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Resilient morphology - Resistant community: recovery of multi-species biofilms after disturbance

Abstract : Bacteria form biofilms when colonizing lung tissue, air-conditioning units or any other interface. At these interfaces, biofilms face dynamic environmental conditions, for example drug pulses in cystic fibrosis treatment, or biocide dosage in industrial processes. How a morphologicallycomplex multi-species biofilm recovers after a disturbance is a critical aspect for controlling biofouling but likewise an important question in disturbance ecology. Do resilient or resistant biofilms develop as a function of disturbance frequency? Over eight weeks, we monitored biofilm recovery in three laboratory reactors after several monochloramine pulses at different pulse injection frequencies. We quantified two aspects in biofilm development: Bacterial community composition (using molecular community fingerprints by determining single strand conformation polymorphisms of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA) and biofilm morphology (microscopically using methods from quantitative advanced image analysis). Monochloramine-exposed biofilms drastically changed their morphology after biocide pulses started. The weekly dosed reactor repeatedly re-developed its initial biofilm morphology. The daily-dosed reactor quickly developed a new stable morphology. Once daily dosage was stopped, a morphology resembling the undisturbed biofilm re-developed. In contrast, the community composition of the biofilms was hardly affected by monochloramine pulses. Throughout the experiment, the dominant taxa of the microbial community remained constant. Apparent resistance of the bacterial community to monochloramine may be achieved by temporarily producing a more protective biofilm morphology, possibly by changing the EPS composition. After the disturbance, a resilient biofilm morphology returns to its initial state. Whether EPS oxidation by monochloramine or a changed EPS composition cause the resilient morphology is currently tested.
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Contributor : Migration Prodinra <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 7:44:43 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 9:08:41 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02744657, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 44937


Kim Milferstedt, Gaelle Gévaudan, Jean-Jacques Godon, Renaud Escudie, Nicolas Bernet. Resilient morphology - Resistant community: recovery of multi-species biofilms after disturbance. 4. Congress of European Microbiologists - FEMS 2011, Jun 2011, Genève, Switzerland. ⟨hal-02744657⟩



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