Biofilms and the plasmid maintenance question

Math Biosci. 2005 Feb;193(2):183-204. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2004.10.008.


Can a conjugative plasmid encoding enhanced biofilm forming abilities for its bacterial host facilitate the persistence of the plasmid in a bacterial population despite conferring diminished growth rate and segregative plasmid loss on its bearers? We construct a mathematical model in a chemostat and in a plug flow environment to answer this question. Explicit conditions for an affirmative answer are derived. Numerical simulations support the conclusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Bioreactors / microbiology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Biological*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmids / physiology*