Archaeal biofilm formation

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2018 Nov;16(11):699-713. doi: 10.1038/s41579-018-0058-4.


Biofilms are structured and organized communities of microorganisms that represent one of the most successful forms of life on Earth. Bacterial biofilms have been studied in great detail, and many molecular details are known about the processes that govern bacterial biofilm formation, however, archaea are ubiquitous in almost all habitats on Earth and can also form biofilms. In recent years, insights have been gained into the development of archaeal biofilms, how archaea communicate to form biofilms and how the switch from a free-living lifestyle to a sessile lifestyle is regulated. In this Review, we explore the different stages of archaeal biofilm development and highlight similarities and differences between archaea and bacteria on a molecular level. We also consider the role of archaeal biofilms in industry and their use in different industrial processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / physiology*
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*