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Chemical Effectors Cause Different Motile Behavior and Deposition of Bacteria in Porous Media

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posted on 2012-06-19, 00:00 authored by Celia Jimenez-Sanchez, Lukas Y. Wick, José-Julio Ortega-Calvo
We tested the hypothesis whether chemically induced motility patterns of bacteria may affect their transport in porous media. Naphthalene-degrading Pseudomonas putida G7 cells were exposed to glucose, salicylate, and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and their motility was assessed by computer-assisted, quantitative swimming and capillary-based taxis determinations. Exposure to salicylate induced smooth movement with few acceleration events and positive taxis, whereas cells exposed to AgNPs exhibited tortuous movement and a repellent response. Although metabolized by strain G7, glucose did not cause attraction and induced a hyper-motile mode of swimming, characterized by a high frequency of acceleration events, high swimming speed (>60 μm s–1), and a high tortuosity in the trajectories. Chemically induced motility behavior correlated with distinct modes of attachment to sand in batch assays and breakthrough curves in percolation column experiments. Salicylate significantly reduced deposition of G7 cells in column experiments whereas glucose and AgNPs enhanced attachment and caused filter blocking that resulted in a progressive decrease in deposition. These findings are relevant for bioremediation scenarios that require an optimized outreach of introduced inoculants and in other environmental technologies, such as water disinfection and microbially enhanced oil recovery.

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