Research ArticleBiofilms

The extracellular matrix protein TasA is a developmental cue that maintains a motile subpopulation within Bacillus subtilis biofilms

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  19 May 2020:
Vol. 13, Issue 632, eaaw8905
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaw8905

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Maintaining motile reserves

During biofilm formation, bacterial cells switch from a motile planktonic state to a matrix-producing, adherent state. Although bacterial biofilms are generally sessile, some, such as those formed by Bacillus subtilis, can spread to overtake and kill neighboring colonies of competitor species. Steinberg et al. found that a motile subpopulation of cells within B. subtilis biofilms was required for the biofilms to spread over foreign objects. This process required the matrix protein TasA, which stimulated a subset of cells within the biofilm to revert from a matrix-producing state to a motile state, thus ensuring that the colony could spread.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Signaling