The cell surface hydrophobicities of a variety of aquatic and terrestrial gliding bacteria were measured by an assay of bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons (BATH), hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and the salt aggregation test. The bacteria demonstrated a broad range of hydrophobicities. Results among the three hydrophobicity assays performed on very hydrophilic strains were quite consistent. Bacterial adhesion to glass did not correlate with any particular measure of surface hydrophobicity. Several adhesion-defective mutants of Cytophaga sp. strain U67 were found to be more hydrophilic than the wild type, particularly by the BATH assay and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The very limited adhesion of these mutants correlated well with hydrophilicity as determined by the BATH assay. The hydrophobicities of several adhesion-competent revertants ranged between those of the wild type and the mutants. As measured by the BATH assay, starvation increased hydrophobicity of both the wild type and an adhesion-defective mutant. During filament fragmentation of Flexibacter sp. strain FS-1, marked changes in hydrophobicity and adhesion were accompanied by changes in the arrays of surface-exposed proteins as detected by an immobilized radioiodination procedure
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