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Recalcitrant High-Molecular-Weight Material, an Inhibitor of Microbial Metabolism in River Biofilms

By Christopher Freeman and Maurice A. Lock


Recalcitrant high (>1,000)-molecular-weight materials (>1K materials) have been proposed to inhibit the metabolic activity of river biofilms. Evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that the mode of action is through occlusion of the surface of the biofilm by recalcitrant >1K materials. The evidence includes the following. (i) The phenomenon was particularly prominent in brown-water rivers, which are rich in recalcitrant >1K material. (ii)Temporal changes in inhibition intensity were observed, which coincided with seasonal changes in the relative recalcitrance of river water >1K materials. (iii) Stores of intracellular carbon (poly-β-hydroxyalkanoates) were progressively compromised by increasing the supply of recalcitrant >1K materials. (iv) Nontoxic synthetic analogs of recalcitrant >1K materials were also demonstrated to be capable of producing an identical inhibitory effect. Finally, it was suggested that the application of recalcitrant >1K materials may represent a novel approach to the control of deleterious microbial communities

Topics: General Microbial Ecology
Year: 1992
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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