Biofilm Formation, Cellulose Production, and Curli Biosynthesis by Salmonella Originating From Produce, Animal, and Clinical Sources

J Food Prot. 2005 May;68(5):906-12. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-68.5.906.


The ability of 71 strains of Salmonella enterica originating from produce, meat, or clinical sources to form biofilms was investigated. A crystal violet binding assay demonstrated no significant differences in biofilm formation by isolates from any source when tested in any of the following three media: Luria-Bertani broth supplemented with 2% glucose, tryptic soy broth (TSB), or 1/20th-strength TSB. Incubation was overnight at 30 degrees C under static conditions. Curli production and cellulose production were monitored by assessing morphotypes on Luria-Bertani agar without salt containing Congo red and by assessing fluorescence on Luria-Bertani agar containing calcofluor, respectively. One hundred percent of the clinical isolates exhibited curli biosynthesis, and 73% demonstrated cellulose production. All meat-related isolates formed curli, and 84% produced cellulose. A total of 80% of produce-related isolates produced curli, but only 52% produced cellulose. Crystal violet binding was not statistically different between isolates representing the three morphotypes when grown in TSB; however, significant differences were observed when strains were cultured in the two other media tested. These data demonstrate that the ability to form biofilms is not dependent on the source of the test isolate and suggest a relationship between crystal violet binding and morphotype, with curli- and cellulose-deficient isolates being least effective in biofilm formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Cellulose / biosynthesis*
  • Congo Red
  • Food Microbiology
  • Gentian Violet
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Meat / microbiology
  • Salmonella enterica / growth & development
  • Salmonella enterica / metabolism
  • Salmonella enterica / physiology*
  • Vegetables / microbiology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Crl protein, Bacteria
  • Congo Red
  • Cellulose
  • Glucose
  • Gentian Violet