Caister Academic Press

The Ecological Significance of Plant-associated Biofilms

Venkatachalam Lakshmanan, Amutha Sampath Kumar and Harsh P. Bais
from: Microbial Biofilms: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Gavin Lear and Gillian D. Lewis). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


Microorganisms have historically been studied as planktonic or free-swimming cells, but most exist as sessile communities attached to surfaces, in multicellular assemblies known as biofilms. In the process of coping with both the pathogenic and beneficial interactions, the rhizosphere of plant roots encourages formation of sessile communities that begins with the attachment of free-floating microorganisms to a surface. Certain bacteria such as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria not only induce plant growth but also protect plants from soil-borne pathogens in a process known as biocontrol. Contrastingly, other rhizobacteria in a biofilm matrix may cause pathogenesis in plants. Although research suggests that biofilm formation on plants is associated with biological control and pathogenic response, little is known about how plants regulate this association. The scope of this chapter is restricted to biofilm-forming bacteria and their interactions with terrestrial plants, specifically emphasizing recent work. After an overview of documented interactions between bacteria and plant tissues, we examine some of the more prominent mechanisms of biofilm formation on and around plant surfaces read more ...
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