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Biofilms: The Microbial “Protective Clothing” in Extreme Environments

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3423;
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
PDF [898 KB, uploaded 12 July 2019]


Microbial biofilms are communities of aggregated microbial cells embedded in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Biofilms are recalcitrant to extreme environments, and can protect microorganisms from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, extreme temperature, extreme pH, high salinity, high pressure, poor nutrients, antibiotics, etc., by acting as “protective clothing”. In recent years, research works on biofilms have been mainly focused on biofilm-associated infections and strategies for combating microbial biofilms. In this review, we focus instead on the contemporary perspectives of biofilm formation in extreme environments, and describe the fundamental roles of biofilm in protecting microbial exposure to extreme environmental stresses and the regulatory factors involved in biofilm formation. Understanding the mechanisms of biofilm formation in extreme environments is essential for the employment of beneficial microorganisms and prevention of harmful microorganisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: microorganism; extreme environment; biofilm; extracellular polymeric substances (EPS); adaptative mechanism microorganism; extreme environment; biofilm; extracellular polymeric substances (EPS); adaptative mechanism

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Yin, W.; Wang, Y.; Liu, L.; He, J. Biofilms: The Microbial “Protective Clothing” in Extreme Environments. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3423.

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