Biofilms in Ecology and Evolution
Why do bacteria form biofilms? Bacteria that are bound in biofilms are highly resistant against antibiotics and other chemical insults of the environment, which is a clear evolutionary advantage of forming biofilms. However, we recently found the mechanisms underlying the most important selective advantage of making a biofilm: predation avoidance by bacteriophages. [Vidakovic, et al. 2017]
We also recently discovered another reason for why bacteria may want to form biofilms: physical aspects of the biofilm life style strongly favor the evolution of simple social behaviors, such as the production of shared resources or "public goods". [Drescher, et al. 2014; Nadell, et al. 2013].