PCR in biofilms

Robert Preston rapr at med.pitt.edu
Tue Jan 28 20:29:30 EST 1997

Michael G.Sadovsky wrote:
> Could somebody tell in what way are the going to derive some knowledge
> obtained from PCR (see below) techniques to the physiological
> peculiarities of the rather specialized (I mean, adaptated) cells in a
> biofilm....[edits]

If I understand the question, Michael has supplied part of its answer -
if a biofilm cell is specialized relative to the same organism growing in
free suspension, then, in theory, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) can
identify mRNA sequences from genes that are expressed only when cells are
in the biofilm form.  Methods using RT-PCR, called "differential display"
methods, have been developed specifically for studying differential gene
expression.  The physiological functions of biofilm-specific gene products
(and of mutated products) would need to be worked out physiologically, of
course, but predictions from cross-species sequence comparisons can help with 
that task in many cases.

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