Studies of the last decade have shown that most bacteria exist in natural ecosystems as specifically organized, attached to substrates biofilms rather than as freely floating plankton cells. The formation of these biofilms is a complex and highly regulated process. The development of biofilm communities is a primary strategy of bacterial survival not only in the external environment but also in the bodies of infected macroorganisms. In these organisms, bacteria are joined by complicated cell–cell associations, which makes them functionally similar to multicellular organisms. In the present review, we consider the structural organization of biofilms, factors affecting initiation of the biofilm formation, differential expression of bacterial genes at various stages of the biofilm development and their regulation. The significance of studies in this field for medicine, in particular, for prevention and protection against pathogenic bacteria, is discussed.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 14, 2004
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