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Sample records for biofilms microbial life

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Microbial biofilms and gastrointestinal diseases

    PubMed Central

    von Rosenvinge, Erik C.; O’May, Graeme A.; Macfarlane, Sandra; Macfarlane, George T.; Shirtliff, Mark E.

    2014-01-01

    The majority of bacteria live not planktonically, but as residents of sessile biofilm communities. Such populations have been defined as ‘matrix-enclosed microbial accretions, which adhere to both biological and nonbiological surfaces’. Bacterial formation of biofilm is implicated in many chronic disease states. Growth in this mode promotes survival by increasing community recalcitrance to clearance by host immune effectors and therapeutic antimicrobials. The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract encompasses a plethora of nutritional and physicochemical environments, many of which are ideal for biofilm formation and survival. However, little is known of the nature, function, and clinical relevance of these communities. This review summarizes current knowledge of the composition and association with health and disease of biofilm communities in the GI tract. PMID:23620117

  7. 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

  8. 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 together, with a stabilizing effect on the degrading surface for a limited time. Finally, however, defoliation of the biofilm and the underlying substratum may occur and the damage becomes evident at macroscopic scale. [1] Hoppert, M. et al. (2002). Biofilms and their extracellular environment on geomaterials: methods for investigation down to nanometre scale. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 205, 199- 207.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 extracellular enzyme activities of bacteria, and hence contribute to the efficient biomineralization of organics. At larger spatial scales, the copious secretion of specific types of EPS by diatoms on the surfaces of intertidal mudflats may stabilize sediments against resuspension. Biofilms exert important roles in environmental- and public health processes occurring within intertidal systems. The sorptive properties of EPS effectively chelate toxic metals and other contaminants, which then act as an efficient trophic-transfer vehicle for the entry of contaminants into food webs. In the water column, biofilm microenvironments in suspended flocs may form a stabilizing refugia that enhances the survival and propagation of pathogenic (i.e., disease-causing) bacteria entering coastal waters from terrestrial and freshwater sources. The EPS matrix affords microbial cells a tremendous potential for resiliency during periods of stress, and may enhance the overall physiological activities of bacteria. It is emphasized here that the influences of small-scale microbial biofilms must be addressed in understanding larger-scale processes within intertidal systems.

  12. 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

  13. Modelling microbial competition in nitrifying biofilm reactors.

    PubMed

    Vannecke, T P W; Volcke, E I P

    2015-12-01

    A large variety of microbial parameter values for nitrifying microorganisms has been reported in literature and was revised in this study. Part of the variety was attributed to the variety of analysis methods applied; it also reflects the large biodiversity in nitrifying systems. This diversity is mostly neglected in conventional nitrifying biofilm models. In this contribution, a one-dimensional, multispecies nitrifying biofilm model was set up, taking into account the large variety of the maximum growth rate, the substrate affinity and the yield of nitrifiers reported in literature. Microbial diversity was implemented in the model by considering 60 species of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and 60 species of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). A steady-state analysis showed that operational conditions such as the nitrogen loading rate and the bulk liquid oxygen concentration influence both the macroscopic output as well as the microbial composition of the biofilm through the prevailing concentration of substrates throughout the biofilm. Considering two limiting resources (nitrogen and oxygen), the coexistence of two species of the same functional guild (AOB or NOB) was possible at steady state. Their spatial distribution in the biofilm could be explained using the r- and K-selection theory. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;112: 2550-2561. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26084447

  14. Computational Modeling of Synthetic Microbial Biofilms Timothy J. Rudge,,

    E-print Network

    Haseloff, Jim

    ,,¶ Andrew Phillips,*, and Jim Haseloff*, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge environment. These properties make biofilms an attractive target for engineering, particularly. KEYWORDS: microbial, biofilm, simulation, biophysics, morphology, CellModeller Bacteria form self

  15. Biofilm and dental implant: The microbial link

    PubMed Central

    Dhir, Sangeeta

    2013-01-01

    Mouth provides a congenial environment for the growth of the microorganisms as compared to any other part of the human body by exhibiting an ideal nonshedding surface. Dental plaque happens to be a diverse community of the microorganisms found on the tooth surface. Periodontal disease and the peri-implant disease are specific infections that are originating from these resident microbial species when the balance between the host and the microbial pathogenicity gets disrupted. This review discusses the biofilms in relation to the peri-implant region, factors affecting its presence, and the associated treatment to manage this complex microbial colony. Search Methodology: Electronic search of the medline was done with the search words: Implants and biofilms/dental biofilm formation/microbiology at implant abutment interface/surface free energy/roughness and implant, periimplantitis/local drug delivery and dental implant. Hand search across the journals – clinical oral implant research, implant dentistry, journal of dental research, international journal of oral implantology, journal of prosthetic dentistry, perioodntology 2000, journal of periodontology were performed. The articles included in the review comprised of in vivo studies, in vivo (animal and human) studies, abstracts, review articles. PMID:23633764

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Spatial Distributions of Copper in Microbial Biofilms by Scanning

    E-print Network

    Houston, Paul L.

    Spatial Distributions of Copper in Microbial Biofilms by Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy Z H I was determined in Escherichia coli PHL628 biofilms using a scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM) consisting.7 V (vs Ag/AgCl). The position of the bulk solution-biofilm interface was determined from the change

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Dynamic Remodeling of Microbial Biofilms by Functionally Distinct Exopolysaccharides

    E-print Network

    Chew, Su Chuen

    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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Method for Studying Microbial Biofilms in Flowing-Water Systems

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Karsten

    1982-01-01

    A method for the study of microbial biofilms in flowing-water systems was developed with special reference to the flow conditions in electrochemical concentration cells. Seawater was circulated in a semiclosed flow system through biofilm reactors (3 cm s?1) with microscope cover slips arranged in lamellar piles parallel with the flow. At fixed time intervals cover slips with their biofilm were removed from the pile, stained with crystal violet, and mounted on microscope slides. The absorbances of the slides were measured at 590 nm and plotted against time to give microbial biofilm development. From calibration experiments a staining time of 1 min and a rinse time of 10 min in a tap water flow (3 cm s?1) were considered sufficient. When an analysis of variance was performed on biofilm development data, 78% of the total variance was found to be due to random natural effects; the rest could be explained by experimental effects. The absorbance values correlated well with protein N, dry weight, and organic weight in two biofilm experiments, one with a biofilm with a high (75%) and one with a low (?25%, normal) inorganic content. Comparisons of regression lines revealed that the absorbance of the stained biofilms was an estimate closely related to biofilm dry weight. PMID:16345929

  5. 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

  6. 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 ?m2, 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 future.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. ...

  12. Extremophiles Microbial Life Under Extreme

    E-print Network

    1 23 Extremophiles Microbial Life Under Extreme Conditions ISSN 1431-0651 Volume 16 Number 3 Extremophiles (2012) 16:553-566 DOI 10.1007/s00792-012-0454-z Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial

  13. 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.

  14. Microbial Degradation of a Cyanotoxin in Gravity-Driven Membrane Filtration Biofilms

    E-print Network

    Zürich, Universität

    Microbial Degradation of a Cyanotoxin in Gravity-Driven Membrane Filtration Biofilms Marisa Silva1 on bacterial biofilms from GDM filtration systems and the degradation of microcystins by these biofilms using source water from Lake Zurich in different seasons. Microcystin removal by GDM biofilms The permeate flux

  15. Physicochemical characteristics and microbial community evolution of biofilms during the start-up period in a moving bed biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yan; Zhang, Yan; Ren, Hong-Qiang; Geng, Jin-Ju; Xu, Ke; Huang, Hui; Ding, Li-Li

    2015-03-01

    This study aimed to investigate biofilm properties evolution coupled with different ages during the start-up period in a moving bed biofilm reactor system. Physicochemical characteristics including adhesion force, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), morphology as well as volatile solid and microbial community were studied. Results showed that the formation and development of biofilms exhibited four stages, including (I) initial attachment and young biofilm formation, (II) biofilms accumulation, (III) biofilm sloughing and updating, and (IV) biofilm maturation. During the whole start-up period, adhesion force was positively and significantly correlated with the contents of EPS, especially the content of polysaccharide. In addition, increased adhesion force and EPS were beneficial for biofilm retention. Gram-negative bacteria mainly including Sphaerotilus, Zoogloea and Haliscomenobacter were predominant in the initial stage. Actinobacteria was beneficial to resist sloughing. Furthermore, filamentous bacteria were dominant in maturation biofilm. PMID:25636169

  16. Microbial Surface Colonization and Biofilm Development in Marine Environments.

    PubMed

    Dang, Hongyue; Lovell, Charles R

    2016-03-01

    Biotic and abiotic surfaces in marine waters are rapidly colonized by microorganisms. Surface colonization and subsequent biofilm formation and development provide numerous advantages to these organisms and support critical ecological and biogeochemical functions in the changing marine environment. Microbial surface association also contributes to deleterious effects such as biofouling, biocorrosion, and the persistence and transmission of harmful or pathogenic microorganisms and their genetic determinants. The processes and mechanisms of colonization as well as key players among the surface-associated microbiota have been studied for several decades. Accumulating evidence indicates that specific cell-surface, cell-cell, and interpopulation interactions shape the composition, structure, spatiotemporal dynamics, and functions of surface-associated microbial communities. Several key microbial processes and mechanisms, including (i) surface, population, and community sensing and signaling, (ii) intraspecies and interspecies communication and interaction, and (iii) the regulatory balance between cooperation and competition, have been identified as critical for the microbial surface association lifestyle. In this review, recent progress in the study of marine microbial surface colonization and biofilm development is synthesized and discussed. Major gaps in our knowledge remain. We pose questions for targeted investigation of surface-specific community-level microbial features, answers to which would advance our understanding of surface-associated microbial community ecology and the biogeochemical functions of these communities at levels from molecular mechanistic details through systems biological integration. PMID:26700108

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of Initial Biofilm Growth on the Anode Impedance of Microbial Fuel Cells

    E-print Network

    Mench, Matthew M.

    ARTICLE Impact of Initial Biofilm Growth on the Anode Impedance of Microbial Fuel Cells Ramaraja P: Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used to study the behavior of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) during: microbial fuel cells; biofilm; internal resis- tance; electrochemical impedance; polarization resistance

  20. 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

  1. Extremophiles Microbial Life Under Extreme

    E-print Network

    Benning, Liane G.

    1 23 Extremophiles Microbial Life Under Extreme Conditions ISSN 1431-0651 Volume 15 Number 4 Extremophiles (2011) 15:473-485 DOI 10.1007/s00792-011-0378- z Bacterial diversity in five Icelandic geothermal

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Characterization of Extracellular Polymeric Substances from Acidophilic Microbial Biofilms ? †

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Yongqin; Cody, George D.; Harding, Anna K.; Wilmes, Paul; Schrenk, Matthew; Wheeler, Korin E.; Banfield, Jillian F.; Thelen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the chemical composition of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) extracted from two natural microbial pellicle biofilms growing on acid mine drainage (AMD) solutions. The EPS obtained from a mid-developmental-stage biofilm (DS1) and a mature biofilm (DS2) were qualitatively and quantitatively compared. More than twice as much EPS was derived from DS2 as from DS1 (approximately 340 and 150 mg of EPS per g [dry weight] for DS2 and DS1, respectively). Composition analyses indicated the presence of carbohydrates, metals, proteins, and minor quantities of DNA and lipids, although the relative concentrations of these components were different for the two EPS samples. EPS from DS2 contained higher concentrations of metals and carbohydrates than EPS from DS1. Fe was the most abundant metal in both samples, accounting for about 73% of the total metal content, followed by Al, Mg, and Zn. The relative concentration profile for these metals resembled that for the AMD solution in which the biofilms grew, except for Si, Mn, and Co. Glycosyl composition analysis indicated that both EPS samples were composed primarily of galactose, glucose, heptose, rhamnose, and mannose, while the relative amounts of individual sugars were substantially different in DS1 and DS2. Additionally, carbohydrate linkage analysis revealed multiply linked heptose, galactose, glucose, mannose, and rhamnose, with some of the glucose in a 4-linked form. These results indicate that the biochemical composition of the EPS from these acidic biofilms is dependent on maturity and is controlled by the microbial communities, as well as the local geochemical environment. PMID:20228116

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Cathodic and anodic biofilms in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Cristiani, P; Carvalho, M L; Guerrini, E; Daghio, M; Santoro, C; Li, B

    2013-08-01

    The oxygen reduction due to microaerophilic biofilms grown on graphite cathodes (biocathodes) in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SCMFCs) is proved and analysed in this paper. Pt-free cathode performances are compared with those of different platinum-loaded cathodes, before and after the biofilm growth. Membraneless SCMFCs were operating in batch-mode, filled with wastewater. A substrate (fuel) of sodium acetate (0.03 M) was periodically added and the experiment lasted more than six months. A maximum of power densities, up to 0.5 W m(-2), were reached when biofilms developed on the electrodes and the cathodic potential decreased (open circuit potential of 50-200 mV vs. SHE). The power output was almost constant with an acetate concentration of 0.01-0.05 M and it fell down when the pH of the media exceeded 9.5, independently of the Pt-free/Pt-loading at the cathodes. Current densities varied in the range of 1-5 Am(-2) (cathode area of 5 cm(2)). Quasi-stationary polarization curves performed with a three-electrode configuration on cathodic and anodic electrodes showed that the anodic overpotential, more than the cathodic one, may limit the current density in the SCMFCs for a long-term operation. PMID:23474690

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. BIOENERGY AND BIOFUELS Anodic biofilms in microbial fuel cells harbor low numbers

    E-print Network

    BIOENERGY AND BIOFUELS Anodic biofilms in microbial fuel cells harbor low numbers of higher: 15 July 2010 # Springer-Verlag 2010 Abstract Microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode communities often reveal for specific substrates. Keywords Microbial fuel cell . Paracoccus denitrificans . Formic acid . Community

  13. Characterization, Microbial Community Structure, and Pathogen Occurrence in Urban Faucet Biofilms in South China

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Huirong; Zhang, Shuting; Gong, Song; Zhang, Shenghua; Yu, Xin

    2015-01-01

    The composition and microbial community structure of the drinking water system biofilms were investigated using microstructure analysis and 454 pyrosequencing technique in Xiamen city, southeast of China. SEM (scanning electron microscope) results showed different features of biofilm morphology in different fields of PVC pipe. Extracellular matrix material and sparse populations of bacteria (mainly rod-shaped and coccoid) were observed. CLSM (confocal laser scanning microscope) revealed different distributions of attached cells, extracellular proteins, ?-polysaccharides, and ?-polysaccharides. The biofilms had complex bacterial compositions. Differences in bacteria diversity and composition from different tap materials and ages were observed. Proteobacteria was the common and predominant group in all biofilms samples. Some potential pathogens (Legionellales, Enterobacteriales, Chromatiales, and Pseudomonadales) and corrosive microorganisms were also found in the biofilms. This study provides the information of characterization and visualization of the drinking water biofilms matrix, as well as the microbial community structure and opportunistic pathogens occurrence. PMID:26273617

  14. Factors Regulating Microbial Biofilm Development in a System with Slowly Flowing Seawater

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Karsten

    1982-01-01

    Microbial biofilm development was followed under growth conditions similar to those of a projected salinity power plant. Microscope glass cover slips were piled in biofilm reactors to imitate the membrane stacks in such a plant. A staining technique closely correlating absorbance values with biofilm dry weight was used for the study. Generally, the biofilms consisted of solitary and filamentous bacteria which were evenly distributed with considerable amounts of various protozoa and entrapped debris of organic origin. Protozoa predation was shown to decrease the amount of biofilm produced. The biofilm development lag phase was longer at lower temperatures. The subsequent growth phase was approximately arithmetic until stationary phase appeared. Adaptation of a hyperbolic saturation function gave curves that agreed well with the logarithm of the amount of biofilm as a function of time. Increased flow velocity, temperature, and nutrient concentration increased the biofilm production rate. An exponential relationship was shown between biofilm production rate and flow velocity within the range of 0 to 15 cm s?1. Intervals in which the biofilms were exposed to fresh water decreased the biofilm production rate more than four times. If the cover slips were inoculated with untreated seawater for 24 h, subsequent UV treatment had an insignificant effect on the biofilm formation. Images PMID:16346136

  15. 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, F.W., Heinen, W., Stan- Lotter, H. (2007) Communities of Archaea and Bacteria in a subsurface radioactive thermal spring in the Austrian Central Alps and evidence for ammonia oxidizing Crenarchaeota. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73, 259-270. (3) Stan-Lotter, H., Radax, C., McGenity, T.J., Legat, A., Pfaffenhuemer, M.,Wieland, H., Gruber, C., Denner, E.B.M. (2004) From Intraterrestrials to Extraterrestrials - Viable haloarchaea in ancient salt deposits. In: Halophilic Microorganisms. Ventosa A. (Ed.), Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp. 89-102.

  16. 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 diversity patterns, despite increased mutation levels at the single-OTU level. Therefore, biofilm communities growing in sunlight exposed substrates are capable of coping with increased mutation rates and appear pre-adapted to levels of ionizing radiation in Chernobyl due to their natural adaptation to periodical desiccation and ambient UV radiation. PMID:21765911

  17. 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

  18. The use of microscopy and three-dimensional visualization to evaluate the structure of microbial biofilms cultivated in the Calgary Biofilm Device

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Joe J.; Ceri, Howard; Yerly, Jerome; Stremick, Carol A.; Hu, Yaoping; Martinuzzi, Robert

    2006-01-01

    Microbes frequently live within multicellular, solid surface-attached assemblages termed biofilms. These microbial communities have architectural features that contribute to population heterogeneity and consequently to emergent cell functions. Therefore, three-dimensional (3D) features of biofilm structure are important for understanding the physiology and ecology of these microbial systems. This paper details several protocols for scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of biofilms grown on polystyrene pegs in the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD). Furthermore, a procedure is described for image processing of CLSM data stacks using amira™, a virtual reality tool, to create surface and/or volume rendered 3D visualizations of biofilm microorganisms. The combination of microscopy with microbial cultivation in the CBD – an apparatus that was designed for high-throughput susceptibility testing – allows for structure-function analysis of biofilms under multivariate growth and exposure conditions. PMID:17242736

  19. 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 suggest that the thermal springs in the Central Alps near Bad Gastein represent a novel and unique habitat for microbial life. Results obtained during these studies revealed reproducibility of Dr. Heinen's micrographs. Hollow reticulated filaments and flat ribbons with parallel hexagonal chambers (web-structures) were found repeatedly. Given the chance that subsurface environments represent a potent opportunity to detect life on planetary bodies it is of big interest to search for representative biosignatures found on earth today. References: 1. Lauwers A. M. & Heinen W. (1985) Mikroskopie (Wien) 42, 94-101. 2. Heinen W. & Lauwers A. M. (1985) Mikroskopie (Wien) 42, 124-134. 3. Weidler G. W., Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer M., Gerbl F. W., Heinen W., Stan-Lotter H. (2007) AEM 73, 259-270.

  20. 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 ?- and < 10 ? 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).

  1. New methods for analysis of spatial distribution and coaggregation of microbial populations in complex biofilms.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Beltrán, Yislem; Cerqueda-García, Daniel; Ta?, 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% MgCO3) 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

  4. Comparative sensitivity to the fungicide tebuconazole of biofilm and plankton microbial communities in freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Artigas, J; Pascault, N; Bouchez, A; Chastain, J; Debroas, D; Humbert, J F; Leloup, J; Tadonleke, R D; ter Halle, A; Pesce, S

    2014-01-15

    Stream and lake ecosystems in agricultural watersheds are exposed to fungicide inputs that can threaten the structure and functioning of aquatic microbial communities. This research analyzes the impact of the triazole fungicide tebuconazole (TBZ) on natural biofilm and plankton microbial communities from sites presenting different degrees of agricultural contamination. Biofilm and plankton communities from less-polluted (LP) and polluted (P) sites were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0 (control), 2 and 20 ?g TBZ L(-1) in 3-week microcosm experiments. Descriptors of microbial community structure (bacterial density and chlorophyll-a concentration) and function (bacterial respiration and production and photosynthesis) were analyzed to chart the effects of TBZ and the kinetics of TBZ attenuation in water during the experiments. The results showed TBZ-induced effects on biofilm function (inhibition of substrate-induced respiration and photosynthetic activity), especially in LP-site communities, whereas plankton communities experienced a transitory stimulation of bacterial densities in communities from both LP and P sites. TBZ attenuation was stronger in biofilm (60-75%) than plankton (15-18%) experiments, probably due to greater adsorption on biofilms. The differences between biofilm and plankton responses to TBZ were likely explained by differences in community structure (presence of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) matrix) and microbial composition. Biofilm communities also exhibited different sensitivity levels according to their in-field pre-exposure to fungicide, with P-site communities demonstrating adaptation capacities to TBZ. This study indicates that TBZ toxicity to non-targeted aquatic microbial communities essentially composed by microalgae and bacteria was moderate, and that its effects varied between stream and lake microbial communities. PMID:24048021

  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. A framework for modeling electroactive microbial biofilms performing direct electron transfer.

    PubMed

    Korth, Benjamin; Rosa, Luis F M; Harnisch, Falk; Picioreanu, Cristian

    2015-12-01

    A modeling platform for microbial electrodes based on electroactive microbial biofilms performing direct electron transfer (DET) is presented. Microbial catabolism and anabolism were coupled with intracellular and extracellular electron transfer, leading to biofilm growth and current generation. The model includes homogeneous electron transfer from cells to a conductive biofilm component, biofilm matrix conduction, and heterogeneous electron transfer to the electrode. Model results for Geobacter based anodes, both at constant electrode potential and in voltammetric (dynamic electrode potential) conditions, were compared to experimental data from different sources. The model can satisfactorily describe microscale (concentration, pH and redox gradients) and macroscale (electric currents, biofilm thickness) properties of Geobacter biofilms. The concentration of electrochemically accessible redox centers, here denominated as cytochromes, involved in the extracellular electron transfer, plays the key role and may differ between constant potential (300 mM) and dynamic potential (3mM) conditions. Model results also indicate that the homogeneous and heterogeneous electron transfer rates have to be within the same order of magnitude (1.2 s(-1)) for reversible extracellular electron transfer. PMID:25921352

  7. Role of discontinuous chlorination on microbial production by drinking water biofilms.

    PubMed

    Codony, Francesc; Morató, Jordi; Mas, Jordi

    2005-05-01

    Microbial quality in water distribution systems is strongly affected by the development of microbial biofilms. Production and release of microbial cells by the biofilm affect microbial levels in the water column and in some cases this fact constitutes a public health concern. In this study, we attempt to analyze in which way the existence of different episodes of chlorine depletion affects both biofilm formation and microbial load of an artificial laboratory system. The work was carried out using two parallel packed bed reactors both supplied with running tap water. One of the reactors was used as a control and was permanently exposed to the action of chlorine. In the other reactor, chlorine was neutralized at selected times during the experiment and for periods of variable length. During the experiment the concentration of total and viable cells from the effluent was monitored at the exit of each of the reactors. The data obtained were used to estimate microbial production from the biofilms. As an average, release of microbial cells to the water phase increased tenfold in the absence of chlorine. The results also indicate that disinfectant efficiency against the biofilm was not recovered when chlorine returned to normal levels after each event of chlorine neutralization. Cell viability in the water phase in the presence of chlorine was low at the beginning of the experiment but increased 4 orders of magnitude after five neutralization periods. Therefore, subsequent episodes of chlorine depletion may accelerate the development of microbial communities with reduced susceptibility to disinfection in real drinking water systems. PMID:15899288

  8. Evaluation of microbial biofilm communities from an Alberta oil sands tailings pond.

    PubMed

    Golby, Susanne; Ceri, Howard; Gieg, Lisa M; Chatterjee, Indranil; Marques, Lyriam L R; Turner, Raymond J

    2012-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of Alberta has resulted in millions of cubic meters of waste stored on-site in tailings ponds. Unique microbial ecology is expected in these ponds, which may be key to their bioremediation potential. We considered that direct culturing of microbes from a tailings sample as biofilms could lead to the recovery of microbial communities that provide good representation of the ecology of the tailings. Culturing of mixed species biofilms in vitro using the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD) under aerobic, microaerobic, and anaerobic growth conditions was successful both with and without the addition of various growth nutrients. Denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing revealed that unique mixed biofilm communities were recovered under each incubation condition, with the dominant species belonging to Pseudomonas, Thauera, Hydrogenophaga, Rhodoferax, and Acidovorax. This work used an approach that allowed organisms to grow as a biofilm directly from a sample collected of their environment, and the biofilms cultivated in vitro were representative of the endogenous environmental community. For the first time, representative environmental mixed species biofilms have been isolated and grown under laboratory conditions from an oil sands tailings pond environment and a description of their composition is provided. PMID:22029695

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Life in the "plastisphere": microbial communities on plastic marine debris.

    PubMed

    Zettler, Erik R; Mincer, Tracy J; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A

    2013-07-01

    Plastics are the most abundant form of marine debris, with global production rising and documented impacts in some marine environments, but the influence of plastic on open ocean ecosystems is poorly understood, particularly for microbial communities. Plastic marine debris (PMD) collected at multiple locations in the North Atlantic was analyzed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and next-generation sequencing to characterize the attached microbial communities. We unveiled a diverse microbial community of heterotrophs, autotrophs, predators, and symbionts, a community we refer to as the "Plastisphere". Pits visualized in the PMD surface conformed to bacterial shapes suggesting active hydrolysis of the hydrocarbon polymer. Small-subunit rRNA gene surveys identified several hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, supporting the possibility that microbes play a role in degrading PMD. Some Plastisphere members may be opportunistic pathogens (the authors, unpublished data) such as specific members of the genus Vibrio that dominated one of our plastic samples. Plastisphere communities are distinct from surrounding surface water, implying that plastic serves as a novel ecological habitat in the open ocean. Plastic has a longer half-life than most natural floating marine substrates, and a hydrophobic surface that promotes microbial colonization and biofilm formation, differing from autochthonous substrates in the upper layers of the ocean. PMID:23745679

  12. Microbial cell surface proteins and secreted metabolites involved in multispecies biofilms.

    PubMed

    Demuyser, Liesbeth; Jabra-Rizk, Mary Ann; Van Dijck, Patrick

    2014-04-01

    A considerable number of infectious diseases involve multiple microbial species coexisting and interacting in a host. Only recently however the impact of these polymicrobial diseases has been appreciated and investigated. Often, the causative microbial species are embedded in an extracellular matrix forming biofilms, a form of existence that offers protection against chemotherapeutic agents and host immune defenses. Therefore, recent efforts have focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies targeting biofilm-associated polymicrobial infections, a task that has proved to be challenging. One promising approach to inhibit the development of such complex infections is to impede the interactions between the microbial species via inhibition of adhesion. To that end, studies have focused on identifying specific cell wall adhesins and receptors involved in the interactions between the various bacterial species and the most pathogenic human fungal species Candida albicans. This review highlights the important findings from these studies and describes the available tools and techniques that have provided insights into the role of secreted molecules orchestrating microbial interactions in biofilms. Specifically, we focus on the interactions that take place in oral biofilms and the implications of these interactions on oral health and therapeutic strategies. PMID:24376219

  13. 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

  14. Dominant Microbial Populations in Limestone-Corroding Stream Biofilms, Frasassi Cave System, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Macalady, Jennifer L.; Lyon, Ezra H.; Koffman, Bess; Albertson, Lindsey K.; Meyer, Katja; Galdenzi, Sandro; Mariani, Sandro

    2006-01-01

    Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. ?-, ?-, ?-, and ?-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for ?75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating ?-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous ?-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of ?-proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks. PMID:16885314

  15. 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 on Planet Earth. Mars and some planets of other suns may be good candidates to search for life under conditions normally not thought to be favorable for the maintenance of life. Astrobiology 4, 450-459.

  16. 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

  17. Time-course correlation of biofilm properties and electrochemical performance in single-chamber microbial fuel cells

    E-print Network

    Mench, Matthew M.

    -chamber microbial fuel cells Zhiyong Ren a,c , Ramaraja P. Ramasamy b,1 , Susan Red Cloud-Owen b , Hengjing Yan 2010 Keywords: Microbial fuel cell Electricity Biofilm Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy a b s t r in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was analyzed by time-course sampling of parallel single-bottle MFCs operated

  18. 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 ?m) 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 ?m, 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 ?m. In contrast, MA mainly inhabited the inner layer of the biofilm. Their relative abundances increased from 10% to 75% at depths of 200 ?m and 700 ?m, 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

  19. The spatial organization and microbial community structure of an epilithic biofilm.

    PubMed

    Cutler, Nick A; Chaput, Dominique L; Oliver, Anna E; Viles, Heather A

    2015-03-01

    Microbial biofilms are common on lithic surfaces, including stone buildings. However, the ecology of these communities is poorly understood. Few studies have focused on the spatial characteristics of lithobiontic biofilms, despite the fact that spatial structure has been demonstrated to influence ecosystem function (and hence biodegradation) and community diversity. Furthermore, relatively few studies have utilized molecular techniques to characterize these communities, even though molecular methods have revealed unexpected microbial diversity in other habitats. This study investigated (1) the spatial structure and (2) the taxonomic composition of an epilithic biofilm using molecular techniques, namely amplicon pyrosequencing and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism. Dispersion indices and Mantel correlograms were used to test for the presence of spatial structure in the biofilm. Diversity metrics and rank-abundance distributions (RADs) were also generated. The study revealed spatial structure on a centimetre scale in eukaryotic microbes (fungi and algae), but not the bacteria. Fungal and bacterial communities were highly diverse; algal communities much less so. The RADs were characterized by a distinctive 'hollow' (concave up) profile and long tails of rare taxa. These findings have implications for understanding the ecology of epilithic biofilms and the spatial heterogeneity of stone biodeterioration. PMID:25764559

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Influence of an Oyster Reef on Development of the Microbial Heterotrophic Community of an Estuarine Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Nocker, Andreas; Lepo, Joe E.; Snyder, Richard A.

    2004-01-01

    We characterized microbial biofilm communities developed over two very closely located but distinct benthic habitats in the Pensacola Bay estuary using two complementary cultivation-independent molecular techniques. Biofilms were grown for 7 days on glass slides held in racks 10 to 15 cm over an oyster reef and an adjacent muddy sand bottom. Total biomass and optical densities of dried biofilms showed dramatic differences for oyster reef versus non-oyster reef biofilms. This study assessed whether the observed spatial variation was reflected in the heterotrophic prokaryotic species composition. Genomic biofilm DNA from both locations was isolated and served as a template to amplify 16S rRNA genes with universal eubacterial primers. Fluorescently labeled PCR products were analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, creating a genetic fingerprint of the composition of the microbial communities. Unlabeled PCR products were cloned in order to construct a clone library of 16S rRNA genes. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis was used to screen and define ribotypes. Partial sequences from unique ribotypes were compared with existing database entries to identify species and to construct phylogenetic trees representative of community structures. A pronounced difference in species richness and evenness was observed at the two sites. The biofilm community structure from the oyster reef setting had greater evenness and species richness than the one from the muddy sand bottom. The vast majority of the bacteria in the oyster reef biofilm were related to members of the ?- and ?-subdivisions of Proteobacteria, the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium -Bacteroides cluster, and the phyla Planctomyces and Holophaga-Acidobacterium. The same groups were also present in the biofilm harvested at the muddy sand bottom, with the difference that nearly half of the community consisted of representatives of the Planctomyces phylum. Total species richness was estimated to be 417 for the oyster reef and 60 for the muddy sand bottom, with 10.5% of the total unique species identified being shared between habitats. The results suggest dramatic differences in habitat-specific microbial diversity that have implications for overall microbial diversity within estuaries. PMID:15528551

  4. Iron phosphate precipitation by epilithic microbial biofilms in Arctic Canada K.O. KONHAUSERAND W.S. FYFE

    E-print Network

    Konhauser, Kurt

    Iron phosphate precipitation by epilithic microbial biofilms in Arctic Canada K.O. KONHAUSERAND W shown to extensively precipitate phosphatic minerals, ranging from relatively large polyphosphate granules (approximately 250 nrn in diameter) within their cytoplasmic membranes to smaller iron phosphate

  5. 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 (compared to the human body temperature, pH, mineralization, and pressure) were considered a priori as a dead zone.

  6. Detection of microbial biofilms on food processing surfaces: hyperspectral fluorescence imaging study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jun, Won; Kim, Moon S.; Chao, Kaunglin; Lefcourt, Alan M.; Roberts, Michael S.; McNaughton, James L.

    2009-05-01

    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 investigation was to determine a minimal number of spectral bands suitable to differentiate microbial biofilm formation from the four background materials typically used during food processing. Ultimately, the resultant spectral information will be used in development of handheld portable imaging devices that can be used as visual aid tools for sanitation and safety inspection (microbial contamination) of the food processing surfaces. Pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella cells were grown in low strength M9 minimal medium on various surfaces at 22 +/- 2 °C for 2 days for biofilm formation. Biofilm autofluorescence under UV excitation (320 to 400 nm) obtained by hyperspectral fluorescence imaging system showed broad emissions in the blue-green regions of the spectrum with emission maxima at approximately 480 nm for both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella biofilms. Fluorescence images at 480 nm revealed that for background materials with near-uniform fluorescence responses such as stainless steel and formica cutting board, regardless of the background intensity, biofilm formation can be distinguished. This suggested that a broad spectral band in the blue-green regions can be used for handheld imaging devices for sanitation inspection of stainless, cutting board, and formica surfaces. The non-uniform fluorescence responses of granite make distinctions between biofilm and background difficult. To further investigate potential detection of the biofilm formations on granite surfaces with multispectral approaches, principal component analysis (PCA) was performed using the hyperspectral fluorescence image data. The resultant PCA score images revealed distinct contrast between biofilms and granite surfaces. This investigation demonstrated that biofilm formations on food processing surfaces, even for background materials with heterogeneous fluorescence responses, can be detected. Furthermore, a multispectral approach in developing handheld inspection devices may be needed to inspect surface materials that exhibit non-uniform fluorescence.

  7. 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.)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular techniques revealed highly diverse microbial communities in natural marine biofilms on polystyrene dishes for invertebrate larval settlement.

    PubMed

    Lee, On On; Chung, Hong Chun; Yang, Jiangke; Wang, Yong; Dash, Swagatika; Wang, Hao; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-07-01

    Biofilm microbial communities play an important role in the larval settlement response of marine invertebrates. However, the underlying mechanism has yet to be resolved, mainly because of the uncertainties in characterizing members in the communities using traditional 16S rRNA gene-based molecular methods and in identifying the chemical signals involved. In this study, pyrosequencing was used to characterize the bacterial communities in intertidal and subtidal marine biofilms developed during two seasons. We revealed highly diverse biofilm bacterial communities that varied with season and tidal level. Over 3,000 operational taxonomic units with estimates of up to 8,000 species were recovered in a biofilm sample, which is by far the highest number recorded in subtropical marine biofilms. Nineteen phyla were found, of which Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria were the most dominant one in the intertidal and subtidal biofilms, respectively. Apart from these, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetes were the major groups recovered in both intertidal and subtidal biofilms, although their relative abundance varied among samples. Full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed for the four biofilm samples and showed similar bacterial compositions at the phylum level to those revealed by pyrosequencing. Laboratory assays confirmed that cyrids of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite preferred to settle on the intertidal rather than subtidal biofilms. This preference was independent of the biofilm bacterial density or biomass but was probably related to the biofilm community structure, particularly, the Proteobacterial and Cyanobacterial groups. PMID:24402362

  11. Photosynthetic solar cell using nanostructured proton exchange membrane for microbial biofilm prevention.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dong Hyun; Oh, Hwa Jin; Bai, Seoung Jae; Song, Young Seok

    2014-06-24

    Unwanted biofilm formation has a detrimental effect on bioelectrical energy harvesting in microbial cells. This issue still needs to be solved for higher power and longer durability and could be resolved with the help of nanoengineering in designing and manufacturing. Here, we demonstrate a photosynthetic solar cell (PSC) that contains a nanostructure to prevent the formation of biofilm by micro-organisms. Nanostructures were fabricated using nanoimprint lithography, where a film heater array system was introduced to precisely control the local wall temperature. To understand the heat and mass transfer phenomena behind the manufacturing and energy harvesting processes of PSC, we carried out a numerical simulation and experimental measurements. It revealed that the nanostructures developed on the proton exchange membrane enable PSC to produce enhanced output power due to the retarded microbial attachment on the Nafion membrane. We anticipate that this strategy can provide a pathway where PSC can ensure more renewable, sustainable, and efficient energy harvesting performance. PMID:24840499

  12. Modeling how soluble microbial products (SMP) support heterotrophic bacteria in autotroph-based biofilms.

    PubMed

    Merkey, Brian V; Rittmann, Bruce E; Chopp, David L

    2009-08-21

    Multi-species biofilm modeling has been used for many years to understand the interactions between species in different biofilm systems, but the complex symbiotic relationship between species is sometimes overlooked, because models do not always include all relevant species and components. In this paper, we develop and use a mathematical model to describe a model biofilm system that includes autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria and the key products produced by the bacteria. The model combines the methods of earlier multi-species models with a multi-component biofilm model in order to explore the interaction between species via exchange of soluble microbial products (SMP). We show that multiple parameter sets are able to describe the findings of experimental studies, and that heterotrophs growing on autotrophically produced SMP may pursue either r- or K-strategies to sustain themselves when SMP is their only substrate. We also show that heterotrophs can colonize some distance from the autotrophs and still be sustained by autotrophically produced SMP. This work defines the feasible range of parameters for utilization of SMP by heterotrophs and the nature of the interactions between autotrophs and heterotrophs in multi-species, multi-component biofilms. PMID:19481097

  13. Dominant microbial populations in limestone-corroding stream biofilms, Frasassi cave system, Italy.

    PubMed

    Macalady, Jennifer L; Lyon, Ezra H; Koffman, Bess; Albertson, Lindsey K; Meyer, Katja; Galdenzi, Sandro; Mariani, Sandro

    2006-08-01

    Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. beta-, gamma-, delta-, and epsilon-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for > or = 75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating delta-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous gamma-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of epsilon-proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks. PMID:16885314

  14. Biofilm microbial community of a thermophilic trickling biofilter used for continuous biohydrogen production.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Yeonghee; Park, Eun-Jung; Oh, You-Kwan; Park, Sunghoon; Webster, Gordon; Weightman, Andrew J

    2005-08-01

    Molecular methods were employed to investigate the microbial community of a biofilm obtained from a thermophilic trickling biofilter reactor (TBR) that was operated long-term to produce H(2). Biomass concentration in the TBR gradually decreased as reactor bed height increased. Despite this difference in biomass concentration, samples from the bottom and middle of the TBR bed revealed similar microbial populations as determined by PCR-DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA genes. Nucleotide sequences of most DGGE bands were affiliated with the classes Clostridia and Bacilli in the phylum Firmicutes, and the most dominant bands showed a high sequence similarity to Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum. PMID:16006066

  15. Role of cyanobacterial exopolysaccharides in phototrophic biofilms and in complex microbial mats.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. Microbial Life in a Liquid Asphalt Desert

    E-print Network

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

    2010-01-01

    An active microbiota, reaching up to 10 E+7 cells/g, was found to inhabit a naturally occurring asphalt lake characterized by low water activity and elevated temperature. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed novel and deeply branching microbial assemblages mediating anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation, metal respiration and C1 utilization pathways. These results open a window into the origin and adaptive evolution of microbial life within recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices, and establish the site as a useful analog for the liquid hydrocarbon environments on Saturn's moon Titan.

  18. 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

  19. 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 processes in the space environment. Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Characteristics of microbial biofilm on wooden vats ('gerles') in PDO Salers cheese.

    PubMed

    Didienne, Robert; Defargues, Catherine; Callon, Cécile; Meylheuc, Thierry; Hulin, Sophie; Montel, Marie-Christine

    2012-05-15

    The purpose of this study was to characterize microbial biofilms from 'gerles' (wooden vats for making PDO Salers cheese) and identify their role in milk inoculation and in preventing pathogen development. Gerles from ten farms producing PDO Salers cheese were subjected to microbial analysis during at least 4 periods spread over two years. They were distinguished by their levels of Lactobacillus (between 4.50 and 6.01 log CFU/cm(2)), Gram negative bacteria (between 1.45 and 4.56 log CFU/cm(2)), yeasts (between 2.91 and 5.57 log CFU/cm(2)), and moulds (between 1.72 and 4.52 log CFU/cm(2)). They were then classed into 4 groups according their microbial characteristics. These 4 groups were characterized by different milk inoculations (with either sour whey or starter culture, daily or not), and different washing procedures (with water or whey from cheese making). The farm gerles were not contaminated by Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. Only one slight, punctual contamination was found on one gerle among the ten studied. Even when the milk was deliberately contaminated with L. monocytogenes and S. aureus in the 40 L experimental gerles, these pathogens were found neither on the gerle surfaces nor in the cheeses. Using 40 L experimental gerles it was shown that the microbial biofilms on the gerle surfaces formed in less than one week and then remained stable. They were mainly composed of a great diversity of lactic acid bacteria (Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus hilgardii,…), Gram positive catalase positive bacteria (Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Curtobacterium oceanosedimentum Citrococcus spp., Brachybacterium rhamnosum, Kocuria rhizophila, Arthrobacter spp.…) and yeast (Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus). In less than 1 min, even in a 500 L farm gerle, the gerle's microbial biofilm can inoculate pasteurized milk with micro-organisms at levels superior to those in raw milk. PMID:22483401

  1. 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 (?Ep). 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

  2. daime, a novel image analysis program for microbial ecology and biofilm research.

    PubMed

    Daims, Holger; Lücker, Sebastian; Wagner, Michael

    2006-02-01

    Combinations of microscopy and molecular techniques to detect, identify and characterize microorganisms in environmental and medical samples are widely used in microbial ecology and biofilm research. The scope of these methods, which include fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with rRNA-targeted probes, is extended by digital image analysis routines that extract from micrographs important quantitative data. Here we introduce daime (digital image analysis in microbial ecology), a new computer program integrating 2-D and 3-D image analysis and visualization functionality, which has previously not been available in a single open-source software package. For example, daime automatically finds 2-D and 3-D objects in images and confocal image stacks, and offers special functions for quantifying microbial populations and evaluating new FISH probes. A novel feature is the quantification of spatial localization patterns of microorganisms in complex samples like biofilms. In combination with '3D-FISH', which preserves the 3-D structure of samples, this stereological technique was applied in a proof of principle experiment on activated sludge and provided quantitative evidence that functionally linked ammonia and nitrite oxidizers cluster together in their habitat. This image analysis method complements recent molecular techniques for analysing structure-function relationships in microbial communities and will help to characterize symbiotic interactions among microorganisms. PMID:16423009

  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. 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 ?m) 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

  5. 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 improved strategies that rely on biofilm growth to enhance nitrogen removal in natural and engineered systems.

  6. Analysis of Structural and Physiological Profiles To Assess the Effects of Cu on Biofilm Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Massieux, B.; Boivin, M. E. Y.; van den Ende, F. P.; Langenskiöld, J.; Marvan, P.; Barranguet, C.; Admiraal, W.; Laanbroek, H. J.; Zwart, G.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated the effects of copper on the structure and physiology of freshwater biofilm microbial communities. For this purpose, biofilms that were grown during 4 weeks in a shallow, slightly polluted ditch were exposed, in aquaria in our laboratory, to a range of copper concentrations (0, 1, 3, and 10 ?M). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed changes in the bacterial community in all aquaria. The extent of change was related to the concentration of copper applied, indicating that copper directly or indirectly caused the effects. Concomitantly with these changes in structure, changes in the metabolic potential of the heterotrophic bacterial community were apparent from changes in substrate use profiles as assessed on Biolog plates. The structure of the phototrophic community also changed during the experiment, as observed by microscopic analysis in combination with DGGE analysis of eukaryotic microorganisms and cyanobacteria. However, the extent of community change, as observed by DGGE, was not significantly greater in the copper treatments than in the control. Yet microscopic analysis showed a development toward a greater proportion of cyanobacteria in the treatments with the highest copper concentrations. Furthermore, copper did affect the physiology of the phototrophic community, as evidenced by the fact that a decrease in photosynthetic capacity was detected in the treatment with the highest copper concentration. Therefore, we conclude that copper affected the physiology of the biofilm and had an effect on the structure of the communities composing this biofilm. PMID:15294780

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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 1479mWm(-2) without modification to 2355mWm(-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 -0.3V-+0.1V (vs. SCE). The optimum amount of the redox polymer was determined to be 0.163mgcm(-2). PMID:26599210

  13. Biodiversity, community structure and function of biofilms in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Besemer, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Multi-species, surface-attached biofilms often dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, where they contribute substantially to biogeochemical processes. The microbial diversity of natural biofilms is huge, and may have important implications for the functioning of aquatic environments and the ecosystem services they provide. Yet the causes and consequences of biofilm biodiversity remain insufficiently understood. This review aims to give an overview of current knowledge on the distribution of stream biofilm biodiversity, the mechanisms generating biodiversity patterns and the relationship between biofilm biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:26027773

  14. Impact Craters, Water and Microbial Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Lim, Darlene S. S.

    Because of the lack of recent plate tectonics, the surface of Mars has abundant, well-preserved impact structures. Impact structures can localize water in a number of ways including: 1) circulation of water into hydrothermal systems, 2) ponding of water in the hydrologic depression of the crater. This ponding can occur because of excavation below the water table, filling of the crater by rivers that breach the crater rim, penetration of deep, confined aquifers or by collection of precipitation in the form of rain and snow, 3) entrapment of water in the fractures of shocked rocks and 4) melting of existing frozen water sources by the heat of impact. The local enhancement of water availability provides a potential mechanism for the local enhancement of microbial communities compared to regions outside of craters, provided that an energy source and other nutrient requirements for life are present. We discuss some examples of microbial communities in terrestrial impact structures that are associated with some of these mechanisms of water enhancement and we discuss the importance of impact structures as places suitable for microbial life on other rocky planets, specifically Mars.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ?-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

  17. Characterization of a filamentous biofilm community established in a cellulose-fed microbial fuel cell

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Shun'ichi; Shimoyama, Takefumi; Hotta, Yasuaki; Watanabe, Kazuya

    2008-01-01

    Background Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that exploit microorganisms to generate electric power from organic matter. Despite the development of efficient MFC reactors, the microbiology of electricity generation remains to be sufficiently understood. Results A laboratory-scale two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was inoculated with rice paddy field soil and fed cellulose as the carbon and energy source. Electricity-generating microorganisms were enriched by subculturing biofilms that attached onto anode electrodes. An electric current of 0.2 mA was generated from the first enrichment culture, and ratios of the major metabolites (e.g., electric current, methane and acetate) became stable after the forth enrichment. In order to investigate the electrogenic microbial community in the anode biofilm, it was morphologically analyzed by electron microscopy, and community members were phylogenetically identified by 16S rRNA gene clone-library analyses. Electron microscopy revealed that filamentous cells and rod-shaped cells with prosthecae-like filamentous appendages were abundantly present in the biofilm. Filamentous cells and appendages were interconnected via thin filaments. The clone library analyses frequently detected phylotypes affiliated with Clostridiales, Chloroflexi, Rhizobiales and Methanobacterium. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization revealed that the Rhizobiales population represented rod-shaped cells with filamentous appendages and constituted over 30% of the total population. Conclusion Bacteria affiliated with the Rhizobiales constituted the major population in the cellulose-fed MFC and exhibited unique morphology with filamentous appendages. They are considered to play important roles in the cellulose-degrading electrogenic community. PMID:18186940

  18. 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) ?mol/ mmol of the 13:15N labeled free amino acids were mineralized over the 7-day incubations. By contrast, 186 (× 97) ?mol/ 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 between the streamwater and biofilm assemblages. Throughout the incubations, biofilms were observed to leach dissolved organic carbon (DOC). However, within the streamwater assemblage the presence of both organo-mineral particles and kaolin particles was associated with significant DOC removal (-1.7 % and -7.5 % respectively). Consequently, the study demonstrates that mineral and organo-mineral particles can limit the availability of DOC in aquatic systems, providing nucleation sites for flocculation and fresh mineral surfaces, which facilitate OM-sorption. The formation of these organo-mineral particles subsequently restricts microbial OM degradation, potentially altering the transport and facilitating the burial of OM within streams.

  19. 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

  20. Microbial characteristics in a fixed-biofilm BNR process for treatment of low organic sewage.

    PubMed

    Kim, Mi-Hwa; Park, Tae-Joo; Kim, Moonil

    2013-01-01

    Microbial characteristics of a fixed-biofilm process packed with hollow-type ceramic media were studied for treating low organic level sewage (average TCOD/NH4(+)-N ratio = 3.4), and an easy monitoring method such as a bio-index was suggested. The fractions of autotrophs and heterotrophs were directly affected by changing the organic surface loads in the aerobic reactors. After 90 days of operation, the amount of attached biomass was maintained constantly with a stable nitrification rate and low effluent NH4(+)-N concentration. At this point, the dominant diatoms observed were Fragilaria sp. in the second anoxic reactor, Cyclotella sp. in the second anoxic and aerobic reactors, and Navicula sp. in the first aerobic reactor. Specific protozoa (Euglypha sp., Arcella sp. and Colepus sp.), which were considered predators of nitrifiers, were observed under high nitrification rate and were used as a bio-index and indicators of nitrifying biofilm formation and low effluent NH4(+)-N concentration in the fixed-biofilm BNR process. PMID:23530366

  1. 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 ?-Proteobacteria to ?-Proteobacteria groups. The genus Pseudomonas of ?-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

  2. 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

  3. Biofilms in lab and nature: a molecular geneticist's voyage to microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Kolter, Roberto

    2010-03-01

    This article reviews the latest findings on how extracellular signaling controls cell fate determination during the process of biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis in the artificial setting of the laboratory. To complement molecular genetic approaches, surface-associated communities in settings as diverse as the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea and the human lung were investigated. The study of the pitcher plant revealed that the presence or absence of a mosquito larva in the pitcher plant controlled bacterial diversity in the ecosystem inside the pitcher plant. Through the analysis of the respiratory tract microbiota of humans suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF) a correlation between lung function and bacterial community diversity was found. Those that had lungs in good condition had also more diverse communities, whereas patients harboring Pseudomonas aeruginosa-the predominant CF pathogen-in their lungs had less diverse communities. Further studies focused on interspecies and intraspecies relationships at the molecular level in search for signaling molecules that would promote biofilm formation. Two molecules were found that induced biofilm formation in B. subtilis: nystatin-released by other species-and surfactin-released by B. subtilis itself. This is a role not previously known for two molecules that were known for other activities-nystatin as an antifungal and surfactin as a surfactant. In addition, surfactin was found to also trigger cannibalism under starvation. This could be a strategy to maintain the population because the cells destroyed serve as nutrients for the rest. The path that led the author to the study of microbial biofilms is also described. PMID:20890834

  4. Impact of initial biofilm growth on the anode impedance of microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, Ramaraja P; Ren, Zhiyong; Mench, Matthew M; Regan, John M

    2008-09-01

    Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used to study the behavior of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) during initial biofilm growth in an acetate-fed, two-chamber MFC system with ferricyanide in the cathode. EIS experiments were performed both on the full cell (between cathode and anode) as well as on individual electrodes. The Nyquist plots of the EIS data were fitted with an equivalent electrical circuit to estimate the contributions of various intrinsic resistances to the overall internal MFC impedance. During initial development of the anode biofilm, the anode polarization resistance was found to decrease by over 70% at open circuit and by over 45% at 27 microA/cm(2), and a simultaneous increase in power density by about 120% was observed. The exchange current density for the bio-electrochemical reaction on the anode was estimated to be in the range of 40-60 nA/cm(2) for an immature biofilm after 5 days of closed circuit operation, which increased to around 182 nA/cm(2) after more than 3 weeks of operation and stable performance in an identical parallel system. The polarization resistance of the anode was 30-40 times higher than that of the ferricyanide cathode for the conditions tested, even with an established biofilm. For a two-chamber MFC system with a Nafion 117 membrane and an inter-electrode spacing of 15 cm, the membrane and electrolyte solution dominate the ohmic resistance and contribute to over 95% of the MFC internal impedance. Detailed EIS analyses provide new insights into the dominant kinetic resistance of the anode bio-electrochemical reaction and its influence on the overall power output of the MFC system, even in the high internal resistance system used in this study. These results suggest that new strategies to address this kinetic constraint of the anode bio-electrochemical reactions are needed to complement the reduction of ohmic resistance in modern designs. PMID:18646217

  5. 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 biosphere. Molecular microbial diversity is currently determined by cloning und comparative 16S rRNA gene analyses. The first results will also be presented. In summary, the low number of isolates, cultivated under aerobic conditions, is in good agreement with the common opinion that most of the bacteria within the deep biosphere are anaerobic. Thus, studies of microbial community structure in solid geological materials are feasible and constitute further evidence that continuing microbiological activity in the challenging exploration of the deep sub-seafloor biosphere environment is absolutely promising.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ?-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 of cyanobacteria on bottom sulfur mats form green bulbous ridges that rise from the streambed by gas produced inside the mat. The bulbous features then break off and form floating mats. This is followed by colonization of remnant filaments by the proposed Sulfurovum. A repeating cycle ensues, in which the Sulfurovum produce a crust of elemental sulfur that the cyanobacteria must migrate past. This slowly builds up a core of elemental sulfur strings sheathed in cyanobacteria. Together, the co-habitation and interactions between sulfide-oxidizing bacteria and photosynthetic cyanobacteria construct visible physical structures that can potentially be preserved in the rock record.

  9. The effect of inorganic carbon on microbial interactions in a biofilm nitritation-anammox process.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yiwei; Sundar, Suneethi; Park, Hongkeun; Chandran, Kartik

    2015-03-01

    The overarching goal of this study was to determine the role of inorganic carbon (IC) in influencing the microbial ecology, performance and nitrogen turnover by individual microbial communities of a biofilm based combined nitritation-anammox process. IC limitation was transiently imposed by reducing the IC input from 350% to 40% of the stoichiometric requirement for 40 days. The principal impact observed during IC limitation was the overgrowth of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) at the expense of anaerobic ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AMX). On the other hand, the concentrations of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were relatively stable during the imposition of and recovery from IC limitation. The resulting dominance of NOB, in terms of their concentration and contribution to nitrite consumption over AMX, resulted, in turn, in a decrease in overall nitrogen removal from 78 ± 2.0% before IC limitation to 46 ± 2.9% during IC limitation. Upon recovery back to non-limiting IC input, it took an inordinately long time (about 57*HRT) for the N-removal to recover back to pre-limitation conditions. Even after recovery, NOB were still persistent in the biofilm and could not be washed out to pre-limitation concentrations. The emission of nitrous oxide (N?O) and nitric oxide (NO), likely from AOB, transiently increased in concert with transient increases in ammonia and hydroxylamine concentrations during the period of IC limitation. Therefore, an unintended consequence of IC limitation in nitritation-anammox systems can be an increase in their greenhouse gas footprint, in addition to compromised process performance. Most emphasis to date on nitritation and anammox studies has been on the nitrogen cycle. The results of this study demonstrate that the differing strategies used by AOB, NOB and AMX to compete for their preferred assimilative carbon source can also significantly influence the microbial ecology, performance and carbon footprint of such processes. PMID:25540838

  10. 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 ecosystem processes such as biostabilisation or pollutants trapping.

  11. 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...

  12. Microbial community development of biofilm in Amaranth decolourization technology analysed by FISH

    PubMed Central

    Belouhova, Mihaela; Schneider, Irina; Chakarov, Stoyan; Ivanova, Iliana; Topalova, Yana

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the role, the space distribution and the relationships of the bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas in a biofilm community during semi-continuous Amaranth decolourization process in model sand biofilters. The examined parameters of the process were as follows: technological parameters; key enzyme activities (azoreductase, succinate dehydrogenase, catechol-1,2-dioxygenase, catechol-2,3-dioxygenase); the number of azo-degrading bacteria and the bacteria from genus Pseudomonas (plate count technique); the amount and the location of Pseudomonas sp. using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). The results showed that the increase of the Amaranth removal rate with 120% was accompanied with increase of the enzyme activities of the biofilm (azoreductase activity – with 25.90% and succinate dehydrogenase – with 10.61%). The enzyme assays showed absence of activity for ?atechol-1,2-dioxygenase and catechol-2,3-dioxygenase at the early phase and high activities of the same oxygenases at the late phase (2.76 and 1.74 ?mol/min mg protein, respectively). In the beginning of the process (0–191 h), the number of the culturable microorganisms from genus Pseudomonas was increased with 48.76% but at the late phase (191–455 h) they were decreased with 15.25% while the quantity of the non-culturable bacteria from this genus with synergetic relationships was increased with 23.26%. The dominant microbial factors were identified in the structure of the biofilm during the azo-degradation process by using FISH analysis. Furthermore, the inner mechanisms for increase of the rate and the range of the detoxification were revealed during the complex wastewater treatment processes. PMID:26019551

  13. Prevention of microbial biofilms - the contribution of micro and nanostructured materials.

    PubMed

    Grumezescu, Alexandru Mihai; Chifiriuc, Carmen Mariana

    2014-01-01

    Microbial biofilms are associated with drastically enhanced resistance to most of the antimicrobial agents and with frequent treatment failures, generating the search for novel strategies which can eradicate infections by preventing the persistent colonization of the hospital environment, medical devices or human tissues. Some of the current approaches for fighting biofilms are represented by the development of novel biomaterials with increased resistance to microbial colonization and by the improvement of the current therapeutic solutions with the aid of nano (bio)technology. This special issues includes papers describing the applications of nanotechnology and biomaterials science for the development of improved drug delivery systems and nanostructured surfaces for the prevention and treatment of medical biofilms. Nanomaterials display unique and well-defined physical and chemical properties making them useful for biomedical applications, such as: very high surface area to volume ratio, biocompatibility, biodegradation, safety for human ingestion, capacity to support surface modification and therefore, to be combined with other bioactive molecules or substrata and more importantly being seemingly not attracting antimicrobial resistance. The use of biomaterials is significantly contributing to the reduction of the excessive use of antibiotics, and consequently to the decrease of the emergence rate of resistant microorganisms, as well as of the associated toxic effects. Various biomaterials with intrinsic antimicrobial activity (inorganic nanoparticles, polymers, composites), medical devices for drug delivery, as well as factors influencing their antimicrobial properties are presented. One of the presented papers reviews the recent literature on the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP)-based nanomaterials in antimicrobial applications for biomedicine, focusing on the growth inhibition and killing of bacteria and fungi, and, on viral inactivation. The anti-pathogenic activity of the most common types of metallic/metal oxide nanoparticles, as well as the photocontrolled targeted drug-delivery system and the development of traditional Chinese herbs nanoparticles are some of the highlights of another paper of this issue. The applications of synthetic, biodegradable polymers for the improvement of antiinfective therapeutic and prophylactic agents (i.e., antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents and vaccines) activity, as well as for the design of biomaterials with increased biocompatibility and resistance to microbial colonization are also discussed, as well as one of the most recent paradigms of the pharmaceutical field and nanobiotechnology, represented by the design of smart multifunctional polymeric nanocarriers for controlled drug delivery. These systems are responding to physico-chemical changes and as a result, they can release the active substances in a controlled and targeted manner. The advantages and limitations of the main routes of polymerization by which these nanovehicles are obtained, as well as the practical appllications in the field of drug nanocarriers are presented. The authors describe the therapeutic applications of dendrimers, which are unimolecular, monodisperse nanocarriers with unique branched tree-like globular structure. The applications of nanotechnology for the stabilization and improved release of anti-pathogenic natural or synthetic compounds, which do not interfere with the microbial growth, but inhibit different features of microbial pathogenicity are also highlighted. We expect this special issue would offer a comprehensive update and give new directions for the design of micro/nano engineered materials to inhibit microbial colonization on the surfaces or to potentiate the efficiency of the current/ novel/alternative antimicrobial agents by improving their bioavailability and pharmacokinetic features. PMID:24606506

  14. 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

  15. 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 ?M) 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 ?M), 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Eukaryotic life in biofilms formed in a uranium mine.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    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. Nitrogen removal in a single-chamber microbial fuel cell with nitrifying biofilm enriched at the air cathode.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hengjing; Saito, Tomonori; Regan, John M

    2012-05-01

    Nitrogen removal is needed in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for the treatment of most waste streams. Current designs couple biological denitrification with side-stream or combined nitrification sustained by upstream or direct aeration, which negates some of the energy-saving benefits of MFC technology. To achieve simultaneous nitrification and denitrification, without extra energy input for aeration, the air cathode of a single-chamber MFC was pre-enriched with a nitrifying biofilm. Diethylamine-functionalized polymer (DEA) was used as the Pt catalyst binder on the cathode to improve the differential nitrifying biofilm establishment. With pre-enriched nitrifying biofilm, MFCs with the DEA binder had an ammonia removal efficiency of up to 96.8% and a maximum power density of 900 ± 25 mW/m(2), compared to 90.7% and 945 ± 42 mW/m(2) with a Nafion binder. A control with Nafion that lacked nitrifier pre-enrichment removed less ammonia and had lower power production (54.5% initially, 750 mW/m(2)). The nitrifying biofilm MFCs had lower Coulombic efficiencies (up to 27%) than the control reactor (up to 36%). The maximum total nitrogen removal efficiency reached 93.9% for MFCs with the DEA binder. The DEA binder accelerated nitrifier biofilm enrichment on the cathode, and enhanced system stability. These results demonstrated that with proper cathode pre-enrichment it is possible to simultaneously remove organics and ammonia in a single-chamber MFC without supplemental aeration. PMID:22386083

  3. Intermittent contact of fluidized anode particles containing exoelectrogenic biofilms for continuous power generation in microbial

    E-print Network

    Intermittent contact of fluidized anode particles containing exoelectrogenic biofilms 150090, China h i g h l i g h t s g r a p h i c a l a b s t r a c t Exoelectrogenic biofilms were grown for biofilm formation, and slow substrate degradation kinetics. Increasing the anode surface area can increase

  4. The possibility of alternative microbial life on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleland, Carol E.; Copley, Shelley D.

    2005-10-01

    Despite its amazing morphological diversity, life as we know it on Earth today is remarkably similar in its basic molecular architecture and biochemistry. The assumption that all life on Earth today shares these molecular and biochemical features is part of the paradigm of modern biology. This paper examines the possibility that this assumption is false, more specifically, that the contemporary Earth contains as yet unrecognized alternative forms of microbial life. The possibility that more than one form of life arose on Earth is consistent with our current understanding of conditions on the early Earth and the biochemical and molecular possibilities for life. Arguments that microbial descendents of an alternative origin of life could not co-exist with familiar life are belied by what we know of the complexity and diversity of microbial communities. Furthermore, the tools that are currently used to explore the microbial world microscopy (with the aid of techniques such as DAPI staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization), cultivation and PCR amplification of rRNA genes could not detect such organisms if they existed. Thus, the fact that we have not discovered any alternative life forms cannot be taken as evidence that they do not exist.

  5. Microbial life in ridge flank crustal fluids.

    PubMed

    Huber, Julie A; Johnson, H Paul; Butterfield, David A; Baross, John A

    2006-01-01

    To determine the microbial community diversity within old oceanic crust, a novel sampling strategy was used to collect crustal fluids at Baby Bare Seamount, a 3.5 Ma old outcrop located in the north-east Pacific Ocean on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Stainless steel probes were driven directly into the igneous ocean crust to obtain samples of ridge flank crustal fluids. Genetic signatures and enrichment cultures of microorganisms demonstrate that these crustal fluids host a microbial community composed of species indigenous to the subseafloor, including anaerobic thermophiles, and species from other deep-sea habitats, such as seawater and sediments. Evidence using molecular techniques indicates the presence of a relatively small but active microbial population, dominated by bacteria. The microbial community diversity found in the crustal fluids may indicate habitat variability in old oceanic crust, with inputs of nutrients from seawater, sediment pore-water fluids and possibly hydrothermal sources. This report further supports the presence of an indigenous microbial community in ridge flank crustal fluids and advances our understanding of the potential physiological and phylogenetic diversity of this community. PMID:16343325

  6. 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.

  7. Microbial Adhesion and Biofilm Formation on Microfiltration Membranes: A Detailed Characterization Using Model Organisms with Increasing Complexity

    PubMed Central

    Vanysacker, L.; Denis, C.; Declerck, P.; Piasecka, A.; Vankelecom, I. F. J.

    2013-01-01

    Since many years, membrane biofouling has been described as the Achilles heel of membrane fouling. In the present study, an ecological assay was performed using model systems with increasing complexity: a monospecies assay using Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Escherichia coli separately, a duospecies assay using both microorganisms, and a multispecies assay using activated sludge with or without spiked P. aeruginosa. The microbial adhesion and biofilm formation were evaluated in terms of bacterial cell densities, species richness, and bacterial community composition on polyvinyldifluoride, polyethylene, and polysulfone membranes. The data show that biofouling formation was strongly influenced by the kind of microorganism, the interactions between the organisms, and the changes in environmental conditions whereas the membrane effect was less important. The findings obtained in this study suggest that more knowledge in species composition and microbial interactions is needed in order to understand the complex biofouling process. This is the first report describing the microbial interactions with a membrane during the biofouling development. PMID:23986906

  8. Modeling the Effects of Hydrodynamic Regimes on Microbial Communities within Fluvial Biofilms: Combining Deterministic and Stochastic Processes.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi; Wang, Chao; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Peifang; Niu, Lihua; Hou, Jun; Wang, Jing; Wang, Linqiong

    2015-11-01

    To fully understand the effects of hydrodynamics on a microbial community, the roles of niche-based and neutral processes must be considered in a mathematical model. To this end, a two-dimensional model combining mechanisms of immigration, dispersal, and niche differentiation was first established to describe the effects of hydrodynamics on bacterial communities within fluvial biofilms. Deterministic factors of the model were identified via the calculation of Spearman's rank correlation coefficients between parameters of hydrodynamics and the bacterial community. It was found that turbulent kinetic energy and turbulent intensity were considered as a set of reasonable predictors of community composition, whereas flow velocity and turbulent intensity can be combined together to predict biofilm bacterial biomass. According to the modeling result, the bacterial community could get its favorable assembly condition with a flow velocity ranging from 0.041 to 0.061 m/s. However, the driving force for biofilm community assembly changed with the local hydrodynamics. Individuals reproduction within the biofilm was the main driving force with flow velocity less than 0.05 m/s, while cell migration played a much more important role with velocity larger than 0.05 m/s. The developed model could be considered as a useful tool for improving the technologies of water environment protection and remediation. PMID:26437120

  9. A protective coat of microorganisms on macroalgae: inhibitory effects of bacterial biofilms and epibiotic microbial assemblages on barnacle attachment.

    PubMed

    Nasrolahi, Ali; Stratil, Stephanie B; Jacob, Katharina J; Wahl, Martin

    2012-09-01

    Effects of epibiotic bacteria associated with macroalgae on barnacle larval attachment were investigated. Eight bacterial isolates obtained from samples of three macroalga species were cultured as monospecies bacterial films and tested for their activity against barnacle (Amphibalanus improvisus) attachment in field experiments (Western Baltic Sea). Furthermore, natural biofilm communities associated with the surface of the local brown alga, Fucus vesiculosus, which were exposed to different temperatures (5, 15 and 20 °C), were harvested and subsequently tested. Generally, monospecies bacterial biofilms, as well as natural microbial assemblages, inhibited barnacle attachment by 20-67%. denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprints showed that temperature treatment shifted the bacterial community composition and weakened the repellent effects at 20 °C. Repellent effects were absent when settlement pressure of cyprids was high. Nonviable bacteria tended to repel cyprids when compared to the unfilmed surfaces. We conclude that biofilms can have a repellent effect benefiting the host by preventing heavy fouling on its surface. However, severe settlement pressure, as well as stressful temperature, may reduce the protective effects of the alga's biofilm. Our results add to the notion that the performance of F. vesiculosus may be reduced by multiple stressors in the course of global warming. PMID:22486721

  10. 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 timescales being replaced by a denudational role over longer timescales. Further research involving microbiologists and geomorphologists is now needed to address three main questions, i.e. under what conditions are microbial and geomorphological processes most closely linked?, what scale issues surround links between microbes and geomorphology? And how do microbiological processes underpin broader biogeomorphological interactions?

  11. 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.

  12. Phototrophic biofilm assembly in microbial-mat-derived unicyanobacterial consortia: model systems for the study of autotroph-heterotroph interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Microbial autotroph-heterotroph interactions influence biogeochemical cycles on a global scale, but the diversity and complexity of natural systems and their intractability to in situ manipulation make it challenging to elucidate the principles governing these interactions. The study of assembling phototrophic biofilm communities provides a robust means to identify such interactions and evaluate their contributions to the recruitment and maintenance of phylogenetic and functional diversity over time. To examine primary succession in phototrophic communities, we isolated two unicyanobacterial consortia from the microbial mat in Hot Lake, Washington, characterizing the membership and metabolic function of each consortium. We then analyzed the spatial structures and quantified the community compositions of their assembling biofilms. The consortia retained the same suite of heterotrophic species, identified as abundant members of the mat and assigned to Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Autotroph growth rates dominated early in assembly, yielding to increasing heterotroph growth rates late in succession. The two consortia exhibited similar assembly patterns, with increasing relative abundances of members from Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria concurrent with decreasing relative abundances of those from Gammaproteobacteria. Despite these similarities at higher taxonomic levels, the relative abundances of individual heterotrophic species were substantially different in the developing consortial biofilms. This suggests that, although similar niches are created by the cyanobacterial metabolisms, the resulting webs of autotroph-heterotroph and heterotroph-heterotroph interactions are specific to each primary producer. The relative simplicity and tractability of the Hot Lake unicyanobacterial consortia make them useful model systems for deciphering interspecies interactions and assembly principles relevant to natural microbial communities. PMID:24778628

  13. Phototrophic biofilm assembly in microbial-mat-derived unicyanobacterial consortia: model systems for the study of autotroph-heterotroph interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Microbial autotroph-heterotroph interactions influence biogeochemical cycles on a global scale, but the diversity and complexity of natural systems and their intractability to in situ manipulation make it challenging to elucidate the principles governing these interactions. The study of assembling phototrophic biofilm communities provides a robust means to identify such interactions and evaluate their contributions to the recruitment and maintenance of phylogenetic and functional diversity over time. To examine primary succession in phototrophic communities, we isolated two unicyanobacterial consortia from the microbial mat in Hot Lake, Washington, characterizing the membership and metabolic function of each consortium. We then analyzed the spatial structures and quantified the community compositions of their assembling biofilms. The consortia retained the same suite of heterotrophic species, identified as abundant members of the mat and assigned to Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Autotroph growth rates dominated early in assembly, yielding to increasing heterotroph growth rates late in succession. The two consortia exhibited similar assembly patterns, with increasing relative abundances of members from Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria concurrent with decreasing relative abundances of those from Gammaproteobacteria. Despite these similarities at higher taxonomic levels, the relative abundances of individual heterotrophic species were substantially different in the developing consortial biofilms. This suggests that, although similar niches are created by the cyanobacterial metabolisms, the resulting webs of autotroph-heterotroph and heterotroph-heterotroph interactions are specific to each primary producer. The relative simplicity and tractability of the Hot Lake unicyanobacterial consortia make them useful model systems for deciphering interspecies interactions and assembly principles relevant to natural microbial communities. PMID:24778628

  14. 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.

  15. Experimental and modeling studies of sorption of ceria nanoparticle on microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Jing, Hengye; Mezgebe, Bineyam; Aly Hassan, Ashraf; Sahle-Demessie, Endalkachew; Sorial, George A; Bennett-Stamper, Christina

    2014-06-01

    This study focuses on the interaction of ceria nanoparticles (CeO2-NPs) with Pseudomonas fluorescens and Mycobacterium smegmatis biofilms. Confocal laser microscopy and transmission electron microscopy determined the distribution of NPs in the complex structures of biofilm at molecular levels. Visual data showed that most of the adsorption takes place on the bacterial cell walls and spores. The interaction of nanoparticles (NPs) with biofilms reached equilibrium after the initial high adsorption rate regardless of biofilm heterogeneity and different nanoparticle concentrations in the bulk liquid. Physical processes may dominate this sorption phenomenon. Pseudo first order sorption kinetics was used to estimate adsorption and desorption rate of CeO2-NPs onto biofilms. When biofilms got exposed to CeO2-NPs, a self-protecting mechanism was observed. Cells moved away from the bulk solution in the biofilm matrix, and portions of biofilm outer layer were detached, hence releasing some CeO2-NPs back to the bulk phase. PMID:24690581

  16. Modules M.Sc. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Title of the module Microbial biofilms

    E-print Network

    Diekmann, Martin

    hybridization (FISH), electron microscopy of biofilm structure), functional characterization of biofilms/semester Summer term/ 2 VAK-Number Will be assigned centrally Credit points 6 ETCS Compulsory/ elective course- croscopic techniques (thin sections, 3D-microscopy, fluorescence micros- copy, Fluorescence in situ

  17. 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 that enable new mechanistic insights into how differences in substrate affinities among microbial species and soil micro-hydrological conditions may give rise to a remarkable spatial and functional order in an extremely heterogeneous soil microbial world

  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 enable new mechanistic insights into how differences in substrate affinities among microbial species and soil micro-hydrological conditions may give rise to a remarkable spatial and functional order in an extremely heterogeneous soil microbial world.

  19. Life and Liesegang: Outcrop-Scale Microbially Induced Diagenetic

    E-print Network

    Loope, David B.

    iron-oxide ce- ment (IOC; iron-oxide mineralization that occludes pore space) and iron-oxide stain (IOS-thick bands of microbially precipitated IOC as well as finer, apparently abiotic Liesegang bands. Proper of preexisting life and they can occur in a wide variety of rock types. Ornate patterns of IOC and IOS in porous

  20. 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

  1. 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 driver in material accumulation within the DWDS. PMID:25706303

  2. 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.

  3. Power output and columbic efficiencies from biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens comparable to mixed community microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Nevin, K P; Richter, H; Covalla, S F; Johnson, J P; Woodard, T L; Orloff, A L; Jia, H; Zhang, M; Lovley, D R

    2008-10-01

    It has been previously noted that mixed communities typically produce more power in microbial fuel cells than pure cultures. If true, this has important implications for the design of microbial fuel cells and for studying the process of electron transfer on anode biofilms. To further evaluate this, Geobacter sulfurreducens was grown with acetate as fuel in a continuous flow 'ministack' system in which the carbon cloth anode and cathode were positioned in close proximity, and the cation-selective membrane surface area was maximized in order to overcome some of the electrochemical limitations that were inherent in fuel cells previously employed for the study of pure cultures. Reducing the size of the anode in order to eliminate cathode limitation resulted in maximum current and power densities per m(2) of anode surface of 4.56 A m(-2) and 1.88 W m(-2) respectively. Electron recovery as current from acetate oxidation was c. 100% when oxygen diffusion into the system was minimized. This performance is comparable to the highest levels previously reported for mixed communities in similar microbial fuel cells and slightly higher than the power output of an anaerobic sludge inoculum in the same ministack system. Minimizing the volume of the anode chamber yielded a volumetric power density of 2.15 kW m(-3), which is the highest power density per volume yet reported for a microbial fuel cell. Geobacter sulfurreducens formed relatively uniform biofilms 3-18 mum thick on the carbon cloth anodes. When graphite sticks served as the anode, the current density (3.10 A m(-2)) was somewhat less than with the carbon cloth anodes, but the biofilms were thicker (c. 50 mum) with a more complex pillar and channel structure. These results suggest that the previously observed disparity in power production in pure and mixed culture microbial fuel cell systems can be attributed more to differences in the fuel cell designs than to any inherent superior capability of mixed cultures to produce more power than pure cultures. PMID:18564184

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25366227

  8. 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,...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Microsensor determination of multiple microbial processes in an oxygen-based membrane aerated biofilm.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shuying; Yu, Tong; Shi, Han-chang

    2014-01-01

    Microsensor techniques were used to investigate in situ the simultaneous occurrence of sulfate reduction and nitrogen removal in a membrane aerated biofilm reactor. H2S, O2, pH, ORP, NH4(+) and NO3(-) microsensors were fabricated and used to measure the profiles inside the membrane aerated biofilm. Production and consumption rates of H2S, O2, NH4(+) and NO3(-) were estimated using corresponding concentration profiles. The results showed that in anoxic zone, located from the interface between biofilm and bulk liquid to about 550 ?m below the interface, both sulfate reduction and denitrification occurred. Highest H2S production rates (around 0.27 mg L(-1)s(-1)) were found about 400 to 450 ?m below the interface. Below the anoxic zone, an aerobic zone was present. High H2S oxidation activity occurred at around 550-700 ?m below the interface. High oxygen consumption rates (0.34 mg L(-1)s(-1)) occurred at around 750-900 ?m below the interface. Nitrification activity occurred at about 500-650 ?m below the interface. Along the entire biofilm depth, pH changed slightly (within 0.2 unit). Near the interface of the aerobic and anoxic zone, there was a drastic redox potential change. These results demonstrated simultaneous sulfate reduction and nitrogen removal in a piece of membrane aerated biofilm. PMID:24622536

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ?-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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ?m) 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

  18. 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.

  19. Performance and microbial ecology of the hybrid membrane biofilm process for concurrent nitrification

    E-print Network

    Nerenberg, Robert

    activated sludge system. An aerobic nitrifying biofilm develops on the membranes, exporting nitrate or nitrite to the bulk liquid. By suppressing aeration in the activated sludge tank, denitrifying existing processes: the integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) process (Sen et al., 2000

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Microbial analysis of biofilms on cement surfaces: An investigation in cement-associated peri-implantitis.

    PubMed

    Korsch, Michael; Walther, Winfried; Marten, Silke-Mareike; Obst, Ursula

    2014-01-01

    The cementation of implant-supported restorations always poses the risk of excess cement retained in the peri-implant sulcus despite careful clinical control. Excess cement can become the basis of colonization by oral microorganisms. As a result of the biofilm formation peri-mucositis or peri-implantitis may develop. Complications were observed in the routine prosthetic restoration of implants when a methacrylate-based cement was used. These developed a few weeks after cementation of the suprastructure and caused bleeding on probing as well as suppuration from the peri-implant tissue. In the revision therapy, excess cement in the peri-implant sulcus was found in many cases. This excess cement was sampled from ten patients and investigated for biofilm formation. For this purpose, the cement samples were collected and analyzed for bacterial in situ colonization by 16S rDNA-based methods. In laboratory experiments, the methacrylate-based cement and two other dental cements were then investigated for their proneness to form biofilm. The results of the in situ and in vitro investigations revealed a strong tendency towards bacterial invasion of the methacrylate-based cement by opportunistic species and pathogens. PMID:24980683

  5. 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

  6. Design of a microfluidic device for the analysis of biofilm behavior in a microbial fuel cell

    E-print Network

    Jones, A-Andrew D., III (Akhenaton-Andrew Dhafir)

    2014-01-01

    This thesis presents design, manufacturing, testing, and modeling of a laminar-flow microbial fuel cell. Novel means were developed to use graphite and other bulk-scale materials in a microscale device without loosing any ...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. CMEIAS JFrad: a digital computing tool to discriminate the fractal geometry of landscape architectures and spatial patterns of individual cells in microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Ji, Zhou; Card, Kyle J; Dazzo, Frank B

    2015-04-01

    Image analysis of fractal geometry can be used to gain deeper insights into complex ecophysiological patterns and processes occurring within natural microbial biofilm landscapes, including the scale-dependent heterogeneities of their spatial architecture, biomass, and cell-cell interactions, all driven by the colonization behavior of optimal spatial positioning of organisms to maximize their efficiency in utilization of allocated nutrient resources. Here, we introduce CMEIAS JFrad, a new computing technology that analyzes the fractal geometry of complex biofilm architectures in digital landscape images. The software uniquely features a data-mining opportunity based on a comprehensive collection of 11 different mathematical methods to compute fractal dimension that are implemented into a wizard design to maximize ease-of-use for semi-automatic analysis of single images or fully automatic analysis of multiple images in a batch process. As examples of application, quantitative analyses of fractal dimension were used to optimize the important variable settings of brightness threshold and minimum object size in order to discriminate the complex architecture of freshwater microbial biofilms at multiple spatial scales, and also to differentiate the spatial patterns of individual bacterial cells that influence their cooperative interactions, resource use, and apportionment in situ. Version 1.0 of JFrad is implemented into a software package containing the program files, user manual, and tutorial images that will be freely available at http://cme.msu.edu/cmeias/. This improvement in computational image informatics will strengthen microscopy-based approaches to analyze the dynamic landscape ecology of microbial biofilm populations and communities in situ at spatial resolutions that range from single cells to microcolonies. PMID:25256301

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Exploration of deep intraterrestrial microbial life: current perspectives.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, K

    2000-04-01

    Intraterrestrial life has been found at depths of several thousand metres in deep sub-sea floor sediments and in the basement crust beneath the sediments. It has also been found at up to 2800-m depth in continental sedimentary rocks, 5300-m depth in igneous rock aquifers and in fluid inclusions in ancient salt deposits from salt mines. The biomass of these intraterrestrial organisms may be equal to the total weight of all marine and terrestrial plants. The intraterrestrial microbes generally seem to be active at very low but significant rates and several investigations indicate chemolithoautotrophs to form a chemosynthetic base. Hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide gases are continuously generated in the interior of our planet and probably constitute sustainable sources of carbon and energy for deep intraterrestrial biosphere ecosystems. Several prospective research areas are foreseen to focus on the importance of microbial communities for metabolic processes such as anaerobic utilisation of hydrocarbons and anaerobic methane oxidation. PMID:10731600

  15. 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.

  16. Electrical spiking in bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    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

  17. The characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products in moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Duan, Liang; Jiang, Wei; Song, Yonghui; Xia, Siqing; Hermanowicz, Slawomir W

    2013-11-01

    The characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and soluble microbial products (SMP) in conventional membrane bioreactor (MBR) and in moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactors (MBBR-MBR) were investigated in long-term (170 days) experiments. The results showed that all reactors had high removal efficiency of ammonium and COD, despite very different fouling conditions. The MBBR-MBR with media fill ratio of 26.7% had much lower total membrane resistance and no obvious fouling were detected during the whole operation. In contrast, MBR and MBBR-MBR with lower and higher media fill experienced more significant fouling. Low fouling at optimum fill ratio may be due to the higher percentage of small molecular size (<1 kDa) and lower percentage of large molecular size (>100 kDa) of EPS and SMP in the reactor. The composition of EPS and SMP affected fouling due to different O-H bonds in hydroxyl functional groups, and less polysaccharides and lipids. PMID:24077152

  18. 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 contrast, bacteria belonging to Enterobacteriaceae were the most frequently encountered species in the sample from the water production well. Furthermore, bacterial sequences belonging to thermophiles within the family Thermotogaceae were found in all samples investigated. Archaeal community analysis revealed the dominance of methanogens clustering with members of Methanosarcinaceae, Methanomicrobiaceae and Methanobacteriaceae in three reservoir samples and the sample from the water production well. Cultivations of water samples under an atmosphere of storage gas blended by hydrogen as electron source at in situ-like conditions (45°C, 92 bar, p(H2) = 6 bar) revealed that hydrogen was quickly consumed in all laboratory microcosms with reservoir samples. Quantitative PCR analysis of the gene encoding for methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) along with reaction educt and product analyses suggested that methanogenesis was primarily responsible for hydrogen consumption during the experiments. While it is currently in question whether or not the laboratory data can be upscaled to actual reservoir conditions, they may allude to fermenting and thermophilic bacteria playing an important role for the investigated reservoir microbiology and also indicate potential stimulation of hydrogenotrophic methanogens if hydrogen would be introduced into the reservoir.

  19. Response of microbial adhesives and biofilm matrix polymers to chemical treatments as determined by interference reflection microscopy and light section microscopy. [Pseudomonas fluorescens

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, P.A.; Cowan, M.M.; Fletcher, M. ); Loeb, G.I. )

    1989-11-01

    Both bacterial adhesion to surfaces and the subsequent formation of microbial biofilms have serious implications for a number of industrial applications in aqueous environments. The development of multicellular biofilms on submerged man-made structures such as drilling platforms and ship hulls is the first obvious stage in the fouling of these structures, which can progress to the point where costly cleaning or replacement is needed. On heat exchangers, even thin microbial films cause a serious decrease in efficiency of heat transfer. The polymers involved in the adhesion of Pseudomonas fluorescens H2S to solid surfaces were investigated to determine whether differences between cell surface adhesives and biofilm matrix polymers could be detected. Two optical techniques, i.e., interference reflection microscopy (IRM) and light section microscopy (LSM), were used to compare the responses of the two types of polymer to treatment with electrolytes, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and Tween 20. Results indicate that both polymers bear acidic groups and thus act electrostatically with cations and are able to enter into hydrophobic interactions. Differences in their response to DMSO could be due to the close proximity of the glass surface or to differences in structure of the two polymers.

  20. Distribution and Rate of Microbial Processes in an Ammonia-Loaded Air Filter Biofilm?

    PubMed Central

    Juhler, Susanne; Revsbech, Niels Peter; Schramm, Andreas; Herrmann, Martina; Ottosen, Lars D. M.; Nielsen, Lars Peter

    2009-01-01

    The in situ activity and distribution of heterotrophic and nitrifying bacteria and their potential interactions were investigated in a full-scale, two-section, trickling filter designed for biological degradation of volatile organics and NH3 in ventilation air from pig farms. The filter biofilm was investigated by microsensor analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization, quantitative PCR, and batch incubation activity measurements. In situ aerobic activity showed a significant decrease through the filter, while the distribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) was highly skewed toward the filter outlet. Nitrite oxidation was not detected during most of the experimental period, and the AOB activity therefore resulted in NO2?, accumulation, with concentrations often exceeding 100 mM at the filter inlet. The restriction of AOB to the outlet section of the filter was explained by both competition with heterotrophic bacteria for O2 and inhibition by the protonated form of NO2?, HNO2. Product inhibition of AOB growth could explain why this type of filter tends to emit air with a rather constant NH3 concentration irrespective of variations in inlet concentration and airflow. PMID:19363071

  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. 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

  3. The spatial organization and microbial community structure of an epilithic biofilm

    E-print Network

    Cutler, Nick A.; Chaput, Dominique L.; Oliver, Anna E.; Viles, Heather A.

    2014-12-15

    pegmatitic granite. E:k4Nn1pkNl 50: 360-368. 513 Gleeson DB, Melville K, McDermott FP, Clipson N & Gadd GM (2010) Molecular 514 characterization of fungal communities in sandstone. OTNc:k4Nn:Nl1v 27: 559-571. 515 Gorbushina AA (2007) Life on the rocks. p23...

  4. Shells of crabs like these may be the key to prolonging the life of microbial fuel cells that

    E-print Network

    Shells of crabs like these may be the key to prolonging the life of microbial fuel cells that power/06/ 070604123858.htm Marine Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells Get A Nutritional Boost ScienceDaily (June 11, 2007) -- Discarded crab and lobster shells may be the key to prolonging the life of microbial fuel cells that power

  5. Dissolved carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations in purge of vacuum-packaged pork chops and the relationship to shelf life and models for estimating microbial populations.

    PubMed

    Adams, K R; Niebuhr, S E; Dickson, J S

    2015-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the dissolved CO2 and O2 concentrations in the purge of vacuum-packaged pork chops over a 60 day storage period, and to elucidate the relationship of dissolved CO2 and O2 to the microbial populations and shelf life. As the populations of spoilage bacteria increased, the dissolved CO2 increased and the dissolved O2 decreased in the purge. Lactic acid bacteria dominated the spoilage microflora, followed by Enterobacteriaceae and Brochothrix thermosphacta. The surface pH decreased to 5.4 due to carbonic acid and lactic acid production before rising to 5.7 due to ammonia production. A mathematical model was developed which estimated microbial populations based on dissolved CO2 concentrations. Scanning electron microscope images were also taken of the packaging film to observe the biofilm development. The SEM images revealed a two-layer biofilm on the packaging film that was the result of the tri-phase growth environment. PMID:26143235

  6. 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 ?l anolyte chamber. This device results in 423 ?W 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.

  7. IMPACTS OF BIOFILM FORMATION ON CELLULOSE FERMENTATION

    SciTech Connect

    Leschine, Susan

    2009-10-31

    This project addressed four major areas of investigation: i) characterization of formation of Cellulomonas uda biofilms on cellulose; ii) characterization of Clostridium phytofermentans biofilm development; colonization of cellulose and its regulation; iii) characterization of Thermobifida fusca biofilm development; colonization of cellulose and its regulation; and iii) description of the architecture of mature C. uda, C. phytofermentans, and T. fusca biofilms. This research is aimed at advancing understanding of biofilm formation and other complex processes involved in the degradation of the abundant cellulosic biomass, and the biology of the microbes involved. Information obtained from these studies is invaluable in the development of practical applications, such as the single-step bioconversion of cellulose-containing residues to fuels and other bioproducts. Our results have clearly shown that cellulose-decomposing microbes rapidly colonize cellulose and form complex structures typical of biofilms. Furthermore, our observations suggest that, as cells multiply on nutritive surfaces during biofilms formation, dramatic cell morphological changes occur. We speculated that morphological changes, which involve a transition from rod-shaped cells to more rounded forms, might be more apparent in a filamentous microbe. In order to test this hypothesis, we included in our research a study of biofilm formation by T. fusca, a thermophilic cellulolytic actinomycete commonly found in compost. The cellulase system of T. fusca has been extensively detailed through the work of David Wilson and colleagues at Cornell, and also, genome sequence of a T. fusca strain has been determine by the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Thus, T. fusca is an excellent subject for studies of biofilm development and its potential impacts on cellulose degradation. We also completed a study of the chitinase system of C. uda. This work provided essential background information for understanding how C. uda 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 the methanotrophs (~40% of the reads) Methylocaldum gracile, Beijerinckia sp. and Methylobacterium sp.. The Archaea assemblages are similar in both sites and dominated by the moderately thermophilic chemolithotrophic ammonia-oxidating candidate species Nitrososphaera gargensis, in the phylum Thaumarchaeota. Volcanic/geothermal activities represent a complex phenomenon, this shaping different and peculiar microbial niches even at adjacent sites. Lower pH, higher water, NH4+ and H2content are probably the discriminating factors that prevent methanotrophy at FAV1 and favor chemolithotrophy. Site FAV2 hosts an extraordinary diversity of methanotrophs due to large supply of CH4, scarce presence of inhibitors of methanotrophy (H2S and NH3) and slightly acidic soil pH. This study integrates geochemical and biological information to move a step ahead in the still scarce knowledge on the complex ecology of microbes living in geothermal sites and their interactions with the geosphere. (1)Gagliano et al., 2014 Biogeosciences, 11, 5865-5875

  13. 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+.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Effects of ocean acidification on microbial community composition of, and oxygen fluxes through, biofilms from the Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Witt, Verena; Wild, Christian; Anthony, Kenneth R N; Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo; Uthicke, Sven

    2011-11-01

    Rising anthropogenic CO(2) emissions acidify the oceans, and cause changes to seawater carbon chemistry. Bacterial biofilm communities reflect environmental disturbances and may rapidly respond to ocean acidification. This study investigates community composition and activity responses to experimental ocean acidification in biofilms from the Australian Great Barrier Reef. Natural biofilms grown on glass slides were exposed for 11 d to four controlled pCO(2) concentrations representing the following scenarios: A) pre-industrial (?300 ppm), B) present-day (?400 ppm), C) mid century (?560 ppm) and D) late century (?1140 ppm). Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses of 16S rRNA genes revealed CO(2) -correlated bacterial community shifts between treatments A, B and D. Observed bacterial community shifts were driven by decreases in the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria and increases of Flavobacteriales (Bacteroidetes) at increased CO(2) concentrations, indicating pH sensitivity of specific bacterial groups. Elevated pCO(2) (C + D) shifted biofilm algal communities and significantly increased C and N contents, yet O(2) fluxes, measured using in light and dark incubations, remained unchanged. Our findings suggest that bacterial biofilm communities rapidly adapt and reorganize in response to high pCO(2) to maintain activity such as oxygen production. PMID:21906222

  18. 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

  19. Microbial Fuel Cells Applied to the Metabolically-Based Detection of Extraterrestrial Life

    E-print Network

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Cortón, Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    Since the 1970's, when the Viking spacecrafts carried out experiments aimed to the detection of 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 the methodology can detect life independently from its composition or form, and that the chosen biological signature points to a feature common to all living systems, 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...

  20. 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

  1. In situ biofilm coupon device

    DOEpatents

    Peyton, Brent M. (Kennewick, WA); Truex, Michael J. (Richland, WA)

    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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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…

  5. 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 use in combination with conventional antibiotics. PMID:26696962

  6. Anti-Biofilm Activities from Marine Cold Adapted Bacteria Against Staphylococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    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 use in combination with conventional antibiotics. PMID:26696962

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Life on the rocks.

    PubMed

    Gorbushina, Anna A

    2007-07-01

    Biofilms are interface micro-habitats formed by microbes that differ markedly from those of the ambient environment. The term 'subaerial biofilm' (SAB) was coined for microbial communities that develop on solid mineral surfaces exposed to the atmosphere. Subaerial biofilms are ubiquitous, self-sufficient, miniature microbial ecosystems that are found on buildings, bare rocks in deserts, mountains, and at all latitudes where direct contact with the atmosphere and solar radiation occurs. Subaerial biofilms on exposed terrestrial surfaces are characterized by patchy growth that is dominated by associations of fungi, algae, cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria. Inherent subaerial settlers include specialized actinobacteria (e.g. Geodermatophilus), cyanobacteria and microcolonial fungi. Individuals within SAB communities avoid sexual reproduction, but cooperate extensively with one another especially to avoid loss of energy and nutrients. Subaerial biofilm metabolic activity centres on retention of water, protecting the cells from fluctuating environmental conditions and solar radiation as well as prolonging their vegetative life. Atmospheric aerosols, gases and propagatory particles serve as sources of nutrients and inoculum for these open communities. Subaerial biofilms induce chemical and physical changes to rock materials, and they penetrate the mineral substrate contributing to rock and mineral decay, which manifests itself as bio-weathering of rock surfaces. Given their characteristic slow and sensitive growth, SAB may also serve as bioindicators of atmospheric and/or climate change. PMID:17564597

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Community Structure and Biogeochemical Impacts of Microbial Life on Floating Pumice

    E-print Network

    Elser, Jim

    Community Structure and Biogeochemical Impacts of Microbial Life on Floating Pumice J. J. Elser,a M (Chile), when massive amounts of pumice were ejected, creating novel floating substrata that have never of microbes that came to inhabit the pumice, with a unique composition dis- tinct from that of the lakes

  14. Unraveling assembly of stream biofilm communities

    PubMed Central

    Besemer, Katharina; Peter, Hannes; Logue, Jürg B; Langenheder, Silke; Lindström, Eva S; Tranvik, Lars J; Battin, Tom J

    2012-01-01

    Microbial biofilms assemble from cells that attach to a surface, where they develop into matrix-enclosed communities. Mechanistic insights into community assembly are crucial to better understand the functioning of natural biofilms, which drive key ecosystem processes in numerous aquatic habitats. We studied the role of the suspended microbial community as the source of the biofilm community in three streams using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism and 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and the 16S rRNA gene (as a measure for the active and the bulk community, respectively). Diversity was consistently lower in the biofilm communities than in the suspended stream water communities. We propose that the higher diversity in the suspended communities is supported by continuous inflow from various sources within the catchment. Community composition clearly differed between biofilms and suspended communities, whereas biofilm communities were similar in all three streams. This suggests that biofilm assembly did not simply reflect differences in the source communities, but that certain microbial groups from the source community proliferate in the biofilm. We compared the biofilm communities with random samples of the respective community suspended in the stream water. This analysis confirmed that stochastic dispersal from the source community was unlikely to shape the observed community composition of the biofilms, in support of species sorting as a major biofilm assembly mechanism. Bulk and active populations generated comparable patterns of community composition in the biofilms and the suspended communities, which suggests similar assembly controls on these populations. PMID:22237539

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Biogenic selenium and tellurium nanoparticles synthesized by environmental microbial isolates efficaciously inhibit bacterial planktonic cultures and biofilms.

    PubMed

    Zonaro, Emanuele; Lampis, Silvia; Turner, Raymond J; Qazi, S Junaid S; Vallini, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    The present study deals with Se(0)- and Te(0)-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 Se(0) and Te(0) nanoparticles possess antimicrobial and biofilm eradication activity against Escherichia coli JM109, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. In particular, Se(0) nanoparticles exhibited antimicrobial activity at quite low concentrations, below that of selenite. Toxic effects of both Se(0) and Te(0) 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 Se(0) and Te(0) nanoparticles with a susceptibility similar to that observed in planktonic cultures. This suggests a possible exploitation of both Se(0) and Te(0) nanoparticles as efficacious antimicrobial agents with a remarkable biofilm eradication capacity. PMID:26136728

  18. 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...

  19. 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 identify biofilms. PMID:25767760

  20. 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 identify biofilms. PMID:25767760

  1. 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.

  2. 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 desert varnish, that resist classification as 'biological' or 'nonbiological'. PMID:18053938

  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 during the initial stages of Fe (III)-oxide mat formation (< 28 days) and become more abundant after ~28 days, which likely coincides with a higher abundance of organic carbon from autotrophs. Aerobic microorganisms have been detected in greater abundance at the mat/water interface where oxygen microelectrode measurements reveal steep gradients in oxygen consumption (i.e., niche partitioning). A mature microbial mat is typically formed after ~2-4 months and reaches a pseudo-steady state depth of ~7-10 mm. Flow rates had a significant affect on Fe(III)-oxide deposition and community structure. These results suggest that dynamic biological, geochemical, and physical processes control the formation and cycling of Fe(III)-oxide microbial mats in acidic geothermal springs.

  4. 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 (~215?M) relative to bottom seawater (~245?M). 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. These results provide the first dataset describing the diversity of microbes present in cold, oxygenated ocean crustal fluids and the biogeochemical processes they mediate in the subseafloor.

  5. Engineering biofilm formation and dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Thomas K.; Hong, Seok Hoon; Ma, Qun

    2011-01-01

    Anywhere water is in the liquid state, bacteria will exist as biofilms, which are complex communities of cells cemented together. Although frequently associated with disease and biofouling, biofilms are also important for engineering applications, such as bioremediation, biocatalysis and microbial fuel cells. Here we review approaches to alter genetic circuits and cell signaling toward controlling biofilm formation, and emphasize utilizing these tools for engineering applications. Based on a better understanding of the genetic basis of biofilm formation, we find that biofilms may be controlled by manipulating extracellular signals and that they may be dispersed using conserved intracellular signals and regulators. Biofilms could also be formed at specific locations where they might be engineered to make chemicals or treat human disease. PMID:21131080

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Chemically Specific Cellular Imaging of Biofilm Formation

    SciTech Connect

    Herberg, J L; Schaldach, C; Horn, J; Gjersing, E; Maxwell, R

    2006-02-09

    This document and the accompanying manuscripts summarize the technical accomplishments for our one-year LDRD-ER effort. Biofilm forming microbes have existed on this planet for billions of years and make up 60% of the biological mass on earth. Such microbes exhibit unique biochemical pathways during biofilm formation and play important roles in human health and the environment. Microbial biofilms have been directly implicated in, for example, product contamination, energy losses, and medical infection that cost the loss of human lives and billions of dollars. In no small part due to the lack of detailed understanding, biofilms unfortunately are resistant to control, inhibition, and destruction, either through treatment with antimicrobials or immunological defense mechanisms of the body. Current biofilm research has concentrated on the study of biofilms in the bulk. This is primarily due to the lack of analytical and physical tools to study biofilms non-destructively, in three dimensions, and on the micron or sub-micron scale. This has hindered the development of a clear understanding of either the early stage mechanisms of biofilm growth or the interactions of biofilms with their environment. Enzymatic studies have deduced a biochemical reaction that results in the oxidation of reduced sulfur species with the concomitant reduction of nitrate, a common groundwater pollutant, to dinitrogen gas by the bacterium, Thiobacillus denitrificans (TD). Because of its unique involvement in biologically relevant environmental pathways, TD is scheduled for genome sequencing in the near future by the DOE's Joint Genome Institute and is of interest to DOE's Genomes to Life Program. As our ecosystem is exposed to more and more nitrate contamination large scale livestock and agricultural practices, a further understanding of biofilm formation by organisms that could alleviate these problems is necessary in order to protect out biosphere. However, in order to study this complicated organism, we needed to first turn our attention to a well understood organism. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is a well-studied organism and will be used to compare our results with others. Then, we will turn our attention to TD. It is expected that the research performed will provide key data to validate biochemical studies of TD and result in high profile publications in leading journals. For this project, our ultimate goal was to combine both Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experimental analysis with computer simulations to provide unique 3D molecular structural, dynamics, and functional information on the order of microns for this DOE mission relevant microorganism, T. denitrificans. For FY05, our goals were to: (1) Determine proper media for optimal growth of PA; growth rate measurements in that media and characterization of metabolite signatures during growth via {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C NMR, (2) Determine and build mineral, metal, and implant material surfaces to support growth of PA, (3) Implementing new MRI sequences to image biofilms more efficiently and increase resolution with new hardware design, (4) Develop further diffusion and flow MRI measurements of biofilms and biofilm formation with different MRI pulse sequences and different hardware design, and (5) Develop a zero dimension model of the rate of growth and the metabolite profiles of PA. Our major accomplishments are discussed in the following text. However, the bulk of this work is described in the attached manuscript entitled, ''NMR Metabolomics of Planktonic and Biofilm Modes of Growth in Pseudomonas aeruginosa''. This paper will be submitted to the Journal of Bacteriology in coming weeks. In addition, this one-year effort has lead to our incorporation into the Enhanced Surveillance Campaign during FY05 for some proof-of-principle MRI measurements on polymers. We are currently using similar methods to evaluate these polymers. In addition, this work on MRI measurements on polymers has lead to a paper entitled, ''Characterization of local deformation in filled

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Spatial and seasonal variation in diversity and structure of microbial biofilms on marine plastics in Northern European waters.

    PubMed

    Oberbeckmann, Sonja; Loeder, Martin G J; Gerdts, Gunnar; Osborn, A Mark

    2014-11-01

    Plastic pollution is now recognised as a major threat to marine environments and marine biota. Recent research highlights that diverse microbial species are found to colonise plastic surfaces (the plastisphere) within marine waters. Here, we investigate how the structure and diversity of marine plastisphere microbial community vary with respect to season, location and plastic substrate type. We performed a 6-week exposure experiment with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in the North Sea (UK) as well as sea surface sampling of plastic polymers in Northern European waters. Scanning electron microscopy revealed diverse plastisphere communities comprising prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing analysis revealed that plastisphere microbial communities on PET fragments varied both with season and location and comprised of bacteria belonging to Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and members of the eukaryotes Bacillariophyceae and Phaeophyceae. Polymers sampled from the sea surface mainly comprised polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene particles. Variation within plastisphere communities on different polymer types was observed, but communities were primarily dominated by Cyanobacteria. This research reveals that the composition of plastisphere microbial communities in marine waters varies with season, geographical location and plastic substrate type. PMID:25109340

  13. 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...

  14. "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 other novice-learners to be "critical consumers" of scientific data, to understand how the data were obtained and interpreted, to be able to ask the next important question, to be able to communicate with colleagues in related disciplines, to be able to attend a departmental seminar or read a journal article and be able to comprehend the evidence and interpretations, and ultimately, to provide the foundations that will allow students to design and implement their own research projects employing these techniques. This project was supported by NSF grants 0333402 and 0333363.

  15. 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.

  16. The Microbial Community of the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Is Disrupted in Early Life

    PubMed Central

    Renwick, Julie; McNally, Paul; John, Bettina; DeSantis, Todd; Linnane, Barry; Murphy, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Background Molecular techniques have uncovered vast numbers of organisms in the cystic fibrosis (CF) airways, the clinical significance of which is yet to be determined. The aim of this study was to describe and compare the microbial communities of the lower airway of clinically stable children with CF and children without CF. Methods Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and paired oropharyngeal swabs from clinically stable children with CF (n?=?13) and BAL from children without CF (n?=?9) were collected. DNA was isolated, the 16S rRNA regions amplified, fragmented, biotinylated and hybridised to a 16S rRNA microarray. Patient medical and demographic information was recorded and standard microbiological culture was performed. Results A diverse bacterial community was detected in the lower airways of children with CF and children without CF. The airway microbiome of clinically stable children with CF and children without CF were significantly different as measured by Shannon's Diversity Indices (p?=?0.001; t test) and Principle coordinate analysis (p?=?0.01; Adonis test). Overall the CF airway microbial community was more variable and had a less even distribution than the microbial community in the airways of children without CF. We highlighted several bacteria of interest, particularly Prevotella veroralis, CW040 and a Corynebacterium, which were of significantly differential abundance between the CF and non-CF lower airways. Both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pneumoniae culture abundance were found to be associated with CF airway microbial community structure. The CF upper and lower airways were found to have a broadly similar microbial milieu. Conclusion The microbial communities in the lower airways of stable children with CF and children without CF show significant differences in overall diversity. These discrepancies indicate a disruption of the airway microflora occurring early in life in children with CF. PMID:25526264

  17. 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

  18. 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 the quantification of those microorganisms as well as the determination of microbial activity was not yet possible. Microbial monitoring methods have to be further developed to study microbial activities under these extreme conditions to access their influence on the EGR technique and on enhancing the long term safety of the process by fixation of carbon dioxide by precipitation of carbonates. We would like to thank GDF SUEZ for providing the data for the Rotliegend reservoir, sample material and enabling sampling campaigns. The CLEAN project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the frame of the Geotechnologien Program.

  19. 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.

  20. Biofilms’ Role in Planktonic Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Bester, Elanna; Wolfaardt, Gideon M.; Aznaveh, Nahid B.; Greener, Jesse

    2013-01-01

    The detachment of single cells from biofilms is an intrinsic part of this surface-associated mode of bacterial existence. Pseudomonas sp. strain CT07gfp biofilms, cultivated in microfluidic channels under continuous flow conditions, were subjected to a range of liquid shear stresses (9.42 mPa to 320 mPa). The number of detached planktonic cells was quantified from the effluent at 24-h intervals, while average biofilm thickness and biofilm surface area were determined by confocal laser scanning microscopy and image analysis. Biofilm accumulation proceeded at the highest applied shear stress, while similar rates of planktonic cell detachment was maintained for biofilms of the same age subjected to the range of average shear rates. The conventional view of liquid-mediated shear leading to the passive erosion of single cells from the biofilm surface, disregards the active contribution of attached cell metabolism and growth to the observed detachment rates. As a complement to the conventional conceptual biofilm models, the existence of a biofilm surface-associated zone of planktonic cell proliferation is proposed to highlight the need to expand the traditional perception of biofilms as promoting microbial survival, to include the potential of biofilms to contribute to microbial proliferation. PMID:24201127

  1. Complete Nucleotide Sequence and Analysis of Two Conjugative Broad Host Range Plasmids from a Marine Microbial Biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Norberg, Peter; Bergström, Maria; Hermansson, Malte

    2014-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of plasmids pMCBF1 and pMCBF6 was determined and analyzed. pMCBF1 and pMCBF6 form a novel clade within the IncP-1 plasmid family designated IncP-1 ?. The plasmids were exogenously isolated earlier from a marine biofilm. pMCBF1 (62 689 base pairs; bp) and pMCBF6 (66 729 bp) have identical backbones, but differ in their mercury resistance transposons. pMCBF1 carries Tn5053 and pMCBF6 carries Tn5058. Both are flanked by 5 bp direct repeats, typical of replicative transposition. Both insertions are in the vicinity of a resolvase gene in the backbone, supporting the idea that both transposons are “res-site hunters” that preferably insert close to and use external resolvase functions. The similarity of the backbones indicates recent insertion of the two transposons and the ongoing dynamics of plasmid evolution in marine biofilms. Both plasmids also carry the insertion sequence ISPst1, albeit without flanking repeats. ISPs1is located in an unusual site within the control region of the plasmid. In contrast to most known IncP-1 plasmids the pMCBF1/pMCBF6 backbone has no insert between the replication initiation gene (trfA) and the vegetative replication origin (oriV). One pMCBF1/pMCBF6 block of about 2.5 kilo bases (kb) has no similarity with known sequences in the databases. Furthermore, insertion of three genes with similarity to the multidrug efflux pump operon mexEF and a gene from the NodT family of the tripartite multi-drug resistance-nodulation-division (RND) system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa was found. They do not seem to confer antibiotic resistance to the hosts of pMCBF1/pMCBF6, but the presence of RND on promiscuous plasmids may have serious implications for the spread of antibiotic multi-resistance. PMID:24647540

  2. 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.

  3. Intestinal Microbial Diversity during Early-Life Colonization Shapes Long-Term IgE Levels

    PubMed Central

    Cahenzli, Julia; Köller, Yasmin; Wyss, Madeleine; Geuking, Markus B.; McCoy, Kathy D.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Microbial exposure following birth profoundly impacts mammalian immune system development. Microbiota alterations are associated with increased incidence of allergic and autoimmune disorders with elevated serum IgE as a hallmark. The previously reported abnormally high serum IgE levels in germ-free mice suggests that immunoregulatory signals from microbiota are required to control basal IgE levels. We report that germ-free mice and those with low-diversity microbiota develop elevated serum IgE levels in early life. B cells in neonatal germ-free mice undergo isotype switching to IgE at mucosal sites in a CD4 T-cell- and IL-4-dependent manner. A critical level of microbial diversity following birth is required in order to inhibit IgE induction. Elevated IgE levels in germ-free mice lead to increased mast-cell-surface-bound IgE and exaggerated oral-induced systemic anaphylaxis. Thus, appropriate intestinal microbial stimuli during early life are critical for inducing an immunoregulatory network that protects from induction of IgE at mucosal sites. PMID:24237701

  4. 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

  5. Liquid transport facilitated by channels in Bacillus subtilis biofilms

    E-print Network

    remediation (10), plant protection (11), and microbial fuel cells (12). Biofilm growth and physiology rely their environment, but biofilms often ex- perience spatial variations in nutrient uptake, which can lead to regions provide insight into the physiology, growth, and morphology of biofilms. Bacillus subtilis is a model

  6. Formation of aerobic granular sludge biofilms for sustainable wastewater treatment

    E-print Network

    Lenstra, Arjen K.

    ENAC/ Formation of aerobic granular sludge biofilms for sustainable wastewater treatment David G to aerobic granular microbial biofilms (Confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis) Floc viscous bulking) Exopolysaccharide-producing Zoogloea spp. form the early-stage aerobic granular biofilms, and then decline

  7. 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

  8. Permeabilizing biofilms

    DOEpatents

    Soukos, Nikolaos S. (Revere, MA); Lee, Shun (Arlington, VA); Doukas,; Apostolos G. (Belmont, MA)

    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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Life on the outside: role of biofilms in environmental persistence of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Degree project Single-cell analysis of attached microbes in sediment, soil, and biofilms

    E-print Network

    Uppsala Universitet

    Degree project Single-cell analysis of attached microbes in sediment, soil, and biofilms Keywords hybridization Background The microbial communities in soils, sediments, and biofilms play an important role propose a project that will investigate the microbial community of soils, sediments and biofilms

  15. Nitrogen isotope evidence of ammonia vapor assimilation by cave wall microbial biofilms in a sulfidic cave, a novel mechanism of nutrient acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, L. A.; Engel, A. S.; Bennett, P. C.

    2003-12-01

    Ammonia volatilization provides a source of fixed nitrogen to the microorganisms living at low pH on the walls of Lower Kane Cave. Sulfuric acid speleogenesis is actively enlarging this cave; hydrogen sulfide dissolved in ground water is oxidized to sulfuric acid both in the cave streams and after volatilization to the cave walls. The result of this process is replacement the host limestone with a rind of gypsum on the cave walls upon which droplets with pH values of 1-2 sulfuric acid accumulate. The radically different pH values of the cave stream and cave wall habitats results in an unusual mechanism of fixed nitrogen acquisition by the cave wall microbial community, accumulation of volatilized ammonia. The spring water entering the cave has 25 to 40 ? M NH4+ and circum-neutral pH allowing a small but significant amount this ammonium to volatilize as NH3. This gaseous ammonia may then partition into the acidic cave wall droplets accumulating to concentrations of up to 800? M where it serves as a nitrogen source to the cave wall microorganisms. The effects of this ammonia volatilization may be seen in the extremely low ? 15N value of the cave wall biofilms, as low as -16‰ . These ? 15N values are among the lowest observed in organic materials. Therefore nitrogen isotope ratios represent a marker of ammonia volatilization in subaerial sulfuric acid speleogenesis that may be applied to cave systems that were once sulfidic to delineate regions of subaerial versus subaqueous cave formation.

  16. 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).

  17. 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 involved in cell attachment and biofilm formation. PMID:11932229

  18. Biofilms: survival mechanisms of clinically relevant microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Donlan, Rodney M; Costerton, J William

    2002-04-01

    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 involved in cell attachment and biofilm formation. PMID:11932229

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The emergence of cooperation from a single mutant during microbial life cycles.

    PubMed

    Melbinger, Anna; Cremer, Jonas; Frey, Erwin

    2015-07-01

    Cooperative behaviour is widespread in nature, even though cooperating individuals always run the risk of being exploited by free-riders. Population structure effectively promotes cooperation given that a threshold in the level of cooperation was already reached. However, the question how cooperation can emerge from a single mutant, which cannot rely on a benefit provided by other cooperators, is still puzzling. Here, we investigate this question for a well-defined but generic situation based on typical life cycles of microbial populations where individuals regularly form new colonies followed by growth phases. We analyse two evolutionary mechanisms favouring cooperative behaviour and study their strength depending on the inoculation size and the length of a life cycle. In particular, we find that population bottlenecks followed by exponential growth phases strongly increase the survival and fixation probabilities of a single cooperator in a free-riding population. PMID:26063816

  3. Microbial ecology and host-microbiota interactions during early life stages

    PubMed Central

    Collado, Maria Carmen; Cernada, Maria; Baüerl, Christine; Vento, Máximo; Pérez-Martínez, Gaspar

    2012-01-01

    The role of human microbiota has been redefined during recent years and its physiological role is now much more important than earlier understood. Intestinal microbial colonization is essential for the maturation of immune system and for the developmental regulation of the intestinal physiology. Alterations in this process of colonization have been shown to predispose and increase the risk to disease later in life. The first contact of neonates with microbes is provided by the maternal microbiota. Moreover, mode of delivery, type of infant feeding and other perinatal factors can influence the establishment of the infant microbiota. Taken into consideration all the available information it could be concluded that the exposure to the adequate microbes early in gestation and neonatal period seems to have a relevant role in health. Maternal microbial environment affects maternal and fetal immune physiology and, of relevance, this interaction with microbes at the fetal-maternal interface could be modulated by specific microbes administered to the pregnant mother. Indeed, probiotic interventions aiming to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases may appear effective during early life. PMID:22743759

  4. 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., Adicdovorax sp., Ralstonia sp., Pseudomonas sp.), thiosulfate-oxidising bacteria (Diaphorobacter sp.) and biocorrosive thermophilic microorganisms, which have not previously been cultivated. Furthermore, several uncultivated microorganisms were found, that were 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 the quantification of those microorganisms as well as the determination of microbial activity was not yet possible. Microbial monitoring methods have to be further developed to study microbial activities under these extreme conditions to access their influence on the EGR technique and on enhancing the long term safety of the process by fixation of carbon dioxide by precipitation of carbonates. We thank GDF SUEZ for providing the data for the Rotliegend reservoir, sample material and supporting sampling campaigns. The CLEAN project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Program.

  5. Diffusion in biofilms respiring on electrodes

    SciTech Connect

    Renslow, Ryan S.; Babauta, Jerome T.; Majors, Paul D.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2013-02-15

    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.

  6. 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 SP? 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 SP? 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

  7. 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.

  8. Linking nitrifying biofilm characteristics and nitrification performance in moving-bed biofilm reactors for polluted raw water pretreatment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuangfu; Wang, Yayi; He, Weitao; Xing, Meiyan; Wu, Min; Yang, Jian; Gao, Naiyun; Sheng, Guangyao; Yin, Daqiang; Liu, Shanhu

    2013-10-01

    Biofilm physiology was characterized by four biofilm constituents, i.e., polysaccharides, proteins (PN), humic-like substances and phospholipids (PL), for the first time to explore the relationships between biofilm characteristics and nitrification performance in moving-bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) designed for pretreatment of polluted raw surface water for potable supply. The biofilm compositions depended highly on the balance of microbial decay and nitrification processes. The increased ammonia loading greatly regulated the community structure, promoting the dominance of nitrifiers and their proportions in the nitrifying biofilm. Nitrification rate and activity correlated linearly with the fractions of volatile solids (VS), PN and PL, which were related to nitrification processes in the biofilm. The specific biofilm activity demonstrated an exponential-asymptotic relationship with ratios of PN/VS and PL/VS. Thus, analyzing biofilm characteristics can be valid for estimating nitrification performance in MBBRs, and may offer engineers with basis to optimize MBBR design and operation. PMID:23954247

  9. Successional development of biofilms in moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems treating municipal wastewater.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Kristi; Taylor, Michael W; Turner, Susan J

    2014-02-01

    Biofilm-based technologies, such as moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems, are widely used to treat wastewater. Biofilm development is important for MBBR systems as much of the microbial biomass is retained within reactors as biofilm on suspended carriers. Little is known about this process of biofilm development and the microorganisms upon which MBBRs rely. We documented successional changes in microbial communities as biofilms established in two full-scale MBBR systems treating municipal wastewater over two seasons. 16S rRNA gene-targeted pyrosequencing and clone libraries were used to describe microbial communities. These data indicate a successional process that commences with the establishment of an aerobic community dominated by Gammaproteobacteria (up to 52 % of sequences). Over time, this community shifts towards dominance by putatively anaerobic organisms including Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridiales. Significant differences were observed between the two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), mostly due to a large number of sequences (up to 55 %) representing Epsilonproteobacteria (mostly Arcobacter) at one site. Archaea in young biofilms included several lineages of Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota. In contrast, the mature biofilm consisted entirely of Methanosarcinaceae (Euryarchaeota). This study provides new insights into the community structure of developing biofilms at full-scale WWTPs and provides the basis for optimizing MBBR start-up and operational parameters. PMID:23838795

  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. 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 a similar variance, with values resembling the DIC or DOC pool or a mixture thereof. This variance cannot be explained by hot spring chemistry or temperature alone, but instead, we argue that intermittent input of exogenous organic carbon can result in metabolic shifts of the chemotrophic communities from autotrophy to heterotrophy and vice versa. PMID:23981055

  12. 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 for in Martian rocks during the forthcoming rover missions.

  13. Can nanotechnology deliver the promised benefits without negatively impacting soil microbial life?

    PubMed

    Dimkpa, Christian O

    2014-09-01

    Nanotechnology exploits the enhanced reactivity of materials at the atomic scale to improve various applications for humankind. In agriculture, potential nanotechnology applications include crop protection and fertilization. However, such benefits could come with risks for the environment: non-target plants, plant-beneficial soil microbes and other life forms could be impacted if nanoparticles (nanomaterials) contaminate the environment. This review evaluates the impact of the major metallic nanoparticles (Ag, ZnO, CuO, CeO2 , TiO2 , and FeO-based nanoparticles) on soil microbes involved in agricultural processes. The current literature indicate that in addition to population and organismal-scale effects on microbes, other subtle impacts of nanoparticles are seen in the nitrogen cycle, soil enzyme activities, and processes involved in iron metabolism, phytohormone, and antibiotic production. These effects are negative or positive, the outcome being dependent on specific nanoparticles. Collectively, published results suggest that nanotechnology portends considerable, many negative, implications for soil microbes and, thus, agricultural processes that are microbially driven. Nonetheless, the potential of plant and soil microbial processes to mitigate the bioreactivity of nanoparticles also are observed. Whereas the roots of most terrestrial plants are associated with microbes, studies of nanoparticle interactions with plants and microbes are generally conducted separately. The few studies in actual microbe-plant systems found effects of nanoparticles on the functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, nitrogen fixation, as well as on the production of microbial siderophores in the plant rhizosphere. It is suggested that a better understanding of the agro-ecological ramifications of nanoparticles would require more in-depth interactive studies in combined plant-microbe-nanoparticle systems. PMID:24913194

  14. Influence of temperature and plumbing material selection on biofilm formation and growth of Legionella pneumophila in a model potable water system containing complex microbial flora.

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, J; Dowsett, A B; Dennis, P J; Lee, J V; Keevil, C W

    1994-01-01

    Survival and growth of Legionella pneumophila in both biofilm and planktonic phases were determined with a two-stage model system. The model used filter-sterilized tap water as the sole source of nutrient to culture a naturally occurring mixed population of microorganisms including virulent L. pneumophila. At 20 degrees C, L. pneumophila accounted for a low proportion of biofilm flora on polybutylene and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, but was absent from copper surfaces. The pathogen was most abundant on biofilms on plastics at 40 degrees C, where it accounted for up to 50% of the total biofilm flora. Copper surfaces were inhibitory to total biofouling and included only low numbers of L. pneumophila organisms. The pathogen was able to survive in biofilms on the surface of the plastic materials at 50 degrees C, but was absent from the copper surfaces at the same temperature. L. pneumophila could not be detected in the model system at 60 degrees C. In the presence of copper surfaces, biofilms forming on adjacent control glass surfaces were found to incorporate copper ions which subsequently inhibited colonization of their surfaces. This work suggests that the use of copper tubing in water systems may help to limit the colonization of water systems by L. pneumophila. Images PMID:8017938

  15. 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 a version of the PyMCA software [8] specially optimised for this purpose. The empirical relations of the type Zave = a•(C/R)b obtained for the three analyses sets provide a comprehensive set of calibrations suitable for any sample of any thickness. On the basis of these calibrations, we inferred positions and concentrations of undetected low-Z phases in the JCMB and further corrected the concentrations of the detected metals in the organic phases. 1. Westall F., et al., 2011. Earth & Planet. Sci. Lett., 310, 468-479. 2. Zerkle A L., et al., 2005. Am. J. Science, 305, 467-502. 3. Westphal A. J., et al., 2010. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1221, 131-138. 4. Bleuet P., et al., 2008. App. Phys. Lett., 92, 213111-1-3. 5. Golosio B., et al., 2003. Appl. Phys., 94, 145-157. 6. M. Haschke, 2003. PhD dissertation, T.U. Berlin. 7. Simionovici A. S., et al., 2010. Proceedings of the Meteoritical Society Conference, N.Y., USA. 8. Solé V.A., et al., 2006, Elsevier, 62, 63-68.

  16. Microbial life in glacial ice and implications for a cold origin of life.

    PubMed

    Price, P Buford

    2007-02-01

    Application of physical and chemical concepts, complemented by studies of prokaryotes in ice cores and permafrost, has led to the present understanding of how microorganisms can metabolize at subfreezing temperatures on Earth and possibly on Mars and other cold planetary bodies. The habitats for life at subfreezing temperatures benefit from two unusual properties of ice. First, almost all ionic impurities are insoluble in the crystal structure of ice, which leads to a network of micron-diameter veins in which microorganisms may utilize ions for metabolism. Second, ice in contact with mineral surfaces develops a nanometre-thick film of unfrozen water that provides a second habitat that may allow microorganisms to extract energy from redox reactions with ions in the water film or ions in the mineral structure. On the early Earth and on icy planets, prebiotic molecules in veins in ice may have polymerized to RNA and polypeptides by virtue of the low water activity and high rate of encounter with each other in nearly one-dimensional trajectories in the veins. Prebiotic molecules may also have utilized grain surfaces to increase the rate of encounter and to exploit other physicochemical features of the surfaces. PMID:17328118

  17. 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 among species. PMID:22973559

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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 evidence for reasonable source for microbe contribution given highly oxygenated lake water environment. Microscopy and flow cytometry trials on strictly decontaminated ice samples gave supporting results. While microscopy failed to reveal cells because the local concentrations were below the detection limit, the flow cytometry succeeded in a preliminary estimate of 9 and 24 cells/ml for accretion 1 (3561m) and control glacial (2054m) ice samples, respectively. However, given the ratio contaminants to indigenous cells is about 10:1 (from PCR results), the genuine microbial contents for both accretion and glacial ice samples is expected to be as low as 1 cell/ml what practically means "sterile" conditions. Thus, the accretion ice from Lake Vostok contains the very low unevenly distributed biomass indicating that the water body (at least upper layer) should also be hosting a highly sparse life, if any. By this, the Lake Vostok for the first time could present the big natural "sterile" water body on Earth providing a unique test area for searching for life on icy moons and planets. The search for life in Lake Vostok is constrained by a high chance of forward-contamination which can be minimized by using of stringent decontamination procedures and comprehensive biological controls.

  2. 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.

  3. How Cyanobacterial Distributions Reveal Flow and Irradiance Conditions of Photosynthetic Biofilm Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prufert-Bebout, Lee; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Microbial life on Earth is enormously abundant at sediment-water interfaces. The fossil record in fact contains abundant evidence of the preservation of life on such surfaces. It is therefore critical to our interpretation of early Earth history, and potentially to history of life on other planets, to be able to recognize life forms at these interfaces. On Earth this life often occurs as organized structures of microbes and their extracellular exudates known as biofilms. When such biofilms occur in areas receiving sunlight photosynthetic biofilms are the dominant form in natural ecosystems due to selective advantage inherent in their ability to utilize solar energy. Cyanobacteria are the dominant phototrophic microbes in most modern and ancient photosynthetic biofilms, microbial mats and stromatolites. Due to their long (3.5 billion year) evolutionary history, this group has extensively diversified resulting in an enormous array of morphologies and physiological abilities. This enormous diversity and specialization results in very specific selection for a particular cyanobacterium in each available photosynthetic niche. Furthermore these organisms can alter their spatial orientation, cell morphology, pigmentation and associations with heterotrophic organisms in order to fine tune their optimization to a given micro-niche. These adaptations can be detected, and if adequate knowledge of the interaction between environmental conditions and organism response is available, the detectable organism response can be used to infer the environmental conditions causing that response. This presentation will detail two specific examples which illustrate this point, Light and water are essential to photosynthesis in cyanobacteria and these organisms have specific detectable behavioural responses to these parameters. We will present cyanobacterial responses to quantified flow and irradiance to demonstrate the interpretative power of distribution and orientation information. This study presents new results, but many such examples are already found in the literature.

  4. Impairment of the Bacterial Biofilm Stability by Triclosan

    PubMed Central

    Hubas, Cédric; Behrens, Sebastian; Ricciardi, Francesco; Paterson, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The accumulation of the widely-used antibacterial and antifungal compound triclosan (TCS) in freshwaters raises concerns about the impact of this harmful chemical on the biofilms that are the dominant life style of microorganisms in aquatic systems. However, investigations to-date rarely go beyond effects at the cellular, physiological or morphological level. The present paper focuses on bacterial biofilms addressing the possible chemical impairment of their functionality, while also examining their substratum stabilization potential as one example of an important ecosystem service. The development of a bacterial assemblage of natural composition – isolated from sediments of the Eden Estuary (Scotland, UK) – on non-cohesive glass beads (<63 µm) and exposed to a range of triclosan concentrations (control, 2 – 100 µg L?1) was monitored over time by Magnetic Particle Induction (MagPI). In parallel, bacterial cell numbers, division rate, community composition (DGGE) and EPS (extracellular polymeric substances: carbohydrates and proteins) secretion were determined. While the triclosan exposure did not prevent bacterial settlement, biofilm development was increasingly inhibited by increasing TCS levels. The surface binding capacity (MagPI) of the assemblages was positively correlated to the microbial secreted EPS matrix. The EPS concentrations and composition (quantity and quality) were closely linked to bacterial growth, which was affected by enhanced TCS exposure. Furthermore, TCS induced significant changes in bacterial community composition as well as a significant decrease in bacterial diversity. The impairment of the stabilization potential of bacterial biofilm under even low, environmentally relevant TCS levels is of concern since the resistance of sediments to erosive forces has large implications for the dynamics of sediments and associated pollutant dispersal. In addition, the surface adhesive capacity of the biofilm acts as a sensitive measure of ecosystem effects. PMID:22523534

  5. 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.

  6. Minimum information about a biofilm experiment (MIABiE): standards for reporting experiments and data on sessile microbial communities living at interfaces.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Anália; Coenye, Tom; Goeres, Darla M; Donelli, Gianfranco; Azevedo, Andreia S; Ceri, Howard; Coelho, Filipa L; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Juhna, Talis; Lopes, Susana P; Oliveira, Rosário; Oliver, Antonio; Shirtliff, Mark E; Sousa, Ana M; Stoodley, Paul; Pereira, Maria Olivia; Azevedo, Nuno F

    2014-04-01

    The minimum information about a biofilm experiment (MIABiE) initiative has arisen from the need to find an adequate and scientifically sound way to control the quality of the documentation accompanying the public deposition of biofilm-related data, particularly those obtained using high-throughput devices and techniques. Thereby, the MIABiE consortium has initiated the identification and organization of a set of modules containing the minimum information that needs to be reported to guarantee the interpretability and independent verification of experimental results and their integration with knowledge coming from other fields. MIABiE does not intend to propose specific standards on how biofilms experiments should be performed, because it is acknowledged that specific research questions require specific conditions which may deviate from any standardization. Instead, MIABiE presents guidelines about the data to be recorded and published in order for the procedure and results to be easily and unequivocally interpreted and reproduced. Overall, MIABiE opens up the discussion about a number of particular areas of interest and attempts to achieve a broad consensus about which biofilm data and metadata should be reported in scientific journals in a systematic, rigorous and understandable manner. PMID:24478124

  7. Potential of biofilm-based biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Wu; Chen, Shulin

    2009-05-01

    Biofilm technology has been extensively applied to wastewater treatment, but its potential application in biofuel production has not been explored. Current technologies of converting lignocellulose materials to biofuel are hampered by costly processing steps in pretreatment, saccharification, and product recovery. Biofilms may have a potential to improve efficiency of these processes. Advantages of biofilms include concentration of cell-associated hydrolytic enzymes at the biofilm-substrate interface to increase reaction rates, a layered microbial structure in which multiple species may sequentially convert complex substrates and coferment hexose and pentose as hydrolysates diffuse outward, and the possibility of fungal-bacterial symbioses that allow simultaneous delignification and saccharification. More importantly, the confined microenvironment within a biofilm selectively rewards cells with better phenotypes conferred from intercellular gene or signal exchange, a process which is absent in suspended cultures. The immobilized property of biofilm, especially when affixed to a membrane, simplifies the separation of biofuel from its producer and promotes retention of biomass for continued reaction in the fermenter. Highly consolidated bioprocessing, including delignification, saccharification, fermentation, and separation in a single reactor, may be possible through the application of biofilm technology. To date, solid-state fermentation is the only biofuel process to which the advantages of biofilms have been applied, even though it has received limited attention and improvements. The transfer of biofilm technology from environmental engineering has the potential to spur great innovations in the optimization of biofuel production. PMID:19300995

  8. 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 ?(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 (? -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, ?(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

  9. Microbial lithification in marine stromatolites and hypersaline mats.

    PubMed

    Dupraz, Christophe; Visscher, Pieter T

    2005-09-01

    Lithification in microbial ecosystems occurs when precipitation of minerals outweighs dissolution. Although the formation of various minerals can result from microbial metabolism, carbonate precipitation is possibly the most important process that impacts global carbon cycling. Recent investigations have produced models for stromatolite formation in open marine environments and lithification in shallow hypersaline lakes, which could be highly relevant for interpreting the rock record and searching for extraterrestrial life. Two factors that are controlled by microbial processes and physicochemical characteristics determine precipitation: exopolymeric substances and the saturation index, the latter being determined by the pH, {Ca(2+)} and {CO(3)(2-)}. Here, we evaluate community metabolism in microbial mats and hypothesize why these organosedimentary biofilms sometimes lithify and sometimes do not. PMID:16087339

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of gamma irradiation on chemical, microbial quality and shelf life of shrimp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hocao?lu, Asl?; 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.

  12. Coupling Genetic and Chemical Microbiome Profiling Reveals Heterogeneity of Archaeome and Bacteriome in Subsurface Biofilms That Are Dominated by the Same Archaeal Species

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Wanner, Gerhard; Andersen, Gary L.; Perras, Alexandra K.; Meck, Sandra; Völkel, Jörg; Bechtel, Hans A.; Wirth, Reinhard; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Earth harbors an enormous portion of subsurface microbial life, whose microbiome flux across geographical locations remains mainly unexplored due to difficult access to samples. Here, we investigated the microbiome relatedness of subsurface biofilms of two sulfidic springs in southeast Germany that have similar physical and chemical parameters and are fed by one deep groundwater current. Due to their unique hydrogeological setting these springs provide accessible windows to subsurface biofilms dominated by the same uncultivated archaeal species, called SM1 Euryarchaeon. Comparative analysis of infrared imaging spectra demonstrated great variations in archaeal membrane composition between biofilms of the two springs, suggesting different SM1 euryarchaeal strains of the same species at both aquifer outlets. This strain variation was supported by ultrastructural and metagenomic analyses of the archaeal biofilms, which included intergenic spacer region sequencing of the rRNA gene operon. At 16S rRNA gene level, PhyloChip G3 DNA microarray detected similar biofilm communities for archaea, but site-specific communities for bacteria. Both biofilms showed an enrichment of different deltaproteobacterial operational taxonomic units, whose families were, however, congruent as were their lipid spectra. Consequently, the function of the major proportion of the bacteriome appeared to be conserved across the geographic locations studied, which was confirmed by dsrB-directed quantitative PCR. Consequently, microbiome differences of these subsurface biofilms exist at subtle nuances for archaea (strain level variation) and at higher taxonomic levels for predominant bacteria without a substantial perturbation in bacteriome function. The results of this communication provide deep insight into the dynamics of subsurface microbial life and warrant its future investigation with regard to metabolic and genomic analyses. PMID:24971452

  13. Coupling genetic and chemical microbiome profiling reveals heterogeneity of archaeome and bacteriome in subsurface biofilms that are dominated by the same archaeal species.

    PubMed

    Probst, Alexander J; Birarda, Giovanni; Holman, Hoi-Ying N; DeSantis, Todd Z; Wanner, Gerhard; Andersen, Gary L; Perras, Alexandra K; Meck, Sandra; Völkel, Jörg; Bechtel, Hans A; Wirth, Reinhard; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Earth harbors an enormous portion of subsurface microbial life, whose microbiome flux across geographical locations remains mainly unexplored due to difficult access to samples. Here, we investigated the microbiome relatedness of subsurface biofilms of two sulfidic springs in southeast Germany that have similar physical and chemical parameters and are fed by one deep groundwater current. Due to their unique hydrogeological setting these springs provide accessible windows to subsurface biofilms dominated by the same uncultivated archaeal species, called SM1 Euryarchaeon. Comparative analysis of infrared imaging spectra demonstrated great variations in archaeal membrane composition between biofilms of the two springs, suggesting different SM1 euryarchaeal strains of the same species at both aquifer outlets. This strain variation was supported by ultrastructural and metagenomic analyses of the archaeal biofilms, which included intergenic spacer region sequencing of the rRNA gene operon. At 16S rRNA gene level, PhyloChip G3 DNA microarray detected similar biofilm communities for archaea, but site-specific communities for bacteria. Both biofilms showed an enrichment of different deltaproteobacterial operational taxonomic units, whose families were, however, congruent as were their lipid spectra. Consequently, the function of the major proportion of the bacteriome appeared to be conserved across the geographic locations studied, which was confirmed by dsrB-directed quantitative PCR. Consequently, microbiome differences of these subsurface biofilms exist at subtle nuances for archaea (strain level variation) and at higher taxonomic levels for predominant bacteria without a substantial perturbation in bacteriome function. The results of this communication provide deep insight into the dynamics of subsurface microbial life and warrant its future investigation with regard to metabolic and genomic analyses. PMID:24971452

  14. A Comparison of Microbial Communities from Deep Igneous Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. R.; Flores, G. E.; Fisk, M. R.; Colwell, F. S.; Thurber, A. R.; Mason, O. U.; Popa, R.

    2013-12-01

    Recent investigations of life in Earth's crust have revealed common themes in organism function, taxonomy, and diversity. Capacities for hydrogen oxidation, carbon fixation, methanogenesis and methanotrophy, iron and sulfur metabolisms, and hydrocarbon degradation often predominate in deep life communities, and crustal mineralogy has been hypothesized as a driving force for determining deep life community assemblages. Recently, we found that minerals characteristic of the igneous crust harbored unique communities when incubated in the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank borehole IODP 1301A. Here we present attached mineral biofilm morphologies and a comparison of our mineral communities to those from a variety of locations, contamination states, and igneous crustal or mineralogical types. We found that differences in borehole mineral communities were reflected in biofilm morphologies. Olivine biofilms were thick, carbon-rich films with embedded cells of uniform size and shape and often contained secondary minerals. Encrusted cells, spherical and rod-shaped cells, and tubes were indicative of glass surfaces. We also found that the attached communities from incubated borehole minerals were taxonomically more similar to native, attached communities from marine and continental crust than to communities from the aquifer water that seeded it. Our findings further support the hypothesis that mineralogy selects for microbial communities that have distinct phylogenetic, morphological, and potentially functional, signatures. This has important implications for resolving ecosystem function and microbial distributions in igneous crust, the largest deep habitat on Earth.

  15. Two-step nitrification in a pure moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor for wastewater treatment: nitrifying and denitrifying microbial populations and kinetic modeling.

    PubMed

    Leyva-Díaz, J C; González-Martínez, A; Muñío, M M; Poyatos, J M

    2015-12-01

    The moving bed biofilm reactor-membrane bioreactor (MBBR-MBR) is a novel solution to conventional activated sludge processes and membrane bioreactors. In this study, a pure MBBR-MBR was studied. The pure MBBR-MBR mainly had attached biomass. The bioreactor operated with a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 9.5 h. The kinetic parameters for heterotrophic and autotrophic biomasses, mainly nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), were evaluated. The analysis of the bacterial community structure of the ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), NOB, and denitrifying bacteria (DeNB) from the pure MBBR-MBR was carried out by means of pyrosequencing to detect and quantify the contribution of the nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria in the total bacterial community. The relative abundance of AOB, NOB, and DeNB were 5, 1, and 3 %, respectively, in the mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS), and these percentages were 18, 5, and 2 %, respectively, in the biofilm density (BD) attached to carriers. The pure MBBR-MBR had a high efficiency of total nitrogen (TN) removal of 71.81 ± 16.04 %, which could reside in the different bacterial assemblages in the fixed biofilm on the carriers. In this regard, the kinetic parameters for autotrophic biomass had values of Y A  = 2.3465 mg O2 mg N(-1), ? m, A = 0.7169 h(-1), and K NH = 2.0748 mg N L(-1). PMID:26264139

  16. Microscale Confinement features in microfluidic devices can affect biofilm

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Aloke; Karig, David K; Neethirajan, Suresh; Acharya, Rajesh K; Mukherjee, Partha P; Retterer, Scott T; Doktycz, Mitchel John

    2013-01-01

    Biofilms are aggregations of microbes that are encased by extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) and adhere to surfaces and interfaces. Biofilm development on abiotic surfaces is a dynamic process, which typically proceeds through an initial phase of adhesion of plankntonic microbes to the substrate, followed by events such as growth, maturation and EPS secretion. However, the coupling of hydrodynamics, microbial adhesion and biofilm growth remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the effect of semiconfined features on biofilm formation. Using a microfluidic device and fluorescent time-lapse microscopy, we establish that confinement features can significantly affect biofilm formation. Biofilm dynamics change not only as a function of confinement features, but also of the total fluid flow rate, and our combination of experimental results and numerical simulations reveal insights into the link between hydrodynamics and biofilm formation.

  17. Battling Bacterial Biofilms with Gas Discharge Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelaya, Anna; Vandervoort, Kurt; Brelles-Mariño, Graciela

    Most studies dealing with growth and physiology of bacteria have been carried out using free-living cells. However, most bacteria live in communities referred to as biofilms where cooperative interactions among their members make conventional methods of controlling microbial growth often ineffective. The use of gas discharge plasmas represents an alternative to traditional decontamination/sterilization methods. We studied biofilms using two organisms, Chromobacterium violaceum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. With the first organism we demonstrated almost complete loss of cell culturability after a 5-min plasma treatment. However, additional determinations showed that non-culturable cells were still alive after short exposure times. We have recently reported the effect of plasma on P. aeruginosa biofilms grown on borosilicate coupons. In this paper, we present results for plasma treatments of 1-, 3-, and 7-day old P. aeruginosa biofilms grown on polycarbonate or stainless-steel coupons. Results indicate nearly 100% of ­biofilm inactivation after 5 min of exposure with similar inactivation kinetics for 1-, 3-, and 7-day-old biofilms, and for both materials used. The inactivation kinetics is similar for both organisms, suggesting that the method is useful regardless of the type of biofilm. AFM images show changes in biofilm structure for various plasma exposure times.

  18. Spaceflight promotes biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Wooseong; Tengra, Farah K; Young, Zachary; Shong, Jasmine; Marchand, Nicholas; Chan, Hon Kit; Pangule, Ravindra C; Parra, Macarena; Dordick, Jonathan S; Plawsky, Joel L; Collins, Cynthia H

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the effects of spaceflight on microbial communities is crucial for the success of long-term, manned space missions. Surface-associated bacterial communities, known as biofilms, were abundant on the Mir space station and continue to be a challenge on the International Space Station. The health and safety hazards linked to the development of biofilms are of particular concern due to the suppression of immune function observed during spaceflight. While planktonic cultures of microbes have indicated that spaceflight can lead to increases in growth and virulence, the effects of spaceflight on biofilm development and physiology remain unclear. To address this issue, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was cultured during two Space Shuttle Atlantis missions: STS-132 and STS-135, and the biofilms formed during spaceflight were characterized. Spaceflight was observed to increase the number of viable cells, biofilm biomass, and thickness relative to normal gravity controls. Moreover, the biofilms formed during spaceflight exhibited a column-and-canopy structure that has not been observed on Earth. The increase in the amount of biofilms and the formation of the novel architecture during spaceflight were observed to be independent of carbon source and phosphate concentrations in the media. However, flagella-driven motility was shown to be essential for the formation of this biofilm architecture during spaceflight. These findings represent the first evidence that spaceflight affects community-level behaviors of bacteria and highlight the importance of understanding how both harmful and beneficial human-microbe interactions may be altered during spaceflight. PMID:23658630

  19. Microbial Community Structure during Nitrate and Perchlorate Reduction in Ion-exchange Brine Using the Hydrogen-based membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBIR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    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 ...

  20. Oh What a Tangled Biofilm Web Bacteria Weave

    MedlinePLUS

    ... a Tangled Biofilm Web Bacteria Weave Inside Life Science View All Articles | Inside Life Science Home Page Oh What a Tangled Biofilm Web ... Conversations Learning from Bacterial Chatter This Inside Life Science article also appears on LiveScience . Learn about related ...

  1. Microbial Diversity in the Columbia River Basalt Group and the Context for Life in Subsurface Basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavalleur, H. J.; Smith, A.; Fisk, M. R.; Colwell, F. S.

    2012-12-01

    Large igneous provinces constitute a sizable volume of porous and fractured materials in the Earth's crust and many of these environments exist within the boundaries of survival for subsurface life. The results of microbiological studies of basalts and other igneous materials in subsurface settings hint at the types of microbes that dwell in these environments. We investigated the microbes in aquifers in the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) and also considered the microbial communities in subsurface basalts more broadly to determine if there are recurrent themes in the types of microbes and the nature of diversity present in these geological systems. Bacteria and Archaea collected from five intervals in the CRBG were examined using high-throughput DNA sequencing directed at the 16S rRNA genes. The highest bacterial biomass and the highest bacterial diversity were observed in the deepest samples (>1018 meters below land surface) whereas the highest archaeal diversity was detected in the shallowest samples (<449 mbls). Microbes classified as Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria dominated the aquifers. These findings are generally consistent with earlier cultivation- and clone library-based studies performed on microbes from the CRBG and the Snake River Plain aquifer. Microbes associated with marine basalts are similar to those found in terrestrial settings and include Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, candidate division bacterium OP1, Euryarchaeota, and Crenarchaeota. Based on 16S rRNA sequence similarities to known microbes, both basaltic regions have taxa with representative physiologies likely to include hydrogen oxidation, iron and sulfur metabolism, acetogenesis, and hydrocarbon metabolism. Research on the microbiology of basalt rich provinces on the planet has informed our understanding of biogeochemical cycling where igneous rocks dominate. The knowledge gained in these investigations also promotes our ability to verify the remediation of contaminants and the sequestration of carbon in basalts.

  2. Biofilms and planktonic cells of Deinococcus geothermalis in extreme environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panitz, Corinna; Reitz, Guenther; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Wingender, Jost; Froesler, Jan

    In addition to the several extreme environments on Earth, Space can be considered as just another exceptional environment with a unique mixture of stress factors comprising UV radiation, vacuum, desiccation, temperature, ionizing radiation and microgravity. Life that processes in these environments can depend on the life forms and their state of living. The question is whether there are different strategies for individual microorganisms compared to communities of the same organisms to cope with the different factors of their surroundings. Comparative studies of the survi-val of these communities called biofilms and planktonic cell samples of Deinococcus geothermalis stand at the focal point of the presented investigations. A biofilm is a structured community of microorganisms that live encapsulated in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances on a surface. Microorganisms living in a biofilm usually have significantly different properties to cooperate than individually living microorganisms of the same species. An advantage of the biofilm is increased resistance to various chemical and physical effects, while the dense extracellular matrix and the outer layer of the cells protect the interior of the microbial consortium. The space experiment BOSS (Biofilm organisms surfing Space) as part the ESA experimental unit EXPOSE R-2 with a planned launch date in July 2014 will be subsequently mounted on the Russian Svesda module outside the ISS. An international team of scientists coordinated by Dr. P. Rettberg will investigate the hypothesis whether microorganisms organized as biofilm outmatch the same microorganisms exposed individually in the long-term survival of the harsh environmental conditions as they occur in space and on Mars. Another protective function in the samples could be dust par-ticles for instance Mars regolith simulant contained inside the biofilms or mixed with the planktonic cells, as additional shelter especially against the extraterrestrial UV radiation. D. geothermalis besides others, like co-cultures of Halomonas muralis and Halococcus morrhuae, Bacillus horneckiae, Chroococcidiopsis CCMEE 029 and Streptomyces + Polaromonas and Arthrobacter strains from volcanic rocks, was involved in the several preparatory test runs at the Planetary and Space Simulation facilities at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne. Results of the already carried out EVTs (Experiment Verification Test) and the SVT (Science verification test) as EXPOSE-R2 mission pre-paration tests, where investigated parameters like dehydration, temperature extremes, extraterrestrial UV radiation, simulated Martian atmosphere, and a Mars-like UV climate were tested individually as well as in combination will be presented. Following exposure to the parameters listed above, the survival of both biofilms and planktonic cells of D. geothermalis was assessed in terms of (i) culturability by colony counts on R2A medium, (ii) membrane integrity by using the Live/Dead differential staining kit, (iii) ATP content by using a commercial luminometric assay, and (iv) the presence of 16S rRNA by fluorescence in situ hybridization. So far, the results suggest that Deinococcus geothermalis remains viable in the desiccated state over weeks to months, whereas culturability, intracellular ATP levels, and membrane integrity were preserved in biofilm cells at a significantly higher level than in planktonic cells. Furthermore, cells of both sample types were able to survive simulated space and Martian conditions and showed high resistance after irradiation with monochromatic and polychromatic UV. The results will contribute to the fundamental understanding of the opportunities and limitations of viability of microorganisms organized in biofilms or as planktonic cells under the extreme environ-mental conditions of space or other planets.

  3. Lava cave microbial communities within mats and secondary mineral deposits: implications for life detection on other planets.

    PubMed

    Northup, D E; 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

    2011-09-01

    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. PMID:21879833

  4. Biofilm-Related Infections: Bridging the Gap between Clinical Management and Fundamental Aspects of Recalcitrance toward Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Lebeaux, David; Ghigo, Jean-Marc

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Surface-associated microbial communities, called biofilms, are present in all environments. Although biofilms play an important positive role in a variety of ecosystems, they also have many negative effects, including biofilm-related infections in medical settings. The ability of pathogenic biofilms to survive in the presence of high concentrations of antibiotics is called “recalcitrance” and is a characteristic property of the biofilm lifestyle, leading to treatment failure and infection recurrence. This review presents our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of biofilm recalcitrance toward antibiotics and describes how recent progress has improved our capacity to design original and efficient strategies to prevent or eradicate biofilm-related infections. PMID:25184564

  5. Performances and microbial features of an aerobic packed-bed biofilm reactor developed to post-treat an olive mill effluent from an anaerobic GAC reactor

    PubMed Central

    Bertin, Lorenzo; Colao, Maria Chiara; Ruzzi, Maurizio; Marchetti, Leonardo; Fava, Fabio

    2006-01-01

    Background Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is the aqueous effluent of olive oil producing processes. Given its high COD and content of phenols, it has to be decontaminated before being discharged. Anaerobic digestion is one of the most promising treatment process for such an effluent, as it combines high decontamination efficiency with methane production. The large scale anaerobic digestion of OMWs is normally conducted in dispersed-growth reactors, where however are generally achieved unsatisfactory COD removal and methane production yields. The possibility of intensifying the performance of the process using a packed bed biofilm reactor, as anaerobic treatment alternative, was demonstrated. Even in this case, however, a post-treatment step is required to further reduce the COD. In this work, a biological post-treatment, consisting of an aerobic biological "Manville" silica bead-packed bed aerobic reactor, was developed, tested for its ability to complete COD removal from the anaerobic digestion effluents, and characterized biologically through molecular tools. Results The aerobic post-treatment was assessed through a 2 month-continuous feeding with the digested effluent at 50.42 and 2.04 gl-1day-1 of COD and phenol loading rates, respectively. It was found to be a stable process, able to remove 24 and 39% of such organic loads, respectively, and to account for 1/4 of the overall decontamination efficiency displayed by the anaerobic-aerobic integrated system when fed with an amended OMW at 31.74 and 1.70 gl-1day-1 of COD and phenol loading rates, respectively. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences of biomass samples from the aerobic reactor biofilm revealed that it was colonized by Rhodobacterales, Bacteroidales, Pseudomonadales, Enterobacteriales, Rhodocyclales and genera incertae sedis TM7. Some taxons occurring in the influent were not detected in the biofilm, whereas others, such as Paracoccus, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter, enriched significantly in the biofilter throughout the treatment. Conclusion The silica-bead packed bed biofilm reactor developed and characterized in this study was able to significantly decontaminate anaerobically digested OMWs. Therefore, the application of an integrated anaerobic-aerobic process resulted in an improved system for valorization and decontamination of OMWs. PMID:16595023

  6. Treatment of Oral Multispecies Biofilms by an Anti-Biofilm Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Ya; Haapasalo, Markus; Hancock, Robert E. W.

    2015-01-01

    Human oral biofilms are multispecies microbial communities that exhibit high resistance to antimicrobial agents. Dental plaque gives rise to highly prevalent and costly biofilm-related oral infections, which lead to caries or other types of oral infections. We investigated the ability of the recently identified anti-biofilm peptide 1018 to induce killing of bacterial cells present within oral multispecies biofilms. At 10 ?g/ml (6.5 ?M), peptide 1018 was able to significantly (p<0.05) prevent biofilm formation over 3 days. The activity of the peptide on preformed biofilms was found to be concentration-dependent since more than 60% of the total plaque biofilm cell population was killed by 10 ?g/ml of peptide 1018 in 3 days, while at 5 ?g/ml 50% of cells were dead and at 1 ?g/ml the peptide triggered cell death in around 30% of the total bacterial population, as revealed by confocal microscopy. The presence of saliva did not affect peptide activity, since no statistically significant difference was found in the ability of peptide 1018 to kill oral biofilms using either saliva coated and non-saliva coated hydroxyapatite surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy experiments indicated that peptide 1018 induced cell lysis in plaque biofilms. Furthermore, combined treatment using peptide 1018 and chlorhexidine (CHX) increased the anti-biofilm activity of each compound compared to when these were used alone, resulting in >50% of the biofilm being killed and >35% being dispersed in only 3 minutes. Peptide 1018 may potentially be used by itself or in combination with CHX as a non-toxic and effective anti-biofilm agent for plaque disinfection in clinical dentistry. PMID:26168273

  7. Treatment of Oral Multispecies Biofilms by an Anti-Biofilm Peptide.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhejun; de la Fuente-Núñez, Cesar; Shen, Ya; Haapasalo, Markus; Hancock, Robert E W

    2015-01-01

    Human oral biofilms are multispecies microbial communities that exhibit high resistance to antimicrobial agents. Dental plaque gives rise to highly prevalent and costly biofilm-related oral infections, which lead to caries or other types of oral infections. We investigated the ability of the recently identified anti-biofilm peptide 1018 to induce killing of bacterial cells present within oral multispecies biofilms. At 10 ?g/ml (6.5 ?M), peptide 1018 was able to significantly (p<0.05) prevent biofilm formation over 3 days. The activity of the peptide on preformed biofilms was found to be concentration-dependent since more than 60% of the total plaque biofilm cell population was killed by 10 ?g/ml of peptide 1018 in 3 days, while at 5 ?g/ml 50% of cells were dead and at 1 ?g/ml the peptide triggered cell death in around 30% of the total bacterial population, as revealed by confocal microscopy. The presence of saliva did not affect peptide activity, since no statistically significant difference was found in the ability of peptide 1018 to kill oral biofilms using either saliva coated and non-saliva coated hydroxyapatite surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy experiments indicated that peptide 1018 induced cell lysis in plaque biofilms. Furthermore, combined treatment using peptide 1018 and chlorhexidine (CHX) increased the anti-biofilm activity of each compound compared to when these were used alone, resulting in >50% of the biofilm being killed and >35% being dispersed in only 3 minutes. Peptide 1018 may potentially be used by itself or in combination with CHX as a non-toxic and effective anti-biofilm agent for plaque disinfection in clinical dentistry. PMID:26168273

  8. Fungal Biofilms: Relevance in the Setting of Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Luis R.; Fries, Bettina C.

    2011-01-01

    The use of indwelling medical devices is rapidly growing and is often complicated by infections with biofilm-forming microbes that are resistant to antimicrobial agents and host defense mechanisms. Fungal biofilms have emerged as a clinical problem associated with these medical device infections, causing significant morbidity and mortality. This review discusses the recent advances in the understanding of fungal biofilms, including the role of fungal surface components in adherence, gene expression, and quorum sensing in biofilm formation. We propose novel strategies for the prevention or eradication of microbial colonization of medical prosthetic devices. PMID:21660222

  9. Modulation of Metabolism and Switching to Biofilm Prevail over Exopolysaccharide Production in the Response of Rhizobium alamii to Cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Schue, Mathieu; Fekete, Agnes; Ortet, Philippe; Brutesco, Catherine; Heulin, Thierry; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Achouak, Wafa; Santaella, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    Heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd2+) affect microbial metabolic processes. Consequently, bacteria adapt by adjusting their cellular machinery. We have investigated the dose-dependent growth effects of Cd2+ on Rhizobium alamii, an exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing bacterium that forms a biofilm on plant roots. Adsorption isotherms show that the EPS of R. alamii binds cadmium in competition with calcium. A metabonomics approach based on ion cyclotron resonance Fourier transform mass spectrometry has showed that cadmium alters mainly the bacterial metabolism in pathways implying sugars, purine, phosphate, calcium signalling and cell respiration. We determined the influence of EPS on the bacterium response to cadmium, using a mutant of R. alamii impaired in EPS production (MS?GT). Cadmium dose-dependent effects on the bacterial growth were not significantly different between the R. alamii wild type (wt) and MS?GT strains. Although cadmium did not modify the quantity of EPS isolated from R. alamii, it triggered the formation of biofilm vs planktonic cells, both by R. alamii wt and by MS?GT. Thus, it appears that cadmium toxicity could be managed by switching to a biofilm way of life, rather than producing EPS. We conclude that modulations of the bacterial metabolism and switching to biofilms prevails in the adaptation of R. alamii to cadmium. These results are original with regard to the conventional role attributed to EPS in a biofilm matrix, and the bacterial response to cadmium. PMID:22096497

  10. Biofilms and Wounds: An Overview of the Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Percival, Steven L.; McCarty, Sara M.; Lipsky, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Significance: Microorganisms can exist both in the planktonic and biofilm state. Each phenotypic state has a role to play in delaying healing and causing infections of both acute and chronic wounds. However, the virulent biofilm state is the fundamental reason that chronic wounds do not heal in a timely manner. We hypothesize that because microorganisms attach to any surface, biofilms can be found in all chronic wounds. However, it is not the biofilm per se that represents the greatest obstacle to the healing of a chronic wound, but its virulence and pathogenicity. Recent Advances: Numerous studies with animals and humans have identified biofilms in wounds. In particular, these studies have highlighted how biofilms impede host fibroblast development, inflammatory responses, and the efficacy of antimicrobial therapy. Despite this, the role biofilms play in affecting the healing of wounds is still vigorously debated. Critical Issues: Clinicians must understand the role that pathogenic biofilms play in impairing the healing of chronic wounds and in increasing the risk for wound infection, with its potentially catastrophic outcomes. The composition of the biofilm, its physiochemical properties, the climaxed indigenous microbiota and their virulence/pathogenicity, microbial numbers and the host's pathophysiology, and immunological fitness will govern the sustainability of a pathogenic biofilm in a wound and its resistance to interventions. Future Directions: Establishing which specific pathogenic biofilms delay wound healing should help guide better wound care practices. PMID:26155379

  11. Molecular basis of in-vivo biofilm formation by bacterial pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Hwang-Soo; Otto, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Summary Bacterial biofilms are involved in a multitude of serious chronic infections. In recent years, modeling biofilm infection in vitro led to the identification of microbial determinants governing biofilm development. However, we lack information as to whether biofilm formation mechanisms identified in vitro have relevance for biofilm-associated infection. Here, we discuss the molecular basis of biofilm formation using staphylococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to illustrate key points, as their biofilm development process is well-studied. We will focus on in-vivo findings such as obtained in animal infection models, and critically evaluate in-vivo relevance of in-vitro findings. Although results on the role of quorum-sensing in biofilm formation have been conflicting, we now argue that integration of in-vitro and in-vivo studies allows a differentiated view of this mechanism as it relates to biofilm infection. PMID:23261595

  12. Tracking the autochthonous carbon transfer in stream biofilm food webs.

    PubMed

    Risse-Buhl, Ute; Trefzger, Nicolai; Seifert, Anne-Gret; Schönborn, Wilfried; Gleixner, Gerd; Küsel, Kirsten

    2012-01-01

    Food webs in the rhithral zone rely mainly on allochthonous carbon from the riparian vegetation. However, autochthonous carbon might be more important in open canopy streams. In streams, most of the microbial activity occurs in biofilms, associated with the streambed. We followed the autochthonous carbon transfer toward bacteria and grazing protozoa within a stream biofilm food web. Biofilms that developed in a second-order stream (Thuringia, Germany) were incubated in flow channels under climate-controlled conditions. Six-week-old biofilms received either ¹³C- or ¹²C-labeled CO?, and uptake into phospholipid fatty acids was followed. The dissolved inorganic carbon of the flow channel water became immediately labeled. In biofilms grown under 8-h light/16-h dark conditions, more than 50% of the labeled carbon was incorporated in biofilm algae, mainly filamentous cyanobacteria, pennate diatoms, and nonfilamentous green algae. A mean of 29% of the labeled carbon reached protozoan grazer. The testate amoeba Pseudodifflugia horrida was highly abundant in biofilms and seemed to be the most important grazer on biofilm bacteria and algae. Hence, stream biofilms dominated by cyanobacteria and algae seem to play an important role in the uptake of CO? and transfer of autochthonous carbon through the microbial food web. PMID:22067054

  13. Modified a colony forming unit microbial adherence to hydrocarbons assay and evaluated cell surface hydrophobicity and biofilm production of Vibrio scophthalmi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vibrio scophthalmi has been considered as an opportunistic pathogen of the flat fish. There is little information available on V. scophthalmi adhesion to the host, an important step in the initial infection process. The objectives of this study were to (1) develop a modified Microbial Adherence to H...

  14. Prospects for Anti-Biofilm Pharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Philip S.

    2015-01-01

    This commentary highlights several avenues currently being pursued in research labs to the development of new anti-biofilm pharmaceuticals. There is a real need for alternative therapeutic modalities for treating the persistent infections that sometimes form on implanted medical devices or compromised niches within the body. Strategies being researched include discovering new antimicrobial agents that kill microorganisms in biofilms more effectively than do existing antibiotics, designing drugs that block microbial adhesion or interfere with intercellular communication, developing chemistries to disperse biofilms, and combining agents with different mechanisms of action. Though the need is great, the pathway to commercialization of new drugs is steep. One possible streamlined approach to navigating the regulatory approval process is to repurpose old drugs, a strategy that a few groups have shown can yield agents with anti-biofilm properties. PMID:26343685

  15. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  16. Biofilms in Infections of the Eye

    PubMed Central

    Bispo, Paulo J. M.; Haas, Wolfgang; Gilmore, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to form biofilms in a variety of environments is a common trait of bacteria, and may represent one of the earliest defenses against predation. Biofilms are multicellular communities usually held together by a polymeric matrix, ranging from capsular material to cell lysate. In a structure that imposes diffusion limits, environmental microgradients arise to which individual bacteria adapt their physiologies, resulting in the gamut of physiological diversity. Additionally, the proximity of cells within the biofilm creates the opportunity for coordinated behaviors through cell–cell communication using diffusible signals, the most well documented being quorum sensing. Biofilms form on abiotic or biotic surfaces, and because of that are associated with a large proportion of human infections. Biofilm formation imposes a limitation on the uses and design of ocular devices, such as intraocular lenses, posterior contact lenses, scleral buckles, conjunctival plugs, lacrimal intubation devices and orbital implants. In the absence of abiotic materials, biofilms have been observed on the capsule, and in the corneal stroma. As the evidence for the involvement of microbial biofilms in many ocular infections has become compelling, developing new strategies to prevent their formation or to eradicate them at the site of infection, has become a priority. PMID:25806622

  17. Roles of ionic strength and biofilm roughness on adhesion kinetics of Escherichia coli onto groundwater biofilm grown on PVC surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Janjaroen, Dao; Ling, Fangqiong; Monroy, Guillermo; Derlon, Nicolas; Mogenroth, Eberhard; Boppart, Stephen A.; Liu, Wen-Tso; Nguyen, Thanh H.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms of Escherichia coli attachment on biofilms grown on PVC coupons were investigated. Biofilms were grown in CDC reactors using groundwater as feed solution over a period up to 27 weeks. Biofilm physical structure was characterized at the micro- and meso-scales using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), respectively. Microbial community diversity was analyzed with Terminal Restricted Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP). Both physical structure and microbial community diversity of the biofilms were shown to be changing from 2 weeks to 14 weeks, and became relatively stable after 16 weeks. A parallel plate flow chamber coupled with an inverted fluorescent microscope was also used to monitor the attachment of fluorescent microspheres and E. coli on clean PVC surfaces and biofilms grown on PVC surfaces for different ages. Two mechanisms of E. coli attachment were identified. The adhesion rate coefficients (kd) of E. coli on nascent PVC surfaces and 2-week biofilms increased with ionic strength. However, after biofilms grew for 8 weeks, the adhesion was found to be independent of solution chemistry. Instead, a positive correlation between kd and biofilm roughness as determined by OCT was obtained, indicating that the physical structure of biofilms could play an important role in facilitating the adhesion of E. coli cells. PMID:23497979

  18. Roles of ionic strength and biofilm roughness on adhesion kinetics of Escherichia coli onto groundwater biofilm grown on PVC surfaces.

    PubMed

    Janjaroen, Dao; Ling, Fangqiong Q; Ling, Fangqiong; Monroy, Guillermo; Derlon, Nicolas; Morgenroth, Eberhard; Mogenroth, Eberhard; Boppart, Stephen A; Liu, Wen-Tso; Nguyen, Thanh H

    2013-05-01

    Mechanisms of Escherichia coli attachment on biofilms grown on PVC coupons were investigated. Biofilms were grown in CDC reactors using groundwater as feed solution over a period up to 27 weeks. Biofilm physical structure was characterized at the micro- and meso-scales using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), respectively. Microbial community diversity was analyzed with Terminal Restricted Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP). Both physical structure and microbial community diversity of the biofilms were shown to be changing from 2 weeks to 14 weeks, and became relatively stable after 16 weeks. A parallel plate flow chamber coupled with an inverted fluorescent microscope was also used to monitor the attachment of fluorescent microspheres and E. coli on clean PVC surfaces and biofilms grown on PVC surfaces for different ages. Two mechanisms of E. coli attachment were identified. The adhesion rate coefficients (kd) of E. coli on nascent PVC surfaces and 2-week biofilms increased with ionic strength. However, after biofilms grew for 8 weeks, the adhesion was found to be independent of solution chemistry. Instead, a positive correlation between kd and biofilm roughness as determined by OCT was obtained, indicating that the physical structure of biofilms could play an important role in facilitating the adhesion of E. coli cells. PMID:23497979

  19. Natural microbial populations in a water-based biowaste management system for space life support.

    PubMed

    Bornemann, Gerhild; Waßer, Kai; Tonat, Tim; Moeller, Ralf; Bohmeier, Maria; Hauslage, Jens

    2015-11-01

    The reutilization of wastewater is a key issue with regard to long-term space missions and planetary habitation. This study reports the design, test runs and microbiological analyses of a fixed bed biofiltration system which applies pumice grain (16-25 mm grain size, 90 m(2)/m(3) active surface) as matrix and calcium carbonate as buffer. For activation, the pumice was inoculated with garden soil known to contain a diverse community of microorganisms, thus enabling the filtration system to potentially degrade all kinds of organic matter. Current experiments over 194 days with diluted synthetic urine (7% and 20%) showed that the 7% filter units produced nitrate slowly but steadily (max. 2191 mg NO3-N/day). In the 20% units nitrate production was slower and less stable (max. 1411 mg NO3-N/day). 84% and 76% of the contained nitrogen was converted into nitrate. The low conversion rate is assumed to be due to the high flow rate, which keeps the biofilm on the pumice thin. At the same time the thin biofilm seems to prevent the activity of denitrifiers implicating the existence of a trade off between rate and the amount of nitrogen loss. Microbiological analyses identified a comparatively low number of species (26 in the filter material, 12 in the filtrate) indicating that urine serves as a strongly selective medium and filter units for the degradation of mixed feedstock have to be pre-conditioned on the intended substrates from the beginning. PMID:26553636

  20. Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, W. R.; Grandy, A. S.; Kallenbach, C. M.; Taylor, P. G.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-02-01

    Projecting biogeochemical responses to global environmental change requires multi-scaled perspectives that consider organismal diversity, ecosystem processes and global fluxes. However, microbes, the drivers of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, remain notably absent from models used to project carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. We used a microbial trait-based soil carbon (C) model, with two physiologically distinct microbial communities to improve current estimates of soil C storage and their likely response to perturbations. Drawing from the application of functional traits used to model other ecosystems, we incorporate copiotrophic and oligotrophic microbial functional groups in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model, which incorporates oligotrophic and copiotrophic functional groups, akin to "gleaner" vs. "opportunist" plankton in the ocean, or r vs. K strategists in plant and animals communities. Here we compare MIMICS to a conventional soil C model, DAYCENT, in cross-site comparisons of nitrogen (N) enrichment effects on soil C dynamics. MIMICS more accurately simulates C responses to N enrichment; moreover, it raises important hypotheses involving the roles of substrate availability, community-level enzyme induction, and microbial physiological responses in explaining various soil biogeochemical responses to N enrichment. In global-scale analyses, we show that current projections from Earth system models likely overestimate the strength of the land C sink in response to increasing C inputs with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Our findings illustrate that tradeoffs between theory and utility can be overcome to develop soil biogeochemistry models that evaluate and advance our theoretical understanding of microbial dynamics and soil biogeochemical responses to environmental change.

  1. Representing life in the Earth system with soil microbial functional traits in the MIMICS model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, W. R.; Grandy, A. S.; Kallenbach, C. M.; Taylor, P. G.; Bonan, G. B.

    2015-06-01

    Projecting biogeochemical responses to global environmental change requires multi-scaled perspectives that consider organismal diversity, ecosystem processes, and global fluxes. However, microbes, the drivers of soil organic matter decomposition and stabilization, remain notably absent from models used to project carbon (C) cycle-climate feedbacks. We used a microbial trait-based soil C model with two physiologically distinct microbial communities, and evaluate how this model represents soil C storage and response to perturbations. Drawing from the application of functional traits used to model other ecosystems, we incorporate copiotrophic and oligotrophic microbial functional groups in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model; these functional groups are akin to "gleaner" vs. "opportunist" plankton in the ocean, or r- vs. K-strategists in plant and animal communities. Here we compare MIMICS to a conventional soil C model, DAYCENT (the daily time-step version of the CENTURY model), in cross-site comparisons of nitrogen (N) enrichment effects on soil C dynamics. MIMICS more accurately simulates C responses to N enrichment; moreover, it raises important hypotheses involving the roles of substrate availability, community-level enzyme induction, and microbial physiological responses in explaining various soil biogeochemical responses to N enrichment. In global-scale analyses, we show that MIMICS projects much slower rates of soil C accumulation than a conventional soil biogeochemistry in response to increasing C inputs with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) - a finding that would reduce the size of the land C sink estimated by the Earth system. Our findings illustrate that tradeoffs between theory and utility can be overcome to develop soil biogeochemistry models that evaluate and advance our theoretical understanding of microbial dynamics and soil biogeochemical responses to environmental change.

  2. Microbial life in frozen boreal soils-environmental constraints on catabolic and anabolic activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oquist, M. G.; Sparrman, T.; Haei, M.; Segura, J.; Schleucher, J.; Nilsson, M. B.

    2013-12-01

    Microbial activity in frozen soils has recently gained increasing attention and the fact that soil microorganisms can perform significant metabolic activity at temperatures below freezing is apparent. However, to what extent microbial activity is constrained by the environmental conditions prevailing in a frozen soil matrix is still very uncertain. This presentation will address how the fundamental environmental factors of temperature, liquid water availability and substrate availability combine to regulate rates of catabolic and anabolic microbial processes in frozen soils. The presented results are gained from investigations of the surface layers of boreal forest soils with seasonal freezing. We show that the amount and availability of liquid water is an integral factor regulating rates of microbial activity in the frozen soil matrix and can also explain frequently observed deviations in the temperature responses of biogenic CO2 production in frozen soils, as compared to unfrozen soils. In turn, the capacity for a specific soil to retain liquid water at sub-zero temperatures is controlled by the structural composition of the soil, and especially the soil organic matter is of integral importance. We also show that the partitioning of substrate carbon, in the form of monomeric sugar (glucose), for catabolic and anabolic metabolism remain constant in the temperature range of -4C to 9C. This confirms that microbial growth may proceed even when soils are frozen. In addition we present corresponding data for organisms metabolizing polymeric substrates (cellulose) requiring exoenzymatic activity. We conclude that the metabolic response of soil microorganism to controlling factors may change substantially across the freezing point of soil water, and also the patterns of interaction among controlling factors are affected. Thus, it is evident that metabolic response functions derived from investigations of unfrozen soils cannot be superimposed on frozen soils. Nonetheless, the soil microbial population appear very adapted to seasonal freezing with respect to their metabolic performance.

  3. Uranium Immobilization by Sulfate-reducing Biofilms

    SciTech Connect

    Beyenal, Haluk; Sani, Rajesh K.; Peyton, Brent M.; Dohnalkova, Alice; Amonette, James E.; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2004-04-01

    Hexavalent uranium [U(VI)] was immobilized using biofilms of the sulfate-reducing bacterium (SRB) Desulfovibrio desulfuricans G20. The biofilms were grown in flat-plate continuous-flow reactors using lactate as the electron donor and sulfate as the electron acceptor. U(VI) was continuously fed into the reactor for 32 weeks at a concentration of 126 íM. During this time, the soluble U(VI) was removed (between 88 and 96% of feed) from solution and immobilized in the biofilms. The dynamics of U immobilization in the sulfate-reducing biofilms were quantified by estimating: (1) microbial activity in the SRB biofilm, defined as the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production rate and estimated from the H2S concentration profiles measured using microelectrodes across the biofilms; (2) concentration of dissolved U in the solution; and (3) the mass of U precipitated in the biofilm. Results suggest that U was immobilized in the biofilms as a result of two processes: (1) enzymatically and (2) chemically, by reacting with microbially generated H2S. Visual inspection showed that the dissolved sulfide species reacted with U(VI) to produce a black precipitate. Synchrotron-based U L3-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy analysis of U precipitated abiotically by sodium sulfide indicated that U(VI) had been reduced to U(IV). Selected-area electron diffraction pattern and crystallographic analysis of transmission electron microscope lattice-fringe images confirmed the structure of precipitated U as being that of uraninite.

  4. Novel strategies against Candida biofilms: interest of synthetic compounds.

    PubMed

    Girardot, Marion; Imbert, Christine

    2016-01-01

    A biofilm is a consortium of microbial cells that are attached to a substratum or an interface. It should be considered a reservoir that may induce serious infections. Indeed, Candidaspp. biofilms may be involved in the persistence or worsening of some chronic inflammatory diseases as well as in systemic infections, which may lead to high morbidity and mortality rates. New strategies are currently being explored, utilizing several synthetic compounds to prevent or fight these Candida biofilms. This article focuses on active synthetic compounds classified with regards to their modes of action: inhibition of early adherence phase, inhibition or control of biofilm maturation and finally elimination of already formed biofilms. Some of them show promise in fighting biofilm. PMID:26673571

  5. The effects of silver nanoparticles on intact wastewater biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Zhiya; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Liu, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) have strong antibacterial properties, which may adversely affect biological wastewater treatment processes. To determine the overall effect, intact biofilm samples were collected from the rotating biological contactor at the local wastewater treatment plant and treated with 200 mg Ag/L Ag-NPs for 24 h. The biofilm uptake of Ag-NPs was monitored with transmission electron microscopy. Forty-five minutes after Ag-NP application, Ag-NPs were seen in the biofilm extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). After 24 h, Ag-NPs had entered certain microbial cells, while other cells contained no observable Ag-NPs. Some cells were dying after the uptake of Ag-NPs. However, there was no significant reduction in cultivable bacteria in the biofilms, based on heterotrophic plate counts (HPC). While this may indicate that wastewater biofilms are highly resistant to Ag-NPs, the HPC represents only a small portion of the total microbial population. To further investigate the effects of Ag-NPs, a GeoChip microarray was used to directly detect changes in the functional gene structure of the microbial community in the biofilm. A clear decrease (34.6% decreases in gene number) in gene diversity was evident in the GeoChip analysis. However, the complete loss of any specific gene was rare. Most gene families present in both treated and untreated biofilms. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there was no change in these families. Signal intensity decreased in certain variants in each family while other variants increased to compensate the effects of Ag-NPs. The results indicate that Ag-NP treatment decreased microbial community diversity but did not significantly affect the microbial community function. This provides direct evidence for the functional redundancy of microbial community in engineered ecosystems such as wastewater biofilms. PMID:26217316

  6. Impact of chloramination on the development of laboratory-grown biofilms fed with filter-pretreated groundwater.

    PubMed

    Ling, Fangqiong; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated the continuous impact of monochloramine disinfection on laboratory-grown biofilms through the characterization of biofilm architecture and microbial community structure. Biofilm development and disinfection were achieved using CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) biofilm reactor systems with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coupons as the substratum and sand filter-pretreated groundwater as the source of microbial seeding and growth nutrient. After 2 weeks of growth, the biofilms were subjected to chloramination for 8 more weeks at concentrations of 7.5±1.4 to 9.1±0.4 mg Cl2 L(-1). Control reactors received no disinfection during the development of biofilms. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and image analysis indicated that chloramination could lead to 81.4-83.5% and 86.3-95.6% reduction in biofilm biomass and thickness, respectively, but could not eliminate biofilm growth. 16S rRNA gene terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis indicated that microbial community structures between chloraminated and non-chloraminated biofilms exhibited different successional trends. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis further revealed that chloramination could select members of Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria as the dominant populations, whereas natural development leads to the selection of members of Nitrospira and Bacteroidetes as dominant biofilm populations. Overall, chloramination treatment could alter the growth of multi-species biofilms on the PVC surface, shape the biofilm architecture, and select a certain microbial community that can survive or proliferate under chloramination. PMID:23124766

  7. BiofilmQuant: a computer-assisted tool for dental biofilm quantification.

    PubMed

    Mansoor, Awais; Patsekin, Valery; Scherl, Dale; Robinson, J Paul; Rajwa, Bartlomiej

    2014-01-01

    Dental biofilm is the deposition of microbial material over a tooth substratum. Several methods have recently been reported in the literature for biofilm quantification; however, at best they provide a barely automated solution requiring significant input needed from the human expert. On the contrary, state-of-the-art automatic biofilm methods fail to make their way into clinical practice because of the lack of effective mechanism to incorporate human input to handle praxis or misclassified regions. Manual delineation, the current gold standard, is time consuming and subject to expert bias. In this paper, we introduce a new semi-automated software tool, BiofilmQuant, for dental biofilm quantification in quantitative light-induced fluorescence (QLF) images. The software uses a robust statistical modeling approach to automatically segment the QLF image into three classes (background, biofilm, and tooth substratum) based on the training data. This initial segmentation has shown a high degree of consistency and precision on more than 200 test QLF dental scans. Further, the proposed software provides the clinicians full control to fix any misclassified areas using a single click. In addition, BiofilmQuant also provides a complete solution for the longitudinal quantitative analysis of biofilm of the full set of teeth, providing greater ease of usability. PMID:25570929

  8. Microbial Weathering of Olivine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, D. S.; Longazo, T. G.; Wentworth, S. J.; Southam, G.

    2002-01-01

    Controlled microbial weathering of olivine experiments displays a unique style of nanoetching caused by biofilm attachment to mineral surfaces. We are investigating whether the morphology of biotic nanoetching can be used as a biosignature. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  9. Mathematical modeling of hydrolysate diffusion and utilization in cellulolytic biofilms of the extreme thermophile Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Zhiwu; Hamilton-Brehm, Scott; Lochner, Adriane; Elkins, James G; Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L

    2011-01-01

    Abstract: The morphological and structural properties of microbial biofilms are influenced by internal substrate diffusion and utilization processes. In the case of microbial hydrolysis of plant cell walls, only thin and uniform biofilm structures are typically formed by cellulolytic microorganisms. In this study, we develop a hydrolysate diffusion and utilization model system to examine factors influencing cellulolytic biofilm formation. Model simulations using Caldicellulosiruptor obsidiansis as a representative organism, reveal that the growth of the cellulolytic biofilm is limited by hydrolysate utilization but not diffusion. As a consequence, the cellulolytic biofilm has a uniform growth rate, and there is a hydrolysate surplus that diffuses through the cellulolytic biofilm into the bulk solution where it is consumed by planktonic cells. Predictions based on the model were tested in a cellulose fermentation study and the results are consistent with the model and previously reported experimental data. The factors determining the rate-limiting step of biofilm growth are also analyzed.

  10. STABILITY AND CHANGE IN ESTUARINE BIOFILM BACTERIAL COMMUNITY DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biofilms develop on all surfaces in aquatic environments and are defined as matrix-enclosed microbial populations adherent to each other and/or surfaces (1, 31). A substantial part of the microbial activity in nature is associated with surfaces (12). Surface association (biofou...

  11. The development and succession of microbial communities in 90-day Bioregenerative Life Support Experiment in the Lunar Palace 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yi; Liu, Hong; Fu, Yuming; Liu, Bojie; Su, Qiang; Xie, Beizhen; Qin, Youcai; Dong, Chen; Liu, Guanghui

    Lunar Palace 1, as an integrative experiment facility for permanent astrobase life-support artificial closed ecosystem, is an artificial ecosystem which consists of plant cultivation, animal breeding and waste treatment units. It has been used to carry out a 90-day bioregenerative life support experiment with three crew members. Apparently, it’s hard to prevent the growth of microorganisms in such closed ecosystem for their strong adaptive capacity. Original microorganisms in the cabin, microbes in the course of loads delivery and the autologous microorganism by crew members and animals themselves are all the main source of the interior microorganisms, which may grow and regenerate in air, water and plants. Therefore, if these microorganisms could not be effectively monitored and controlled, it may cause microbial contamination and even lead to the unsteadiness of the whole closed ecosystem. In this study, the development and succession of the microbial communities of air, water system, plant system, and key facilities surfaces in Lunar Palace 1 were continuously monitored and analyzed by using plate counting method and molecular biological method during the 90-day experiment. The results were quite useful for the controlling of internal microorganisms and the safe operation of the whole system, and could also reveal the succession rules of microorganisms in an artificial closed ecosystem.

  12. Planetary biology and microbial ecology. Biochemistry of carbon and early life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L. (editor); Nealson, K. H. (editor); Taylor, I. (editor)

    1983-01-01

    Experiments made with cyanobacteria, phototrophic bacteria, and methanogenic bacteria are detailed. Significant carbon isotope fractionation data is included. Taken from well documented extant microbial communities, this data provides a basis of comparison for isotope fractionation values measured in Archean and Proterozoic (preCambrian) rocks. Media, methods, and techniques used to acquire data are also described.

  13. Early life establishment of site-specific microbial communities in the gut.

    PubMed

    Romano-Keeler, Joann; Moore, Daniel J; Wang, Chunlin; Brucker, Robert M; Fonnesbeck, Christopher; Slaughter, James C; Li, Haijing; Curran, Danielle P; Meng, Shufang; Correa, Hernan; Lovvorn, Harold N; Tang, Yi-Wei; Bordenstein, Seth; George, Alfred L; Weitkamp, Jörn-Hendrik

    2014-01-01

    Fecal sampling is widely utilized to define small intestinal tissue-level microbial communities in healthy and diseased newborns. However, this approach may lead to inaccurate assessments of disease or therapeutics in newborns because of the assumption that the taxa in the fecal microbiota are representative of the taxa present throughout the gastrointestinal tract. To assess the stratification of microbes in the newborn gut and to evaluate the probable shortcoming of fecal sampling in place of tissue sampling, we simultaneously compared intestinal mucosa and fecal microbial communities in 15 neonates undergoing intestinal resections. We report three key results. First, when the site of fecal and mucosal samples are further apart, their microbial communities are more distinct, as indicated by low mean Sørensen similarity indices for each patient's fecal and tissue microbiota. Second, two distinct niches (intestinal mucosa and fecal microbiota) are evident by principal component analyses, demonstrating the critical role of sample source in defining microbial composition. Finally, in contrast to adult studies, intestinal bacterial diversity was higher in tissue than in fecal samples. This study represents an unprecedented map of the infant microbiota from intestinal mucosa and establishes discernable biogeography throughout the neonatal gastrointestinal tract. Our results question the reliance on fecal microbiota as a proxy for the developing intestinal microbiota. Additionally, the robust intestinal tissue-level bacterial diversity we detected at these early ages may contribute to the maturation of mucosal immunity. PMID:24637795

  14. The Impact of Microbially Influenced Corrosion on Spent Nuclear Fuel and Storage Life

    SciTech Connect

    J. H. Wolfram; R. E. Mizia; R. Jex; L. Nelson; K. M. Garcia

    1996-10-01

    A study was performed to evaluate if microbial activity could be considered a threat to spent nuclear fuel integrity. The existing data regarding the impact of microbial influenced corrosion (MIC) on spent nuclear fuel storage does not allow a clear assessment to be made. In order to identify what further data are needed, a literature survey on MIC was accomplished with emphasis on materials used in nuclear fuel fabrication, e.g., A1, 304 SS, and zirconium. In addition, a survey was done at Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Hanford, and the INEL on the condition of their wet storage facilities. The topics discussed were the SNF path forward, the types of fuel, ramifications of damaged fuel, involvement of microbial processes, dry storage scenarios, ability to identify microbial activity, definitions of water quality, and the use of biocides. Information was also obtained at international meetings in the area of biological mediated problems in spent fuel and high level wastes. Topics dis cussed included receiving foreign reactor research fuels into existing pools, synergism between different microbes and other forms of corrosion, and cross contamination.

  15. Present and past microbial life in continental salt pan sediments in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genderjahn, Steffi; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Alawi, Mashal; Kallmeyer, Jens; Wagner, Dirk

    2015-04-01

    The southwestern African region is characterized by strong climate variability. To get a better understanding on the climate evolution and environmental condition in Namibia and South Africa, terrestrial climate archives are investigated. Since there are almost no lakes, continental salt pans represent the only terrestrial geoarchives with the potential to preserve climate signals during sediment deposition. Climate has a strong impact on the salt pan ecosystem, causing adaptation of salt pan microorganisms to varying temperature, precipitation and salinity conditions. To reconstruct climate variability during the Holocene, the composition, diversity and abundance of indigenous microbial communities with depth and related to different soil parameters are investigated. We are using a combined approach of microbiological and lipid biomarker analyses to demonstrate the response of the microbial communities due to environmental changes. For microbiological analyses outcrops were conducted or short cores (0-100 cm) were drilled at four different salt pans in Aminuis, Koes and Witpan region having rather different geochemical properties. The current work focused on changes within the microbial communities due to the impact of long-term climate variation and the associated environmental changes and is part of the project 'Signals of climate and landscape change preserved in southern African GeoArchives' in the scope of the SPACES program, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). For a quantitative characterization of microbial communities molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) based on the 16S rRNA genes are used. Moreover, 454 sequencing technique is utilized to describe the diversity and abundance of microorganisms in detail. Soil parameters are described by standard soil scientific methods. Furthermore, microbial lipid biomarker analyses were done to characterize living and past microbial biomass in relation to climate change. The distribution of bacteria and archaea in salt pan sediments is strongly correlated to the abundance of total organic carbon (TOC), which varied between 0.2 and 1.5%. Gene copy numbers of bacteria and archaea decrease with depth. In the upper 10 cm of the different salt pan sediments 104 to 106copies g-1 soil are quantified, while gene copy numbers decrease with depth down to 103 copies g-1 soil. In general, gene copy numbers of bacteria are higher than those of archaea and they show a similar pattern in different salt pan sediments. TOC values increase due to higher terrestrial input and the increase coincides with a shift within the microbial community.

  16. Electrochemically active biofilms: facts and fiction. A review

    PubMed Central

    Babauta, Jerome; Renslow, Ryan; Lewandowski, Zbigniew; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-01-01

    This review examines the electrochemical techniques used to study extracellular electron transfer in the electrochemically active biofilms that are used in microbial fuel cells and other bioelectrochemical systems. Electrochemically active biofilms are defined as biofilms that exchange electrons with conductive surfaces: electrodes. Following the electrochemical conventions, and recognizing that electrodes can be considered reactants in these bioelectrochemical processes, biofilms that deliver electrons to the biofilm electrode are called anodic, ie electrode-reducing, biofilms, while biofilms that accept electrons from the biofilm electrode are called cathodic, ie electrode-oxidizing, biofilms. How to grow these electrochemically active biofilms in bioelec-trochemical systems is discussed and also the critical choices made in the experimental setup that affect the experimental results. The reactor configurations used in bioelectrochemical systems research are also described and the authors demonstrate how to use selected voltammetric techniques to study extracellular electron transfer in bioelectrochemical systems. Finally, some critical concerns with the proposed electron transfer mechanisms in bioelectrochemical systems are addressed together with the prospects of bioelectrochemical systems as energy-converting and energy-harvesting devices. PMID:22856464

  17. Biofilm Formation As a Response to Ecological Competition

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Nuno M.; Martinez-Garcia, Esteban; Xavier, Joao; Durham, William M.; Kolter, Roberto; Kim, Wook; Foster, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria form dense surface-associated communities known as biofilms that are central to their persistence and how they affect us. Biofilm formation is commonly viewed as a cooperative enterprise, where strains and species work together for a common goal. Here we explore an alternative model: biofilm formation is a response to ecological competition. We co-cultured a diverse collection of natural isolates of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and studied the effect on biofilm formation. We show that strain mixing reliably increases biofilm formation compared to unmixed conditions. Importantly, strain mixing leads to strong competition: one strain dominates and largely excludes the other from the biofilm. Furthermore, we show that pyocins, narrow-spectrum antibiotics made by other P. aeruginosa strains, can stimulate biofilm formation by increasing the attachment of cells. Side-by-side comparisons using microfluidic assays suggest that the increase in biofilm occurs due to a general response to cellular damage: a comparable biofilm response occurs for pyocins that disrupt membranes as for commercial antibiotics that damage DNA, inhibit protein synthesis or transcription. Our data show that bacteria increase biofilm formation in response to ecological competition that is detected by antibiotic stress. This is inconsistent with the idea that sub-lethal concentrations of antibiotics are cooperative signals that coordinate microbial communities, as is often concluded. Instead, our work is consistent with competition sensing where low-levels of antibiotics are used to detect and respond to the competing genotypes that produce them. PMID:26158271

  18. Anticorrosive Microbial Polysaccharides: Structure-Function Relationships

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water-soluble microbial polysaccharides are often implicated in biofilm formation and are believed to mediate cell-cell aggregation and adhesion to surfaces. Generally, biofilm formation is considered harmful or undesirable, as it leads to increased drag, plugging of pores, dimished heat transfer, ...

  19. A Microbial Oasis in the Hypersaline Atacama Subsurface Discovered by a Life Detector Chip: Implications for the Search for Life on Mars

    PubMed Central

    de Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A.; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J.; Rivas, Luis A.; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N.; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande (Atacama, Chile) in July 2009, and several cores and powder samples from up to 5?m deep were analyzed in situ with LDChip300 (a Life Detector Chip containing 300 antibodies). Here, we show the discovery of a hypersaline subsurface microbial habitat associated with halite-, nitrate-, and perchlorate-containing salts at 2?m deep. LDChip300 detected bacteria, archaea, and other biological material (DNA, exopolysaccharides, some peptides) from the analysis of less than 0.5?g of ground core sample. The results were supported by oligonucleotide microarray hybridization in the field and finally confirmed by molecular phylogenetic analysis and direct visualization of microbial cells bound to halite crystals in the laboratory. Geochemical analyses revealed a habitat with abundant hygroscopic salts like halite (up to 260?g kg?1) and perchlorate (41.13??g g?1 maximum), which allow deliquescence events at low relative humidity. Thin liquid water films would permit microbes to proliferate by using detected organic acids like acetate (19.14??g g?1) or formate (76.06??g g?1) as electron donors, and sulfate (15875??g g?1), nitrate (13490??g g?1), or perchlorate as acceptors. Our results correlate with the discovery of similar hygroscopic salts and possible deliquescence processes on Mars, and open new search strategies for subsurface martian biota. The performance demonstrated by our LDChip300 validates this technology for planetary exploration, particularly for the search for life on Mars. Key Words: Atacama Desert—Life detection—Biosensor—Biopolymers—In situ measurement. Astrobiology 11, 969–996. PMID:22149750

  20. Implications of Biofilm Formation on Urological Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadieux, Peter A.; Wignall, Geoffrey R.; Carriveau, Rupp; Denstedt, John D.

    2008-09-01

    Despite millions of dollars and several decades of research targeted at their prevention and eradication, biofilm-associated infections remain the major cause of urological device failure. Numerous strategies have been aimed at improving device design, biomaterial composition, surface properties and drug delivery, but have been largely circumvented by microbes and their plethora of attachment, host evasion, antimicrobial resistance, and dissemination strategies. This is not entirely surprising since natural biofilm formation has been going on for millions of years and remains a major part of microorganism survival and evolution. Thus, the fact that biofilms develop on and in the biomaterials and tissues of humans is really an extension of this natural tendency and greatly explains why they are so difficult for us to combat. Firstly, biofilm structure and composition inherently provide a protective environment for microorganisms, shielding them from the shear stress of urine flow, immune cell attack and some antimicrobials. Secondly, many biofilm organisms enter a metabolically dormant state that renders them tolerant to those antibiotics and host factors able to penetrate the biofilm matrix. Lastly, the majority of organisms that cause biofilm-associated urinary tract infections originate from our own oral cavity, skin, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts and therefore have already adapted to many of our host defenses. Ultimately, while biofilms continue to hold an advantage with respect to recurrent infections and biomaterial usage within the urinary tract, significant progress has been made in understanding these dynamic microbial communities and novel approaches offer promise for their prevention and eradication. These include novel device designs, antimicrobials, anti-adhesive coatings, biodegradable polymers and biofilm-disrupting compounds and therapies.

  1. Conservation of acquired morphology and community structure in aged biofilms after facing environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Saur, T; Escudié, R; Santa-Catalina, G; Bernet, N; Milferstedt, K

    2016-01-01

    The influence of growth history on biofilm morphology and microbial community structure is poorly studied despite its important role for biofilm development. Here, biofilms were exposed to a change in hydrodynamic conditions at different growth stages and we observed how biofilm age affected the change in morphology and bacterial community structure. Biofilms were developed in two bubble column reactors, one operated under constant shear stress and one under variable shear stress. Biofilms were transferred from one reactor to the other at different stages in their development by withdrawing and inserting the support medium from one reactor to the other. The developments of morphology and microbial community structure were followed by image analysis and molecular tools. When transferred early in biofilm development, biofilms adapted to the new hydrodynamic conditions and adopted features of the biofilm already developed in the receiving reactor. Biofilms transferred at a late state of biofilm development continued their initial trajectories of morphology and community development even in a new environment. These biofilms did not immediately adapt to their new environment and kept features acquired during their early growth phase, a property we called memory effect. PMID:26492343

  2. Biological activity at the limits of life: Microbial cycling of C, S and N in cold, permanently stratified, hypersaline Lake Vanda, Antarctica.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.; Schutte, C.; Samarkin, V.; Casciotti, K. L.; Madigan, M.; Saxton, M.

    2014-12-01

    The lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MCM) are the only perennially ice covered lakes on Earth and are the primary refuge for life in this hyper-arid polar desert. As a result of the ice cover and an uncoupled day/night cycle, the physical and biogeochemical processes in the lakes are highly unusual, with biogeochemical gradients and concentrations of specific compounds often exceeding those found in other aquatic ecosystems on Earth. These lakes are ideal systems for the study of redox-sensitive biogeochemical processes, model systems for understanding the effects of global climate change on polar ecosystems, end-member systems that provide insight into biogeochemical and limnological dynamics in meromictic lakes, analogues for life on other planets, and perfect systems to study microbial life at its thermodynamic limits. Lake Vanda, in the Wright valley, is relatively deep (73 m), hypersaline and has anoxic bottom water. High concentrations of chacotrophic salts results in low water activities that exert further challenges on microbial life. We collected details geochemical profiles of nutrients, major ions, dissolved gases, and redox metabolites and measured rates of microbially-mediated processes that cycle carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the lakes waters and sediments. Despite the harsh and extreme nature of Lake Vanda and the thermodynamic barriers to microbially-mediated geochemical reactions, microorganisms are not only present in the lake but they mediate a diverse suite of geochemical processes. Statistical correlations between geochemical parameters, microbial activity and microbial community composition shed light on the factors that regulate and limit microbial activity in this unique extreme environment.

  3. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams

    PubMed Central

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-01-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest ? diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest ? diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate ? diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. ? diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, ? diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams. PMID:23486246

  4. Oil biodegradation. Water droplets in oil are microhabitats for microbial life.

    PubMed

    Meckenstock, Rainer U; von Netzer, Frederick; Stumpp, Christine; Lueders, Tillmann; Himmelberg, Anne M; Hertkorn, Norbert; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philipp; Harir, Mourad; Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk

    2014-08-01

    Anaerobic microbial degradation of hydrocarbons, typically occurring at the oil-water transition zone, influences the quality of oil reservoirs. In Pitch Lake, Trinidad and Tobago--the world's largest asphalt lake--we found that microorganisms are metabolically active in minuscule water droplets (1 to 3 microliters) entrapped in oil. Pyrotag sequencing of individual droplet microbiomes revealed complex methanogenic microbial communities actively degrading the oil into a diverse range of metabolites, as shown by nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. High salinity and water-stable isotopes of the droplets indicate a deep subsurface origin. The 13.5% water content and the large surface area of the droplets represent an underestimated potential for biodegradation of oil away from the oil-water transition zone. PMID:25104386

  5. Nitrogen removal performance and microbial distribution in pilot- and full-scale integrated fixed-biofilm activated sludge reactors based on nitritation-anammox process.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Zhang, Shujun; Peng, Yongzhen; Han, Xiaoyu; Gan, Yiping

    2015-11-01

    Nitritation-anammox process was successfully established in pilot- and full-scale integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) reactors. An average nitrogen removal efficiency of 80% was achieved under ammonium loading rate of 0.7-1.3kgN/(m(3)d) in the pilot-scale reactor (12m(3)). Moreover, molecular analysis showed that ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were more abundant in the activated sludge while anammox bacteria were primarily located in the biofilm. The segregation of AOB and anammox bacteria enhanced the nitrogen removal rate and operational stability. Furthermore, a full-scale IFAS reactor of 500m(3) was set-up to treat sludge dewatering liquors. An average nitrogen removal efficiency of 85% and a nitrogen removal rate of 0.48kgN/(m(3)d) were achieved after inoculation. It was noted that high influent suspended solids would seriously affect the performance of the IFAS system. Therefore, a pre-treatment was proposed to reduce suspended solid in the full-scale application. PMID:26278191

  6. Bacterial Communities in Pigmented Biofilms Formed on the Sandstone Bas-Relief Walls of the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Kusumi, Asako; Li, Xianshu; Osuga, Yu; Kawashima, Arata; Gu, Ji-Dong; Nasu, Masao; Katayama, Yoko

    2013-01-01

    The Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia has shown serious deterioration and is subject to the formation of various pigmented biofilms. Because biofilms are damaging the bas-reliefs, low reliefs engraved on the surface of sandstone, information about the microbial community within them is indispensable to control biofilm colonization. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of biofilm samples from the pigmented sandstone surfaces showed that the bacterial community members in the biofilms differed clearly from those in the air and had low sequence similarity to database sequences. Non-destructive sampling of biofilm revealed novel bacterial groups of predominantly Rubrobacter in salmon pink biofilm, Cyanobacteria in chrome green biofilm, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi in signal violet biofilm, Chloroflexi in black gray biofilm, and Deinococcus-Thermus, Cyanobacteria, and Rubrobacter in blue green biofilm. Serial peeling-off of a thick biofilm by layers with adhesive sheets revealed a stratified structure: the blue–green biofilm, around which there was serious deterioration, was very rich in Cyanobacteria near the surface and Chloroflexi in deep layer below. Nitrate ion concentrations were high in the blue–green biofilm. The characteristic distribution of bacteria at different biofilm depths provides valuable information on not only the biofilm formation process but also the sandstone weathering process in the tropics. PMID:24334526

  7. Microbial life in Bourlyashchy, the hottest thermal pool of Uzon Caldera, Kamchatka.

    PubMed

    Chernyh, Nikolay A; Mardanov, Andrey V; Gumerov, Vadim M; Miroshnichenko, Margarita L; Lebedinsky, Alexander V; Merkel, Alexander Y; Crowe, Douglas; Pimenov, Nikolay V; Rusanov, Igor I; Ravin, Nikolay V; Moran, Mary Ann; Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Elizaveta A

    2015-11-01

    Bourlyashchy is the largest and hottest pool in the Uzon Caldera, located in the territory of Kronotsky Nature Reserve, Kamchatka, Russia, with sediment surface temperatures at the margins ranging from 86 to 97 °C, and pH from 6.0 to 7.0. The microbial communities of the pool water and sediments were studied comprehensively from 2005 to 2014. Radioisotopic tracer studies revealed the processes of inorganic carbon assimilation, sulfate reduction, lithotrophic methanogenesis and potentially very active process of acetate oxidation to CO2. The total number of microbial cells in water was different in different years ranging from 5.2 to 7.0 × 10(6); in sediments, it changed from year to year between 6.3 × 10(6) and 1.75 × 10(8), increasing with a decrease in temperature. FISH with Archaea- and Bacteria-specific probes showed that the share of Bacteria differed with year, changing from 34 to 71 %. According to 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing data, lithoautotrophs (Aquificales and Thermoproteales) predominated in water samples, while in sediments they shared the niche with organotrophic Crenarchaeota, Korarchaeota, and bacteria of the genus Caldimicrobium (phylum Thermodesulfobacteria). The majority of organisms in water belonged to cultivated orders of prokaryotes; the only large uncultured group was that representing a novel order in class Thermoprotei. In sediments, unclassified Aquificeae comprised a significant part of the bacterial population. Thus, we showed that the hottest of the terrestrial hot pools studied contains numerous and active microbial populations where Bacteria represent a significant part of the microbial community, and planktonic and sediment populations differ in both composition and function. PMID:26349929

  8. Microbial Life in the Subseafloor at Mid-Ocean Ridges: A Key to Understanding Ancient Ecosystems on Earth and Elsewhere?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baross, J. A.; Delaney, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    Some planets and moons in our solar system were similar to Earth in their geological properties during the first few hundred million years after accretion. This is the period when life arose and became established on Earth. It follows that understanding the geophysical and geochemical characteristics of early Earth could provide insight into life-supporting environments on other solar bodies that have not evolved "Garden of Eden" conditions. Hydrothermal systems are primordial and their emergence coincided with the accumulation of liquid water on Earth. The interactions of water and rock associated with hydrothermal systems result in predictable suites of dissolved elements and volatiles. While the concentrations of these chemicals vary at different vent locations and were certainly different during the early Archaean, the overall chemical composition of aqueous hydrothermal fluid is likely to be the same because of the basaltic nature of oceanic crust. In present-day hydrothermal systems, those environments not contaminated by electron acceptors produced from pelagic photosynthesis would most closely mimic the earliest conditions on Earth. These conditions include the subseafloor and high temperature, anaerobic environments associated with hydrothermal systems. The microorganisms associated with these environments derive energy from sulfur, iron, hydrogen and organic compounds. New seafloor eruptions and diffuse flow vents provide unprecedented access to deep subseafloor microbial communities. For example, 12 new eruptions have occurred in the past 15 years including five in the Northeast Pacific. Hyperthermophiles were isolated from 5-30oC diffuse vent fluids from new eruption sites at CoAxial within months of the June, 1993 eruption and from the 1998 eruption at Axial Volcano, and from plume fluids within days of the February, 1996 eruption at the N. Gorda Ridge. The presence of such organisms in fluids that are 20 to 50°C below their minimum growth temperature indicates that they originated from a hot subseafloor habitat. Based on the 16S rRNA sequences and the RFLP patterns of the 500 base sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes (intergenic spacer region), these heterotrophic archaea represent new species, and a new genus, within the Thermococcales (Summit and Baross, 1998; 2001). These isolates grow over an unusually wide temperature range and in low levels of organic material. While Thermococcus and Methanococcus species are the most commonly isolated species of hyperthermophiles from subseafloor biotopes, preliminary phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA sequences of microbial communities in the diffuse flow fluids at new eruption sites show a high diversity of archaea that are not related to cultured organisms. Results to date support the hypothesis that subseafloor microbes associated with hydrothermal systems have nutritional, physiological and bioenergetic characteristics that reflect the physical and geochemical properties of their habitat. Moreover, we propose that deep-sea subsurface environments are analogs of ecosystems on other solar bodies. Thus, by examining the chemical and microbial ecology and energetics of the subsurface, and particularly the subsurface associated with hydrothermal systems, a framework for studying the prospects of extraterrestrial life can be developed. It is predicted that if there were life on other hydrothermally active solar bodies, the same energy sources would fuel microbial metabolism even though the molecular characteristics of these life forms may not resemble Earth organisms having identical metabolisms.

  9. Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.): in situ nondestructive detection of microbial life in the ice covers of Antarctic lakes.

    PubMed

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C; Sattler, Birgit

    2009-09-01

    Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) images were obtained in situ following 532 nm excitation of cryoconite assemblages in the ice covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for orbital monitoring of photosynthetic primary productivity in polar and alpine glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and lake ice of Earth's cryosphere. The findings open up the possibility of searching from either a rover or from orbit for signs of life in the polar regions of Mars and the frozen regions of exoplanets in neighboring star systems. PMID:19778277

  10. Laser Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): In Situ Non-Destructive Detection of Microbial Life on Supraglacial Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sattler, B.; Tilg, M.; Storrie-Lombardi, M.; Remias, D.; Psenner, R.

    2012-04-01

    Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) is an in situ laser scanning technique to detect photoautotrophic pigments such as phycoerythrin of an ice ecosystem such as supraglacial environments without contamination. The sensitivity of many psychrophiles to even moderate changes in temperature, and the logistical difficulties associated with either in situ analysis or sampling makes it difficult to study microbial metabolism in ice ecosystems in a high resolution. Surface communities of cold ecosystems are highly autotrophic and therefor ideal systems for L.I.F.E examinations. 532nm green lasers excite photopigments in cyanobacteria and produce multiple fluorescence signatures between 550nm and 750nm including carotenoids, phycobiliproteins which would enable a non-invasive in-situ measurement. The sensitivity of many psychrophiles to even moderate changes in temperature, and the logistical difficulties associated with either in situ analysis or sampling makes it difficult to study these cryosphere ecosystems. In general, the ice habitat has to be disrupted using techniques that usually include coring, sawing, and melting. Samples are also often chosen blindly, with little indication of probable biomass. The need for an in situ non-invasive, non-destructive technique to detect, localize, and sample cryosphere biomass in the field is therefore of considerable importance. L.I.F.E has already been tested in remote ecosystems like Antarctica (Lake Untersee, Lake Fryxell), supraglacial environments in the Kongsfjord region in the High Arctic and High Alpine glaciers but until now no calibration was set to convert the L.I.F.E. signal into pigment concentration. Here we describe the standardization for detection of Phycobiliproteins (Phycoerythrine) which are found in red algae, cyanobacteria, and cryptomonads. Similar methods are already used for detection of phytoplankton in liquid systems like oceans and lakes by NASÁs Airborne Oceanographic LIDAR since 1979. The possibility to use L.I.F.E. in ice though is a novelty and provides a promising tool to monitor vanishing ice systems like retreating glaciers.

  11. DEEP BIOSPHERE. Exploring deep microbial life in coal-bearing sediment down to ~2.5 km below the ocean floor.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Kubo, Y; Bowles, M W; Heuer, V B; Hong, W-L; Hoshino, T; Ijiri, A; Imachi, H; Ito, M; Kaneko, M; Lever, M A; Lin, Y-S; Methé, B A; Morita, S; Morono, Y; Tanikawa, W; Bihan, M; Bowden, S A; Elvert, M; Glombitza, C; Gross, D; Harrington, G J; Hori, T; Li, K; Limmer, D; Liu, C-H; Murayama, M; Ohkouchi, N; Ono, S; Park, Y-S; Phillips, S C; Prieto-Mollar, X; Purkey, M; Riedinger, N; Sanada, Y; Sauvage, J; Snyder, G; Susilawati, R; Takano, Y; Tasumi, E; Terada, T; Tomaru, H; Trembath-Reichert, E; Wang, D T; Yamada, Y

    2015-07-24

    Microbial life inhabits deeply buried marine sediments, but the extent of this vast ecosystem remains poorly constrained. Here we provide evidence for the existence of microbial communities in ~40° to 60°C sediment associated with lignite coal beds at ~1.5 to 2.5 km below the seafloor in the Pacific Ocean off Japan. Microbial methanogenesis was indicated by the isotopic compositions of methane and carbon dioxide, biomarkers, cultivation data, and gas compositions. Concentrations of indigenous microbial cells below 1.5 km ranged from <10 to ~10(4) cells cm(-3). Peak concentrations occurred in lignite layers, where communities differed markedly from shallower subseafloor communities and instead resembled organotrophic communities in forest soils. This suggests that terrigenous sediments retain indigenous community members tens of millions of years after burial in the seabed. PMID:26206933

  12. Strategies for antimicrobial drug delivery to biofilm.

    PubMed

    Martin, Claire; Low, Wan Li; Gupta, Abhishek; Amin, Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd; Radecka, Iza; Britland, Stephen T; Raj, Prem; Kenward, Ken M A

    2015-01-01

    Biofilms are formed by the attachment of single or mixed microbial communities to a variety of biological and/or synthetic surfaces. Biofilm micro-organisms benefit from many advantages of the polymicrobial environment including increased resistance against antimicrobials and protection against the host organism's defence mechanisms. These benefits stem from a number of structural and physiological differences between planktonic and biofilm-resident microbes, but two main factors are the presence of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and quorum sensing communication. Once formed, biofilms begin to synthesise EPS, a complex viscous matrix composed of a variety of macromolecules including proteins, lipids and polysaccharides. In terms of drug delivery strategies, it is the EPS that presents the greatest barrier to diffusion for drug delivery systems and free antimicrobial agents alike. In addition to EPS synthesis, biofilm-based micro-organisms can also produce small, diffusible signalling molecules involved in cell density-dependent intercellular communication, or quorum sensing. Not only does quorum sensing allow microbes to detect critical cell density numbers, but it also permits co-ordinated behaviour within the biofilm, such as iron chelation and defensive antibiotic activities. Against this backdrop of microbial defence and cell density-specific communication, a variety of drug delivery systems have been developed to deliver antimicrobial agents and antibiotics to extracellular and/or intracellular targets, or more recently, to interfere with the specific mechanisms of quorum sensing. Successful delivery strategies have employed lipidic and polymeric-based formulations such as liposomes and cyclodextrins respectively, in addition to inorganic carriers e.g. metal nanoparticles. This review will examine a range of drug delivery systems and their application to biofilm delivery, as well as pharmaceutical formulations with innate antimicrobial properties such as silver nanoparticles and microemulsions. PMID:25189862

  13. Dress Warm, Focus on the Fluids and Be Patient: Studying Ice Habitats and Constraints on Microbial Life at Low Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, H.; Junge, K.; Deming, J.

    2002-12-01

    Studies of low-temperature environments on Earth can help guide exploration of other planetary environments that are of interest in the search for potential traces of life (or absence thereof) elsewhere in the solar system. Ice environments and habitats on Earth range from terrestrial permafrost to the polar ice caps or floating sea and lake ice. Despite the complexity of these different environments, the physical chemistry of unfrozen water - generally deemed a prerequisite for active life - and the pore microstructure can help in describing and categorizing different types of ice from an astrobiological perspective. In northern Alaska, we have studied constraints on microbial life in two types of ice, sea and lake ice, that bracket the range of availability of liquid water and solid surfaces. The latter have been found to be important for bacterial activity at very low temperatures, with active bacterial cells in sea ice documented down to temperatures of -20 C. Standard and epi-fluorescence microscopy adapted to studies at very low in-situ temperatures can help in locating individual cells and yield insight into the distribution of liquids, organisms and potential biomarkers in icy habitats. As the distribution of fluids, organisms and impurities is governed by segregation processes on different spatial scales, such work can aid in the planning of exploration campaigns (e.g., on Mars and Europa) and help guide the identification of intensive-study sites or the design of sampling equipment. Apart from such specific lessons, three major conclusions emerge: (1) The use of improved or new methods continues to push the envelope for activity of microbial life to lower temperatures, boding well for planetary exploration campaigns. (2) While the thermodynamics of water activity in ice may constitute an ultimate boundary, the low-temperature kinetic constraints currently present a significant challenge for the study of low-temperature life processes. This may call for dedicated laboratory studies of cells maintained in vitro or in synthetic low-temperature ice environments. (3) Ice-fluid systems lend themselves readily to studies of synthetic environments, extending all the way out to conditions likely to be encountered in Martian or Europan settings.

  14. A microbial oasis in the hypersaline Atacama subsurface discovered by a life detector chip: implications for the search for life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Parro, Victor; de Diego-Castilla, Graciela; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Blanco, Yolanda; Cruz-Gil, Patricia; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José A; Fernández-Remolar, David; Gómez, Felipe; Gómez, Manuel J; Rivas, Luis A; Demergasso, Cecilia; Echeverría, Alex; Urtuvia, Viviana N; Ruiz-Bermejo, Marta; García-Villadangos, Miriam; Postigo, Marina; Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier

    2011-12-01

    The Atacama Desert has long been considered a good Mars analogue for testing instrumentation for planetary exploration, but very few data (if any) have been reported about the geomicrobiology of its salt-rich subsurface. We performed a Mars analogue drilling campaign next to the Salar Grande (Atacama, Chile) in July 2009, and several cores and powder samples from up to 5?m deep were analyzed in situ with LDChip300 (a Life Detector Chip containing 300 antibodies). Here, we show the discovery of a hypersaline subsurface microbial habitat associated with halite-, nitrate-, and perchlorate-containing salts at 2?m deep. LDChip300 detected bacteria, archaea, and other biological material (DNA, exopolysaccharides, some peptides) from the analysis of less than 0.5?g of ground core sample. The results were supported by oligonucleotide microarray hybridization in the field and finally confirmed by molecular phylogenetic analysis and direct visualization of microbial cells bound to halite crystals in the laboratory. Geochemical analyses revealed a habitat with abundant hygroscopic salts like halite (up to 260?g kg(-1)) and perchlorate (41.13??g g(-1) maximum), which allow deliquescence events at low relative humidity. Thin liquid water films would permit microbes to proliferate by using detected organic acids like acetate (19.14??g g(-1)) or formate (76.06??g g(-1)) as electron donors, and sulfate (15875??g g(-1)), nitrate (13490??g g(-1)), or perchlorate as acceptors. Our results correlate with the discovery of similar hygroscopic salts and possible deliquescence processes on Mars, and open new search strategies for subsurface martian biota. The performance demonstrated by our LDChip300 validates this technology for planetary exploration, particularly for the search for life on Mars. PMID:22149750

  15. Desiccation tolerance of iron bacteria biofilms on Mars regolith simulants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feyh, Nina; Szewzyk, Ulrich

    2010-05-01

    Iron oxidizing bacteria play an important role in the geological redox cycling of iron on earth. The redox change between Fe(II) and Fe(III) can be used for biological energy production [1]. Therefore iron oxidation in the iron rich martian soils may be or may have been microbially mediated. The microbial conversion of iron is considered to be an ancient form of metabolism [2], so it might have evolved on Mars as well. However, to exist in recent martian soils, bacteria must be able to endure dry and cold conditions. Neutrophilic iron oxidizers can be found in various iron rich aquatic environments, where they lead to the precipitation of insoluble ferric hydroxides. Some of these environments fall temporarily dry, what could have led to an adaptation to desiccation by bacteria, existing there. One strategy of iron bacteria to endure drought stress might be the formation of biofilms by excreting Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS). The deposition of iron hydroxides could enable them to endure dry conditions as well. For our experiments, neutrophilic iron oxidizing bacteria have been isolated from a creek in Bad Salzhausen/Hesse and temporarily drying out pools in Tierra del Fuego. Strains from aquatic environments in the national park "Unteres Odertal" and from water wells in Berlin/Brandenburg are included in the tests as well. In desiccation experiments, the capability of iron bacteria to tolerate dry conditions are investigated. The aim of our first experiment is the adaptation to dry conditions. Biofilms of 15 strains are grown on ceramic beads in liquid medium containing complexed Fe(II), established biofilms contain Fe(III) precipitates. The cultures are desiccated in a sterile airflow until the weight of the cultures remained constant. After a desiccation period of 9 h up to 7 d, the beads are transferred to fresh liquid medium. Adapted strains are used in further desiccation experiments, where biofilms are grown on two martian regolith simulants. These mineral mixtures were developed and produced by the Naturkundemuseum Berlin according to recent data of Mars research missions [3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The minerals are attached to object slides with potassium silicate and biofilms are grown on the mineral surface. The biofilms are quantified by cell counting and the structure is evaluated by epifluorescence microscopy. After desiccation in a sterile airflow, the survival of cells is determined by fluorescence staining. Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Helmholtz Association through the research alliance "Planetary Evolution and Life". References [1] Weber, K. A. et al. (2006). Microorganisms pumping iron: anaerobic microbial iron oxidation and reduction. Nature Reviews Microbiology 4: 752-764. [2] Vargas, M. et al. (1998). Microbiological evidence for Fe(III) reduction on early Earth. Nature 395: 65-67. [3] Bibring, J.-P., Y. Langevin, et al. (2005). Mars surface diversity as revealed by the OMEGA/Mars express observations. Science 307(5715): 1576-1581. [4] Bibring, J.-P., S. W. Squyres, et al. (2006). Merging Views on Mars. Science 313(5795): 1899-1901. [5] Chevrier, V. and P. E. Mathé (2007). Mineralogy and evolution of the surface of Mars: A review. Planetary and Space Science 55(3): 289-314. [6] McCollom, T. M. and B. M. Hynek (2005). A volcanic environment for bedrock diagenesis at Meridiani Planum on Mars. Nature 438(7071): 1129-1131. [7] Poulet, F., J. P. Bibring, et al. (2005). Phyllosilicates on Mars and implications for early martian climate. Nature 438(7068): 623-627.

  16. In Situ Search for Extraterrestrial Life: A Microbial Fuel Cell-Based Sensor for the Detection of Photosynthetic Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Figueredo, Federico; Cortón, Eduardo; Abrevaya, Ximena C

    2015-09-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bioelectrochemical systems (BES) capable of harvesting electrons from redox reactions involved in metabolism. In a previous work, we used chemoorganoheterotrophic microorganisms from the three domains of life-Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya-to demonstrate that these BES could be applied to the in situ detection of extraterrestrial life. Since metabolism can be considered a common signature of life "as we know it," we extended in this study the ability to use MFCs as sensors for photolithoautotrophic metabolisms. To achieve this goal, two different photosynthetic microorganisms were used: the microalgae Parachlorella kessleri and the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. MFCs were loaded with nonsterilized samples, sterilized samples, or sterilized culture medium of both microorganisms. Electric potential measurements were recorded for each group in single experiments or in continuum during light-dark cycles, and power and current densities were calculated. Our results indicate that the highest power and current density values were achieved when metabolically active microorganisms were present in the anode of the MFC. Moreover, when continuous measurements were performed during light-dark cycles, it was possible to see a positive response to light. Therefore, these BES could be used not only to detect chemoorganoheterotrophic metabolisms but also photolithoautotrophic metabolisms, in particular those involving oxygenic photosynthesis. Additionally, the positive response to light when using these BES could be employed to distinguish photosynthetic from nonphotosynthetic microorganisms in a sample. PMID:26325625

  17. Laser-Induced Fluorescence Emission (L.I.F.E.): In Situ Nondestructive Detection of Microbial Life in the Ice Covers of Antarctic Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storrie-Lombardi, Michael C.; Sattler, Birgit

    2009-09-01

    Laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) images were obtained in situ following 532 nm excitation of cryoconite assemblages in the ice covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for orbital monitoring of photosynthetic primary productivity in polar and alpine glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and lake ice of Earth's cryosphere. The findings open up the possibility of searching from either a rover or from orbit covers of annual and perennially frozen Antarctic lakes during the 2008 Tawani International Expedition to Schirmacher Oasis and Lake Untersee in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Laser targeting of a single millimeter-scale cryoconite results in multiple neighboring excitation events secondary to ice/air interface reflection and refraction in the bubbles surrounding the primary target. Laser excitation at 532 nm of cyanobacteria-dominated assemblages produced red and infrared autofluorescence activity attributed to the presence of phycoerythrin photosynthetic pigments. The method avoids destruction of individual target organisms and does not require the disruption of either the structure of the microbial community or the surrounding ice matrix. L.I.F.E. survey strategies described may be of interest for orbital monitoring of photosynthetic primary productivity in polar and alpine glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and lake ice of Earth's cryosphere. The findings open up the possibility of searching from either a rover or from orbit for signs of life in the polar regions of Mars and the frozen regions of exoplanets in neighboring star systems.

  18. Microbial Contamination of Allende and Murchison Carbonaceous Chondrites; Developing a Protocol for Life Detection in Extraterrestrial Materials Using Biotechnology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steele, A.; Whitby, C.; Griffin, C.; Toporski, J. K. W.; Westall, F.; Saunders, J. R.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    The arguments used to refute the McKay et al., (1996) hypothesis of possible Martian life in ALH84001 failed to use contamination of the meteorite as a source. This has worrying implications for our ability to detect terrestrial microbiota in meteorites and therefore any potential extraterrestrial biosignatures in both meteorites and possible returned samples. We report on imaging and microbial culturing of both Allende and Murchison carbonaceous chondrites and on the use of molecular biology techniques on a sample of Allende. Contaminating fungi and bacteria were observed (in the case of Murchison) and cultured from both meteorites. DNA was successfully extracted and subsequent PCR showed the presence of both bacterial and fungal DNA although no Archaea were detected. These results show that it is possible to use molecular biological techniques on very small quantities (300 mg) of extraterrestrial material.

  19. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hogan, John Andrew

    2014-01-01

    NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater treatment and electricity production (electrogenesis). Synthetic biology techniques and integrated hardware advances were investigated to increase system efficiency and robustness, with the intent of increasing power self-sufficiency and potential product formation from carbon dioxide. MFCs possess numerous advantages for space missions, including rapid processing, reduced biomass and effective removal of organics, nitrogen and phosphorus. Project efforts include developing space-based MFC concepts, integration analyses, increasing energy efficiency, and investigating novel bioelectrochemical system applications

  20. Microbially induced sedimentary structures in evaporite-siliciclastic sediments of Ras Gemsa sabkha, Red Sea Coast, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Taher, Amany G

    2014-09-01

    The coastal sabkha in Ras Gemsa, Red Sea coast with its colonizing microbial mats and biofilms was investigated. The sabkha sediments consist mainly of terrigenous siliciclastic material accompanied by the development of evaporites. Halite serves as a good conduit for light and reduces the effect of intensive harmful solar radiation, which allows microbial mats to survive and flourish. The microbial mats in the evaporite-siliciclastic environments of such sabkha display distinctive sedimentary structures (microbially induced sedimentary structures), including frozen multidirected ripple marks, salt-encrusted crinkle mats, jelly roll structure, and petee structures. Scanning electron microscopy of the sediment surface colonized by cyanobacteria revealed that sand grains of the studied samples are incorporated into the biofilm by trapping and binding processes. Filamentous cyanobacteria and their EPS found in the voids in and between the particles construct a network that effectively interweaves and stabilizes the surface sediments. In advanced stages, the whole surface is covered by a spider web-like structure of biofilm, leading to a planar surface morphology. Sabkha with its chemical precipitates is a good model for potential preservation of life signatures. It is worthy to note that the available, published works on the subject of the present work are not numerous. PMID:25685526

  1. Microbially induced sedimentary structures in evaporite–siliciclastic sediments of Ras Gemsa sabkha, Red Sea Coast, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Taher, Amany G.

    2013-01-01

    The coastal sabkha in Ras Gemsa, Red Sea coast with its colonizing microbial mats and biofilms was investigated. The sabkha sediments consist mainly of terrigenous siliciclastic material accompanied by the development of evaporites. Halite serves as a good conduit for light and reduces the effect of intensive harmful solar radiation, which allows microbial mats to survive and flourish. The microbial mats in the evaporite–siliciclastic environments of such sabkha display distinctive sedimentary structures (microbially induced sedimentary structures), including frozen multidirected ripple marks, salt-encrusted crinkle mats, jelly roll structure, and petee structures. Scanning electron microscopy of the sediment surface colonized by cyanobacteria revealed that sand grains of the studied samples are incorporated into the biofilm by trapping and binding processes. Filamentous cyanobacteria and their EPS found in the voids in and between the particles construct a network that effectively interweaves and stabilizes the surface sediments. In advanced stages, the whole surface is covered by a spider web-like structure of biofilm, leading to a planar surface morphology. Sabkha with its chemical precipitates is a good model for potential preservation of life signatures. It is worthy to note that the available, published works on the subject of the present work are not numerous. PMID:25685526

  2. Control of Biofilms with the Fatty Acid Signaling Molecule cis-2-Decenoic Acid.

    PubMed

    Marques, Cláudia N H; Davies, David G; Sauer, Karin

    2015-01-01

    Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms in organized structures attached to surfaces. Importantly, biofilms are a major cause of bacterial infections in humans, and remain one of the most significant challenges to modern medical practice. Unfortunately, conventional therapies have shown to be inadequate in the treatment of most chronic biofilm infections based on the extraordinary innate tolerance of biofilms to antibiotics. Antagonists of quorum sensing signaling molecules have been used as means to control biofilms. QS and other cell-cell communication molecules are able to revert biofilm tolerance, prevent biofilm formation and disrupt fully developed biofilms, albeit with restricted effectiveness. Recently however, it has been demonstrated that Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a small messenger molecule cis-2-decenoic acid (cis-DA) that shows significant promise as an effective adjunctive to antimicrobial treatment of biofilms. This molecule is responsible for induction of the native biofilm dispersion response in a range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and in yeast, and has been shown to reverse persistence, increase microbial metabolic activity and significantly enhance the cidal effects of conventional antimicrobial agents. In this manuscript, the use of cis-2-decenoic acid as a novel agent for biofilm control is discussed. Stimulating the biofilm dispersion response as a novel antimicrobial strategy holds significant promise for enhanced treatment of infections and in the prevention of biofilm formation. PMID:26610524

  3. Monitoring biofilm attachment on medical devices surfaces using hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, Hanh N. D.; Hitchins, Victoria M.; Ilev, Ilko K.; Kim, Do-Hyun

    2014-02-01

    Microbial biofilm is a colony of single bacteria cells (planktonic) that attached to surfaces, attract other microorganisms to attach and grow, and together they build an extracellular matrix composed of polysaccharides, protein, and DNA. Eventually, some cells will detach and spread to other surface. Biofilm on medical devices can cause severe infection to all age ranges from infant to adult. Therefore, it is important to detect biofilm in a fast and efficient manner. Hyperspectral imaging was utilized for distinguishing wide area of biofilm coverage on various materials and on different textures of stainless steeltest coupons. Not only is the coverage of biofilm important, but also the shear stress of biofilm on the attached surfaces is significant. This study investigates the effects of shear stress on the adhesion of biofilms on common medical device surfaces such as glass, polycarbonate, polytetrafluoroethylene, and stainless steel with different textures. Biofilm was grown using Ps. aeruginosa and growth was monitored after 24 and 48 hours at 37° C. The coupons covered with biofilm were tilted at 45 degrees and 90 degrees for 30 seconds to induce shear stress and Hyperspectral images were taken. We hypothesize that stronger attachment on rough surface would be able to withstand greater shear stress compared to smooth surface.

  4. Biofilm Complexity Controls Fine Particle Dynamics in Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, K. R.; Hunter, W. R.; Drummond, J. D.; Battin, T. J.; Boano, F.; Packman, A. I.

    2014-12-01

    Most models of riverine eco-hydrology and biogeochemistry rely upon bulk parameterization of fluxes. However, the transport and retention of carbon and nutrients in headwater streams is strongly influenced by biofilms (surface-attached microbial communities), which results in strong feedbacks between stream hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry. Mechanistic understanding of the interactions between streambed biofilms and nutrient dynamics is lacking. Here we present experimental results linking microscale observations of biofilm community structure to the deposition and resuspension of clay-sized mineral particles in streams. Biofilms were grown in identical 3 m recirculating flumes over periods of 14-50 days. Fluorescent particles were introduced to each flume, and their deposition was traced over 30 minutes. Particle resuspension from the biofilms was then observed under an increased stream flow, mimicking a flood event. We quantified particle fluxes using flow cytometry and epifluorescence microscopy. We directly observed particle adhesion to the biofilm using a confocal laser scanning microscope. 3-D Optical Coherence Tomography was used to determine biofilm roughness, areal coverage and void space in each flume. These measurements allow us to link biofilm complexity to particle retention during both baseflow and floodflow. The results suggest that increased biofilm complexity favors deposition and retention of fine particles in streams.

  5. Form and Function of Clostridium thermocellum Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Dumitrache, Alexandru; Allen, Grant; Liss, Steven N.; Lynd, Lee R.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of bacterial adherence has been acknowledged in microbial lignocellulose conversion studies; however, few reports have described the function and structure of biofilms supported by cellulosic substrates. We investigated the organization, dynamic formation, and carbon flow associated with biofilms of the obligately anaerobic cellulolytic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum 27405. Using noninvasive, in situ fluorescence imaging, we showed biofilms capable of near complete substrate conversion with a characteristic monolayered cell structure without an extracellular polymeric matrix typically seen in biofilms. Cell division at the interface and terminal endospores appeared throughout all stages of biofilm growth. Using continuous-flow reactors with a rate of dilution (2 h?1) 12-fold higher than the bacterium's maximum growth rate, we compared biofilm activity under low (44 g/liter) and high (202 g/liter) initial cellulose loading. The average hydrolysis rate was over 3-fold higher in the latter case, while the proportions of oligomeric cellulose hydrolysis products lost from the biofilm were 13.7% and 29.1% of the total substrate carbon hydrolyzed, respectively. Fermentative catabolism was comparable between the two cellulose loadings, with ca. 4% of metabolized sugar carbon being utilized for cell production, while 75.4% and 66.7% of the two cellulose loadings, respectively, were converted to primary carbon metabolites (ethanol, acetic acid, lactic acid, carbon dioxide). However, there was a notable difference in the ethanol-to-acetic acid ratio (g/g), measured to be 0.91 for the low cellulose loading and 0.41 for the high cellulose loading. The results suggest that substrate availability for cell attachment rather than biofilm colonization rates govern the efficiency of cellulose conversion. PMID:23087042

  6. Form and function of Clostridium thermocellum biofilms.

    PubMed

    Dumitrache, Alexandru; Wolfaardt, Gideon; Allen, Grant; Liss, Steven N; Lynd, Lee R

    2013-01-01

    The importance of bacterial adherence has been acknowledged in microbial lignocellulose conversion studies; however, few reports have described the function and structure of biofilms supported by cellulosic substrates. We investigated the organization, dynamic formation, and carbon flow associated with biofilms of the obligately anaerobic cellulolytic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum 27405. Using noninvasive, in situ fluorescence imaging, we showed biofilms capable of near complete substrate conversion with a characteristic monolayered cell structure without an extracellular polymeric matrix typically seen in biofilms. Cell division at the interface and terminal endospores appeared throughout all stages of biofilm growth. Using continuous-flow reactors with a rate of dilution (2 h(-1)) 12-fold higher than the bacterium's maximum growth rate, we compared biofilm activity under low (44 g/liter) and high (202 g/liter) initial cellulose loading. The average hydrolysis rate was over 3-fold higher in the latter case, while the proportions of oligomeric cellulose hydrolysis products lost from the biofilm were 13.7% and 29.1% of the total substrate carbon hydrolyzed, respectively. Fermentative catabolism was comparable between the two cellulose loadings, with ca. 4% of metabolized sugar carbon being utilized for cell production, while 75.4% and 66.7% of the two cellulose loadings, respectively, were converted to primary carbon metabolites (ethanol, acetic acid, lactic acid, carbon dioxide). However, there was a notable difference in the ethanol-to-acetic acid ratio (g/g), measured to be 0.91 for the low cellulose loading and 0.41 for the high cellulose loading. The results suggest that substrate availability for cell attachment rather than biofilm colonization rates govern the efficiency of cellulose conversion. PMID:23087042

  7. Three-dimensional stratification of bacterial biofilm populations in a moving bed biofilm reactor for nitritation-anammox.

    PubMed

    Almstrand, Robert; Persson, Frank; Daims, Holger; Ekenberg, Maria; Christensson, Magnus; Wilén, Britt-Marie; Sörensson, Fred; Hermansson, Malte

    2014-01-01

    Moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) are increasingly used for nitrogen removal with nitritation-anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) processes in wastewater treatment. Carriers provide protected surfaces where ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and anammox bacteria form complex biofilms. However, the knowledge about the organization of microbial communities in MBBR biofilms is sparse. We used new cryosectioning and imaging methods for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to study the structure of biofilms retrieved from carriers in a nitritation-anammox MBBR. The dimensions of the carrier compartments and the biofilm cryosections after FISH showed good correlation, indicating little disturbance of biofilm samples by the treatment. FISH showed that Nitrosomonas europaea/eutropha-related cells dominated the AOB and Candidatus Brocadia fulgida-related cells dominated the anammox guild. New carriers were initially colonized by AOB, followed by anammox bacteria proliferating in the deeper biofilm layers, probably in anaerobic microhabitats created by AOB activity. Mature biofilms showed a pronounced three-dimensional stratification where AOB dominated closer to the biofilm-water interface, whereas anammox were dominant deeper into the carrier space and towards the walls. Our results suggest that current mathematical models may be oversimplifying these three-dimensional systems and unless the multidimensionality of these systems is considered, models may result in suboptimal design of MBBR carriers. PMID:24481066

  8. The Microbial Community on Marine Plastic Debris: Life in the "Plastisphere"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaral-Zettler, L. A.; Zettler, E. R.; Mincer, T. J.

    2011-12-01

    Plastic debris is an abundant substrate of anthropogenic origin in the marine environment that is receiving increased attention. We documented the bacterial (V6-V4) and eukaryotic (V9) communities on open ocean plastic debris samples using 454 amplicon sequencing of small-subunit rRNA hypervariable regions and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Parametric alpha diversity measures of plastic samples showed considerable species richness comparable to the surrounding seawater with many Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) unique to the plastic substrates. We also found that while all samples contained an OTU assigned to SAR 11 (Candidatus Pelagibacter), considered to be one of most abundant heterotrophic bacteria in the ocean, this was not the most abundant OTU in our samples. Quite surprisingly, the most abundant OTU found in our polypropylene sample was an OTU assigned to the genus Vibrio. Although endemic to the marine environment, the genus Vibrio has several members that are human and animal pathogens. Our samples also included representatives from many protist groups and fungi. Sequences recovered were dominated by heterotrophs including an unidentified sequence related to colonial radiolaria and suctorian ciliates, but many photosynthetic groups including dinoflagellates, diatoms, and green, brown, and red algae were also present. SEM images revealed a complex landscape of microbes on the surface of the plastic; rich bacterial biofilms included diatoms and stalked suctorian ciliates covered with what appeared to be bacterial epibionts. The fact that these communities are distinct from the surrounding surface water suggests that plastic surfaces may serve as a unique new ecological habitat in the open ocean and warrant further investigation. We have proposed the term "Plastisphere" to describe the community of organisms closely associated with plastic debris in aquatic systems.

  9. Charge Transport Behavior in Microfluidic Microbial Energy Conversion Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Aloke; Mukherjee, Partha; Borole, Abhijeet; Doktycz, Mitchel

    2010-11-01

    Microbial energy harvesting devices utilize anode-respiring bacteria (ARB), present as a biofilm matrix, to generate electrical current from organic matter. The conductive biofilm matrix in the anode compartment plays a key role in the overall charge transport behavior. Especially, biofilm kinetics and ARB community dynamics are of paramount importance influencing the anode overpotential, which is further dependent on the pH variation. In this work, we present a theoretical framework to study the charge transport characteristics with concomitant biofilm kinetics, substrate utilization, diffusion and migration in a microfluidic device with microbial energy generation.

  10. Biofilm Shows Spatially Stratified Metabolic Responses to Contaminant Exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Cao, Bin; Majors, Paul D.; Ahmed, B.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Sylvia, Crystal P.; Shi, Liang; Kjelleberg, Staffan; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this study was to elucidate the spatiotemporal responses of live S. oneidensis MR-1 biofilms to U(VI) (uranyl, UO22+) and Cr(VI) (chromate, CrO42-), important environmental contaminants at DOE contaminated sites. Toward this goal, we applied noninvasive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, diffusion, relaxation and spectroscopy techniques to monitor in situ spatiotemporal responses of S. oneidensis biofilms to U(VI) and Cr(VI) exposure in terms of changes in biofilm structures, diffusion properties, and cellular metabolism. Exposure to U(VI) or Cr(VI) did not appear to change the overall biomass distribution but caused changes in the physicochemical microenvironments inside the biofilm as indicated by diffusion measurements. Changes in the diffusion properties of the biofilms in response to U(VI) and Cr(VI) exposure imply a novel function of the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) affecting the biotransformation and transport of contaminants in the environment. In the presence of U(VI) or Cr(VI), the anaerobic metabolism of lactate was inhibited significantly, although the biofilms were still capable of reducing U(VI) and Cr(VI). Local concentrations of Cr(III)aq in the biofilm suggested relatively high Cr(VI) reduction activities at the top of the biofilm, near the medium-biofilm interface. The depth-resolved metabolic activities of the biofilm suggested higher diversion effects of gluconeogenesis and C1 metabolism pathways at the bottom of the biofilm and in the presence of U(VI). This study provides a noninvasive means to investigate spatiotemporal responses of biofilms, including surface-associated microbial communities in engineering, natural and medical settings, to various environmental perturbations including exposure to environmental contaminants and antimicrobials.

  11. Adhesion as a weapon in microbial competition

    PubMed Central

    Schluter, Jonas; Nadell, Carey D.; Bassler, Bonnie L.; Foster, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Microbes attach to surfaces and form dense communities known as biofilms, which are central to how microbes live and influence humans. The key defining feature of biofilms is adhesion, whereby cells attach to one another and to surfaces, via attachment factors and extracellular polymers. While adhesion is known to be important for the initial stages of biofilm formation, its function within biofilm communities has not been studied. Here we utilise an individual-based model of microbial groups to study the evolution of adhesion. While adhering to a surface can enable cells to remain in a biofilm, consideration of within-biofilm competition reveals a potential cost to adhesion: immobility. Highly adhesive cells that are resistant to movement risk being buried and starved at the base of the biofilm. However, we find that when growth occurs at the base of a biofilm, adhesion allows cells to capture substratum territory and force less adhesive, competing cells out of the system. This process may be particularly important when cells grow on a host epithelial surface. We test the predictions of our model using the enteric pathogen Vibrio cholerae, which produces an extracellular matrix important for biofilm formation. Flow cell experiments indicate that matrix-secreting cells are highly adhesive and form expanding clusters that remove non-secreting cells from the population, as predicted by our simulations. Our study shows how simple physical properties, such as adhesion, can be critical to understanding evolution and competition within microbial communities. PMID:25290505

  12. How Cyanobacterial Distributions Reveal Flow and Irradiance Conditions of Photosynthetic Biofilm Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prufert-Bebout, Lee

    2001-01-01

    Microbial life on Earth is enormously abundant at sediment-water interfaces. The fossil record in fact contains abundant evidence of the preservation of life on such surfaces. It is therefore critical to our interpretation of early Earth history, and potentially to history of life on other planets, to be able to recognize life forms at these interfaces. On Earth this life often occurs as organized structures of microbes and their extracellular exudates known as biofilms. When such biofilms occur in areas receiving sunlight photosynthetic biofilms are the dominant form in natural ecosystems due to selective advantage inherent in their ability to utilize solar energy. Cyanobacteria are the dominant phototrophic microbes in most modern and ancient photosynthetic biofilms, microbial mats and stromatolites. Due to their long (3.5 billion year) evolutionary history, this group has extensively diversified resulting in an enormous array of morphologies and physiological abilities. This enormous diversity and specialization results in very specific selection for a particular cyanobacterium in each available photosynthetic niche. Furthermore these organisms can alter their spatial orientation, cell morphology, pigmentation and associations with heterotrophic organisms in order to fine tune their optimization to a given micro-niche. These adaptations can be detected, and if adequate knowledge of the interaction between environmental conditions and organism response is available, the detectable organism response can be used to infer the environmental conditions causing that response. This presentation will detail two specific examples which illustrate this point. Light and water are essential to photosynthesis in cyanobacteria and these organisms have specific detectable behavioral responses to these parameters. We will present cyanobacterial responses to quantified flow and irradiance to demonstrate the interpretative power of distribution and orientation information. This study presents new results, but many such examples are already found in the literature. However this information exists in such a wide variety of journals, spanning decades of research that the utility of the vast storehouse of information is limited, not by the ability of cyanobacteria to respond in recognizable ways to environmental stimuli, but by our ability to compile and use this information. Recent advances in information technology will soon allow us to overcome these difficulties and utilize the detailed responses of cyanobacteria to environmental microniches as powerful records of the interaction between the biosphere and lithosphere.

  13. Ice Shelf Microbial Ecosystems in the High Arctic and Implications for Life on Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; Gibson, J. A. E.; Pienitz, R.; Villeneuve, V.; Broady, P. A.; Hamilton, P. B.; Howard-Williams, C.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83°N, 74°W) is the largest remaining section of thick (>10m) landfast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (107-108cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes.

  14. Did Mineral Surface Chemistry and Toxicity Contribute to Evolution of Microbial Extracellular Polymeric Substances?

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Jay M.; Zhang, Nianli; Hickey, William J.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Modern ecological niches are teeming with an astonishing diversity of microbial life in biofilms closely associated with mineral surfaces, which highlights the remarkable success of microorganisms in conquering the challenges and capitalizing on the benefits presented by the mineral–water interface. Biofilm formation capability likely evolved on early Earth because biofilms provide crucial cell survival functions. The potential toxicity of mineral surfaces toward cells and the complexities of the mineral–water–cell interface in determining the toxicity mechanisms, however, have not been fully appreciated. Here, we report a previously unrecognized role for extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which form biofilms in shielding cells against the toxicity of mineral surfaces. Using colony plating and LIVE/DEAD staining methods in oxide suspensions versus oxide-free controls, we found greater viability of wild-type, EPS-producing strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 compared to their isogenic knockout mutant with defective biofilm-producing capacity. Oxide toxicity was specific to its surface charge and particle size. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images and assays for highly reactive oxygen species (hROS) on mineral surfaces suggested that EPS shield via both physical and chemical mechanisms. Intriguingly, qualitative as well as quantitative measures of EPS production showed that toxic minerals induced EPS production in bacteria. By determining the specific toxicity mechanisms, we provide insight into the potential impact of mineral surfaces in promoting increased complexity of cell surfaces, including EPS and biofilm formation, on early Earth. Key Words: Mineral toxicity—Bacteria—EPS evolution—Biofilms—Cytotoxicity—Silica—Anatase—Alumina. Astrobiology 12, 785–798. PMID:22934560

  15. Application of biofilm bioreactors in white biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Muffler, K; Lakatos, M; Schlegel, C; Strieth, D; Kuhne, S; Ulber, R

    2014-01-01

    The production of valuable compounds in industrial biotechnology is commonly done by cultivation of suspended cells or use of (immobilized) enzymes rather than using microorganisms in an immobilized state. Within the field of wastewater as well as odor treatment the application of immobilized cells is a proven technique. The cells are entrapped in a matrix of extracellular polymeric compounds produced by themselves. The surface-associated agglomerate of encapsulated cells is termed biofilm. In comparison to common immobilization techniques, toxic effects of compounds used for cell entrapment may be neglected. Although the economic impact of biofilm processes used for the production of valuable compounds is negligible, many prospective approaches were examined in the laboratory and on a pilot scale. This review gives an overview of biofilm reactors applied to the production of valuable compounds. Moreover, the characteristics of the utilized materials are discussed with respect to support of surface-attached microbial growth. PMID:24402458

  16. Thermally activated long range electron transport in living biofilms.

    PubMed

    Yates, Matthew D; Golden, Joel P; Roy, Jared; Strycharz-Glaven, Sarah M; Tsoi, Stanislav; Erickson, Jeffrey S; El-Naggar, Mohamed Y; Calabrese Barton, Scott; Tender, Leonard M

    2015-12-28

    Microbial biofilms grown utilizing electrodes as metabolic electron acceptors or donors are a new class of biomaterials with distinct electronic properties. Here we report that electron transport through living electrode-grown Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms is a thermally activated process with incoherent redox conductivity. The temperature dependency of this process is consistent with electron-transfer reactions involving hemes of c-type cytochromes known to play important roles in G. sulfurreducens extracellular electron transport. While incoherent redox conductivity is ubiquitous in biological systems at molecular-length scales, it is unprecedented over distances it appears to occur through living G. sulfurreducens biofilms, which can exceed 100 microns in thickness. PMID:26611733

  17. Variations in the abundance and structural diversity of microbes forming biofilms in a thermally stressed coral reef system.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Huda

    2015-11-30

    Little information is known about biofilm formation in the thermally stressed coral reef systems north of the Arabian Gulf. The current study investigates the abundance and diversity of marine microbes involved in biofilm formation and their succession over a period of 14weeks (May-August 2007) at temperatures exceeding 32°C. The results showed variations in microbial numbers and the development of more stable biofilm communities as the biofilms aged. The culture-dependent technique and microscopic examination of the developed biofilms showed the dominance of key species known for their role in precipitating CaCO3 such as Vibrio and in facilitating coral larvae settlement and metamorphosis such as Pseudoalteromonas, Bacillariophyceae and Rhodophyceae. The results revealed biofilm formations with microbial diversities that have the potential to support the larval settlement and metamorphism of marine organisms and to consolidate and stabilize biofilms via the process of calcification in the thermally stressed coral reef system considered herein. PMID:26494248

  18. Protocol for detection of biofilms on needleless connectors attached to central venous catheters.

    PubMed

    Donlan, R M; Murga, R; Bell, M; Toscano, C M; Carr, J H; Novicki, T J; Zuckerman, C; Corey, L C; Miller, J M

    2001-02-01

    Central venous catheter needleless connectors (NCs) have been shown to develop microbial contamination. A protocol was developed for the collection, processing, and examination of NCs to detect and measure biofilms on these devices. Sixty-three percent of 24 NCs collected from a bone marrow transplant center contained biofilms comprised primarily of coagulase-negative staphylococci. PMID:11158143

  19. Protocol for Detection of Biofilms on Needleless Connectors Attached to Central Venous Catheters

    PubMed Central

    Donlan, R. M.; Murga, R.; Bell, M.; Toscano, C. M.; Carr, J. H.; Novicki, T. J.; Zuckerman, C.; Corey, L. C.; Miller, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    Central venous catheter needleless connectors (NCs) have been shown to develop microbial contamination. A protocol was developed for the collection, processing, and examination of NCs to detect and measure biofilms on these devices. Sixty-three percent of 24 NCs collected from a bone marrow transplant center contained biofilms comprised primarily of coagulase-negative staphylococci. PMID:11158143

  20. Quorum Sensing in Biofilms: Why Bacteria Behave the Way They Do

    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...

  1. EFFECT OF VARYING FLOW REGIMES ON BIOFILM DENSITIES IN A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Maintenance of a free chlorine residual within water distribution systems is used to reduce the possibility of microbial contamination. However, it has been demonstrated that biofilms within water distribution systems can harbor coliforms. In laboratory scale studies, others have...

  2. DETECTION OF BACTERIAL BIOFILM ON STAINLESS STEEL BY HYPERSPECTRAL FLUORESCENCE IMAGING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, hyperspectral fluorescence imaging techniques were investigated for detection of microbial biofilm on stainless steel plates typically used to manufacture food processing equipment. Stainless steel coupons were immersed in bacterium cultures consisting of nonpathogenic E. coli, Pseudo...

  3. Application of Lactobacillus amylovorus DSM19280 in gluten-free sourdough bread to improve the microbial shelf life.

    PubMed

    Axel, Claudia; Röcker, Bettina; Brosnan, Brid; Zannini, Emanuele; Furey, Ambrose; Coffey, Aidan; Arendt, Elke K

    2015-05-01

    The present study investigated the antifungal activity of Lactobacillus amylovorus DSM19280 as a starter culture for gluten-free quinoa sourdough bread under pilot-plant conditions to extend the microbial shelf life. Challenge tests against environmental moulds were conducted and a negative control with non-antifungal strain, L. amylovorus DSM20531(T), as well as a chemically acidified and a non-acidified control were included. Organic acid production, antifungal metabolites, carbohydrates changes during fermentation and bread quality were compared to wheat counterparts. The application of quinoa sourdough fermented with the antifungal L. amylovorus DSM19280 extended the mould free shelf life by 4 days compared to the non-acidified control. No significant difference in lactic acid production was found between the lactobacilli strains. HPLC-UV/DAD was used to quantify antifungal compounds. The concentration of 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid, phloretic acid, 3-phenyllactic acid and hydroferulic acid were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in the quinoa sourdough fermented with the antifungal L. amylovorus DSM19280 when compared to the non-antifungal strain, thus indicating their contribution to the antifungal activity. Evaluation of bread characteristics such as specific volume or crumb hardness, revealed that the addition of L. amylovorus fermented sourdough also improved bread quality. In conclusion, the combination of quinoa flour fermented with the antifungal L. amylovorus DSM19280 serves a great potential biopreservative ingredient to produce gluten-free breads with an improved nutritional value, better bread quality and higher safety due to an extended shelf life, and therefore meeting consumer needs for good quality and preservatives-free food products. PMID:25583336

  4. Microbial Preservation in Sulfates in the Haughton Impact Structure Suggests Target in Search for Life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parnell, J.; Osinski, G. R.; Lee, P.; Cockell, C. S.

    2005-01-01

    Microbes in Haughton Crater Sulfates: Impact craters are of high interest in planetary exploration because they are viewed as possible sites for evidence of life [1]. Hydrothermal systems in craters are particularly regarded as sites where primitive life could evolve. Evidence from the Miocene Haughton impact structure shows that crater hydrothermal deposits may also be a preferred site for subsequent colonization and hence possible extant life: Hydrothermal sulfates at Haughton are colonized by viable cyanobacteria [2]. The Haughton impact structure, Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic, is a 24 km-diameter crater of mid-Tertiary age. The structure preserves an exceptional record of impact-induced hydrothermal activity, including sulfide, and sulfate mineralization [3]. The target rocks excavated at the site included massive gypsum-bearing carbonate rocks of Ordovician age. Impact-remobilized sulfates occur as metre-scale masses of intergrown crystals of the clear form of gypsum selenite in veins and cavity fillings within the crater s impact melt breccia deposits [4]. The selenite is part of the hydrothermal assemblage as it was precipitated by cooling hot waters that were circulating as a result of the impact. Remobilization of the sulfate continues to the present day, such that it occurs in soil crusts (Fig. 1) including sandy beds with a gypsum cement. The sulfate-cemented beds make an interesting comparison with the sulfate-bearing sandy beds encountered by the Opportunity MER [5]. The selenite crystals are up to 0.3 m in width, of high purity, and transparent. They locally exhibit frayed margins where cleavage surfaces have separated. This exfoliation may be a response to freeze-thaw weathering. The selenite contains traces of rock detritus, newly precipitated gypsum, and microbial colonies. The rock detritus consists of sediment particles which penetrated the opened cleavages by up to 2cm from the crystal margins. Some of the detritus is cemented into place by gypsum, which must have been dissolved and reprecipitated from the host selenite.

  5. Predation Response of Vibrio fischeri Biofilms to Bacterivorus Protists

    PubMed Central

    Chavez-Dozal, Alba; Gorman, Clayton; Erken, Martina; Steinberg, Peter D.; McDougald, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Vibrio fischeri proliferates in a sessile, stable community known as a biofilm, which is one alternative survival strategy of its life cycle. Although this survival strategy provides adequate protection from abiotic factors, marine biofilms are still susceptible to grazing by bacteria-consuming protozoa. Subsequently, grazing pressure can be controlled by certain defense mechanisms that confer higher biofilm antipredator fitness. In the present work, we hypothesized that V. fischeri exhibits an antipredator fitness behavior while forming biofilms. Different predators representing commonly found species in aquatic populations were examined, including the flagellates Rhynchomonas nasuta and Neobodo designis (early biofilm feeders) and the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis (late biofilm grazer). V. fischeri biofilms included isolates from both seawater and squid hosts (Euprymna and Sepiola species). Our results demonstrate inhibition of predation by biofilms, specifically, isolates from seawater. Additionally, antiprotozoan behavior was observed to be higher in late biofilms, particularly toward the ciliate T. pyriformis; however, inhibitory effects were found to be widespread among all isolates tested. These results provide an alternative explanation for the adaptive advantage and persistence of V. fischeri biofilms and provide an important contribution to the understanding of defensive mechanisms that exist in the out-of-host environment. PMID:23144127

  6. Biofilms in churches built in grottoes.

    PubMed

    Cennamo, Paola; Montuori, Naomi; Trojsi, Giorgio; Fatigati, Giancarlo; Moretti, Aldo

    2016-02-01

    We investigated microorganisms dwelling on rocks, walls and paintings in two votive chapels built in grottoes in the Region of Campania, Italy. One grotto was near the coast in an area with a Mediterranean climate, and the other grotto was inland on a mountain in an area with a cold continental climate. Color and distribution of biofilms in various areas of the grottoes were examined. Microbial components of biofilms were identified by light and electron microscopy and by molecular techniques (DNA analyses and Automatic rRNA Intergenic Spacer Analysis). Biofilms were also analyzed by X-ray diffraction to detect inorganic constituents deriving from rocks in the grottoes and walls of the churches and by X-ray fluorescence to detect the elements that made up the pigments of the mural paintings; optical cross sections were used to observe their relationships with substrata. Species of eubacteria, cyanobacteria and green algae were identified. Some of these species occurred in both grottoes, while others were exclusive to only one of the grottoes. The diversity of species, their common or exclusive occurrence in the grottoes, the relationships among microbial communities and the differences in color and distribution of biofilms were discussed on the basis of the different climatic factors affecting the two grottoes and the different inorganic components of substrata. PMID:26618300

  7. Resistance of biofilm-covered mortars to microbiologically influenced deterioration simulated by sulfuric acid exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Soleimani, Sahar Isgor, O. Burkan Ormeci, Banu

    2013-11-15

    Following the reported success of biofilm applications on metal surfaces to inhibit microbiologically influenced corrosion, effectiveness and sustainability of E. coli DH5? biofilm on mortar surface to prevent microbiologically influenced concrete deterioration (MICD) are investigated. Experiments simulating microbial attack were carried out by exposing incrementally biofilm-covered mortar specimens to sulfuric acid solutions with pH ranging from 3 to 6. Results showed that calcium concentration in control reactors without biofilm was 23–47% higher than the reactors with biofilm-covered mortar. Formation of amorphous silica gel as an indication of early stages of acid attack was observed only on the control mortar specimens without biofilm. During acidification, the biofilm continued to grow and its thickness almost doubled from ? 30 ?m before acidification to ? 60 ?m after acidification. These results demonstrated that E. coli DH5? biofilm was able to provide a protective and sustainable barrier on mortar surfaces against medium to strong sulfuric acid attack. -- Highlights: •Effectiveness of E.coli DH5? biofilm to prevent MICD was studied. •Conditions that lead to MICD were simulated by chemical acidification. •Biofilm-covered mortar specimens were exposed to sulfuric acid solutions. •The presence of biofilm helped reduce the chemically-induced mortar deterioration. •Biofilm remained alive and continued to grow during the acidification process.

  8. Biodegradation of acetonitrile by adapted biofilm in a membrane-aerated biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

    Li, Tinggang; Bai, Renbi; Ohandja, Dieudonné-Guy; Liu, Junxin

    2009-07-01

    A membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) was developed to degrade acetonitrile (ACN) in aqueous solutions. The reactor was seeded with an adapted activated sludge consortium as the inoculum and operated under step increases in ACN loading rate through increasing ACN concentrations in the influent. Initially, the MABR started at a moderate selection pressure, with a hydraulic retention time of 16 h, a recirculation rate of 8 cm/s and a starting ACN concentration of 250 mg/l to boost the growth of the biofilm mass on the membrane and to avoid its loss by hydraulic washout. The step increase in the influent ACN concentration was implemented once ACN concentration in the effluent showed almost complete removal in each stage. The specific ACN degradation rate achieved the highest at the loading rate of 101.1 mg ACN/g-VSS h (VSS, volatile suspended solids) and then declined with the further increases in the influent ACN concentration, attributed to the substrate inhibition effect. The adapted membrane-aerated biofilm was capable of completely removing ACN at the removal capacity of up to 21.1 g ACN/m(2) day, and generated negligible amount of suspended sludge in the effluent. Batch incubation experiments also demonstrated that the ACN-degrading biofilm can degrade other organonitriles, such as acrylonitrile and benzonitrile as well. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis studies showed that the ACN-degrading biofilms contained a stable microbial population with a low diversity of sequence of community 16S rRNA gene fragments. Specific oxygen utilization rates were found to increase with the increases in the biofilm thickness, suggesting that the biofilm formation process can enhance the metabolic degradation efficiency towards ACN in the MABR. The study contributes to a better understanding in microbial adaptation in a MABR for biodegradation of ACN. It also highlights the potential benefits in using MABRs for biodegradation of organonitrile contaminants in industrial wastewater. PMID:19137403

  9. Microbial life at ?13 °C in the brine of an ice-sealed Antarctic lake

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Alison E.; Kenig, Fabien; Fritsen, Christian H.; McKay, Christopher P.; Cawley, Kaelin M.; Edwards, Ross; Kuhn, Emanuele; McKnight, Diane M.; Ostrom, Nathaniel E.; Peng, Vivian; Ponce, Adrian; Priscu, John C.; Samarkin, Vladimir; Townsend, Ashley T.; Wagh, Protima; Young, Seth A.; Yung, Pung To; Doran, Peter T.

    2012-01-01

    The permanent ice cover of Lake Vida (Antarctica) encapsulates an extreme cryogenic brine ecosystem (?13 °C; salinity, 200). This aphotic ecosystem is anoxic and consists of a slightly acidic (pH 6.2) sodium chloride-dominated brine. Expeditions in 2005 and 2010 were conducted to investigate the biogeochemistry of Lake Vida’s brine system. A phylogenetically diverse and metabolically active Bacteria dominated microbial assemblage was observed in the brine. These bacteria live under very high levels of reduced metals, ammonia, molecular hydrogen (H2), and dissolved organic carbon, as well as high concentrations of oxidized species of nitrogen (i.e., supersaturated nitrous oxide and ?1 mmol?L?1 nitrate) and sulfur (as sulfate). The existence of this system, with active biota, and a suite of reduced as well as oxidized compounds, is unusual given the millennial scale of its isolation from external sources of energy. The geochemistry of the brine suggests that abiotic brine-rock reactions may occur in this system and that the rich sources of dissolved electron acceptors prevent sulfate reduction and methanogenesis from being energetically favorable. The discovery of this ecosystem and the in situ biotic and abiotic processes occurring at low temperature provides a tractable system to study habitability of isolated terrestrial cryoenvironments (e.g., permafrost cryopegs and subglacial ecosystems), and is a potential analog for habitats on other icy worlds where water-rock reactions may cooccur with saline deposits and subsurface oceans. PMID:23185006

  10. Microbial life in Champagne Pool, a geothermal spring in Waiotapu, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hetzer, Adrian; Morgan, Hugh W; McDonald, Ian R; Daughney, Christopher J

    2007-07-01

    Surveys of Champagne Pool, one of New Zealand's largest terrestrial hot springs and rich in arsenic ions and compounds, have been restricted to geological and geochemical descriptions, and a few microbiological studies applying culture-independent methods. In the current investigation, a combination of culture and culture-independent approaches were chosen to determine microbial density and diversity in Champagne Pool. Recovered total DNA and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) content of spring water revealed relatively low values compared to other geothermal springs within New Zealand and are in good agreement with low cell numbers of 5.6 +/- 0.5 x 10(6) cells/ml obtained for Champagne Pool water samples by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) and 16S rRNA (small-subunit ribosomal nucleic acid) gene clone library analyses of environmental DNA indicated the abundance of Sulfurihydrogenibium, Sulfolobus, and Thermofilum-like populations in Champagne Pool. From these results, media were selected to target the enrichment of hydrogen-oxidizing and sulfur-dependent microorganisms. Three isolates were successfully obtained having 16S rRNA gene sequences with similarities of approximately 98% to Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis, 94% to Sulfurihydrogenibium azorense, and 99% to Thermococcus waiotapuensis, respectively. PMID:17426919

  11. Microbial life at -13 °C in the brine of an ice-sealed Antarctic lake.

    PubMed

    Murray, Alison E; Kenig, Fabien; Fritsen, Christian H; McKay, Christopher P; Cawley, Kaelin M; Edwards, Ross; Kuhn, Emanuele; McKnight, Diane M; Ostrom, Nathaniel E; Peng, Vivian; Ponce, Adrian; Priscu, John C; Samarkin, Vladimir; Townsend, Ashley T; Wagh, Protima; Young, Seth A; Yung, Pung To; Doran, Peter T

    2012-12-11

    The permanent ice cover of Lake Vida (Antarctica) encapsulates an extreme cryogenic brine ecosystem (-13 °C; salinity, 200). This aphotic ecosystem is anoxic and consists of a slightly acidic (pH 6.2) sodium chloride-dominated brine. Expeditions in 2005 and 2010 were conducted to investigate the biogeochemistry of Lake Vida's brine system. A phylogenetically diverse and metabolically active Bacteria dominated microbial assemblage was observed in the brine. These bacteria live under very high levels of reduced metals, ammonia, molecular hydrogen (H(2)), and dissolved organic carbon, as well as high concentrations of oxidized species of nitrogen (i.e., supersaturated nitrous oxide and ?1 mmol?L(-1) nitrate) and sulfur (as sulfate). The existence of this system, with active biota, and a suite of reduced as well as oxidized compounds, is unusual given the millennial scale of its isolation from external sources of energy. The geochemistry of the brine suggests that abiotic brine-rock reactions may occur in this system and that the rich sources of dissolved electron acceptors prevent sulfate reduction and methanogenesis from being energetically favorable. The discovery of this ecosystem and the in situ biotic and abiotic processes occurring at low temperature provides a tractable system to study habitability of isolated terrestrial cryoenvironments (e.g., permafrost cryopegs and subglacial ecosystems), and is a potential analog for habitats on other icy worlds where water-rock reactions may cooccur with saline deposits and subsurface oceans. PMID:23185006

  12. Particle-Based Multidimensional Multispecies Biofilm Model

    PubMed Central

    Picioreanu, Cristian; Kreft, Jan-Ulrich; van Loosdrecht, Mark C. M.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we describe a spatially multidimensional (two-dimensional [2-D] and three-dimensional [3-D]) particle-based approach for modeling the dynamics of multispecies biofilms growing on multiple substrates. The model is based on diffusion-reaction mass balances for chemical species coupled with microbial growth and spreading of biomass represented by hard spherical particles. Effectively, this is a scaled-up version of a previously proposed individual-based biofilm model. Predictions of this new particle-based model were quantitatively compared with those obtained with an established one-dimensional (1-D) multispecies model for equivalent problems. A nitrifying biofilm containing aerobic ammonium and nitrite oxidizers, anaerobic ammonium oxidizers, and inert biomass was chosen as an example. The 2-D and 3-D models generally gave the same results. If only the average flux of nutrients needs to be known, 2-D and 1-D models are very similar. However, the behavior of intermediates, which are produced and consumed in different locations within the biofilm, is better described in 2-D and 3-D models because of the multidirectional concentration gradients. The predictions of 2-D or 3-D models are also different from those of 1-D models for slowly growing or minority species in the biofilm. This aspect is related to the mechanism of biomass spreading or advection implemented in the models and should receive more attention in future experimental studies. PMID:15128564

  13. New life in old reservoirs - the microbial conversion of oil to methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gründger, Friederike; Feisthauer, Stefan; Richnow, Hans Hermann; Siegert, Michael; Krüger, Martin

    2010-05-01

    Since almost 20 years it is known from stable isotope studies that large amounts of biogenic methane are formed in oil reservoirs. The investigation of this degradation process and of the underlying biogeochemical controls are of economical and social importance, since even under optimal conditions, not more than 30-40 % of the oil in a reservoir is actually recovered. The conversion of parts of this non-recoverable oil via an appropriate biotechnological treatment into easily recoverable methane would provide an extensive and ecologically sound energy resource. Laboratory mesocosm as well as high pressure autoclave experiments with samples from different geosystems showed high methane production rates after the addition of oils, single hydrocarbons or coals. The variation of parameters, like temperature, pressure or salinity, showed a broad tolerance to environmental conditions. The fingerprinting of the microbial enrichments with DGGE showed a large bacterial diversity while that of Archaea was limited to three to four dominant species. The Q-PCR results showed the presence of high numbers of Archaea and Bacteria. To analyse their function, we measured the abundances of genes indicative of metal reduction (16S rRNA gene for Geobacteraceae), sulphate reduction (sulphate reductase, dsr), and methanogenesis (methyl coenzyme M-reductase, mcrA). The methanogenic consortia will be further characterised to determine enzymatic pathways and the individual role of each partner. Degradation pathways for different compounds will be studied using 13C-labelled substrates and molecular techniques. Our stable isotope data from both, methane produced in our incubations with samples from various ecosystems and field studies, implies a common methanogenic biodegradation mechanism, resulting in consistent patterns of hydrocarbon alteration.

  14. Biofilms in dermatology.

    PubMed

    Nusbaum, A G; Kirsner, R S; Charles, C A

    2012-07-01

    Biofilms are diverse communities of microorganisms embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance which are firmly attached to biotic or abiotic surfaces. Approximately 80% of all human infections are associated with biofilms and evidence for their role in an ever-growing number of cutaneous disorders is constantly unfolding. Biofilms present a difficult challenge to clinicians due to their persistent nature, inability to be cultured with standard techniques, and resistance to conventional antimicrobial therapy. Although limited treatment options are presently available, better understanding of the molecular biology of biofilms and their pathogenicity will likely lead to the development of novel anti-biofilm agents for clinical use. PMID:22825648

  15. Quantifying Biofilm in Porous Media Using Rock Physics Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhadhrami, F. M.; Jaiswal, P.; Atekwana, E. A.

    2012-12-01

    Biofilm formation and growth in porous rocks can change their material properties such as porosity, permeability which in turn will impact fluid flow. Finding a non-intrusive method to quantify biofilms and their byproducts in rocks is a key to understanding and modeling bioclogging in porous media. Previous geophysical investigations have documented that seismic techniques are sensitive to biofilm growth. These studies pointed to the fact that microbial growth and biofilm formation induces heterogeneity in the seismic properties. Currently there are no rock physics models to explain these observations and to provide quantitative interpretation of the seismic data. Our objectives are to develop a new class of rock physics model that incorporate microbial processes and their effect on seismic properties. Using the assumption that biofilms can grow within pore-spaces or as a layer coating the mineral grains, P-wave velocity (Vp) and S-wave (Vs) velocity models were constructed using travel-time and waveform tomography technique. We used generic rock physics schematics to represent our rock system numerically. We simulated the arrival times as well as waveforms by treating biofilms either as fluid (filling pore spaces) or as part of matrix (coating sand grains). The preliminary results showed that there is a 1% change in Vp and 3% change in Vs when biofilms are represented discrete structures in pore spaces. On the other hand, a 30% change in Vp and 100% change in Vs was observed when biofilm was represented as part of matrix coating sand grains. Therefore, Vp and Vs changes are more rapid when biofilm grows as grain-coating phase. The significant change in Vs associated with biofilms suggests that shear velocity can be used as a diagnostic tool for imaging zones of bioclogging in the subsurface. The results obtained from this study have significant implications for the study of the rheological properties of biofilms in geological media. Other applications include assessing biofilms used as barriers in CO2 sequestration studies as well as assisting in evaluating microbial enhanced oil recovery methods (MEOR), where microorganisms are used to plug highly porous rocks for efficient oil production.

  16. Biofilm Matrix Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Jiunn N. C.; Yildiz, Fitnat H.

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous components of the biofilm matrix include secreted extracellular proteins, cell surface adhesins and protein subunits of cell appendages such as flagella and pili. Biofilm matrix proteins play diverse roles in biofilm formation and dissolution. They are involved in attaching cells to surfaces, stabilizing the biofilm matrix via interactions with exopolysaccharide and nucleic acid components, developing three-dimensional biofilm architectures, and dissolving biofilm matrix via enzymatic degradation of polysaccharides, proteins, and nucleic acids. In this chapter, we will review functions of matrix proteins in a selected set of microorganisms, studies of the matrix proteomes of Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and roles of outer membrane vesicles and of nucleoid-binding proteins in biofilm formation. PMID:26104709

  17. Investigation of biofilms

    SciTech Connect

    Flemming, H.C.; Griebe, T.; Szewzyk, U.

    1999-07-01

    Drinking water systems, wastewater operations, and even groundwater and surface water, have in common the presence of cellular colonies called biofilms. Until now the means for studying biofilms have been limited. The present text provides the first in-depth assessment of current and experimental ways of studying biofilms, both in sample form and in situ. It shows how sensors, microscopy, lasers, and calorimetry, among other tools, can be used to obtain data on the morphology and metabolism of biofilms. In clarifying the way biofilms are studied, the book offers new insights into biofilms themselves. At the same time the text applies the techniques of inquiry to many problems confronting the environmental specialist, notably, the control of corrosion and biofouling, and the improvement of fixed-biofilm reactors in wastewater treatment.

  18. Dynamic temperature fields under Mars landing sites and implications for supporting microbial life.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Richard; Kral, Tim; Chevrier, Vincent; Pilgrim, Robert; Roe, Larry

    2010-01-01

    While average temperatures on Mars may be too low to support terrestrial life-forms or aqueous liquids, diurnal peak temperatures over most of the planet can be high enough to provide for both, down to a few centimeters beneath the surface for some fraction of the time. A thermal model was applied to the Viking 1, Viking 2, Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity landing sites to demonstrate the dynamic temperature fields under the surface at these well-characterized locations. A benchmark temperature of 253 K was used as a lower limit for possible metabolic activity, which corresponds to the minimum found for specific terrestrial microorganisms. Aqueous solutions of salts known to exist on Mars can provide liquid solutions well below this temperature. Thermal modeling has shown that 253 K is reached beneath the surface at diurnal peak heating for at least some parts of the year at each of these landing sites. Within 40 degrees of the equator, 253 K beneath the surface should occur for at least some fraction of the year; and, within 20 degrees , it will be seen for most of the year. However, any life-form that requires this temperature to thrive must also endure daily excursions to far colder temperatures as well as periods of the year where 253 K is never reached at all. PMID:20735254

  19. Microbial eukaryote life in the new hypersaline deep-sea basin Thetis.

    PubMed

    Stock, Alexandra; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Pachiadaki, Maria; Edgcomb, Virginia; Filker, Sabine; La Cono, Violetta; Yakimov, Michail M; Stoeck, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Only recently, a novel anoxic hypersaline (thalassic) basin in the eastern Mediterranean was discovered at a depth of 3,258 m. The halite-saturated brine of this polyextreme basin revealed one of the highest salt concentrations ever reported for such an environment (salinity of 348‰). Using a eukaryote-specific probe and fluorescence in situ hybridization, we counted 0.6 × 10(4) protists per liter of anoxic brine. SSU rRNA sequence analyses, based on amplification of environmental cDNA identified fungi as the most diverse taxonomic group of eukaryotes in the brine, making deep-sea brines sources of unknown fungal diversity and hotspots for the discovery of novel metabolic pathways and for secondary metabolites. The second most diverse phylotypes are ciliates and stramenopiles (each 20%). The occurrence of closely related ciliate sequences exclusively in other Mediterranean brine basins suggests specific adaptations of the respective organisms to such habitats. Betadiversity-analyses confirm that microeukaryote communities in the brine and the interface are notably different. Several distinct morphotypes in brine samples suggest that the rRNA sequences detected in Thetis brine can be linked to indigenous polyextremophile protists. This contradicts previous assumptions that such extremely high salt concentrations are anathema to eukaryotic life. The upper salinity limits for eukaryotic life remain unidentified. PMID:22009262

  20. APPLIED MICROBIAL AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY Isolation of the exoelectrogenic denitrifying bacterium

    E-print Network

    September 2009 # Springer-Verlag 2009 Abstract The anode biofilm in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is composed . Denitrifying bacteria . Microbial community. Dilution to extinction . Microbial fuel cell Introduction Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) show great promise as a method for energy production during wastewater treatment

  1. Development of static system procedures to study aquatic biofilms and their responses to disinfection and invading species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smithers, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    The microbial ecology facility in the Analytical and Physical Chemistry Branch at Marshall Space Flight Center is tasked with anticipation of potential microbial problems (and opportunities to exploit microorganisms) which may occur in partially closed systems such as space station/vehicles habitats and in water reclamation systems therein, with particular emphasis on the degradation of materials. Within this context, procedures for microbial biofilm research are being developed. Reported here is the development of static system procedures to study aquatic biofilms and their responses to disinfection and invading species. Preliminary investigations have been completed. As procedures are refined, it will be possible to focus more closely on the elucidation of biofilm phenomena.

  2. Drinking water quality and formation of biofilms in an office building during its first year of operation, a full scale study.

    PubMed

    Inkinen, Jenni; Kaunisto, Tuija; Pursiainen, Anna; Miettinen, Ilkka T; Kusnetsov, Jaana; Riihinen, Kalle; Keinänen-Toivola, Minna M

    2014-02-01

    Complex interactions existing between water distribution systems' materials and water can cause a reduction in water quality and unwanted changes in materials, aging or corrosion of materials and formation of biofilms on surfaces. Substances leaching from pipe materials and water fittings, as well as the microbiological quality of water and formation of biofilms were evaluated by applying a Living Lab theme i.e. a research in a real life setting using a full scale system during its first year of operation. The study site was a real office building with one part of the building lined with copper pipes, the other with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes thus enabling material comparison; also differences within the cold and hot water systems were analysed. It was found that operational conditions, such as flow conditions and temperature affected the amounts of metals leaching from the pipe network. In particular, brass components were considered to be a source of leaching; e. g. the lead concentration was highest during the first few weeks after the commissioning of the pipe network when the water was allowed to stagnate. Assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and microbially available phosphorus (MAP) were found to leach from PEX pipelines with minor effects on biomass of the biofilm. Cultivable and viable biomass (heterotrophic plate count (HPC), and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)) levels in biofilms were higher in the cold than in the hot water system whereas total microbial biomass (total cell count (DAPI)) was similar with both systems. The type of pipeline material was not found to greatly affect the microbial biomass or Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria profiles (16s rRNA gene copies) after the first one year of operation. Also microbiological quality of water was found to deteriorate due to stagnation. PMID:24317021

  3. Sulfate- and Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria as Terrestrial Analogs for Microbial Life on Jupiter's Satellite Io

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Observations from the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft have revealed Jupiter's moon Io to be the most volcanically active body of our Solar System. The Galileo Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (NIMS) detected extensive deposits of sulfur compounds, elemental sulfur and SO2 frost on the surface of Io. There are extreme temperature variations on Io's surface, ranging from -130 C to over 2000 C at the Pillan Patera volcanic vent. The active volcanoes, fumaroles, calderas, and lava lakes and vast sulfur deposits on this frozen moon indicate that analogs of sulfur- and sulfate-reducing bacteria might inhabit Io. Hence Io may have great significance to Astrobiology. Earth's life forms that depend on sulfur respiration are members of two domains: Bacteria and Archaea. Two basic links of the biogeochemical sulfur cycle of Earth have been studied: 1) the sulfur oxidizing process (occurring at aerobic conditions) and 2) the process of sulfur-reduction to hydrogen sulfide (anaerobic conditions). Sulfate-reducing bacteria (StRB) and sulfur-reducing bacteria (SrRB) are responsible for anaerobic reducing processes. At the present time the systematics of StRB include over 112 species distributed into 35 genera of Bacteria and Archaea. Moderately thermophilic and mesophilic SrRB belong to the Bacteria. The hyperthermophilic SrRB predominately belong to the domain Archaea and are included in the genera: Pyrodictium, Thermoproteus, Pyrobaculum, Thermophilum, Desulfurococcus, and Thermodiscus. The StRB and SrRB use a wide spectrum of substrates as electron donors for lithotrophic and heterotrophic type nutrition. The electron acceptors for the StRB include: sulfate, thiosulfate, sulfite, sulfur, arsenate, dithionite, tetrathionate, sulfur monoxide, iron, nitrite, selenite, fumarate, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and chlorine-containing phenol compounds. The Sulfate- and Sulfur-reducing bacteria are widely distributed in anaerobic ecosystems, including extreme environments like hot springs, deepsea hydrothermal vents, soda and high salinity lakes, and cryo-environments. Furthermore, the StRB and SrRB have Astrobiological significance as these anaerobic extremophiles may represent the dominant relic life forms that inhabited our planet during the extensive volcanic activity in the Earth's early evolutionary period.

  4. Coaggregation occurs amongst bacteria within and between biofilms in domestic showerheads.

    PubMed

    Vornhagen, Jay; Stevens, Michael; McCormick, David W; Dowd, Scot E; Eisenberg, Joseph N S; Boles, Blaise R; Rickard, Alexander H

    2013-01-01

    Showerheads support the development of multi-species biofilms that can be unsightly, produce malodor, and may harbor pathogens. The outer-surface spray-plates of many showerheads support visible biofilms that likely contain a mixture of bacteria from freshwater and potentially from human users. Coaggregation, a mechanism by which genetically distinct bacteria specifically recognize one another, may contribute to the retention and enrichment of different species within these biofilms. The aim of this work was to describe the bacterial composition of outer spray-plate biofilms of three domestic showerheads and to determine the intra- and inter-biofilm coaggregation ability of each culturable isolate. The bacterial composition of the three biofilms was determined by using bacterial tag-encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) and by culturing on R2A medium. An average of 31 genera per biofilm were identified using bTEFAP and a total of 30 isolates were cultured. Even though the microbial diversity of each showerhead biofilm differed, every cultured isolate was able to coaggregate with at least one other isolate from the same or different showerhead biofilm. Promiscuous coaggregating isolates belonged to the genera Brevundimonas, Micrococcus, and Lysobacter. This work suggests that coaggregation may be a common feature of showerhead biofilms. Characterization of the mechanisms mediating coaggregation, and the inter-species interactions they facilitate, may allow for novel strategies to inhibit biofilm development. PMID:23194413

  5. Community Structure and Biogeochemical Impacts of Microbial Life on Floating Pumice

    PubMed Central

    Bastidas Navarro, M.; Corman, J. R.; Emick, H.; Kellom, M.; Laspoumaderes, C.; Lee, Z. M.; Poret-Peterson, A. T.; Balseiro, E.; Modenutti, B.

    2014-01-01

    Volcanic eruptions are a widespread force of geological and ecological disturbance and present recurrent opportunities for the study of biological responses to novel habitat formation. However, scientific study of such events is difficult given their short duration and often distant location. Here we report results from opportunistic sampling of unique volcano-generated habitats formed during the 2011 explosive eruption in the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle complex (Chile), when massive amounts of pumice were ejected, creating novel floating substrata that have never before been characterized from a microbiological perspective. DNA sequencing revealed a dynamic community of microbes that came to inhabit the pumice, with a unique composition distinct from that of the lakes' surface waters and with suggestions of ecological convergence across lakes and sampling times. Furthermore, biogeochemical studies of net nutrient fluxes showed that, while the fresh pumice arriving to the lakes was an initial source of phosphorus (P), colonized pumice had high rates of nitrogen (N) and P uptake and was sufficiently abundant to represent a significant lake-wide nutrient sink. These findings highlight the remarkable versatility of microbes in exploiting novel environments and are consistent with a recent proposal of floating pumice as a favorable environment for the initial origins of life on early Earth. PMID:25527547

  6. Community structure and biogeochemical impacts of microbial life on floating pumice.

    PubMed

    Elser, J J; Bastidas Navarro, M; Corman, J R; Emick, H; Kellom, M; Laspoumaderes, C; Lee, Z M; Poret-Peterson, A T; Balseiro, E; Modenutti, B

    2015-03-01

    Volcanic eruptions are a widespread force of geological and ecological disturbance and present recurrent opportunities for the study of biological responses to novel habitat formation. However, scientific study of such events is difficult given their short duration and often distant location. Here we report results from opportunistic sampling of unique volcano-generated habitats formed during the 2011 explosive eruption in the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle complex (Chile), when massive amounts of pumice were ejected, creating novel floating substrata that have never before been characterized from a microbiological perspective. DNA sequencing revealed a dynamic community of microbes that came to inhabit the pumice, with a unique composition distinct from that of the lakes' surface waters and with suggestions of ecological convergence across lakes and sampling times. Furthermore, biogeochemical studies of net nutrient fluxes showed that, while the fresh pumice arriving to the lakes was an initial source of phosphorus (P), colonized pumice had high rates of nitrogen (N) and P uptake and was sufficiently abundant to represent a significant lake-wide nutrient sink. These findings highlight the remarkable versatility of microbes in exploiting novel environments and are consistent with a recent proposal of floating pumice as a favorable environment for the initial origins of life on early Earth. PMID:25527547

  7. Species sorting during biofilm assembly by artificial substrates deployed in a cold seep system.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei Peng; Wang, Yong; Tian, Ren Mao; Bougouffa, Salim; Yang, Bo; Cao, Hui Luo; Zhang, Gen; Wong, Yue Him; Xu, Wei; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Zhang, Xi Xiang; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Studies focusing on biofilm assembly in deep-sea environments are rarely conducted. To examine the effects of substrate type on microbial community assembly, biofilms were developed on different substrates for different durations at two locations in the Red Sea: in a brine pool and in nearby bottom water (NBW) adjacent to the Thuwal cold seep II. The composition of the microbial communities in 51 biofilms and water samples were revealed by classification of pyrosequenced 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Together with the microscopic characteristics of the biofilms, the results indicate a stronger selection effect by the substrates on the microbial assembly in the brine pool compared with the NBW. Moreover, the selection effect by substrate type was stronger in the early stages compared with the later stages of the biofilm development. These results are consistent with the hypotheses proposed in the framework of species sorting theory, which states that the power of species sorting during microbial community assembly is dictated by habitat conditions, duration and the structure of the source community. Therefore, the results of this study shed light on the control strategy underlying biofilm-associated marine fouling and provide supporting evidence for ecological theories important for understanding the formation of deep-sea biofilms. PMID:25323200

  8. Species sorting during biofilm assembly by artificial substrates deployed in a cold seep system

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei Peng; Wang, Yong; Tian, Ren Mao; Bougouffa, Salim; Yang, Bo; Cao, Hui Luo; Zhang, Gen; Wong, Yue Him; Xu, Wei; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Zhang, Xi Xiang; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Studies focusing on biofilm assembly in deep-sea environments are rarely conducted. To examine the effects of substrate type on microbial community assembly, biofilms were developed on different substrates for different durations at two locations in the Red Sea: in a brine pool and in nearby bottom water (NBW) adjacent to the Thuwal cold seep II. The composition of the microbial communities in 51 biofilms and water samples were revealed by classification of pyrosequenced 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Together with the microscopic characteristics of the biofilms, the results indicate a stronger selection effect by the substrates on the microbial assembly in the brine pool compared with the NBW. Moreover, the selection effect by substrate type was stronger in the early stages compared with the later stages of the biofilm development. These results are consistent with the hypotheses proposed in the framework of species sorting theory, which states that the power of species sorting during microbial community assembly is dictated by habitat conditions, duration and the structure of the source community. Therefore, the results of this study shed light on the control strategy underlying biofilm-associated marine fouling and provide supporting evidence for ecological theories important for understanding the formation of deep-sea biofilms. PMID:25323200

  9. Rapid monitoring method to assess efficacy of sanitizers against Pseudomonas putida biofilms.

    PubMed

    Chumkhunthod, P; Schraft, H; Griffiths, M W

    1998-08-01

    Biofilms of luminescent Pseudomonas putida were developed on rubber surfaces by incubation in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) were used to examine biofilm formation. To test the efficacy of two sanitizers commonly employed in dairy plants for CIP (cleaning in place) procedures, a novel bioluminescence method and aerobic plating were used to enumerate cells. Immediately after the sanitizer treatments an apparent 5-log reduction of biofilm-associated cells was determined. However, when the samples were resuscitated for 18 h in BHI broth, high numbers of cells were detected which reached levels close to those of nontreated controls. The results demonstrated that neither sanitizer could completely eliminate biofilm-associated P. putida. The microbial bioluminescence method proved to be the best way for assessing effectiveness of sanitizers against microbial biofilms. PMID:9713769

  10. In vitro modeling of host-parasite interactions: the 'subgingival' biofilm challenge of primary human epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Microbial biofilms are known to cause an increasing number of chronic inflammatory and infectious conditions. A classical example is chronic periodontal disease, a condition initiated by the subgingival dental plaque biofilm on gingival epithelial tissues. We describe here a new model that permits the examination of interactions between the bacterial biofilm and host cells in general. We use primary human gingival epithelial cells (HGEC) and an in vitro grown biofilm, comprising nine frequently studied and representative subgingival plaque bacteria. Results We describe the growth of a mature 'subgingival' in vitro biofilm, its composition during development, its ability to adapt to aerobic conditions and how we expose in vitro a HGEC monolayer to this biofilm. Challenging the host derived HGEC with the biofilm invoked apoptosis in the epithelial cells, triggered release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and in parallel induced rapid degradation of the cytokines by biofilm-generated enzymes. Conclusion We developed an experimental in vitro model to study processes taking place in the gingival crevice during the initiation of inflammation. The new model takes into account that the microbial challenge derives from a biofilm community and not from planktonically cultured bacterial strains. It will facilitate easily the introduction of additional host cells such as neutrophils for future biofilm:host cell challenge studies. Our methodology may generate particular interest, as it should be widely applicable to other biofilm-related chronic inflammatory diseases. PMID:20043840

  11. Effect of Fluoride and Chlorhexidine Digluconate Mouthrinses on Plaque Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Rabe, Per; Twetman, Svante; Kinnby, Bertil; Svensäter, Gunnel; Davies, Julia R

    2015-01-01

    Objective : To develop a model in which to investigate the architecture of plaque biofilms formed on enamel surfaces in vivo and to compare the effects of anti-microbial agents of relevance for caries on biofilm vitality. Materials and Methodology : Enamel discs mounted on healing abutments in the pre-molar region were worn by three subjects for 7 days. Control discs were removed before subjects rinsed with 0.1% chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) or 0.2% sodium fluoride (NaF) for 1 minute. Biofilms were stained with Baclight Live/Dead and z-stacks of images created using confocal scanning laser micoscopy. The levels of vital and dead/damaged bacteria in the biofilms, assessed as the proportion of green and red pixels respectively, were analysed using ImageTrak® software. Results : The subjects showed individual differences in biofilm architecture. The thickness of the biofilms varied from 28-96µm although cell density was always the greatest in the middle layers. In control biofilms, the overall levels of vitality were high (71-98%) especially in the area closest to the enamel interface. Rinsing with either CHX or NaF caused a similar reduction in overall vitality. CHX exerted an effect throughout the biofilm, particularly on the surface of cell clusters whereas NaF caused cell damage/death mainly in the middle to lower biofilm layers. Conclusion : We describe a model that allows the formation of mature, undisturbed oral biofilms on human enamel surfaces in vivo and show that CHX and NaF have a similar effect on overall vitality but differ in their sites of action. PMID:25870718

  12. Microbial fuel cell with improved anode

    DOEpatents

    Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2010-04-13

    The present invention relates to a method for preparing a microbial fuel cell, wherein the method includes: (i) inoculating an anodic liquid medium in contact with an anode of the microbial fuel cell with one or more types of microorganisms capable of functioning by an exoelectrogenic mechanism; (ii) establishing a biofilm of the microorganisms on and/or within the anode along with a substantial absence of planktonic forms of the microorganisms by substantial removal of the planktonic microorganisms during forced flow and recirculation conditions of the anodic liquid medium; and (iii) subjecting the microorganisms of the biofilm to a growth stage by incorporating one or more carbon-containing nutritive compounds in the anodic liquid medium during biofilm formation or after biofilm formation on the anode has been established.

  13. Anodic and cathodic microbial communities in single chamber microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Daghio, Matteo; Gandolfi, Isabella; Bestetti, Giuseppina; Franzetti, Andrea; Guerrini, Edoardo; Cristiani, Pierangela

    2015-01-25

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a rapidly growing technology for energy production from wastewater and biomasses. In a MFC, a microbial biofilm oxidizes organic matter and transfers electrons from reduced compounds to an anode as the electron acceptor by extracellular electron transfer (EET). The aim of this work was to characterize the microbial communities operating in a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (SCMFC) fed with acetate and inoculated with a biogas digestate in order to gain more insight into anodic and cathodic EET. Taxonomic characterization of the communities was carried out by Illumina sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Microorganisms belonging to Geovibrio genus and purple non-sulfur (PNS) bacteria were found to be dominant in the anodic biofilm. The alkaliphilic genus Nitrincola and anaerobic microorganisms belonging to Porphyromonadaceae family were the most abundant bacteria in the cathodic biofilm. PMID:25291711

  14. Impact of disinfection on drinking water biofilm bacterial community.

    PubMed

    Mi, Zilong; Dai, Yu; Xie, Shuguang; Chen, Chao; Zhang, Xiaojian

    2015-11-01

    Disinfectants are commonly applied to control the growth of microorganisms in drinking water distribution systems. However, the effect of disinfection on drinking water microbial community remains poorly understood. The present study investigated the impacts of different disinfectants (chlorine and chloramine) and dosages on biofilm bacterial community in bench-scale pipe section reactors. Illumina MiSeq sequencing illustrated that disinfection strategy could affect both bacterial diversity and community structure of drinking water biofilm. Proteobacteria tended to predominate in chloraminated drinking water biofilms, while Firmicutes in chlorinated and unchlorinated biofilms. The major proteobacterial groups were influenced by both disinfectant type and dosage. In addition, chloramination had a more profound impact on bacterial community than chlorination. PMID:26574105

  15. Functional characterization of two concrete biofilms using pyrosequencing data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Phylogenetic studies of concrete biofilms using 16SrRNA-based approaches have demonstrated that concrete surfaces harbor a diverse microbial community. These approaches can provide information on the general taxonomical groups present in a sample but cannot shed light on the func...

  16. A Mathematical Model of Quorum Sensing Induced Biofilm Detachment

    PubMed Central

    Emerenini, Blessing O.; Hense, Burkhard A.; Kuttler, Christina; Eberl, Hermann J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Cell dispersal (or detachment) is part of the developmental cycle of microbial biofilms. It can be externally or internally induced, and manifests itself in discrete sloughing events, whereby many cells disperse in an instance, or in continuous slower dispersal of single cells. One suggested trigger of cell dispersal is quorum sensing, a cell-cell communication mechanism used to coordinate gene expression and behavior in groups based on population densities. Method To better understand the interplay of colony growth and cell dispersal, we develop a dynamic, spatially extended mathematical model that includes biofilm growth, production of quorum sensing molecules, cell dispersal triggered by quorum sensing molecules, and re-attachment of cells. This is a highly nonlinear system of diffusion-reaction equations that we study in computer simulations. Results Our results show that quorum sensing induced cell dispersal can be an efficient mechanism for bacteria to control the size of a biofilm colony, and at the same time enhance its downstream colonization potential. In fact we find that over the lifetime of a biofilm colony the majority of cells produced are lost into the aqueous phase, supporting the notion of biofilms as cell nurseries. We find that a single quorum sensing based mechanism can explain both, discrete dispersal events and continuous shedding of cells from a colony. Moreover, quorum sensing induced cell dispersal affects the structure and architecture of the biofilm, for example it might lead to the formation of hollow inner regions in a biofilm colony. PMID:26197231

  17. Electron acceptor-dependent respiratory and physiological stratifications in biofilms.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yonggang; Xiang, Yinbo; Sun, Guoping; Wu, Wei-Min; Xu, Meiying

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial respiration is an essential driving force in biogeochemical cycling and bioremediation processes. Electron acceptors respired by bacteria often have solid and soluble forms that typically coexist in the environment. It is important to understand how sessile bacteria attached to solid electron acceptors respond to ambient soluble alternative electron acceptors. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) provide a useful tool to investigate this interaction. In MFCs with Shewanella decolorationis, azo dye was used as an alternative electron acceptor in the anode chamber. Different respiration patterns were observed for biofilm and planktonic cells, with planktonic cells preferred to respire with azo dye while biofilm cells respired with both the anode and azo dye. The additional azo respiration dissipated the proton accumulation within the anode biofilm. There was a large redox potential gap between the biofilms and anode surface. Changing cathodic conditions caused immediate effects on the anode potential but not on the biofilm potential. Biofilm viability showed an inverse and respiration-dependent profile when respiring with only the anode or azo dye and was enhanced when respiring with both simultaneously. These results provide new insights into the bacterial respiration strategies in environments containing multiple electron acceptors and support an electron-hopping mechanism within Shewanella electrode-respiring biofilms. PMID:25495895

  18. Toluene diffusion and reaction in unsaturated Pseudomonas putida biofilms

    SciTech Connect

    Holden, P.A.; Hunt, J.R.; Firestone, M.K.

    1997-12-20

    Biofilms are frequently studied in the context of submerged or aquatic systems. However, much less is known about biofilms in unsaturated systems, despite their importance to such processes as food spoilage, terrestrial nutrient cycling, and biodegradation of environmental pollutants in soils. Using modeling and experimentation, the authors have described the biodegradation of toluene in unsaturated media by bacterial biofilms as a function of matric water potential, a dominant variable in unsaturated systems. They experimentally determined diffusion and kinetic parameters for Pseudomonas putida biofilms, then predicted biodegradation rates over a range of matric water potentials. For validation, the authors measured the rate of toluene depletion by intact biofilms and found the results to reasonably follow the model predictions. The diffusion coefficient for toluene through unsaturated P. putida biofilm averaged 1.3 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} cm{sup 2}/s, which is approximately two orders of magnitude lower than toluene diffusivity in water. Their studies show that, at the scale of the microbial biofilm, the diffusion of toluene to biodegrading bacteria can limit the overall rate of biological toluene depletion in unsaturated systems.

  19. Toluene Diffusion and Reaction in Unsaturated Pseudomonas putida Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Holden, Patricia A.; Hunt, James R.; Firestone, Mary K.

    2010-01-01

    Biofilms are frequently studied in the context of submerged or aquatic systems. However, much less is known about biofilms in unsaturated systems, despite their importance to such processes as food spoilage, terrestrial nutrient cycling, and biodegradation of environmental pollutants in soils. Using modeling and experimentation, we have described the biodegradation of toluene in unsaturated media by bacterial biofilms as a function of matric water potential, a dominant variable in unsaturated systems. We experimentally determined diffusion and kinetic parameters for Pseudomonas putida biofilms, then predicted biodegradation rates over a range of matric water potentials. For validation, we measured the rate of toluene depletion by intact biofilms and found the results to reasonably follow the model predictions. The diffusion coefficient for toluene through unsaturated P. putida biofilm averaged 1.3 × 10?7 cm2/s, which is approximately two orders of magnitude lower than toluene diffusivity in water. Our studies show that, at the scale of the microbial biofilm, the diffusion of toluene to biodegrading bacteria can limit the overall rate of biological toluene depletion in unsaturated systems. PMID:18642338

  20. Effects of selected pharmaceuticals on riverine biofilm communities.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, John R; Swerhone, George D W; Wassenaar, Leonard I; Neu, Thomas R

    2005-08-01

    Although pharmaceutical and therapeutic products are widely found in the natural environment, there is limited understanding of their ecological effects. Here we used rotating annular bioreactors to assess the impact of 10 microg.L(-1) of the selected pharmaceuticals ibuprofen, carbamazepine, furosemide, and caffeine on riverine biofilms. After 8 weeks of development, community structure was assessed using in situ microscopic analyses, fluor-conjugated lectin binding, standard plate counts, fluorescent in situ hybridization, carbon utilization spectra, and stable carbon isotope analyses. The biofilm communities varied markedly in architecture although only caffeine treated biofilms were significantly thicker. Cyanobacteria were suppressed by all 4 compounds, whereas the nitrogen containing caffeine, furosemide, and carbamazepine increased algal biomass. Ibuprofen and carbamazepine reduced bacterial biomass, while caffeine and furosemide increased it. Exopolymer content and composition of the biofilms was also influenced. Significant positive and negative effects were observed in carbon utilization spectra. In situ hybridization analyses indicated all treatments significantly decreased the gamma-proteobacterial populations and increased beta-proteobacteria. Ibuprofen in particular increased the alpha-proteobacteria, beta-proteobacteria, cytophaga-flavobacteria, and SRB385 probe positive populations. Caffeine and carbamazepine additions resulted in significant increases in the high GC354c and low GC69a probe positive cells. Live-dead analyses of the biofilms indicated that all treatments influenced the ratio of live-to-dead cells with controls having a ratio of 2.4, carbamazepine and ibuprofen being 3.2 and 3.5, respectively, and furosemide and caffeine being 1.9 and 1.7, respectively. Stable isotope analyses of the biofilms indicated delta 13C values shifted to more negative values relative to control biofilms. This shift may be consistent with proportional loss of cyanobacteria and relative increase in algal biomass rather than incorporation of pharmaceutical carbon into microbial biofilm. Thus, at 10 microg.L(-1) levels pharmaceuticals exhibit both nutrient-like and toxic effects on riverine microbial communities. PMID:16234864

  1. From Biology to Drug Development: New Approaches to Combat the Threat of Fungal Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Christopher G.; Srinivasan, Anand; Ramasubramanian, Anand K.; López-Ribot, José L.

    2015-01-01

    Fungal infections constitute a major threat to an escalating number of critically ill patients. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms and, as such, there is a limited armamentarium of antifungal drugs, leading to high mortality rates. Moreover, fungal infections are often associated with the formation of biofilms, which contribute to virulence and further complicate treatment due to the high level of antifungal drug resistance displayed by sessile cells within these microbial communities. Thus, the treatment of fungal infections associated with a biofilm aetiology represents a formidable and unmet clinical challenge. The increasing importance and awareness of fungal biofilms is reflected by the fact that this is now an area of very active research. Studies in the last decade have provided important insights into fungal biofilm biology, physiology and pathology, as well as into the molecular basis of biofilm resistance. Here we discuss how this accumulated knowledge may inform the development of new anti-biofilm strategies and therapeutics that are urgently needed. PMID:26185082

  2. Exploring life's limits: Deep geobiochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    N-dimensional chemical space on Earth and beyond produces diverse habitats for microbial activity. Hydrothermal environments cover a wide range of habitable space up to and including life's known limits and provide a window into deep geological, geochemical, and biological processes. Hydrothermal water compositions, as sampled from and measured in terrestrial hot springs on Earth's surface, vary in chemical constituent speciation and concentrations over orders of magnitude in a plethora of geochemical parameters with biological significance, including hydronium ion, sulfide, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and molybdenum. Proteins provide a link between geochemistry and microbial activity by catalyzing chemical reactions. Proteins extracted and identified by tandem mass spectrometry from 13 hot spring sediments and biofilms - covering pH values from 2-9 and diverse geochemical compositions - function as efflux transporters, permeases, electron transporters, and others, suggesting that these processes were present in the environment and occurring at the time of sampling. Metalloenzymes have been identified, including the iron protein rubrerythrin, thought to be involved in oxidative stress protection in anaerobic bacteria and archaea, as well as proteins involved in macronutrient processing (carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, and sulfur). The melding of biochemistry with geochemistry shows potential for quantifying microbial activity in deep environments by demonstrating the presence - and as techniques improve, relative abundances - of reaction-catalyzing enzymes. Moreover, using hot spring sources and their outflow channels as chemical and biological models of geologic time helps decipher the origin and co-evolution of life and geochemistry.

  3. Mass Transfer Enhancement in Moving Biofilm Structures

    PubMed Central

    Taherzadeh, Danial; Picioreanu, Cristian; Horn, Harald

    2012-01-01

    Biofilms are layers of microbial cells growing on an interface and they can form highly complex structures adapted to a wide variety of environmental conditions. Biofilm streamers have a small immobile base attached to the support and a flexible tail elongated in the flow direction, which can vibrate in fast flows. Herein we report numerical results for the role of the periodical movement of biofilm streamers on the nutrient uptake and in general on the solute mass transfer enhancement due to flow-induced oscillations. We developed what to our knowledge is a novel two-dimensional fluid-structure interaction model coupled to unsteady solute mass transport and solved the model using the finite element method with a moving mesh. Results demonstrate that the oscillatory movement of the biofilm tail significantly increases the substrate uptake. The mass transfer coefficient is the highest in regions close to the streamer tip. The reason for substrate transfer enhancement is the increase in speed of tip movement relative to the surrounding liquid, thereby reducing the thickness of the mass transfer boundary layer. In addition, we show that the relative mass transfer enhancement in unsteady conditions compared with the rigid static structure is larger at higher flow velocities, and this relative increase favors a more flexible structure. PMID:22500748

  4. Ratiometric Imaging of Extracellular pH in Bacterial Biofilms with C-SNARF-4

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Javier E.; Greve, Matilde; Raarup, Merete K.; Nyvad, Bente; Dige, Irene

    2014-01-01

    pH in the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms is of central importance for microbial metabolism. Biofilms possess a complex three-dimensional architecture characterized by chemically different microenvironments in close proximity. For decades, pH measurements in biofilms have been limited to monitoring bulk pH with electrodes. Although pH microelectrodes with a better spatial resolution have been developed, they do not permit the monitoring of horizontal pH gradients in biofilms in real time. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy can overcome these problems, but none of the hitherto employed methods differentiated accurately between extracellular and intracellular microbial pH and visualized extracellular pH in all areas of the biofilms. Here, we developed a method to reliably monitor extracellular biofilm pH microscopically with the ratiometric pH-sensitive dye C-SNARF-4, choosing dental biofilms as an example. Fluorescent emissions of C-SNARF-4 can be used to calculate extracellular pH irrespective of the dye concentration. We showed that at pH values of <6, C-SNARF-4 stained 15 bacterial species frequently isolated from dental biofilm and visualized the entire bacterial biomass in in vivo-grown dental biofilms with unknown species composition. We then employed digital image analysis to remove the bacterial biomass from the microscopic images and adequately calculate extracellular pH values. As a proof of concept, we monitored the extracellular pH drop in in vivo-grown dental biofilms fermenting glucose. The combination of pH ratiometry with C-SNARF-4 and digital image analysis allows the accurate monitoring of extracellular pH in bacterial biofilms in three dimensions in real time and represents a significant improvement to previously employed methods of biofilm pH measurement. PMID:25501477

  5. Ratiometric imaging of extracellular pH in bacterial biofilms with C-SNARF-4.

    PubMed

    Schlafer, Sebastian; Garcia, Javier E; Greve, Matilde; Raarup, Merete K; Nyvad, Bente; Dige, Irene

    2015-02-01

    pH in the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms is of central importance for microbial metabolism. Biofilms possess a complex three-dimensional architecture characterized by chemically different microenvironments in close proximity. For decades, pH measurements in biofilms have been limited to monitoring bulk pH with electrodes. Although pH microelectrodes with a better spatial resolution have been developed, they do not permit the monitoring of horizontal pH gradients in biofilms in real time. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy can overcome these problems, but none of the hitherto employed methods differentiated accurately between extracellular and intracellular microbial pH and visualized extracellular pH in all areas of the biofilms. Here, we developed a method to reliably monitor extracellular biofilm pH microscopically with the ratiometric pH-sensitive dye C-SNARF-4, choosing dental biofilms as an example. Fluorescent emissions of C-SNARF-4 can be used to calculate extracellular pH irrespective of the dye concentration. We showed that at pH values of <6, C-SNARF-4 stained 15 bacterial species frequently isolated from dental biofilm and visualized the entire bacterial biomass in in vivo-grown dental biofilms with unknown species composition. We then employed digital image analysis to remove the bacterial biomass from the microscopic images and adequately calculate extracellular pH values. As a proof of concept, we monitored the extracellular pH drop in in vivo-grown dental biofilms fermenting glucose. The combination of pH ratiometry with C-SNARF-4 and digital image analysis allows the accurate monitoring of extracellular pH in bacterial biofilms in three dimensions in real time and represents a significant improvement to previously employed methods of biofilm pH measurement. PMID:25501477

  6. Center for Biofilm Engineering www.biofilm.montana.edu

    E-print Network

    Maxwell, Bruce D.

    Center for Biofilm Engineering www.biofilm.montana.edu Annual Report 2012 from seeing to solving) captured this image of a dual-species anaerobic biofilm. Blue areas indicate presence of cellular material; red areas indicate cells that are metabolically active. In contrast with biofilms that thrive

  7. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Ecology: Applications in Ruminant Health and Production Research

    PubMed Central

    Osterstock, Jason B.; Pinchak, William E.; Ishii, Shun’ichi; Nelson, Karen E.

    2009-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H2in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H2 plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H2 partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research. PMID:20024685

  8. Comparison of arcobacter butzleri ED-1 and arcobacter L anode biofilm formation and a proteomic comparison of A. butzleri ED-1 at the anode of a half microbial fuel cell 

    E-print Network

    Knighton, Matthew Charles

    2013-11-28

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs