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Advantages of the biofilm way of life

The reasons why bacteria form biofilms are not clear but there are a number of benefits that could motivate them to adopt this strategy for growth and development.

Firstly, mature biofilms are more resistant to some physical forces such as shear flow, and can often tolerate antimicrobial agents at concentrations much higher than planktonic bacteria. Bacteria within biofilms may also be better adapted to withstand nutrient deprivation, pH changes, oxygen radicals, disinfectants and antibiotics than planktonic bacteria.

The formation of biofilms is also a mechanism that enables bacteria to remain within a favorable environmental niche. Biofilms present a number of benefits as due to the communal behavior they can specialize and divide the labour so that biofilms are interactive communities, with higher rates of gene transfer.

 

 

 

 

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Stream Biofilm Research Group
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Auckland
3a Symonds Street
Auckland, New Zealand
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streambiofilmgmail.com

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© Stream Biofilm Project, The University of Auckland 2008-2010
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