Mechanical instability and interfacial energy drive biofilm morphogenesis.

TitleMechanical instability and interfacial energy drive biofilm morphogenesis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsYan, J, Fei, C, Mao, S, Moreau, A, Wingreen, NS, Košmrlj, A, Stone, HA, Bassler, BL
Date Published2019 03 08
KeywordsBiofilms, Mechanical Phenomena, Vibrio cholerae

<p>Surface-attached bacterial communities called biofilms display a diversity of morphologies. Although structural and regulatory components required for biofilm formation are known, it is not understood how these essential constituents promote biofilm surface morphology. Here, using as our model system, we combine mechanical measurements, theory and simulation, quantitative image analyses, surface energy characterizations, and mutagenesis to show that mechanical instabilities, including wrinkling and delamination, underlie the morphogenesis program of growing biofilms. We also identify interfacial energy as a key driving force for mechanomorphogenesis because it dictates the generation of new and the annihilation of existing interfaces. Finally, we discover feedback between mechanomorphogenesis and biofilm expansion, which shapes the overall biofilm contour. The morphogenesis principles that we discover in bacterial biofilms, which rely on mechanical instabilities and interfacial energies, should be generally applicable to morphogenesis processes in tissues in higher organisms.</p>

Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID30848725
PubMed Central IDPMC6453567
Grant ListR01 GM065859 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
DMR-1420541 / / National Science Foundation / International
Career Award at the Scientific Interface 1015763 / / Burroughs Wellcome Fund / International
2R37GM065859 / NH / NIH HHS / United States
MCB-1344191 / / National Science Foundation / International
MCB-1713731 / / National Science Foundation / International
R37 GM065859 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States