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Bacterial–Bacterial Cell Interactions in Biofilms: Detection of Polysaccharide Intercellular Adhesins by Blotting and Confocal Microscopy

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Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB,volume 341)

Abstract

Adhesive interactions between bacterial cells coupled with adherence to a solid surface can lead to the formation of a biofilm. The important role of biofilm formation in the pathogenesis of certain types of infection, especially those involving indwelling medical devices, is becoming increasingly apparent. Critical to the development of a biofilm is the elaboration of exopolysaccharide that contributes to substrate and intercellular adhesion. The synthesis and secretion of large exo-polysaccharides is a metabolically expensive process and is therefore often suppressed under conditions that favor the planktonic mode of growth. One way to identify the environmental cues that cause a given bacterial species to switch to the biofilm mode of growth is to monitor exo-polysaccharide elaboration in vitro. The exo-polysaccharide involved in biofilm formation in a number of bacterial species is a polymer of N-acetyl-glucosamine. In this chapter, we outline two methods that use wheat germ agglutinin, a lectin that binds to N-acetyl-glucosamine, to evaluate extracellular polysaccharide production by a variety of bacterial species.

Key Words

  • Biofilms
  • exo-polysaccharide
  • polysaccharide matrix
  • bacteria
  • lectins
  • wheat germ agglutinin
  • confocal microscopy

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  • DOI: 10.1385/1-59745-113-4:119
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© 2006 Humana Press Inc.

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Jefferson, K.K., Cerca, N. (2006). Bacterial–Bacterial Cell Interactions in Biofilms: Detection of Polysaccharide Intercellular Adhesins by Blotting and Confocal Microscopy. In: Colgan, S.P. (eds) Cell-Cell Interactions. Methods in Molecular Biology™, vol 341. Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1385/1-59745-113-4:119

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1385/1-59745-113-4:119

  • Publisher Name: Humana Press

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-58829-523-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-59745-113-0

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