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Denitrification and chemotaxis of Pseudomonas stutzeri KC in porous media.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824-1226, USA.

Abstract

Chemotaxis is an important mechanism by which microorganisms are dispersed in porous media. A vigorous chemotactic response to concentration gradients formed by microbial consumption of chemoattractants can accelerate transport of bacteria to highly contaminated regions of soils and sediments, enhancing the efficiency of in situ bioremediation operations. Although chemotaxis plays a key role in establishment of biodegradation zones in the subsurface, the effects of physical heterogeneity on bacterial motility are poorly understood. To investigate the influence of porous media heterogeneity on microbial chemotaxis, swarm plate migration experiments were conducted using Pseudomonas stutzeri strain KC, a denitrifying bacterium used for in situ biodegradation of carbon tetrachloride in groundwater. Swarm plate measurements indicate that strain KC is strongly chemotactic toward both acetate and nitrate. A three-component mathematical model was developed to describe the migration of strain KC. Estimates of chemotactic sensitivity were obtained in the homogeneous (agar) phase and in a heterogeneous medium of aquifer solids extracted from the Schoolcraft bioremediation field site in western Michigan. Interestingly, the motility of strain KC is significantly larger in the porous medium than in the aqueous phase. We hypothesize that chemotactic response is enhanced within the heterogeneous medium because chemoattractant gradients formed by nitrate consumption are larger in the confined spaces of the porous medium than in unconfined agar solution.

PMID:
16760079
DOI:
10.1080/10934520600689258
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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