Korman Center, Room 245, 15 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Colloquium: Microbial-Induced Mineralization in Biofilms
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Isaac Klapper, professor of mathematics, Temple University
The familiar view of microbes in their free (planktonic) state is not the norm; rather it is believed that much of the microbial biomass, perhaps 95-99%, is located in close-knit communities, designated biofilms and microbial mats, consisting of large numbers of organisms living within self-secreted matrices constructed of polymers and other molecules. (Microbes in collective behave very differently from their planktonic state; even genetic expression patterns change.) These matrices serve the purposes of anchoring and protecting their communities in favorable locations while providing a framework in which structured populations can differentiate and self-organize.
One of the salient features of biofilms is their spatial heterogeneity; they are not uniform, well-mixed systems like many laboratory microbial communities are. Because of spatial variation, advective and diffusive processes become influential. Further, when ionic quantities are important, these processes in turn can lead to electric field effects becoming significant. These issues are discussed in the context of a particular phenomenon, namely mineralization resulting from biological activity in biofilms.