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      Raman spectroscopic signatures of carotenoids and polyenes enable label-free visualization of microbial distributions within pink biofilms

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          Abstract

          Pink biofilms are multispecies microbial communities that are commonly found in moist household environments. The development of this pink stain is problematic from an aesthetic point of view, but more importantly, it raises hygienic concerns because they may serve as a potential reservoir of opportunistic pathogens. Although there have been several studies of pink biofilms using molecular analysis and confocal laser scanning microscopy, little is known about the spatial distributions of constituent microorganisms within pink biofilms, a crucial factor associated with the characteristics of pink biofilms. Here we show that Raman spectroscopic signatures of intracellular carotenoids and polyenes enable us to visualize pigmented microorganisms within pink biofilms in a label-free manner. We measured space-resolved Raman spectra of a pink biofilm collected from a bathroom, which clearly show resonance Raman bands of carotenoids. Multivariate analysis of the Raman hyperspectral imaging data revealed the presence of typical carotenoids and structurally similar but different polyenes, whose spatial distributions within the pink biofilm were found to be mutually exclusive. Raman measurements on individual microbial cells isolated from the pink biofilm confirmed that these distributions probed by carotenoid/polyene Raman signatures are attributable to different pigmented microorganisms. The present results suggest that Raman microspectroscopy with a focus on microbial pigments such as carotenoids is a powerful nondestructive method for studying multispecies biofilms in various environments.

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          Microbial biofilms.

          Direct observations have clearly shown that biofilm bacteria predominate, numerically and metabolically, in virtually all nutrient-sufficient ecosystems. Therefore, these sessile organisms predominate in most of the environmental, industrial, and medical problems and processes of interest to microbiologists. If biofilm bacteria were simply planktonic cells that had adhered to a surface, this revelation would be unimportant, but they are demonstrably and profoundly different. We first noted that biofilm cells are at least 500 times more resistant to antibacterial agents. Now we have discovered that adhesion triggers the expression of a sigma factor that derepresses a large number of genes so that biofilm cells are clearly phenotypically distinct from their planktonic counterparts. Each biofilm bacterium lives in a customized microniche in a complex microbial community that has primitive homeostasis, a primitive circulatory system, and metabolic cooperativity, and each of these sessile cells reacts to its special environment so that it differs fundamentally from a planktonic cell of the same species.
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            Physiological heterogeneity in biofilms.

            Biofilms contain bacterial cells that are in a wide range of physiological states. Within a biofilm population, cells with diverse genotypes and phenotypes that express distinct metabolic pathways, stress responses and other specific biological activities are juxtaposed. The mechanisms that contribute to this genetic and physiological heterogeneity include microscale chemical gradients, adaptation to local environmental conditions, stochastic gene expression and the genotypic variation that occurs through mutation and selection. Here, we discuss the processes that generate chemical gradients in biofilms, the genetic and physiological responses of the bacteria as they adapt to these gradients and the techniques that can be used to visualize and measure the microscale physiological heterogeneities of bacteria in biofilms.
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              Oral multispecies biofilm development and the key role of cell-cell distance.

              Growth of oral bacteria in situ requires adhesion to a surface because the constant flow of host secretions thwarts the ability of planktonic cells to grow before they are swallowed. Therefore, oral bacteria evolved to form biofilms on hard tooth surfaces and on soft epithelial tissues, which often contain multiple bacterial species. Because these biofilms are easy to study, they have become the paradigm of multispecies biofilms. In this Review we describe the factors involved in the formation of these biofilms, including the initial adherence to the oral tissues and teeth, cooperation between bacterial species in the biofilm, signalling between the bacteria and its role in pathogenesis, and the transfer of DNA between bacteria. In all these aspects distance between cells of different species is integral for oral biofilm growth.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                shigeto@kwansei.ac.jp
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                7 May 2020
                7 May 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2295 9421, GRID grid.258777.8, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Technology, , Kwansei Gakuin University, ; 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda Hyogo, 669-1337 Japan
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2369 4728, GRID grid.20515.33, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, , University of Tsukuba, ; Ibaraki, 305-8572 Japan
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2369 4728, GRID grid.20515.33, Microbiology Research Center for Sustainability, , University of Tsukuba, ; Ibaraki, 305-8572 Japan
                Article
                64737
                10.1038/s41598-020-64737-3
                7206103
                32382042
                ea459285-a665-4fd0-86dc-915a23aa3b72
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                © The Author(s) 2020

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                analytical chemistry,microbiology,optical techniques
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                analytical chemistry, microbiology, optical techniques

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