I've read that the bacterial capsule protects the bacterium from phagocytes and prevents water (and nutrients, possibly?) leakage from the bacterium.
A less organized and less dense version is called a slime layer. It seems that the slime layer has similar functions, according to Wikipedia.
What are the differences between the effects a capsule and a slime layer bring to a bacterium?
I thought about the followings:
- The capsule covers most part of the bacterium, so adhesion proteins and transport proteins on the plasma membrane do not work effectively, whereäs with a slime layer, more proteins on the plasma membrane are exposed to the exterior, making them work more effectively.
- Maintenance of the capsule takes more energy than that of the slime layer simply because there are more glycoproteins in the capsule.
- Bacteria with capsules are less likely to lyse than those with slime layers.
Is there anything else significant that goes on this list? Or are there any points I made that are not true?