The understanding of microbial biofilm formation has improved recently and a global view of the genetic basis of this microbial lifestyle is slowly emerging. Genetic analyses of bacterial biofilms indicate that bacteria use a wide range of function to form, grow and propagate as surface-attached communities.
The main objectives of the studies that have been undertaken in the laboratory aim at the identification of the bacterial factors necessary for the formation and the maintenance of mature biofilms. We use genetic, genomic and molecular biology approaches combined with different biofilm models to identify the bacterial factors involved in biofilm formation (identification of biofilm-specific genes). We also investigate the specific functions that could be performed in this highly heterogeneous environment (horizontal gene transfer, cell to cell adhesion, bacterial communication within mixed species biofilms).
These approaches may lead to a better fundamental knowledge of the bacterial biology within biofilm and help design biofilm control strategies in situation where they represent a sanitary, industrial or ecological problem.