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      Complex role of the polymeric matrix in biological soil crusts

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      Plant and Soil
      Springer Nature

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          Bacterial Extracellular Polysaccharides in Biofilm Formation and Function.

          Microbes produce a biofilm matrix consisting of proteins, extracellular DNA, and polysaccharides that is integral in the formation of bacterial communities. Historical studies of polysaccharides revealed that their overproduction often alters the colony morphology and can be diagnostic in identifying certain species. The polysaccharide component of the matrix can provide many diverse benefits to the cells in the biofilm, including adhesion, protection, and structure. Aggregative polysaccharides act as molecular glue, allowing the bacterial cells to adhere to each other as well as surfaces. Adhesion facilitates the colonization of both biotic and abiotic surfaces by allowing the bacteria to resist physical stresses imposed by fluid movement that could separate the cells from a nutrient source. Polysaccharides can also provide protection from a wide range of stresses, such as desiccation, immune effectors, and predators such as phagocytic cells and amoebae. Finally, polysaccharides can provide structure to biofilms, allowing stratification of the bacterial community and establishing gradients of nutrients and waste products. This can be advantageous for the bacteria by establishing a heterogeneous population that is prepared to endure stresses created by the rapidly changing environments that many bacteria encounter. The diverse range of polysaccharide structures, properties, and roles highlight the importance of this matrix constituent to the successful adaptation of bacteria to nearly every niche. Here, we present an overview of the current knowledge regarding the diversity and benefits that polysaccharide production provides to bacterial communities within biofilms.
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            Microbial colonization and controls in dryland systems.

            Drylands constitute the most extensive terrestrial biome, covering more than one-third of the Earth's continental surface. In these environments, stress limits animal and plant life, so life forms that can survive desiccation and then resume growth following subsequent wetting assume the foremost role in ecosystem processes. In this Review, we describe how these organisms assemble in unique soil- and rock-surface communities to form a thin veneer of mostly microbial biomass across hot and cold deserts. These communities mediate inputs and outputs of gases, nutrients and water from desert surfaces, as well as regulating weathering, soil stability, and hydrological and nutrient cycles. The magnitude of regional and global desert-related environmental impacts is affected by these surface communities; here, we also discuss the challenges for incorporating the consideration of these communities and their effects into the management of dryland resources.
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              The biochemistry and genetics of capsular polysaccharide production in bacteria.

              Bacterial polysaccharides are usually associated with the outer surface of the bacterium. They can form an amorphous layer of extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) surrounding the cell that may be further organized into a distinct structure termed a capsule. Additional polysaccharide molecules such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) may also decorate the cell surface. Polysaccharide capsules may mediate a number of biological processes, including invasive infections of human beings. Discussed here are the genetics and biochemistry of selected bacterial capsular polysaccharides and the basis of capsule diversity but not the genetics and biochemistry of LPS biosynthesis (for reviews see 100, 140).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Plant and Soil
                Plant Soil
                Springer Nature
                0032-079X
                1573-5036
                August 2018
                October 2 2017
                August 2018
                : 429
                : 1-2
                : 19-34
                Article
                10.1007/s11104-017-3441-4
                20a26d57-4e00-4f45-a5a6-4550d2c9cfdf
                © 2018

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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