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A pesky bacterial slime reveals its survival secrets
Date:1/7/2011

e biofilm and access subsurface cells."

Aizenberg and her colleagues speculate that such strong liquid repellence may have evolved in response to the bacteria's natural soil environment where water can leach heavy metals and other toxins.

Moreover, the property may underlie the recent success of the use of biofilm as an eco-friendly form of biocontrol for agriculture, protecting plant roots from water-borne pathogens.

Looking ahead, the Harvard team plans to investigate precisely how the biochemical components of biofilms give rise to their exceptional resistance and to test the properties of other bacterial species.

"The applications are exciting, but we are equally thrilled that our findings have revealed a previously undocumented phenomenon about biofilms," says Aizenberg. "The research should be an inspiring reminder that we have only scratched the surface of how things really work."

Just as with biofilm, she adds, "It has been a challenge to get deep into the core of the problem."


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Contact: Michael Patrick Rutter
mrutter@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-3815
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert  

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