SUMMARY: Cells of strain WoGal grown in a continuous-flow microchamber with 0.1 mM-gallic acid as sole carbon source attached to the surface either irreversibly (nonmotile cells) or reversibly (motile cells). At low gallic acid concentrations (<0.1 mM) growth gave rise to microcolonies of < 128 cells which maintained their size by release of motile swarmer cells. Continuous biofilms were formed only at higher substrate concentrations (> 5 mM), at which both growth and cell deposition at the surface took place. Under starvation conditions, motile cells ceased to grow and were washed out, whereas irreversibly attached cells continued to divide but their daughter cells did not grow. The results suggest that this bacterium when growing at an attachment surface undergoes a complex life cycle including attachment and detachment processes and formation of motile swarmer cells.


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