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Impact of growth conditions on transport behavior of E. coli

Marcus, Ian M., Bolster, Carl H., Cook, Kimberly L., Opot, Stephen R., Walker, Sharon L.
Journal of environmental monitoring 2012 v.14 no.3 pp. 984
Escherichia coli, aquatic environment, bacteria, dairy manure, growing media, microbial activity, porous media, saturated conditions
The aim of this investigation is to determine the effect that growth solution has on the cell surface properties and transport behavior of eleven Escherichia coli isolates through saturated porous media. The two growth solutions used were a standard laboratory growth medium (LB) and a dairy manure extract solution. In general, cells grown in manure extract were more hydrophobic, had a more negative zeta potential, had lower amounts of surface macromolecules, and had lower attachment efficiencies than isolates grown in LB. An inverse relationship between the natural log of zeta potential and the attachment efficiency of the isolates for the cells grown in LB media was the only statistically significant correlation observed between transport behavior and cell characteristics of the isolates. This study shows the need to consider growth conditions when studying bacteria to better mimic the environmental stresses that bacteria undergo in the natural environment. This approach could lead to a better understanding of the behavior of manure-derived bacteria in aquatic and terrestrial environments.