A review linking interspecific interactions and spatial organization of multispecies biofilm

Interspecific interactions are believed to be important for the function of the microbial communities. And in most cases, these interactions can lead to specific spatial organization of microorganisms in multispecies biofilm. Combination of spatial organization and omics anaylsis is definitely a way to reveal the molecular mechanisms underpinning interspecies interactions and bring biofilm research an important step forward.

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Sep 02, 2016
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Interspecific bacterial interactions are reflected in multispecies biofilm spatial organization

Wenzheng Liu, Henriette Lyng Røder, Jonas Stenløkke Madsen, Thomas Bjarnsholt, Søren J Sørensen, Mette Burmølle

Frontiers in Microbiology 2016, Volume 7, Article 1366

Abstract: Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result in coordinated regulation of gene expression in the different species present. These communal interactions often lead to emergent properties in biofilms, such as enhanced tolerance against antibiotics, host immune responses and other stresses, which have been shown to provide benefits to all biofilm members not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells in multispecies communities can be an alternative strategy to reveal the nature of interspecies interactions of constituent species. Closing the gap between visual observation and biological processes may become crucial for resolving biofilm related problems, which is of utmost importance to environmental, industrial, and clinical implications. This review briefly presents the state of the art of studying interspecies interactions and spatial organization of multispecies communities, aiming to support theoretical and practical arguments for further advancement of this field.

Wenzheng and Henriette

Go to the profile of Wenzheng Liu

Wenzheng Liu

PhD student, University of Copenhagen


Go to the profile of Ben Libberton
Ben Libberton almost 2 years ago

Very nice review and a fascinating area of future research.