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CMEIAS bioimage informatics that define the landscape ecology of immature microbial biofilms developed on plant rhizoplane surfaces

1 Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, 567 Wilson Rd., East Lansing, Michigan 48824 USA;
2 Sakha Agricultural Research Station, Kafr El-Sheikh, 33717, Egypt

Special Issues: Biofilm engineering - Harnessing the power of beneficial biofilms

Colonization of the rhizoplane habitat is an important activity that enables certain microorganisms to promote plant growth. Here we describe various types of computer-assisted microscopy that reveal important ecological insights of early microbial colonization behavior within biofilms on plant root surfaces grown in soil. Examples of the primary data are obtained by analysis of processed images of rhizoplane biofilm landscapes analyzed at single-cell resolution using the emerging technology of CMEIAS bioimage informatics software. Included are various quantitative analyses of the in situ biofilm landscape ecology of microbes during their pioneer colonization of white clover roots, and of a rhizobial biofertilizer strain colonized on rice roots where it significantly enhances the productivity of this important crop plant. The results show that spatial patterns of immature biofilms developed on rhizoplanes that interface rhizosphere soil are highly structured (rather than distributed randomly) when analyzed at the appropriate spatial scale, indicating that regionalized microbial cell-cell interactions and the local environment can significantly affect their cooperative and competitive colonization behaviors.
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