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Can J Microbiol. 2000 Jan;46(1):28-37.

Influence of growth and environmental conditions on cell surface hydrophobicity of Pseudomonas fluorescens in non-specific adhesion.

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  • 1Laboratory of Applied Mycology, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, India.


The relative cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) of 18 soil isolates of Pseudomonas fluorescens, determined by phase exclusion, hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC), electrostatic interaction chromatography (ESIC), and contact angle, revealed large degrees of variability. Variation in the adhesion efficiency to Macrophomina phaseolina of the hyphae/sclerotia of these isolates was also examined. Two such isolates with maximum (32.8%; isolate 12-94) and minimum (12%; isolate 30-94) CSH were selected for further study. Early- to mid-log exponential cells of these isolates were more hydrophobic than those in stationary phase, and the CSH of these isolates was also influenced by fluctuations in temperatures and pH. Isolate 12-94 exhibited high CSH (32.3%) at 30 degrees C, compared to lower values (28-24%) in the higher temperature range (35-40 degrees C). Increasing concentrations of either Zn2+, Fe3+, K+, and Mg2+ in the growth medium were associated with the increased CSH. Trypsin, pepsin, and proteinase K (75 to 150 micrograms.mL-1) reduced the CSH of isolate 12-94 cells. CSH was reduced, following exposure to DTT, SDS, Triton X-100, or Tween 80. Prolonged exposure of cells to starvation (60 days) also caused a significant decline in CSH. Several protein bands (18, 21, 23, 26 kDa) of the outer cell membrane were absent in 60-day starved cells compared to unstarved cells. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that CSH of P. fluorescens isolates may contribute to nonspecific attachment/adhesion onto M. phaseolina hyphae/sclerotia, and the efficiency of adhesion is regulated by growth and other environmental conditions.

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