Extracellular DNA Required For Bacterial Biofilm Formation

Amer Assoc Advancement Science
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science, 2002, 295 (5559), pp. 1487 - 1487
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Bacterial biofilms are structured communities of cells enclosed in self-produced hydrated polymeric matrix adherent to an inert or living surface (1). Formation of these sessile communities and their inherent resistance to antibiotics and host immune attack are at the root of many persistent and chronic bacterial infections (1), including those caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which has been intensively studied as a model for biofilm formation (2, 3). The matrix, which holds bacterial biofilms together, is a complex mixture of macromolecules including exopolysaccharides, proteins, and DNA (4). The latter has been presumed to be derived from lysed cells and has not been thought to represent an important component of biofilm structure. However, it has been known for many years that some bacteria, including P. aeruginosa, produce substantial quantities of extracellular DNA through a mechanism that is thought to be independent of cellular lysis and that appears to involve the release of small vesicles from the outer membrane
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