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Biofouling. 2000;15(1-3):195-205. doi: 10.1080/08927010009386310.

Influence of calcium and other cations on surface adhesion of bacteria and diatoms: A review.

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a Center for Biofilm Engineering and Department of Microbiology , Montana State University , Bozetnan , MT , 59717-3980 , USA E-mail:


Association with a surface is an important aspect of survival for microorganisms in natural and manmade environments/Both bacteria and diatoms are involved in such associations. In many cases, this leads to surface fouling, which often results in surface deterioration and mechanical failure in industrial systems. We now know that microorganisms exploit many strategies to establish associations with surfaces. As in the case of other cellular processes, calcium ions seem to play an important role in adhesion of cells to surfaces. Calcium is involved in non-specific interactions such as neutralization of the electrical double layer between cell and substratum surface as well as specific adhesive interactions that cannot be replaced by other cations. The unique properties of calcium ions promote both specific and non-specific interactions with protein and polysaccha-ride adhesin molecules at the cell surface. As important, but less well understood, calcium ions also influence the way microbial cells interact with different substrata.


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