Prokaryote Diversity of Epithelial Mucosal Biofilms in the Human Digestive Tract

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The gastrointestinal epithelium is covered by a "natural biofilm" or protective mucus gel composed predominantly of mucin glycoproteins that are synthesized and secreted by host goblet cells. Thus, the gut mucosal biofilm is dynamic and interactive with contributions from both the host and resident bacterial community. This arrangement ensures that the indigenous intestinal microbiota are in continuous and intimate contact with host tissues where they outnumber the surrounding host cells by at least an order of magnitude. The protective functions of mucus can be considered as a dynamic defensive barrier rather than a static and constitutive structure. In this chapter we define the chemical composition, distribution, and functional properties of the gut mucosal biofilm. Enzymatic digestion of the mucus coat (mucolysis) by resident microbes provides access to readily available sources of carbon and energy. At present, mucus resident bacterial populations are poorly described for all animal species but our understanding of mucosal and luminal populations has been greatly enhanced by the application of molecular microbial ecology techniques which are cultivation independent. Research using these techniques to study bacterial populations in the intestinal tract according to age, location, and compartment is also compiled and compared in this contribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiofilms in the Food Environment
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Pages127-152
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780813820583
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2007

Fingerprint

Biofilms
Mucus
prokaryotic cells
mucus
digestive tract
biofilm
Gastrointestinal Tract
digestive system
Mucins
Ecology
Population
Goblet Cells
goblet cells
mucins
microbial ecology
Glycoproteins
Animals
Carbon
Gels
intestinal microorganisms

Keywords

  • Epithelial mucosal biofilms
  • Gut mucosal biofilms
  • Human digestive tract
  • Mucus layer
  • Prokaryote diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Prokaryote Diversity of Epithelial Mucosal Biofilms in the Human Digestive Tract. / Krause, Denis O.; Gaskins, H Rex; Mackie, Roderick Ian.

Biofilms in the Food Environment. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007. p. 127-152.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Krause, Denis O. ; Gaskins, H Rex ; Mackie, Roderick Ian. / Prokaryote Diversity of Epithelial Mucosal Biofilms in the Human Digestive Tract. Biofilms in the Food Environment. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007. pp. 127-152
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