What is causing the sticky film on that melon? Or the dull varnish of that apple? Might it be a layer of gooey goodness akin to that of a glazed donut? Not likely, but it could be a biofilm. A biofilm is a thin layer of densely packed microorganisms encapsulated within an aqueous matrix of proteins, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides. Microbes in biofilms tend to flourish on moist surfaces, aggregating and forming colonies.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image showing attachment and initiation of biofilm formation by Salmonella enterica serovar Poona cells inside the netting of inoculated cantaloupe. Cantaloupes were inoculated and allowed to dry at 20° C for 2 hr prior to imaging.The plaque that forms on the teeth of a person with poor dental hygiene …

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