Scientific Results

Electrical spiking in bacterial biofilms

Year: 2015

Authors: Masi E., Ciszak M., Santopolo L., Frascella A., Giovannetti L., Marchi E., Viti C., Mancuso S.

Autors Affiliation: DISPAA-Department of Agrifood and Environmental Science, University of Florence, Florence, Italy;
CNR-Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Florence, Italy

Abstract: In nature, biofilms are the most common form of bacterial growth. In biofilms, bacteria display coordinated behaviour to perform specific functions. Here, we investigated electrical signalling as a possible driver in biofilm sociobiology. Using a multi-electrode array system that enables high spatio-temporal resolution, we studied the electrical activity in two biofilm-forming strains and one non-biofilm-forming strain. The action potential rates monitored during biofilm-forming bacterial growth exhibited a one-peak maximum with a long tail, corresponding to the highest biofilm development. This peak was not observed for the non-biofilm-forming strain, demonstrating that the intensity of the electrical activity was not linearly related to the bacterial density, but was instead correlated with biofilm formation. Results obtained indicate that the analysis of the spatio-temporal electrical activity of bacteria during biofilm formation can open a new frontier in the study of the emergence of collective microbial behaviour.

Journal/Review: JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INTERFACE

Volume: 12 (102)      Pages from: 20141036  to: 20141036

More Information: M.C. acknowledges Regione Toscana for financial support. E. Masi, S.M. and L.S. were supported by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission, under FET-Open grant number 296582 (PLEASED). E. Masi, C.V. and S.M. designed the study. E. Masi, L.S., A.F. and E. Marchi conducted experiments. E. Masi and M.C. conducted data analysis. E. Masi, M.C., L.G., C.V. and S.M. wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the interpretation and discussion of the results.
KeyWords: Bacteria; Electrodes; Film growth, Biofilm development; Biofilm formation; Electrical activities; Electrical signalling; Electrical spiking; Multielectrode arrays; Sociobiology; Spatio-temporal resolution, Biofilms, action potential; Article; Bacillus licheniformis; bacterial biofilm; bacterial cell; bacterial growth; bacterial membrane; bacterial strain; bacterium culture; biofilm; cell communication; cell suspension; electric activity; Escherichia coli; nonhuman; signal noise ratio; spike wave; Bacillus; bacterial phenomena and functions; bacterium; chemistry; devices; electrochemistry; electrode; metabolism; microarray analysis; procedures; Pseudomonas; signal transduction; temperature, Bacteria (microorganisms), polymer, Action Potentials; Bacillus; Bacteria; Bacterial Physiological Phenomena; Biofilms; Electrochemistry; Electrodes; Escherichia coli; Microarray Analysis; Polymers; Pseudomonas; Signal Transduction; Temperature
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1036

Citations: 16
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