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Cell shape as a determinant of biofilm structure and ecology

Smith, W. P. J. and Osborne, James M. and Davit, Yohan and Foster, Kevin R. and Pitt-Francis, Joe M. Cell shape as a determinant of biofilm structure and ecology. (2016) In: Biofilms7 conference, 26 June 2016 - 28 June 2016 (Porto, Portugal). (Unpublished)

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Bacterial cells come in a huge variety of shapes, but we have yet to understand the importance of these shapes for biofilm biology. How are multi-species biofilms affected by the morphologies of constituent cells? Which morphologies might the biofilm environment select for in turn? To address these questions, we combine individual-based modelling and experiments to investigate the effects of cell shape on patterning and evolution within bacterial biofilms. We have developed a flexible hybrid simulation framework, coupling a continuum model of the biofilm chemical environment to a cellular-level description of biofilm growth mechanics. Improving on previous ad-hoc models, this system allows competitions between different bacterial cell shapes to be rapidly simulated and explored.We show that cell shape can strongly affect patterning within bacterial biofilms. Rod cells do better at colonising surfaces and the expanding edges of colonies, while round cells are better at dominating the biofilm surface. Our predictions are supported by experiments with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which show that elongated cells gain a competitive advantage at the colony edge. We argue that cell shape is a major neglected determinant of patterning and evolutionary fitness within bacterial biofilms.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information:No full-text document attached to this repository
Audience (conference):International conference without published proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Other partners > University of Oxford (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:13 Sep 2016 12:12

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