The evolution of alkaliphilic biofilm communities in response to extreme alkaline pH values

Christopher Charles, Simon Rout, Brian R. Jackson, Sally Boxall, Sirwan Akbar, Paul Humphreys

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Extremes of pH present a challenge to microbial life and our understanding of survival strategies for microbial consortia, particularly at high pH, remains limited. The utilization of extracellular polymeric substances within complex biofilms allows micro-organisms to obtain a greater level of control over their immediate environment. This manipulation of the immediate environment may confer a survival advantage in adverse conditions to biofilms. Within the present study alkaliphilic biofilms were created at pH 11.0, 12.0, or 13.0 from an existing alkaliphilic community. In each pH system, the biofilm matrix provided pH buffering, with the internal pH being 1.0–1.5 pH units lower than the aqueous environment. Increasing pH resulted in a reduced removal of substrate and standing biomass associated with the biofilm. At the highest pH investigated (pH 13.0), the biofilms matrix contained a greater degree of eDNA and the microbial community was dominated by Dietzia sp. and Anaerobranca sp.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1309
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobiologyOpen
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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