Studying Bacterial Multispecies Biofilms: Where to Start?

Trends Microbiol. 2016 Mar 19. pii: S0966-842X(16)00056-1. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2016.02.019. [Epub ahead of print]


"Studies of fluorescently labelled strains with flow cells and the BioFlux system have increased our knowledge of the internal species distribution and spatial organisation in multispecies biofilms and between natural isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa."



The high prevalence and significance of multispecies biofilms have now been demonstrated in various bacterial habitats with medical, industrial, and ecological relevance. It is highly evident that several species of bacteria coexist and interact in biofilms, which highlights the need for evaluating the approaches used to study these complex communities. This review focuses on the establishment of multispecies biofilms in vitro, interspecies interactions in microhabitats, and how to select communities for evaluation. Studies have used different experimental approaches; here we evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of varying the degree of complexity. This review aims to facilitate multispecies biofilm research in order to expand the current limited knowledge on interspecies interactions.