Escherichia coli Biofilms

1 Introduction 250

2 First Contacts with the Surface 250

  1. 1 Approaching the Surface: The role of Motility in E. coli Adhesion to Surfaces . . . 250
  2. 2 Primary Adhesion to Surfaces: Reversible Attachment 251
  3. 3 Irreversible Adhesion to Surfaces: The Role of Fimbriae 252

3 Building the Mature Biofilm 255

  1. 1 Surface Adhesins that Contribute to Biofilm Structure 255
  2. 2 Biofilm Matrix Polysaccharides 258

4 Regulatory Events During Biofilm Development 263

  1. 1 Predisposition to Surface Adhesion 263
  2. 2 Regulatory Events upon Initial Interaction with Surfaces 266
  3. 3 Genetic Regulation Within E. coli Biofilms 272

5 Conclusions 278

References 279

Abstract Escherichia coli is a predominant species among facultative anaerobic bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract. Both its frequent community lifestyle and the availability of a wide array of genetic tools contributed to establish E. coli as a relevant model organism for the study of surface colonization. Several key factors, including different extracellular appendages, are implicated in E. coli surface colonization and their expression and activity are finely regulated, both in space and time, to ensure productive events leading to mature biofilm formation. This chapter will present known molecular mechanisms underlying biofilm development in both commensal and pathogenic E. coli.

Groupe de Génétique des Biofilms, Institut Pasteur, CNRS URA 2172, 25 rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France jmghigo @

T. Romeo (ed.), Bacterial Biofilms.

Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 322.

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

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