The Role of Bacterial Biofilms and Surface Components in Plant-Bacterial Associations
The role of bacterial surface components in combination with bacterial functional signals in the process of biofilm formation has been increasingly studied in recent years. Plants support a diverse array of bacteria on or in their roots, transport vessels, stems, and leaves. These plant-associated bacteria have important effects on plant health and productivity. Biofilm formation on plants is associated with symbiotic and pathogenic responses, but how plants regulate such associations is unclear. Certain bacteria in biofilm matrices have been found to induce plant growth and to protect plants from phytopathogens (a process termed biocontrol), whereas others are involved in pathogenesis. In this review, we systematically describe the various components and mechanisms involved in bacterial biofilm formation and attachment to plant surfaces and the relationships of these mechanisms to bacterial activity and survival.