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Adhesion of an Amylolytic Arthrobacter sp. to Starch-Containing Plastic Films

By Syed H. Imam and J. Michael Gould


Cells of the amylolytic bacterium KB-1 (thought to be an Arthrobacter sp.) adhered (∼70%) to the surface of plastic films composed of starch-poly (methylacrylate) graft copolymer (starch-PMA), but did not adhere (<10%) to films composed of polymethylacrylate (PMA), polyethylene (PE), carboxymethyl cellulose, or a mixture of PE plus poly (ethylene-coacrylic acid) (EAA), starch plus PE, or starch plus PE and EAA. About 30% of the cells adhered to gelatinized insoluble starch. Dithiothreitol (5 mM), EDTA (5 mM), and soluble starch (1%, wt/vol) had little effect on the adhesion of KB-1 cells to starch-PMA films. However, glutaraldehyde-fixed cells, azide-treated cells, and heat-killed cells did not bind to starch-PMA plastic, suggesting that the observed adhesion required cell viability. Culture supernatant from 5-day-old KB-1 cultures contained a proteolytic enzyme that inhibited cell adhesion to starch-PMA plastics. Trypsin-treated KB-1 cells also lost their ability to bind to starch-PMA plastic. When washed free of trypsin and suspended in fresh medium, trypsin-treated bacteria were able to recover adhesion activity in the absence, but not in the presence, of the protein synthesis inhibitor chloramphenicol. These results suggested that adhesion of KB-1 to starch-PMA plastic may be mediated by a cell surface protein. Although KB-1 bacteria bound to starch-PMA plastic, they did not appear to degrade starch in these films. Evidence of starch degradation was observed for starch-PE-EAA plastics, where <10% of the bacteria was bound, suggesting that cell adhesion may not be a prerequisite for degradation of some starch-containing plastics

Topics: Applied Environmental and Public Health Microbiology
Year: 1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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