Plants & Soil, Bulletin No. 1

Cindy Morris Cindy.Morris at AVIGNON.INRA.FR
Sat May 31 10:55:18 EST 1997


Biofilms in Unsaturated Environments: Plants and Soil, Bulletin No. 1 (30/05/97)

Dear colleagues,

In response to Claus Sternberg's request for ideas for restructuring the
biofilm newsgroup, we would like to launch a moderated discussion on the
role of biofilms in the ecology and physiology of bacteria associated with
plants and soil.  

Our objective in initiating this discussion is to stimulate focused debate
on specific questions related to the role of biofilms in the behavior of
bacteria in the phytoshpere and in soil.  (Some questions concerning the
importance of biofilm formation for plant pathogenic bacteria, for example,
are evoked in Morris C.E., Monier J.-M. and Jacques M-A. 1997. Appl.
Environ. Microbiol. 63:1570-1576.)  Via these discussions we hope to
identify research priorities and foster collaborations.  Biofilms associated
with plants and soil have several particularities - compared to biofilms in
other environments - that justify a focused discussion.  Firstly, biofilms
associated with (terrestrial) plants and soil are in environments that are
unsaturated or only occasionally water-saturated.  Secondly,
plant-associated biofilms are on living surfaces.  This property may
complicate studies of biofilm behavior in their natural environment compared
to studies realized for biofilms on inert surfaces.  Thirdly, an
understanding of the role of biofilms in the ecology and physiology of
bacteria associated with plants as well as with soil may have consequences
for the management of microbial populations in agroecosystems and in the
food industry.  

To begin our discussion, we would like those interested in this subject to
propose hypotheses about the role that biofilm formation plays in 

	1) bacterial survival and growth on plant surfaces and in the soil, 
	2) the diversity of the microbial communities in these environments and 
	3) the bacteria-plant interaction.  

Please post these hypotheses at bionet.microbiology.biofilms as a response
to this message.  Replies can also be sent to biofilms at net.bio.net.  In
about 4 weeks, we will post the next issue of " Biofilms in Unsaturated
Environments: Plants and Soil" in which we will include a synthesis of your
messages and will solicit discussion on ways to test the hypotheses you have
proposed.  If there is sufficient response, we will try to post a new issue
every 4 to 6 weeks in order to meet our objectives of motivating focused
discussion and establishing collaborations.

We look forward to your replies,

Cindy Morris
INRA, Station de Pathologie Végétale
Montfavet, France
morris at avignon.inra.fr

Jean-Michel Monier
ESPM Department
University of California-Berkeley, USA
monier at nature.berkeley.edu



Cindy E. Morris

INRA, Centre de Recherche d'Avignon
Station de Pathologie Végétale
BP 94
84143 Montfavet cedex
tel: (33)-4-90-31-63-84
fax: (33)-4-90-31-63-35
email: morris at avignon.inra.fr




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