Biophysical controls on cluster dynamics and architectural differentiation of microbial biofilms in contrasting flow environments.
Bottom Line: By experimenting with complex microbial communities forming biofilms in contrasting hydrodynamic microenvironments in stream mesocosms, we show that morphogenesis results in 'ripple-like' and 'star-like' architectures--as they have also been reported from monospecies bacterial biofilms, for instance.To explore the potential contribution of demographic processes to these architectures, we propose a size-structured population model to simulate the dynamics of biofilm growth and cluster size distribution.Our findings establish that basic physical and demographic processes are key forces that shape apparently universal biofilm architectures as they occur in diverse microbial but also in single-species bacterial biofilms.
Affiliation: Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, 1090, Vienna, Austria.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: To disentangle the impact of parameter variation on the dynamics of biofilm coverage and cluster abundance, we run a sensitivity analysis varying the model parameters and evaluating the resulting effects at the transition from isotropic to anisotropic clusters at day 6 and for a later stage at day 13 (Fig. 5 and Supporting Information). Variations of parameters generally support our experimental observations and notion of biofilm morphogenesis. For instance, during the transition phase, deposition rate and, to some extent, also reproduction rate were most influential on coverage and cluster abundance both at the crest and in the trough. As expected, coalescence and the fraction of migration cells were rather negligible for coverage in both microenvironments.
Affiliation: Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, 1090, Vienna, Austria.