Bacillus subtilis biofilm development


About the piece:

Though they are often considered asocial cells that swim around by themselves, much more often, microbes form communities called biofilms that are comprised of many thousands or millions of cells. Here, a time-lapse video shows the development of a Bacillus subtilis biofilm growing on the surface of a solid agar medium. B. subtilis is a harmless bacterium that can be found in soil and many other environments across the planet. Biofilms are mixtures of cells and an extracellular matrix secreted by the cells themselves, and are often highly structured – displaying a wrinkled morphology that develops over time. This video is sped up at 13,800x real-time – showing four days of growth in just twenty-four seconds.