Dental plaque is a dynamic microbial biofilm ecosystem that comprises hundreds of species including difficult-to-cultivate bacteria. We observed the assembly of a plaque bacterial community through 16S rRNA gene analysis. Plaque samples that accumulated on a hydroxyapatite disk for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 days with saliva on day 0 were collected from 19 young adults using a removable resin splint. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that the total bacterial amount gradually increased and reached a plateau on day 4. Barcoded pyrosequencing analysis revealed that the microbial richness and diversity particularly increased between days 5 and 7. A principal coordinate analysis plot based on unweighted UniFrac showed the community assembly in a time-related manner, which became increasingly similar to the salivary microbiota. Facultative anaerobic bacteria such as Streptococcus, Neisseria, Abiotrophia, Gemella, and Rothia were predominant in the plaque bacterial community in the earlier days, whereas obligate anaerobes, such as Porphyromonas, Fusobacterium, Prevotella, and Capnocytophaga showed increased dominance on later days. UniFrac analysis also demonstrated that dental caries experience had a significant effect on the assembly process. Our results reveal the development pattern of the plaque bacterial community as well as the inter-individual differences associated with dental caries experience.
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