Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence and success within a broad range of hosts are largely due to the strength of its biofilms. The rheology of biofilm of P. aeruginosa was measured to investigate the bacterial response to nutritional conditions (medium that was modified with glycerol, glucose, sucrose, sodium chloride, and silver nitrate). The elastic modulus and the yield stress of the biofilm of P. aeruginosa increased in response to increases in glycerol, glucose, and sodium chloride. Alternatively, silver nitrate and glycerol inhibited biofilm formation at concentrations that were greater than 0.1 mM and 10 v/v%, respectively. Ferning patterns form as a result of diffusion-limited desiccation of the salt-macromolecule solution. Ferning coverage of about 50% and an orthogonal ferning pattern with 3° of branching were found for most of the biofilm samples. The complexity increased with modifications that caused strengthening of the biofilm, while the coverage and complexity dropped to zero when no biofilm growth was observed. The birefringent bundles of liquid crystals in the biofilm gained a new level of complexity and order within the ferning pattern that correlates with the biofilm robustness as characterized by its rheology, and these properties are heavily influenced by the nutritional environment of P. aeruginosa.
Part of the book: Pseudomonas Aeruginosa