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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 May; 35(5): 829–833.
PMCID: PMC242937

"Bactericidal" property of seawater: death or debilitation?


Coliform colony-forming units in sewage-contaminated seawater were observed to decrease rapidly with time in water that was collected from St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, and isolated in dialysis bags; this confirms observations made in warmer climates. Adenosine 5'-triphosphate biomass, however, did not decline, nor did the particle size distribution of radioactively labeled coliforms change. It was observed that the coliforms were not killed by seawater but were debilitated to the extent that they would not form colonies on selective media. However, they recovered and grew on nutrient agar made with seawater. The adenosine 5'-triphosphate content per cell apparently did not decline during debilitation.

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Selected References

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