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Biofilm lifecycle and its regulation

Biofilms form and disperse following complex regulatory regimes, which are the consequence of both endogenous and exogenous signals. These signals are sensed and translated into the regulation of the expression of a number of target genes. It seems that the type of the natural environment has formed the complex response of the microorganisms. Consequently, one signal can inhibit biofilm formation in one organism while it promotes biofilm formation for others. Although elements like flagellar motility, carbon metabolism, quorum sensing molecules or c-di-GMP have over the last years been established as major players for biofilm regulation, we are also aware that we are still far away from completely understanding the full regulatory networks or the impact of cellular heterogeneity on the regulation of biofilm formation. Also, the development of molecules that interfere with the regulatory machinery and can hence be used for the dispersal or enhanced formation of biofilms is still in its infancy. Hence, we welcome contributions that would address the above mentioned emerging fields in the regulation of the biofilm lifecycle.