, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 485-491
Date: 12 Sep 2010

Biofilm development in the extremely acidophilic archaeon ‘Ferroplasma acidarmanus’ Fer1

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Ferroplasma acidarmanus’ Fer1 is an iron-oxidizing extreme acidophile isolated from the Iron Mountain mine, California, USA. This archaeon is predominantly found in biofilm-associated structures in the environment, and produces two distinct biofilm morphologies. Bioinformatic analysis of the ‘F. acidarmanus’ Fer1 genome identified genes annotated as involved in attachment and biofilm formation. No putative quorum sensing signaling genes were identified and no N-acyl homoserine lactone-like compounds were found in ‘F. acidarmanus’ Fer1 biofilm supernatant. Scanning confocal microscopy analysis of biofilm development on the surface of pyrite demonstrated the temporal and spatial development of biofilm growth. Furthermore, two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to examine differential protein expression patterns between biofilm and planktonic populations. Ten up-regulated proteins were identified that included six enzymes associated with anaerobic growth, suggesting that the dominating phenotype in the mature biofilm was associated with anaerobic modes of growth. This report increases our knowledge of the genetic and proteomic basis of biofilm formation in an extreme acidophilic archaeon.

Communicated by A. Driessen.