Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 322056
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - PHEHETBACBIOFILM (Phenotypic heterogeneity in Bacillus subtilis biofilms)

The “PheHetBioBacillus” project focuses on bacterial growth in complex communities and the impact of metabolic heterogeneity. In nature, most microbes exist in surface-attached sedentary communities known as biofilms. These communities provide a simple example of microbial complexity: certain cells residing in a biofilm deliver cooperative traits, like the production and secretion of extracellular polysaccharides that benefit the whole biofilm population as they improve biofilm resistance; however the biofilm matrix producing individuals have a delayed growth. In the tightly packed biofilms, bacteria stick together, surrounded by exopolymeric substances that protect them from unfavorable conditions and environmental stresses. Due to its remarkable resistance features, inhibition or promotion of biofilm development receives substantial attention in both health sciences and biotechnology. To better understand biofilm development, one can study the metabolism of different cell types within such a complex community. In this project, we have gained better understanding how the metabolic heterogeneity influences biofilm development. This grant facilitates the study of these aims above: the laboratory of Terrestrial Biofilms Group was established at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, where the project is carried out.
During this project, various molecular microbiology and microscopy tools have been developed and used to study bacterial interactions and evolution during biofilm development. These techniques are now routinely used in our group to unravel how bacterial metabolism influences biofilm development. The project successfully identified the impact of metabolic heterogeneity on biofilm development and fulfilled all objectives of the proposed project.
The output of the established group is exemplified by the numerous peer reviewed scientific publications and huge set of invited presentations.

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Life Sciences
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