Biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis: new insights into regulatory strategies and assembly mechanisms

Mol Microbiol. 2014 Aug;93(4):587-98. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12697. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Biofilm formation is a social behaviour that generates favourable conditions for sustained survival in the natural environment. For the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis the process involves the differentiation of cell fate within an isogenic population and the production of communal goods that form the biofilm matrix. Here we review recent progress in understanding the regulatory pathways that control biofilm formation and highlight developments in understanding the composition, function and structure of the biofilm matrix.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial