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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Commensal interactions in a dual-species biofilm exposed to mixed organic compounds.

There is limited knowledge of interspecies interactions in biofilm communities. In this study, Pseudomonas sp. strain GJ1, a 2-chloroethanol (2-CE)-degrading organism, and Pseudomonas putida DMP1, a p-cresol-degrading organism, produced distinct biofilms in response to model mixed waste streams composed of 2-CE and various p-cresol concentrations. The two organisms maintained a commensal relationship, with DMP1 mitigating the inhibitory effects of p-cresol on GJ1. A triple-labeling technique compatible with confocal microscopy was used to investigate the influence of toxicant concentrations on biofilm morphology, species distribution, and exopolysaccharide production. Single-species biofilms of GJ1 shifted from loosely associated cell clusters connected by exopolysaccharide to densely packed structures as the p-cresol concentrations increased, and biofilm formation was severely inhibited at high p-cresol concentrations. In contrast, GJ1 was abundant when associated with DMP1 in a dual-species biofilm at all p-cresol concentrations, although at high p-cresol concentrations it was present only in regions of the biofilm where it was surrounded by DMP1. Evidence in support of a commensal relationship between DMP1 and GJ1 was obtained by comparing GJ1-DMP1 biofilms with dual-species biofilms containing GJ1 and Escherichia coli ATCC 33456, an adhesive strain that does not mineralize p-cresol. Additionally, the data indicated that only tower-like cell structures in the GJ1-DMP1 biofilm produced exopolysaccharide, in contrast to the uniform distribution of EPS in the single-species GJ1 biofilm.[1]


  1. Commensal interactions in a dual-species biofilm exposed to mixed organic compounds. Cowan, S.E., Gilbert, E., Liepmann, D., Keasling, J.D. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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