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Rickard, Alexander H.; McBain, Andrew J.; Stead, Amy T.; Gilbert, Peter (2004)
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Microbial Ecology
The development of freshwater multispecies biofilms at solid-liquid interfaces occurs both in quiescent waters and under conditions of high shear rates. However, the influence of hydrodynamic shear rates on bacterial biofilm diversity is poorly understood. We hypothesized that different shear rates would significantly influence biofilm diversity and alter the relative proportions of coaggregating and autoaggregating community isolates. In order to study this hypothesis, freshwater biofilms were developed at five shear rates (<0.1 to 305 S−1) in a rotating concentric cylinder reactor fed with untreated potable water. Eubacterial diversity was assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and culturing on R2A agar. Fifty morphologically distinct biofilm strains and 16 planktonic strains were isolated by culturing and identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and their relatedness was determined by the construction of a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic and DGGE analyses showed an inverse relationship between shear rate and bacterial diversity. An in vitro aggregation assay was used to assess the relative proportions of coaggregating and autoaggregating species from each biofilm. The highest proportion of autoaggregating bacteria was present at high shear rates (198 to 305 S−1). The intermediate shear rate (122 S−1) selected for the highest proportion of coaggregating bacteria (47%, or 17 of a possible 36 coaggregation interactions). Under static conditions (<0.1 S−1), 41 (33%) of a possible 125 coaggregation interactions were positive. Few coaggregation (3.3%) or autoaggregation (25%) interactions occurred between the 16 planktonic strains. In conclusion, these data show that shear rates affect biofilm diversity as well as the relative proportions of aggregating bacteria.
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