, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 485–491

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

  • Craig Baker-Austin
  • Joanna Potrykus
  • Margaret Wexler
  • Philip L. Bond
  • Mark Dopson
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00792-010-0328-1

Cite this article as:
Baker-Austin, C., Potrykus, J., Wexler, M. et al. Extremophiles (2010) 14: 485. doi:10.1007/s00792-010-0328-1


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.


FerroplasmaArchaeaAcidophileBiofilmConfocal microscopy



Extracellular polymeric substances


N-acyl homoserine lactones


Mineral salts medium


2-Dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis




Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight

Supplementary material

792_2010_328_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1123 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig Baker-Austin
    • 1
    • 4
  • Joanna Potrykus
    • 2
  • Margaret Wexler
    • 1
  • Philip L. Bond
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
  • Mark Dopson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Molecular BiologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology, Evolution and ConservationUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  4. 4.Cefas Weymouth LaboratoryWeymouthUK
  5. 5.Advanced Water Management CentreUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia