Identification and Molecular Analysis of Cultivable and Uncultivable Bioprospects Capable of Producing Biofilm
Microbial biofilm formation can provide structural and functional advantages to the microbial community including tolerance to drastic changes in pH, temperature and the presence of antimicrobial agents. Nowadays biofilm studies have taken a great focus in understanding its role in biomedical research, specifically in nosocomial infections due to antibiotic resistance. Nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. with 2 million cases annually (or ~10% of American hospital patients) leading to more than $5 billion in added medical cost per year. Also, biofilm has shown impact in the of medical devices industry and its application as bioremediation tool in the environmental biotechnology in the field of wastewater as well as odor treatment. This research seek to determine the ability of Purple Non-sulfur Bacteria (PNSB) from Macro and Micro environments in Puerto Rico, and clones from Metagenomics libraries to produce biofilms. The Microtiter Dish Biofilm Formation (BF) Assay was used to detect the BF in the isolates, and the genes responsible for BF amplified by PCR. A total of 4 PNSB isolated from bromeliad phytotelmata and 5 uncultivable bacteria from metagenomic libraries from hypersaline Microbial Mats were positive for BF assay. The genetic analysis of the samples suggests that some of the genes responsible for BF are similar to icaA from Staphylococcus aureus. This result support the importance of searching for BF activities in novel environments and using culture independent approaches such as metagenomics in order to understand and identify genes associated with biofilm formation that could be used to develop biomedical and biotechnological applications.