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Microb Ecol. 1996 Jul;32(1):23-33.

Exopolysaccharide Production and Attachment Strength of Bacteria and Diatoms on Substrates with Different Surface Tensions

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1
Institute of Zoology, University of Kiel, Olshausenstr. 40, D-24098 Kiel, Germany

Abstract

Attachment strength and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production of Pseudomonas sp. (bacteria) and the diatom Amphora coffaeformis were studied on six different substrata with surface tensions between 19 and 64.5 mN m-1. Test panels of the materials were exposed to bacterial cultures between 3 and 120 hours, and to diatom cultures between 48 and 72 hours. Exopolysaccharide production by surface-associated cells was measured using the phenol sulfuric acid method. Attachment studies were run by exposing test panels to laminar flow pressure using a radial flow chamber. Highest EPS production by bacteria and diatoms was recorded on substrata with surface tensions above 30 mN m-1. Lowest EPS production occurred on substrata between 20 and 25 mN m-1. Highest EPS production and strongest adhesion was found on polycarbonate (33.5 mN m-1). Both test organisms improved their attachment strength with exposure time on most materials. However, amounts of produced EPS and improvement of attachment indicated that mechanisms other than polysaccharide production are more important on substrata with low surface tensions (<25 mN m-1). Simply producing more polysaccharides is not sufficient to overcome weak attachment on materials with low surface tensions. For example, adhesion of Pseudomonas sp. and A. coffaeformis on polytetrafluorethylene/perfluor-copolymer (PFA; 22 mN m-1) and glass (64.5 mN m-1) was equally strong although EPS production was much higher on glass than on PFA. This is somewhat surprising for A. coffaeformis because polysaccharide production has been considered the most important attachment mechanism of A. coffaeformis.

PMID:
8661539

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