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Bubble biofilm: Bacterial colonization of air-air interface
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 82020 (English)In: Biofilm, E-ISSN 2590-2075, Vol. 2, article id 100030Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Microbial mats or biofilms are known to colonize a wide range of substrates in aquatic environments. These dense benthic communities efficiently recycle nutrients and often exhibit high tolerance to environmental stressors, characteristics that enable them to inhabit harsh ecological niches. In some special cases, floating biofilms form at the air-water interface residing on top of a hydrophobic microlayer. Here, we describe biofilms that reside at the air-air interface by forming gas bubbles (bubble biofilms) in the former Ytterby mine, Sweden. The bubbles are built by micrometer thick membrane-like biofilm that holds enough water to sustain microbial activity. Molecular identification shows that the biofilm communities are dominated by the neuston bacterium Nevskia. Gas bubbles contain mostly air with a slightly elevated concentration of carbon dioxide. Biofilm formation and development was monitored in situ using a time-lapse camera over one year, taking one image every second hour. The bubbles were stable over long periods of time (weeks, even months) and gas build-up occurred in pulses as if the bedrock suddenly exhaled. The result was however not a passive inflation of a dying biofilm becoming more fragile with time (as a result of overstretching of the organic material). To the contrary, microbial growth lead to a more robust, hydrophobic bubble biofilm that kept the bubbles inflated for extended periods (several weeks, and in some cases even months).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 2, article id 100030
Keywords [en]
Biofilm, Neuston, Nevskia, Air-air interface, Shallow subsurface, Ytterby mine
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-196441DOI: 10.1016/j.bioflm.2020.100030ISI: 000658274500020PubMedID: 33447815OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-196441DiVA, id: diva2:1592112
Available from: 2021-09-08 Created: 2021-09-08 Last updated: 2023-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Sjöberg, SusanneStairs, CourtneyHallberg, RolfDupraz, Christophe

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