Enhanced biofilm formation and melanin synthesis by the oyster settlement-promoting Shewanella colwelliana is related to hydrophobic surface and simulated intertidal environment.

PMID 25959367


A direct relationship between biofilm formation and melanogenesis in Shewanella colwelliana with increased oyster recruitment is already established. Previously, S. colwelliana was grown in a newly patented biofilm-cultivation device, the conico-cylindrical flask (CCF), offering interchangeable hydrophobic/hydrophilic surfaces. Melanization was enhanced when S. colwelliana was cultivated in a hydrophobic vessel compared with a hydrophilic vessel. In the present study, melanogenesis in the CCF was positively correlated with increased architectural parameters of the biofilm (mean thickness and biovolume obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy) and melanin gene (melA) expression observed by densitometry. Niche intertidal conditions were mimicked in a process operated in an ultra-low-speed rotating disk bioreactor, which demonstrated enhanced biofilm formation, melanogenesis, exopolysaccharide synthesis and melA gene expression compared with a process where 12-h periodic immersion and emersion was prevented. The wettability properties of the settling plane as well as intermittent wetting and drying, which influenced biofilm formation and melA expression, may affect oyster settlement in nature.