Biofilm formation in plant-microbe associations
Bacteria adhere to environmental surfaces in multicellular assemblies described as biofilms. Plant-associated bacteria interact with host tissue surfaces during pathogenesis and symbiosis, and in commensal relationships. Observations of bacteria associated with plants increasingly reveal biofilm-type structures that vary from small clusters of cells to extensive biofilms. The surface properties of the plant tissue, nutrient and water availability, and the proclivities of the colonizing bacteria strongly influence the resulting biofilm structure. Recent studies highlight the importance of these structures in initiating and maintaining contact with the host by examining the extent to which biofilm formation is an intrinsic component of plant-microbe interactions.