Community Proteomics of a Natural Microbial Biofilm

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Science  24 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5730, pp. 1915-1920
DOI: 10.1126/science. 1109070

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Using genomic and mass spectrometry–based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation.

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