• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of aemPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalAEM ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Appl Environ Microbiol. Jan 1989; 55(1): 246–251.
PMCID: PMC184086

Effect of visible light on progressive dormancy of Escherichia coli cells during the survival process in natural fresh water.


Some effects of visible light on the survival of Escherichia coli in waters of the Butrón river were studied by comparing illuminated and nonilluminated systems. The following count methods were used: CFU on a selective medium (eosin-methylene blue agar), CFU on a medium of recuperation (Trypticase soy agar with yeast extract and glucose), number of metabolically active cells by reduction of 2-(p-iodophenyl)-3-(p-nitrophenyl)-5-phenyl tetrazolium chloride (INT) to INT-formazan, and total number of E. coli cells as determined by the acridine orange direct-count method. In the illuminated systems, decreases in CFU of E. coli and in the number of metabolically active cells were observed. However, no decline of the total number of E. coli cells was observed. By count methods, different stages of progressive dormancy of E. coli cells were determined to exist in illuminated systems. Culturable and recoverable cells were defined as viable cells, and metabolically active cells and morphologically intact cells were defined as somnicells. Indirect activity measurements were also done by using [14C]glucose. In illuminated systems, a decrease of glucose uptake by E. coli cells was observed throughout the experiments. The assimilated fraction of [14C]glucose decreased faster than the respired fraction in illuminated systems. The percentage of respired [14C]glucose (14CO2 production) with respect to the total glucose uptake increased throughout the experiments, and the percentage of assimilated glucose decreased. Therefore, the visible light was also responsible for an additional inhibition of biosynthetic processes.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (917K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Anderson IC, Rhodes MW, Kator HI. Seasonal variation in survival of Escherichia coli exposed in situ in membrane diffusion chambers containing filtered and nonfiltered estuarine water. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Jun;45(6):1877–1883. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bailey CA, Neihof RA, Tabor PS. Inhibitory effect of solar radiation on amino Acid uptake in chesapeake bay bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Jul;46(1):44–49. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barcina I, Arana I, Iriberri J, Egea L. Influence of light and natural microbiota of the Butrón river on E. coli survival. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1986;52(6):555–566. [PubMed]
  • Davenport CV, Sparrow EB, Gordon RC. Fecal indicator bacteria persistence under natural conditions in an ice-covered river. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1976 Oct;32(4):527–536. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dawe LL, Penrose WR. "Bactericidal" property of seawater: death or debilitation? Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 May;35(5):829–833. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Enzinger RM, Cooper RC. Role of bacteria and protozoa in the removal of Escherichia coli from estuarine waters. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1976 May;31(5):758–763. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fujioka RS, Hashimoto HH, Siwak EB, Young RH. Effect of sunlight on survival of indicator bacteria in seawater. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1981 Mar;41(3):690–696. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Grimes DJ, Atwell RW, Brayton PR, Palmer LM, Rollins DM, Roszak DB, Singleton FL, Tamplin ML, Colwell RR. The fate of enteric pathogenic bacteria in estuarine and marine environments. Microbiol Sci. 1986 Nov;3(11):324–329. [PubMed]
  • Hagström A, Larsson U, Hörstedt P, Normark S. Frequency of dividing cells, a new approach to the determination of bacterial growth rates in aquatic environments. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1979 May;37(5):805–812. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jagger J. Inhibition by sunlight of the growth of Escherichia coli B/r. Photochem Photobiol. 1975 Jul-Aug;22(1-2):67–70. [PubMed]
  • Kapuscinski RB, Mitchell R. Solar radiation induces sublethal injury in Escherichia coli in seawater. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1981 Mar;41(3):670–674. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McCambridge J, McMeekin TA. Effect of solar radiation and predacious microorganisms on survival of fecal and other bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1981 May;41(5):1083–1087. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McFeters GA, Stuart DG. Survival of coliform bacteria in natural waters: field and laboratory studies with membrane-filter chambers. Appl Microbiol. 1972 Nov;24(5):805–811. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Munro PM, Gauthier MJ, Laumond FM. Changes in Escherichia coli cells starved in seawater or grown in seawater-wastewater mixtures. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Jul;53(7):1476–1481. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Newell SY. Modification of the gelatin-matrix method for enumeration of respiring bacterial cells for use with salt-marsh water samples. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1984 Apr;47(4):873–875. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rhodes MW, Anderson IC, Kator HI. In situ development of sublethal stress in Escherichia coli: effects on enumeration. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Jun;45(6):1870–1876. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Roszak DB, Colwell RR. Metabolic activity of bacterial cells enumerated by direct viable count. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Dec;53(12):2889–2893. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • SIEBURTH JM, PRAT DM. Anticoliform activity of sea water associated with the termination of Skeletonema costatum blooms. Trans N Y Acad Sci. 1962 Mar;24:498–501. [PubMed]

Articles from Applied and Environmental Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...