New insights on molecular regulation of biofilm formation in plant-associated bacteria
Biofilms are complex bacterial assemblages with a defined three-dimensional architecture, attached to solid surfaces, and surrounded by a self-produced matrix generally composed of exopolysaccharides, proteins, lipids and extracellular DNA. Biofilm formation has evolved as an adaptive strategy of bacteria to cope with harsh environmental conditions as well as to establish antagonistic or beneficial interactions with their host. Plant-associated bacteria attach and form biofilms on different tissues including leaves, stems, vasculature, seeds and roots. In this review, we examine the formation of biofilms from the plant-associated bacterial perspective and detail the recently-described mechanisms of genetic regulation used by these organisms to orchestrate biofilm formation on plant surfaces. In addition, we describe plant host signals that bacterial pathogens recognize to activate the transition from a planktonic lifestyle to multicellular behavior.