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Favourite Apartments For Bacteria
26.01.2006 11:21
Favourite Apartments For Bacteria

Scientists from Saint Petersburg State Technical University discovered microbial preferences for choosing a place for settling porous particles with strictly defined pore diameter. Microbial cells adhere to particle pore walls by means of pili and filaments. Bacteria have different living preferences depending on their size and filament location on the cell.
      Microbes do not like large pores, because it is difficult to adhere in them due to their flatness, but they can stick successfully to smaller pores with diameter of 2-5 micrometers. Such pores are most convenient ones for biotechnology. Smallest pores with 0.6-micrometer diameter cant house a bacterial cell, but microbes use them as holes for their filaments to get settled. Medium pores 0.6-2 micrometer are not suitable for biotechnologists due to being too small for bacteria, but too large for their filaments.
      Biologists have tried to settle Bacillus and Acinetobacterium (who are typical for hospital infections) on 14 samples of various minerals and substances, which are usually used as substrates for microorganisms. The difference between carries was pore amount and volume. When microbes have settles and proliferated on the carrier samples, scientists have counted cells, living in standard carrier sample. They calculated how amount of bacteria adhered to sample granules is related to pore diameter and granule total surface area. Thus, one can conclude what pores bacteria like most of all. Acinetobacterium, which are 1-1.5 micrometer long, prefer pores with 2-4.5 micrometer in diameter. Bacillus, which have elongated cells 4-7 micrometer long and 1.5 micrometer thick, need larger pores 3-4 microns.
      Not all materials are suitable for bacterial adhesion. Repulsive forces appear between cells and non-wettable materials, such as baked clay, lava and coke. Bacillus cells and charged negatively, thus they prefer to grow on positively charged surfaces bentonite and porous concrete. As for Acinetobacterium, they bear positive charge and prefer negatively charged habitats.
      There are many ways to immobilize bacteria, for it to live without moving anywhere. A perfect carrier stimulates microbial metabolism and protects cells from negative changes in their environment, which can appear during wastewater bioremediation and emergency situations.
      Commercial Biotechnology


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