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Title: Pore-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms in a microfluidic porous network

Abstract

Bacteria occupy heterogeneous environments, attaching and growing within pores in materials, living hosts, and matrices like soil. Systems that permit high-resolution visualization of dynamic bacterial processes within the physical confines of a realistic and tractable porous media environment are rare. In this paper, we use microfluidics to replicate the grain shape and packing density of natural sands in a 2D platform to study the flow-induced spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms underground. We discover that initial bacterial dispersal and grain attachment is influenced by bacterial transport across pore space velocity gradients, a phenomenon otherwise known as rheotaxis. We find that gravity-driven flow conditions activate different bacterial cell-clustering phenotypes depending on the strain’s ability to product extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). A wildtype, biofilm-producing bacteria formed compact, multicellular patches while an EPS-defective mutant displayed a linked-cell phenotype in the presence of flow. Finally, these phenotypes subsequently influenced the overall spatial distribution of cells across the porous media network as colonies grew and altered the fluid dynamics of their microenvironment.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1550761
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
PLoS ONE
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher:
Public Library of Science
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Aufrecht, Jayde A., Fowlkes, Jason Davidson, Webb, Amber N., Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L., Doktycz, Mitchel John, and Retterer, Scott T. Pore-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms in a microfluidic porous network. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218316.
Aufrecht, Jayde A., Fowlkes, Jason Davidson, Webb, Amber N., Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L., Doktycz, Mitchel John, & Retterer, Scott T. Pore-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms in a microfluidic porous network. United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218316.
Aufrecht, Jayde A., Fowlkes, Jason Davidson, Webb, Amber N., Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L., Doktycz, Mitchel John, and Retterer, Scott T. Thu . "Pore-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms in a microfluidic porous network". United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218316. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1550761.
@article{osti_1550761,
title = {Pore-scale hydrodynamics influence the spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms in a microfluidic porous network},
author = {Aufrecht, Jayde A. and Fowlkes, Jason Davidson and Webb, Amber N. and Morrell-Falvey, Jennifer L. and Doktycz, Mitchel John and Retterer, Scott T.},
abstractNote = {Bacteria occupy heterogeneous environments, attaching and growing within pores in materials, living hosts, and matrices like soil. Systems that permit high-resolution visualization of dynamic bacterial processes within the physical confines of a realistic and tractable porous media environment are rare. In this paper, we use microfluidics to replicate the grain shape and packing density of natural sands in a 2D platform to study the flow-induced spatial evolution of bacterial biofilms underground. We discover that initial bacterial dispersal and grain attachment is influenced by bacterial transport across pore space velocity gradients, a phenomenon otherwise known as rheotaxis. We find that gravity-driven flow conditions activate different bacterial cell-clustering phenotypes depending on the strain’s ability to product extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). A wildtype, biofilm-producing bacteria formed compact, multicellular patches while an EPS-defective mutant displayed a linked-cell phenotype in the presence of flow. Finally, these phenotypes subsequently influenced the overall spatial distribution of cells across the porous media network as colonies grew and altered the fluid dynamics of their microenvironment.},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0218316},
journal = {PLoS ONE},
number = 6,
volume = 14,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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