Bakers' Yeast, a Model for Fungal Biofilm Formation

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Science  02 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5505, pp. 878-881
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5505.878

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Biofilms are formed by the aggregation of microorganisms into multicellular structures that adhere to surfaces. Here we show that bakers' yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can initiate biofilm formation. When grown in low-glucose medium, the yeast cells adhered avidly to a number of plastic surfaces. On semi-solid (0.3% agar) medium they formed “mats”: complex multicellular structures composed of yeast-form cells. Both attachment to plastic and mat formation require Flo11p, a member of a large family of fungal cell surface glycoproteins involved in adherence. The ability to study biofilm formation in a tractable genetic system may facilitate the identification of new targets for antifungal therapy.

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