Caister Academic Press

Differentiation and Dispersal in Biofilms

Authors: Jeremy S. Webb
Abstract: Biofilm formation is now commonly associated with concepts of development, differentiation, and dispersal of microorganisms, and often more broadly with multicellular biological systems. This underlying theme of multicellularity among sessile microorganisms has undoubtedly attracted significant fundamental research interest to the field. This chapter will summarize and discuss aspects of cellular differentiation in biofilms, including microcolony-based dispersal, autolysis of subpopulations of biofilm cells, and the recent finding that nitric oxide, a ubiquitous signal for cellular differentiation, can induce dispersal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.
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