Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Microbial sciences

The superficial life of microbes

The social activities and organization of bacteria are crucial to their ecological success. But it is only in recent years that we have begun to study these secret societies.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Biofilm formation and architecture.
Figure 2: The lifestyle switch.

References

  1. Paster, B. J. et al. J. Bacteriol. 183, 3770–3783 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Boles, B. R., Thoendel, M. & Singh, P. K. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 16630–16635 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Palmer, R. J. Jr Methods Enzymol. 310, 160–166 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Hogan, D. A., Vik, A. & Kolter, R. A. Mol. Microbiol. 54, 1212–1223 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Egland, P. G., Palmer, R. J. Jr & Kolenbrander, P. E. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 16917–16922 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. An, D., Danhorn, T., Fuqua, W. C. & Parsek, M. R. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 3828–3833 (2006).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. O'Toole, G. A. & Kolter, R. Mol. Microbiol. 28, 449–461 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Branda, S. S., Vik, S., Friedman, L. & Kolter, R. Trends Microbiol. 13, 20–26 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Wozniak, D. J. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 100, 7907–7912 (2003).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Matsukawa, M. & Greenberg, E. P. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4449–4456 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Friedman, L. & Kolter, R. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4457–4465 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Jackson, K. D., Starkey, M., Kremer, S., Parsek, M. R. & Wozniak, D. J. J. Bacteriol. 186, 4466–4475 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kearns, D. B., Chu, F., Branda, S. S., Kolter, R. & Losick, R. Mol. Microbiol. 55, 739–749 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Chu, F., Kearns, D. B., Branda, S. S., Kolter, R. & Losick, R. Mol. Microbiol. 59, 1216–1228 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Branda, S. S., Chu, F., Kearns, D. B., Losick, R. & Kolter, R. Mol. Microbiol. 59, 1229–1238 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Simm, R., Morr, M., Kader, A., Nimtz, M. & Romling, U. Mol. Microbiol. 53, 1123–1134 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Watnick, P. I., Lauriano, C. M., Klose, K. E., Croal, L. & Kolter, R. Mol. Microbiol. 39, 223–235 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Romling, U., Gomelsky, M. & Galperin, M. Y. Mol. Microbiol. 57, 629–639 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Weinhouse, H. et al. FEBS Lett. 416, 207–211 (1997).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Hickman, J. W., Tifrea, D. F. & Harwood, C. S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 14422–14427 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Ross, P. et al. Nature 325, 279–281 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Kempner, E. S. & Hanson, F. E. J. Bacteriol. 95, 975–979 (1968).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Fuqua, W. C., Winans, S. C. & Greenberg, E. P. J. Bacteriol. 176, 269–275 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Davies, D. G. et al. Science 280, 295–298 (1998).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Whiteley, M., Lee, K. M. & Greenberg, E. P. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 13904–13909 (1999).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Parsek, M. R. & Greenberg, E. P. Trends Microbiol. 13, 27–33 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Waters, C. M. & Bassler, B. L. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 21, 319–346 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Mashburn, L. M. & Whiteley, M. Nature 437, 422–425 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kolter, R., Greenberg, E. The superficial life of microbes. Nature 441, 300–302 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/441300a

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/441300a

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing