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J Microbiol Methods. 2001 Jun;45(2):119-26.

Influence of electrical properties on the evaluation of the surface hydrophobicity of Bacillus subtilis.

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Unité de Chimie Biologique Industrielle, Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux, Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium.


The surface hydrophobicity of nine Bacillus subtilis strains in different states (spores, vegetative cells, and dead cells) was assessed by water contact angle measurements, hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) and bacterial adhesion to hydrocarbon (BATH). Electrokinetic properties of B. subtilis strains were characterized by zeta potential measurements and found to differ appreciably according to the strain. Correlations between HIC data, BATH data and zeta potential showed that HIC and BATH are influenced by electrostatic interactions. Water contact angle measurements thus provide a better estimate of cell surface hydrophobicity. The water contact angle of B. subtilis varied according to the strain and the state, the spores tending to be more hydrophobic than vegetative cells.

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