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Model system for studies of microbial dynamics at exuding surfaces such as the rhizosphere.

  • G. Odham
  • A. Tunlid
  • A. Valeur
  • P. Sundin
  • D. C. White
Publishing year: 1986-01-01
Language: English
Pages: 191-196
Publication/Series: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume: 52
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology

Abstract english

An autoclavable all-glass system for studying microbial dynamics at permeable surfaces is described. Standard hydrophobic or hydrophilic membranes (46-mm diameter) of various pore sizes were supported on a glass frit through which nutrient solutions were pumped by a peristaltic pump. The pump provided a precisely controlled flow at speeds of 0.5 to 500 ml of defined or natural cell exudates per h, which passed through the membrane into a receiving vessel. The construction allowed a choice of membranes, which could be modified. The system was tested with a bacterium, isolated from rape plant roots (Brassica napus L.), that was inoculated on a hydrophilic membrane filter and allowed to develop into a biofilm. A defined medium with a composition resembling that of natural rape root exudate was pumped through the membrane at 0.5 ml/h. Scanning electron microscopic examinations indicated that the inoculum formed microcolonies embedded in exopolymers evenly distributed over the membrane surface. The lipid composition and content of poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate in free-living and adhered cells were determined by gas chromatography. The bacterial consumption of amino acids in the exudate was also studied.


  • Microbiology


  • ISSN: 0099-2240
Anders Tunlid
E-mail: anders [dot] tunlid [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

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