating complex flow fields and solute transport patterns. To investigate the development of heterogeneity in biofilms and interactions between biofilms and their local micro-habitat, we grew mono-species biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and dual-species biofilms of P. aeruginosa and Escherichia coli under nutritional gradients in a microfluidic flow cell. We provide detailed protocols for creating nutrient gradients within the flow cell and for growing and visualizing biofilm development under these conditions. We also present protocols for a series of optical methods to quantify spatial patterns in biofilm structure, flow distributions over biofilms, and mass transport around and within biofilm colonies. These methods support comprehensive investigations of the co-development of biofilm and habitat heterogeneity. PMID:25866914

  8. Biomechanical Analysis of Infectious Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Head, David

    2016-01-01

    The removal of infectious biofilms from tissues or implanted devices and their transmission through fluid transport systems depends in part of the mechanical properties of their polymeric matrix. Linking the various physical and chemical microscopic interactions to macroscopic deformation and failure modes promises to unveil design principles for novel therapeutic strategies targeting biofilm eradication, and provide a predictive capability to accelerate the development of devices, water lines, etc, that minimise microbial dispersal. Here, our current understanding of biofilm mechanics is appraised from the perspective of biophysics , with an emphasis on constitutive modelling that has been highly successful in soft matter. Fitting rheometric data to viscoelastic models has quantified linear and nonlinear stress relaxation mechanisms, how they vary between species and environments, and how candidate chemical treatments alter the mechanical response. The rich interplay between growth, mechanics and hydrodynamics is just becoming amenable to computational modelling and promises to provide unprecedented characterisation of infectious biofilms in their native state. PMID:27193540

  9. Biochemical capacitance of Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Paulo R; Schrott, Germán D; Bonanni, Pablo S; Simison, Silvia N; Busalmen, Juan P

    2015-08-10

    An electrical model able to decouple the electron pathway from microbial cell machinery impedance terms is introduced. In this context, capacitance characteristics of the biofilm are clearly resolved. In other words, the model allows separating, according to the advantage of frequency and spectroscopic response approach, the different terms controlling the performance of the microbial biofilm respiratory process and thus the directly related electricity production process. The model can be accurately fitted to voltammetry measurements obtained under steady-state conditions and also to biofilm discharge amperometric measurements. The implications of biological aspects of the electrochemical or redox capacitance are discussed theoretically in the context of current knowledge with regard to structure and physiological activity of microbial Geobacter biofilms. PMID:26212121

  10. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of biofilms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial activity that leads to the formation of biofilms on process equipment can accelerate corrosion, reduce heat transfer rates, and generally decrease process efficiencies. Additional concerns arise in the food and pharma industries where product quality and safety are a high priority. Pharmac...

  11. Significance of biofilms in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Wróblewska, Marta; Strużycka, Izabela; Mierzwińska-Nastalska, Elżbieta

    2015-01-01

    In the past decades significant scientific progress has taken place in the knowledge about biofilms. They constitute multilayer conglomerates of bacteria and fungi, surrounded by carbohydrates which they produce, as well as substances derived from saliva and gingival fluid. Modern techniques showed significant diversity of the biofilm environment and a system of microbial communication (quorum sensing), enhancing their survival. At present it is believed that the majority of infections, particularly chronic with exacerbations, are a result of biofilm formation, particularly in the presence of biomaterials. It should be emphasised that penetration of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents into deeper layers of a biofilm is poor, causing therapeutic problems and necessitating sometimes removal of the implant or prosthesis. Biofilms play an increasing role in dentistry as a result of more and more broad use in dental practice of plastic and implantable materials. Biofilms are produced on the surfaces of teeth as dental plaque, in the para-nasal sinuses, on prostheses, dental implants, as well as in waterlines of a dental unit, constituting a particular risk for severely immunocompromised patients. New methods of therapy and prevention of infections linked to biofilms are under development. PMID:27139354

  12. Thermal zonation of microbial biogeography in the hydrothermal fields of Guaymas Basin: insights into the limits of life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mckay, L. J.; Klokman, V.; Teske, A.

    2013-12-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments at Guaymas Basin are rich in organic substrates and host a wide range of shallow subsurface temperatures: from 3°C to 200°C in the upper 45 centimeters. High temperatures and hydrothermal flow cause upward compression of metabolic zones in Guaymas Basin seafloor sediments. Using push core samples collected by the Alvin submersible (Cruises AT15-40 and 56 in 2008 and 2009) we are investigating thermal structure and carbon and sulfur substrate utilization and their influence on microbial biogeography. As a proxy for viable microbial life total RNA is being extracted from seven high temperature cores that approach, and in three of the cores surpass the upper temperature limit for life at 122°C (Takai et al., 2008). We are using reverse transcription PCR and subsequent pyrosequencing of the V5-V8 region of 16S rRNA to determine key hyperthermophilic archaeal and bacterial groups as well as the upper thermal limit for microbial life in situ. Porewater concentrations of sulfur species and concentrations and isotopic values of carbon species have been investigated in parallel to our high temperature cores. A combination of pyrosequencing data and porewater geochemistry profiles of carbon and sulfur species will help to elucidate the boundaries of life and provide insight into physiological mechanisms under extreme environmental conditions.

  13. Subseafloor fluid mixing and fossilized microbial life in a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the Iberian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, F.; Humphris, S. E.; Guo, W.; Schubotz, F.; Schwarzenbach, E. M.; Orsi, W.

    2015-12-01

    Subseafloor mixing of reduced hydrothermal fluids with seawater is believed to provide the energy and substrates needed to support autotrophic microorganisms in the hydrated oceanic mantle (serpentinite). Despite the potentially significant implications for the distribution of microbial life on Earth and other water-bearing planetary bodies, our understanding of such environments remains elusive. In the present study we examined fossilized microbial communities and fluid mixing processes in the subseafloor of a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the passive Iberia Margin (ODP Leg 149, Hole 897D). Brucite and calcite co-precipitated from mixed fluids ca. 65m below the Cretaceous palaeo-seafloor at temperatures of 32±4°C within steep chemical gradients (fO2, pH, CH4, SO4, ΣCO2, etc) between weathered, carbonate-rich serpentinite breccia and serpentinite. Mixing of oxidized seawater and strongly reducing hydrothermal fluid at moderate temperatures created conditions capable of supporting microbial activity within the oceanic basement. Dense microbial colonies are fossilized in brucite-calcite veins that are strongly enriched in organic carbon but depleted in 13C. We detected a combination of bacterial diether lipid biomarkers, archaeol and archaeal tetraethers analogous to those found in brucite-carbonate chimneys at the active Lost City hydrothermal field. The exposure of mantle rocks to seawater during the breakup of Pangaea fueled chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities at the Iberia Margin during the Cretaceous, possibly before the onset of seafloor spreading in the Atlantic. 'Lost City'-type serpentinization systems have been discovered at mid-ocean ridges, in forearc settings of subduction zones and at continental margins. It appears that, wherever they occur, they can support microbial life, even in deep subseafloor environments as demonstrated in the present study. Because equivalent systems have likely existed throughout most of Earth

  14. Subseafloor fluid mixing and fossilized microbial life in a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the Iberian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, F.; Humphris, S. E.; Guo, W.; Schubotz, F.; Schwarzenbach, E. M.; Orsi, W.

    2014-12-01

    Subseafloor mixing of reduced hydrothermal fluids with seawater is believed to provide the energy and substrates needed to support autotrophic microorganisms in the hydrated oceanic mantle (serpentinite). Despite the potentially significant implications for the distribution of microbial life on Earth and other water-bearing planetary bodies, our understanding of such environments remains elusive. In the present study we examined fossilized microbial communities and fluid mixing processes in the subseafloor of a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the passive Iberia Margin (ODP Leg 149, Hole 897D). Brucite and calcite co-precipitated from mixed fluids ca. 65m below the Cretaceous palaeo-seafloor at temperatures of 32±4°C within steep chemical gradients (fO2, pH, CH4, SO4, ΣCO2, etc) between weathered, carbonate-rich serpentinite breccia and serpentinite. Mixing of oxidized seawater and strongly reducing hydrothermal fluid at moderate temperatures created conditions capable of supporting microbial activity within the oceanic basement. Dense microbial colonies are fossilized in brucite-calcite veins that are strongly enriched in organic carbon but depleted in 13C. We detected a combination of bacterial diether lipid biomarkers, archaeol and archaeal tetraethers analogous to those found in brucite-carbonate chimneys at the active Lost City hydrothermal field. The exposure of mantle rocks to seawater during the breakup of Pangaea fueled chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities at the Iberia Margin during the Cretaceous, possibly before the onset of seafloor spreading in the Atlantic. 'Lost City'-type serpentinization systems have been discovered at mid-ocean ridges, in forearc settings of subduction zones and at continental margins. It appears that, wherever they occur, they can support microbial life, even in deep subseafloor environments as demonstrated in the present study. Because equivalent systems have likely existed throughout most of Earth

  15. Mechanisms of biofilm resistance to antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Mah, T F; O'Toole, G A

    2001-01-01

    Biofilms are communities of microorganisms attached to a surface. It has become clear that biofilm-grown cells express properties distinct from planktonic cells, one of which is an increased resistance to antimicrobial agents. Recent work has indicated that slow growth and/or induction of an rpoS-mediated stress response could contribute to biocide resistance. The physical and/or chemical structure of exopolysaccharides or other aspects of biofilm architecture could also confer resistance by exclusion of biocides from the bacterial community. Finally, biofilm-grown bacteria might develop a biofilm-specific biocide-resistant phenotype. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the biofilm, it is likely that there are multiple resistance mechanisms at work within a single community. Recent research has begun to shed light on how and why surface-attached microbial communities develop resistance to antimicrobial agents. PMID:11166241

  16. A 'crytic' microbial mat: A new model ecosystem for extant life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, L. J.

    1995-01-01

    If life were present on Mars today, it would face potentially lethal environmental conditions such as a lack of water, frigid temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, and soil oxidants. In addition, the Viking missions did not detect near-surface organic carbon available for assimilation. Autotrophic organisms that lived under a protective layer of sand or gravel would be able to circumvent the ultraviolet radiation and lack of fixed carbon. Two terrestrial photosynthetic near-surface microbial communities have been identified, one in the inter- and supertidal of Laguna Ojo de Liebere (Baja California Sur, Mexico) and one in the acidic gravel near several small geysers in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, U.S.A.). Both communities have been studied with respect to their ability to fix carbon under different conditions, including elevated levels of inorganic carbon. Although these sand communities have not been exposed to the entire suite of Martian environmental conditions simultaneously, such communities can provide a useful model ecosystem for a potential extant Martian biota.

  17. Effects of gamma irradiation on chemical, microbial quality and shelf life of shrimp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hocaoğlu, Aslı; Sükrü Demirci, Ahmet; Gümüs, Tuncay; Demirci, Mehmet

    2012-12-01

    In the present study the combined effect of gamma irradiation (1, 3 and 5 kGy) and storage at two temperatures: refrigeration (+4 °C) and frozen (-18 °C), on the shelf-life extension of fresh shrimp meat was investigated. The study was based on microbiological and physicochemical changes occuring in the shrimp samples. Total volatile base nitrogen values and trimethylamine values for irradiated shrimp samples were significantly lower than non-irradiated samples at both storage temperatures, and the rate of decrease was more pronounced in samples irradiated at the higher dose (p<0.05). Thiobarbituric acid values for irradiated shrimp samples were significantly higher than non-irradiated samples at both storage temperatures (p<0.05). pH values of shrimp samples were affected significantly by both irradiating dose and storage temperatures (p<0.05). Microbial counts for non-irradiated shrimp samples were higher than the respective irradiated samples at both storage temperatures (p<0.05). The results revealed that irradiation at high dose (5 kGy) might enhance lipid oxidation, although the growth of microorganisms and protein oxidation was inhibited.

  18. Early life microbial exposure and fractional exhaled nitric oxide in school-age children: a prospective birth cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Inflammation is a key factor in the pathogenesis of respiratory diseases. Early life exposure to microbial agents may have an effect on the development of the immune system and on respiratory health later in life. In the present work we aimed to evaluate the associations between early life microbial exposures, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) at school age. Methods Endotoxin, extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) and β(1,3)-D-glucan were measured in living room dust collected at 2–3 months of age in homes of participants of three prospective European birth cohorts (LISA, n = 182; PIAMA, n = 244; and INMA, n = 355). Home dampness and pet ownership were periodically reported by the parents through questionnaires. FeNO was measured at age 8 for PIAMA and at age 10/11 for LISA and INMA. Cohort-specific associations between the indoor microbial exposures and FeNO were evaluated using multivariable regression analyses. Estimates were combined using random-effects meta-analyses. Results FeNO at school age was lower in children exposed to endotoxin at age 2–3 months (β -0.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.10;-0.01) and in children with reported dog ownership during the first two years of life (GM ratio 0.82, CI 0.70-0.96). FeNO was not significantly associated with early life exposure to EPS, β(1,3)-D-glucan, indoor dampness and cat ownership. Conclusion Early life exposure to bacterial endotoxin and early life dog ownership are associated with lower FeNO at school age. Further studies are needed to confirm our results and to unravel the underlying mechanisms and possible clinical relevance of this finding. PMID:24295277

  19. Protocol for Identifying Fossil Biofilm Microfabrics in Archean and Martian Sedimentary Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bontognali, T. R. R.; McKenzie, J. A.; Vasconcelos, C.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities commonly live and grow in aggregates called biofilm. This slimy material is composed of exopolymeric substances (EPS) secreted from the microbial cell to the surrounding environment. Certain biofilms show internal microscopic fabrics, as for example, regularly shaped alveolar structures. These microfabrics are often considered as artifacts due to the dehydration steps required for scanning electron microscopy. However, recent studies have demonstrated that some microfabrics are not artifacts but actual structures, whose architecture is controlled by the microorganisms. These findings, mainly achieved for medical purposes, may have yet unconsidered implications for the search of early life on Earth and on Mars. Indeed, evidence exists that the microfabrics can be mineralized during early diagenesis, preserving fossil imprints of the original biofilm throughout the geological record. Here, we present the results of microscopic investigations of ancient sediments of various age, composition and metamorphic degree that contain microfabrics that we interpret as fossil biofilms. We compile a list of criteria that need to be evaluated before excluding that the putative fossil biofilms may be artifacts due to sample preparation or late stage contamination of the studied rocks. Additionally, we compare these microfabrics to those produced by pure cultures of microorganism grown in the laboratory, as well as microfabrics present in microbial mats that develop in modern evaporitic environments. Finally, we discuss the hypothesis - and the evidence that already exists in its support - that the micrometric size and the morphology of the EPS fabrics is specific to the organism and the genome concerned. By establishing a linkage between specific microbes and the architecture of the mineralized microfabrics, it may be possible to gain precise taxonomic information on early life, as well as to establish a new type of morphological biosignature to be searched

  20. Genetic control of bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Wolska, Krystyna I; Grudniak, Anna M; Rudnicka, Zofia; Markowska, Katarzyna

    2016-05-01

    Nearly all bacterial species, including pathogens, have the ability to form biofilms. Biofilms are defined as structured ecosystems in which microbes are attached to surfaces and embedded in a matrix composed of polysaccharides, eDNA, and proteins, and their development is a multistep process. Bacterial biofilms constitute a large medical problem due to their extremely high resistance to various types of therapeutics, including conventional antibiotics. Several environmental and genetic signals control every step of biofilm development and dispersal. From among the latter, quorum sensing, cyclic diguanosine-5'-monophosphate, and small RNAs are considered as the main regulators. The present review describes the control role of these three regulators in the life cycles of biofilms built by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Vibrio cholerae. The interconnections between their activities are shown. Compounds and strategies which target the activity of these regulators, mainly quorum sensing inhibitors, and their potential role in therapy are also assessed. PMID:26294280

  1. Microbial surface thermodynamics and applications.

    PubMed

    Strevett, Keith A; Chen, Gang

    2003-06-01

    Microbial surface thermodynamics is the reflection of microbial physicochemical and biological characteristics and it bridges micro-scale structures with macro-scale biological functions. Microbial surface thermodynamics is theoretically based on colloid surface thermodynamics using the classical theory of colloidal stability, Derjauin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory. An extended DLVO theory is applied to for the hydration forces not considered in the classical DLVO theory. Herein, a review of current application of microbial surface thermodynamic theory is presented. Microbial surface thermodynamic theory is the fundamental theory in interpreting microbial hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity, microbial attachment, and microbial biofilm development. PMID:12837508

  2. Diffusion in biofilms respiring on electrodes

    SciTech Connect

    Renslow, Ryan S.; Babauta, Jerome T.; Majors, Paul D.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2012-11-15

    The goal of this study was to measure spatially and temporally resolved effective diffusion coefficients (De) in biofilms respiring on electrodes. Two model electrochemically active biofilms, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, were investigated. A novel nuclear magnetic resonance microimaging perfusion probe capable of simultaneous electrochemical and pulsed-field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG-NMR) techniques was used. PFG-NMR allowed for noninvasive, nondestructive, high spatial resolution in situ De measurements in living biofilms respiring on electrodes. The electrodes were polarized so that they would act as the sole terminal electron acceptor for microbial metabolism. We present our results as both two-dimensional De heat maps and surface-averaged relative effective diffusion coefficient (Drs) depth profiles. We found that (1) Drs decreases with depth in G. sulfurreducens biofilms, following a sigmoid shape; (2) Drs at a given location decreases with G. sulfurreducens biofilm age; (3) average De and Drs profiles in G. sulfurreducens biofilms are lower than those in S. oneidensis biofilms—the G. sulfurreducens biofilms studied here were on average 10 times denser than the S. oneidensis biofilms; and (4) halting the respiration of a G. sulfurreducens biofilm decreases the De values. Density, reflected by De, plays a major role in the extracellular electron transfer strategies of electrochemically active biofilms.

  3. DIFFUSION IN BIOFILMS RESPIRING ON ELECTRODES

    PubMed Central

    Renslow, RS; Babauta, JT; Majors, PD; Beyenal, H

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this study was to measure spatially and temporally resolved effective diffusion coefficients (De) in biofilms respiring on electrodes. Two model electrochemically active biofilms, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, were investigated. A novel nuclear magnetic resonance microimaging perfusion probe capable of simultaneous electrochemical and pulsed-field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG-NMR) techniques was used. PFG-NMR allowed noninvasive, nondestructive, high spatial resolution in situ De measurements in living biofilms respiring on electrodes. The electrodes were polarized so that they would act as the sole terminal electron acceptor for microbial metabolism. We present our results as both two-dimensional De heat maps and surface-averaged relative effective diffusion coefficient (Drs) depth profiles. We found that 1) Drs decreases with depth in G. sulfurreducens biofilms, following a sigmoid shape; 2) Drs at a given location decreases with G. sulfurreducens biofilm age; 3) average De and Drs profiles in G. sulfurreducens biofilms are lower than those in S. oneidensis biofilms—the G. sulfurreducens biofilms studied here were on average 10 times denser than the S. oneidensis biofilms; and 4) halting the respiration of a G. sulfurreducens biofilm decreases the De values. Density, reflected by De, plays a major role in the extracellular electron transfer strategies of electrochemically active biofilms. PMID:23420623

  4. Biogeochemistry of Hot Spring Biofilms: Major and Trace Element Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havig, J. R.; Prapaipong, P.; Zolotova, N.; Moore, G.; Shock, E. L.

    2008-12-01

    Hot spring biofilms are of obvious biological origin, but of surprising composition. Organic carbon makes up a minor percentage of the total mass of chemotrophic and phototrophic biofilms. We have found that the majority of biofilm mass is inorganic material, largely silica, with measurable quantities of dozens of other elements, and that the distribution of major elements mimics that of surrounding rock and soil far more closely than the hot spring fluids. Comparisons of biofilms with the compositions of their geochemical surroundings help identify trace elements that are anomalously enriched or depleted. These anomalies provide insight into the processes of active or passive elemental accumulation by biofilms, which could be used to understand microbial processes of element uptake or to identify evidence for life in hydrothermal deposits in the rock record. Five separate hydrothermal systems in Yellowstone National Park were incorporated into this study: 'Bison Pool' and its outflow (siliceous-sinter depositing, temp. = 93.2 to 56.2 C, pH = 7.4 to 8.3), Flatcone Geyser and its outflow (siliceous-sinter depositing, temp. = 94.3 to 44.3 C, pH = 7.9 to 8.8, Boulder Spring and its outflow (siliceous-sinter depositing, temp. = 92.1 to 64.9 C, pH = 8.2 to 8.7), Octopus Spring and its outflow (siliceous-sinter depositing, temp. = 91.4 to 62.8 C, pH = 7.7 to 8.2), and two unnamed locations in the Obsidian Pool area we have dubbed 'Green Cheese' (temp. = 64.5 to 54.9 C, pH = 5.9 to 6.2) and 'Happy Harfer Pool' (temp. = 59.9 to 48.3 C, pH = 5.5 to 6.3). Analysis of water, biofilm, and contextual samples collected from and around these hot springs offer intriguing patterns of elemental behavior, both similar and dissimilar, among the varying systems. Examples of these patterns include elements that behave the same across all hot spring systems (B, C, Ni, Cu, Ge, Sb, and W), elements with behavior that was consistent throughout most (four of five) of the hot spring systems

  5. Dynamic behavior of biofilms

    SciTech Connect

    Worden, R.M. ); Donaldson, T.L. )

    1986-01-01

    Biological fixed films, or biofilms, are composed of a dense cluster of cells bound to one another or a support surface by the glycocalyx, a cell-secreted carbohydrate matrix. A key advantage of fixed films over other types of immobilized-cell systems is that the immobilization occurs naturally, and hence does not require the additional materials and labor for cell entrapment within gels or covalent bonding to supports. Applications of microbial film fermenters have included animal-cell culture, bacterial leaching of ores, waste treatment, and the production of vinegar, ethanol, critic acid, and beer. Analysis of the unsteady-state behavior of biofilms can provide insight into basic scientific phenomena such as intracellular metabolic regulation patterns.

  6. Imperfect asymmetry of life: earth microbial communities prefer D-lactate but can use L-lactate also.

    PubMed

    Moazeni, Faegheh; Zhang, Gaosen; Sun, Henry J

    2010-05-01

    Asymmetrical utilization of chiral compounds has been sought on Mars as evidence for biological activity. This method was recently validated in glucose. Earth organisms utilize D-glucose, not L-glucose, a perfect asymmetry. In this study, we tested the method in lactate and found utilization of both enantiomers. Soil-, sediment-, and lake-borne microbial communities prefer D-lactate but can consume L-lactate if given extra time to acclimate. This situation is termed imperfect asymmetry. Future life-detection mission investigators need to be aware of imperfect asymmetry so as not to miss relatively subtle signs of life. PMID:20528194

  7. Microfluidics Expanding the Frontiers of Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rusconi, Roberto; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman

    2014-01-01

    The ability afforded by microfluidics to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled and confined microenvironments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities, has significantly contributed to expand the frontiers of microbial ecology over the last decade. Spatially and temporally varying distributions of organisms and chemical cues that mimic natural microbial habitats can now be established by exploiting physics at the micrometer scale and by incorporating structures with specific geometries and materials. Here we review applications of microfluidics that have resulted in highly insightful discoveries on fundamental aspects of microbial life, ranging from growth and sensing to cell-cell interactions and population dynamics. We anticipate that this flexible, multidisciplinary technology will continue to facilitate discoveries regarding the ecology of microorganisms and help uncover strategies to control phenomena such as biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. PMID:24773019

  8. Alternating Current Influences Anaerobic Electroactive Biofilm Activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Zhou, Lean; Lu, Lu; Lobo, Fernanda Leite; Li, Nan; Wang, Heming; Park, Jaedo; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2016-09-01

    Alternating current (AC) is known to inactivate microbial growth in suspension, but how AC influences anaerobic biofilm activities has not been systematically investigated. Using a Geobacter dominated anaerobic biofilm growing on the electrodes of microbial electrochemical reactors, we found that high frequency AC ranging from 1 MHz to 1 kHz (amplitude of 5 V, 30 min) showed only temporary inhibition to the biofilm activity. However, lower frequency (100 Hz, 1.2 or 5 V) treatment led to 47 ± 19% permanent decrease in limiting current on the same biofilm, which is attributed to the action of electrohydrodynamic force that caused biofilm damage and loss of intercellular electron transfer network. Confocal microscopy images show such inactivation mainly occurred at the interface between the biofilm and the electrode. Reducing the frequency further to 1 Hz led to water electrolysis, which generated gas bubbles that flushed all attached cells out of the electrode. These findings provide new references on understanding and regulating biofilm growth, which has broader implications in biofouling control, anaerobic waste treatment, energy and product recovery, and general understanding of microbial ecology and physiology. PMID:27485403

  9. Biofilms: The Stronghold of Legionella pneumophila

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Nour, Mena; Duncan, Carla; Low, Donald E.; Guyard, Cyril

    2013-01-01

    Legionellosis is mostly caused by Legionella pneumophila and is defined as a severe respiratory illness with a case fatality rate ranging from 5% to 80%. L. pneumophila is ubiquitous in natural and anthropogenic water systems. L. pneumophila is transmitted by inhalation of contaminated aerosols produced by a variety of devices. While L. pneumophila replicates within environmental protozoa, colonization and persistence in its natural environment are also mediated by biofilm formation and colonization within multispecies microbial communities. There is now evidence that some legionellosis outbreaks are correlated with the presence of biofilms. Thus, preventing biofilm formation appears as one of the strategies to reduce water system contamination. However, we lack information about the chemical and biophysical conditions, as well as the molecular mechanisms that allow the production of biofilms by L. pneumophila. Here, we discuss the molecular basis of biofilm formation by L. pneumophila and the roles of other microbial species in L. pneumophila biofilm colonization. In addition, we discuss the protective roles of biofilms against current L. pneumophila sanitation strategies along with the initial data available on the regulation of L. pneumophila biofilm formation. PMID:24185913

  10. Headwaters are critical reservoirs of microbial diversity for fluvial networks

    PubMed Central

    Besemer, Katharina; Singer, Gabriel; Quince, Christopher; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Sloan, William; Battin, Tom J.

    2013-01-01

    Streams and rivers form conspicuous networks on the Earth and are among nature's most effective integrators. Their dendritic structure reaches into the terrestrial landscape and accumulates water and sediment en route from abundant headwater streams to a single river mouth. The prevailing view over the last decades has been that biological diversity also accumulates downstream. Here, we show that this pattern does not hold for fluvial biofilms, which are the dominant mode of microbial life in streams and rivers and which fulfil critical ecosystem functions therein. Using 454 pyrosequencing on benthic biofilms from 114 streams, we found that microbial diversity decreased from headwaters downstream and especially at confluences. We suggest that the local environment and biotic interactions may modify the influence of metacommunity connectivity on local biofilm biodiversity throughout the network. In addition, there was a high degree of variability in species composition among headwater streams that could not be explained by geographical distance between catchments. This suggests that the dendritic nature of fluvial networks constrains the distributional patterns of microbial diversity similar to that of animals. Our observations highlight the contributions that headwaters make in the maintenance of microbial biodiversity in fluvial networks. PMID:24089333

  11. Magnetite Crystal Chains: Most Promising Evidence of Past Microbial Life on Mars, Also Useful on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedmann, E.; Wierzchos, J.; Ascaso, C.; Giannuzzi, L. A.

    2005-12-01

    It is not easy to identify "biosignatures", suitable targets in the search for traces of microbial life on early Mars: They need to have withstood billions of years of extreme conditions and to provide unambiguous evidence. Organic molecules were probably destroyed by the highly oxidative environment, at least near the surface. Mineral structures offer hardly more than strong indication, not unambiguous evidence, and no direct information about the organisms that may have produced them. The reason is that soft-bodied bacteria do not leave behind good fossil traces. The only known exception seems to be magnetotactic bacteria, widespread on Earth in most aquatic environments, that produce inside their body chains of magnetite crystals. Single crystals showing properties observed in terrestrial bacteria (definite size range, morphology, chemical purity, rarity of crystallographic defects) may indicate biological origin, but provide no absolute evidence: It is impossible to prove that such crystals can not be produced by non-biological processes on Mars. However, magnetite crystal chains of bacteria have properties that are the direct consequence of being produced by organisms. In the living cell, they are surrounded by a biological membrane or organic matrix. Even in terrestrial fossils, crystals of a single chain show high level of uniformity in size and shape (because the matrix functions as a template), gaps between crystals (organic substance between crystals) and remarkable bends (due to the elasticity of the organic matter between crystals, a property absent in the mineral world). Magnetite chains of bacteria are complex structures whose formation requires the interaction of a series of chemical and physical processes and feedback loops, as well as genetically stored information, the ultimate proof of life. Non-biogenous chains produced in the laboratory do not show such characteristics. Bacterial magnetite chains in terrestrial magnetofossils can be observed in

  12. Biofilm Exopolysaccharides of Pathogenic Fungi: Lessons from Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Sheppard, Donald C; Howell, P Lynne

    2016-06-10

    Exopolysaccharides play an important structural and functional role in the development and maintenance of microbial biofilms. Although the majority of research to date has focused on the exopolysaccharide systems of biofilm-forming bacteria, recent studies have demonstrated that medically relevant fungi such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus also form biofilms during infection. These fungal biofilms share many similarities with those of bacteria, including the presence of secreted exopolysaccharides as core components of the extracellular matrix. This review will highlight our current understanding of fungal biofilm exopolysaccharides, as well as the parallels that can be drawn with those of their bacterial counterparts. PMID:27129222

  13. Bacterial Biofilms as Complex Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlamakis, Hera

    2010-03-01

    Many microbial populations form surface-associated multicellular communities known as biofilms. These multicellular communities are encased in a self-produced extracellular matrix composed of polysaccharides and proteins. Division of labor is a key feature of these communities and different cells serve distinct functions. We have found that in biofilms of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, different cell types including matrix-producing and sporulating cells coexist and localize to distinct regions within the structured community. We were interested in understanding how these different cell types arise. Using fluorescence reporters under the control of promoters that are specific for distinct cell types we were able to follow the dynamics of differentiation throughout biofilm development. We found that a series of extracellular signals leads to differentiation of distinct cell types during biofilm formation. In addition, w