Prokaryotic Diversity

Art Connections

Figure Compared to free-floating bacteria, bacteria in biofilms often show increased resistance to antibiotics and detergents. Why do you think this might be the case?


Figure The extracellular matrix and outer layer of cells protects the inner bacteria. The close proximity of cells also facilitates lateral gene transfer, a process by which genes such as antibiotic-resistance genes are transferred from one bacterium to another. And even if lateral gene transfer does not occur, one bacterium that produces an exo-enzyme that destroys antibiotic may save neighboring bacteria.